epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

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Book Reviews: The Magician's Land + Paragon Lost

The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman
In this final part of ‘The Magicians’ trilogy; Quentin decides to stop dwelling in self-defeating nostalgia and demanding that absurd and momentous things happen to him. He is going to have meaningful engagements with people and stop having nothing but contempt and wariness and disillusion and being angry if his desires and expectations are not reflected in life.

Naturally it doesn’t last; he and a woman with murky connections get thrown into a new emotionally resonant adventure. Quentin learns raw distrust for unmoved and cold gods who are not genuine and neither are their promises. He also puts in work to save a long lost love and stop a predetermined outcome.

This is a tale of magic, deliberately inconsiderate behaviour, whiffs of decay and disappointment, malignity, certainties that are not justified, dire predictions that never materialised finally materialising, dishonesty, threatening behaviour, absolute mayhem, a fateful decision and Quentin getting rightfully vilified.

Quentin learns about the painful aspects of life, makes decisions in the face of external forces and various female characters are relegated to bit players in this narrative with Quentin at the centre. This is a tale of innermost desires that deconstructs fantasy tropes with brazen cheek and tangential observations. This was very good but there is a lack of candour as to why Fillory is seen as so incandescently brilliant and strangely irresistible and why it proves such strong reactions in people who wish to be defined by it.

Best Lines
“That’s not love, that’s hell.”

“Imagine knowing always and forever, that you are right, and that everyone and everything else is wrong.”

“The understars.”

“All you ever do is what you think people expect you to do, and then you feel sorry for yourself when they hate you.”

“In case of Ragnaok break glass and play an E flat.”

“An age had ended;”

Paragon Lost by Dave Duncan
An okay chronicle of the King’s Blades. Sir Beaumont and his unalloyed stoicism used to be one of the legendary King’s Blades until his tenure ended in disgrace. Now he has a chance to be redeemed. This has adventure, swords, a ruler with a complete lack of sanity and magic. Dark and disputed things happen and imperfect compromises are made in the cause of innate correctness.

Best Line:
“The three Blades rose as one and drew their swords. They leaped forward. The screaming started.”
Tags: book review, the magicians

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