The Magicians Trilogy

Lev Grossman

“It didn’t matter where you were, if you were in a room full of books you were at least halfway home.”

“That was the thing about the world: it wasn’t that things were harder than you thought they were going to be, it was that they were hard in ways that you didn’t expect.”

IMG_6036*Trigger Warning: There are some themes in this series one might find uncomfortable to read.*

I can try to lie and sell you this series, but that would be against my beliefs as a reader. The Magicians Trilogy is a new adult urban fantasy. I read great reviews of the series, which in hand with the quirky angsty tv show, convinced me to dive in. But let me tell you, it is not a page turning exciting adventure and at times stories are happening within stories. I find myself in a rare situation, I like and recommend the show over the books. 

The series is incredibly dry and at time boring. I developed a like-hate relationship with the characters and the story itself. The Magicians Trilogy can only describe as a patchwork of Harry Potter, Chronicles of Narnia, Wizard of OZ, and Lord of the Rings. To say popular fantasy novels influenced this series is forgiving. If you decide to tackle the series you might love it, you might like it, or you might be like me and be left unsatisfied and wondering about plagiarism/copyright laws.

The Magicians Trilogy is about Quinten Clearwater and his pals: Julia, Alice, Elliot, Jannet, Penny, and Josh. There are a few others who join the crew, but these are the main characters. They face many obstacles as they discover the danger and excitement magic creates.

  • The Magicians: like all first books The Magicians is an introduction to the magical world and gives you a taste of the problems within it. I think the story could have ended here, or I should have stopped reading here.
  • The Magician King: Book two was my favorite book. This was weird for me because usually, the second book in a series is not my favorite. I enjoyed it so much because you get to read about Julia, who is arguably one of the most exciting characters. While I did enjoy this book a lot, it took me a long time to finish…like months.
  • The Magician’s Land: Book three was my least favorite, and I struggled to finish it. I ONLY finished it because it was the last book. This book was slow and boring to start, like the other books in the series once I got into the story there were only 50ish pages left. My biggest complaints of this book were the new characters and the ending.

The one and only thing I like about this series was the magical system and random quotes that were relatable (see the two above).

  • Magic can be taught formally in school or learned on the streets. Street magicians are known as hedgewitches, as you read you start to wonder which is the best way to learn and practice magic.
  • If you need to take a break from the magic world or have done something that requires punishment, there is a program similar to the witness protection program. You start a new “life” without magic.
  • “The Library.” I loved the concept of this thing we know as an unbias source for information being twisted around into something more and possibly dangerous. The secrets held within the library and its workers could have been and should be a series of its own.

There are heaps of other rules, laws, and consequences that were interesting and the strength of the series for me. If you are an aspiring writer who wants to build a magical system, I would recommend this series to you purely for this and nothing more.

Do I recommend The Magicians?

If you are a fan of magic universes with adult themes, you might enjoy this.

If you are looking for an adult version of Harry Potter, don’t look here. I have read many reviews that summed up the series as “adult Harry Potter,” yes they are similar but very different at the same time.

If you like urban magical books, this is 99% for you. Keep in mind the 1% that takes place in pure fantasy.

If you are a fan of the show, the books will not match up. The show is riddled with “spoilers” if you are watching before reading.

If you want to read this series purely because it is not “YA,” The Magicians Trilogy is “new adult” aka upper ya with some sex scenes.

Overall, read at your own risk. I would not recommend to a fellow reader without saying the show did it better. You may love this series, but unfortunately, it was not one for me. I was able to find used copies on, the box set is not awfully priced if you rather buy new.


Have you read this series? Have you watched the tv show? Do you plan to read the series? Tell me below 🙂




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