The Magician King is already out!! But before I read it, I had to revisit The Magicians. Have your read it? Imagine this: Dominick Dunne and Bret Easton Ellis team up to rewrite the Harry Potter series, culminating in an existentialist crisis which takes place in Narnia. CRAZY, RIGHT?
Grossman's characters can have whatever they want--except happiness. They are brilliant and bored, and turn to a lazy sort of decadence just to pass the time. This is what would've happened to Harry, Ron, and Hermione if there had been no Voldemort, and no greater purpose. Instead of exploring the clash between good and evil, Grossman asks how one can find satisfaction when success and fortune come too easily. The theme is not as grand as that of Tolkein, Lewis, or Rowling, but the unresolved questions create an exciting tension, and the magical settings are fun to explore.