What struck me most on my re-read ofThe Magicians was how hard Grossman was working to pull off the implausibility of his scenario. He needed Quentin & co. to be college age so that they could drink and then head out into the working world and suffer quarter life crises and all that, but he also wanted to play with the conventions of the classic boarding school story, which typically take place in high school. So he made Brakebills like a high school, only with drinking. It’s a little forced, as is the plot slippage that puts all of the Physical Kids into the same group (despite being different Years) for a key semester in their magical development. There are other, smaller contrivances–but Grossman is such a great writer of characters and dialogue, on top of his strong worldbuilding, that I absolutely forgave him. Quentin’s betrayal in this story got me just as much this time as it did the first time, even though I saw it coming. Off to reread The Magician King, in eager anticipation of the trilogy’s completion on August 5th with the publication of The Magician’s Land.