If you like: heists * Alice * ghosts of the past
The Magician’s Land is the final book of the Magicians Trilogy. (See my prior reviews here and here.) By now, Quentin has found Fillory, ruled Fillory, and subsequently been kicked out of Fillory. He has continued to struggle to find his way, but all the worlds seem to continue without him. He knows that magic is his true home, but the actions of his past continue to haunt him. He tries to create a new future, first at Brakebills, and then out in the human world. In spite of this, he knows that his true home is a magical land, and he strives to find a way to get there.
Stories like the Magicians Trilogy can end in may different ways. Some ends are epic, and others happy. There are often huge battles and final missions. The Magician’s Land touches on all of these ideas. Fillory seems to be coming to an end, and there are battles and quests to try to find the source of its finality. Alice returns and must be dealt with. Quentin is lured into a magical heist with the hopes of rekindling what he has lost. The Magician’s Land doesn’t stop there, and continues with more of what has always made up this series. The lazy, predestined ruling of Fillory continues, albeit without Quentin as a part of it. Characters old and new are incorporated. There is a return to the Neitherlands, and the continued evolution of the place and its portals. The story brings a conclusion to the quest of learning what makes Fillory what it is, and how to get there and find its future. The Chatwin legacy continues to be an integral part of what makes Fillory, and has new depths in The Magician’s Land.
Quentin’s journey still mirrors the path many 30somethings find themselves on. He began as a whiny and entitled student, not happy with anything. He wanted magic to be the stuff of fairy tales, and then when it was the fairy tales weren’t enough for him. No matter where his life led him, he never found the happiness he expected to. During the second phase of his journey, he struggled and lost his way. He tried to be the sort of person he thought he should be instead of who he was. He learned that the idea of something isn’t the same as what that thing actually is. Quentin also began to understand that you need to appreciate what you have, and not let it wither when it doesn’t meet your expectations. Even living in a fantasy can become mundane if you let it. After having it all and losing it, Quentin's dreams have died. He accepts that we do not live in our dreams. He finds happiness in the day to day life of Brakebills. Then, even that happiness is taken away by a past that continues to haunt him. Eventually, he learns that in order to have happiness you have to work on building your dreams, piece by piece, instead of just taking them. Once he realizes that dreams are just dreams and that life and happiness are what you make of them, he is able to finally grow up. Once he knows he must build his own land to find what he what he has been searching for, he is able to deal with the past and present, in order to move to the future he desires.
If you just want to snuggle the Cozy Horse, read The Magician’s Land.