Grossman, Lev. The Magicians Series (The Magicians, The Magician King, The Magician's Land). Viking, 2009, 2011, 2014.
Quentin Coldwater is a genius, and his only real friends are the other two geniuses at his high school. He also harbors a lifetime obsession with a series of children's books about a magical place called Fillory, a Narnia-esque fantasy land only accessible through magic portals from our world to theirs. When Quentin is chosen to attend a super-elite magical college a la Hogwarts, he begins to wonder: what if Fillory is real after all? Any more summation will involve spoilers, so I'll stop here.
I don't know how I missed this book when it first came out, but I started reading it and I loved it so much I forced myself to slow down and read at a pace that for me felt like the struggle of a three-legged turtle stampeding through peanut butter. Similar to the way I felt when I read Harry Potter or Ender's Game for the first time, I realized early on that I was going to love this book and also that I would be sad when I finished. I was right. There are enough Narnia, Harry Potter, Watership Down, Star Wars, and other references throughout this book to warm my little geeky heart. I love the world that Grossman created, both the world of Brakebills and also the land of Fillory. I was the kid who read and re-read the Narnia books and always wished there was a magical land hidden in the back of my closet, so this "Narnia for grown-ups" book where not everything had a happy ending was excellent.
I don't keep many books in my own personal library, as I rarely re-read as an adult and think my books should find new life in the hands of another reader, but The Magicians series will be going on my shelf next to Harry Potter and the Ender series.
Recommended for: adult fans of Harry Potter, Narnia, etc.
Red Flags: it's an adult book, so lots - drinking, sex, violence, language
Overall Rating: 5/5 stars