The Magicians is Harry Potter for grown-ups

If you could journey to any fantasy world, which would it be? I, like many millions of others, would have to choose JRR Tolkien’s Middle Earth – although, given the option, I’d divide my time between Gondor and Rivendell, and skip the guided tours of Moria and Mordor. Lev Grossman, author of The Magicians and its sequel, The Magician King, might well choose that other classic of British fantasy literature, the Narnia of CS Lewis. But without doubt, the Milllenials out there who grew up with the works of JK Rowling are at this moment gleefully shouting: HOGWARTS! HOGWARTS! HOGWARTS!

Read more on Guardian Books.


Published by Damien Walter

Writer and storyteller. Contributor to The Guardian, Independent, BBC, Wired, Buzzfeed and Aeon magazine. Special forces librarian (retired). Teaches the Rhetoric of Story to over 35,000 students worldwide.

3 thoughts on “The Magicians is Harry Potter for grown-ups

  1. Some people have called ‘The Magicians@ derivative, but how can you call something derivative that so openly displays it’s influences and then turns everything on it’s head and throws in a mix of The Prince?

    In answer to the question, and I know I might be presenting myself as a bit of a sheep here, but I loved the worlds created by Jordan in ‘Wheel of time’, Feist in ‘Riftwar Saga’, and Martin in ‘The Game of Thrones’. Of course, fantasy would not be what it is today without ‘those that went before’ (tribute to Tolkien & Lewis).


    1. that’s how I felt Scott. Not sure you can accuse something derivative when it is so clearly subverting its source material. I have to admit, Feist and Jordan disappoint me. Martin I like a lot more.


  2. I’ll admit that Feist’s work started to fizzle out for me after the first three (exlcuding the Empire trilogy), and Jordan did start to waffle on a bit – but let’s face it, he had issues. In any case, when they had me, the hook went in deep, and I think Sanderson is doing a good job finishing of The Wheel of Time series.

    IMHO :~)



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