THE MAGICIAN’S LAND and its previous novels, THE MAGICIANS and THE MAGICIANS’ KING, by Lev Grossman, are the story of a young high school student, Quentin Coldwater, who finds his way to a secret school for magic and through it, a magical land that he comes to rule. In the final book of the trilogy, he is an exile, barred from the world of Fillory. He finds his way back to the Brakebills Preparatory School of Magic, as a professor this time, and from there begins an new adventure with an expelled student named Plum. After joining up with a gang of thieves and taking part in a heist that goes badly wrong, they find a mysterious book which holds some surprising secrets. Meanwhile, Fillory itself is dying, tearing itself apart in war and disaster. Can Quentin find his way back home, save the land he once ruled, and perhaps even create a new magical home to explore?
THE MAGICIAN’S LAND is a story of rebirth and redemption, both for Quentin and his world. It is a brilliant conclusion to a dramatic and compelling fantasy series.
If you really enjoyed THE MAGICIANS trilogy, and are looking for more fine fantasy novels, perhaps with ordinary people drawn into extraordinary realms or young protagonists coming of age while mastering mysterious magical powers, try one of these indie adventures.
THE MILLENNIAL SWORD by Shannon Phillips
Viveca Janssen is ready for a new life. Recently graduated from Oberlin College, she moves from her parent’s Ohio home to a new job in San Francisco. On her very first day in this new and exotic city, she is shaken by a strange face appearing outside her window. Hours later, a middle aged “hippie lady” tells Viveca that she is the new “Lady of the Lake” and gives her a sword claimed to be the legendary Excalibur. From that moment, her life is surrounded by Arthurian legends while she tries to support herself as an Account Assistant. Myth intertwines with reality as she must face a threat to her newly adopted city from Morgan Le Fay and her creatures of darkness.
FRACTURED: LISEN OF SOLSTA by D. Hart St. Martin, is a unique, refreshing work of fantasy following the tumultuous life of Lisen, a seventeen-year-old self-proclaimed “valley girl,” as she is torn from her old life and thrust into an alternate dimension.
In just one afternoon lounging by the beach, Lisen’s life changes forever as Eloise the Hermit kidnaps her and brings her through space and time into the world of Garla, her home planet from which she was taken as a small child. After the tragic and mysterious death of her mother, the “Empir,” Lisen discovers that she is the heir to the throne of this unfamiliar world and must learn to be a worthy ruler.
TAINTED, the second in the Lisen of Solsta series, continues the journey of Lisen, a former “valley girl,” as she becomes acclimated to a new body, a new dimension, and a new life.
Continuing right where Fractured left off, author D. Hart St. Martin begins this sequel as Lisen is recovering emotionally and physically from her possession by Jozan at the end of the last installment. Though the quiet recuperation is beginning to bore her, Lisen need not remain so for long, as a visit from Captain Rosarel begins her long journey out of Rossla and into the great unknown to reclaim the throne that is rightfully hers.
One of the most distinguishing features of both this novel and its predecessor is St. Martin’s development of complex characters. To attempt to reclaim her crown, after having done the nearly impossible by surviving a possession, reflects on Lisen’s character as the strong young woman she has become. Despite mourning the loss of her Earth parents, missing her previous life, and understanding that she has no way of ever returning to Earth, Lisen boldly takes on each challenge presented to her as she battles for her crown.
MYTHBORN by Vijay Lakshman
In a land where magic-users have only recently been freed from persecution, the opening of a mysterious Gate in a beseiged fortress sets off a train of events that bring a diverse cast of characters into conflict over the source of magic itself.
The Galadine royal line has hunted mages ever since fighting a devastating war to subdue the demon Lilyth. King Bernal Galadine however, has ended that persecution. But Themun Dreys, Lore Father of a group of mages who have carried on practicing their Way on a hidden, dragon-protected isle, senses the opening of a Gate, and fears the re-emergence of Lilyth. He sends one of his adepts, Silbane, along with his apprentice Arek, who has the unusual ability to suppress all magic in his vicinity, to investigate – and possibly to close the Gate at the cost of Arek’s life. But Arek’s talent has dire potential, and attracts very dangerous attention, from multiple different factions, all of them powerful. What is Arek’s real nature, and could he pose a threat to the very fabric of his world? And who – mage, king, dragon, demon, assassin – will win the battle to control or kill the young mage?
THE ELEVENTH AGE by Luthien T. Kennedy
A gripping work of fantasy that combines the eerie prophecies of the modern age with ancient folklore.
For Elli Foote, life has always been “abnormal.” Raised by an eccentric father alongside two equally interesting adopted siblings, Elli has led a life filled with advanced education encompassing a wide range of subjects, including the mystical. Her life, while abnormal, is predictable, and she is perfectly content “living in the shadows” of her intelligent, attractive siblings. Then, with one mysterious phone call from Tanzania, her entire world changes. Despite her belief that is unremarkable, Elli must face her fate as a member of the magical populations of Earth. But does being special mean more danger than it’s worth?
THE MAGEKILLER by Sarah Chapman
In Garallo, the capital city of Varland, the population was divided among commoners, nobility, magicians and “magekillers”. The existence of the last two groups kept a fragile peace despite their hatred for each other. Magicians and their powers were kept in check by the magekillers, women who were immune to magic and had the authority to kill any magician who attempted to take control. Kane was the Archmage, a superior magician who practiced wilder magic than the staid gentlemen of the Magicians Hall. His views on developing the magic powers of women placed him at odds with the other magicians and the magekillers, who were female. Into this combustible society comes the mysterious Alar, immune to magic and believed to be a magekiller yet she keeps her distance from them and forges an alliance with Kane.
THE MAGEKILLER’s plot moves at a brisk pace from almost the first page and sustains the action until the last climactic pages. It is a well-written fantasy about the dangers of combining magic with politics. With the groundwork already placed by THE MAGEKILLERS, this is the beginning of an outstanding series.
PRINT IN THE SNOW by E. V. Svetova
Fourteen-year-old Anna angrily leaves her new home in New York City and steps into a magical world where she is faced with physical and emotional obstacles which she must overcome in order to find her way home on more levels than one.
Anna, still grieving the loss of her father, upset with her stepfather and mother following the relocation and news of a baby decides to disobey her mother and go skiing in the nearby park. Here, she bumps into Sanny, a young boy who takes her to the Wyssun world where she is mistaken for several creatures before a wise man recognizes that she is a human. With this role in the new world that she has entered, Anna must quickly learn about the rules of this land, overcome the Wyssun monsters that threaten to drain the world of love, and gain the strength, insight, love and desire to save her life as well as the Wyssun world.