In The Magicians young Quentin discovers that magic and the Narnia-like realm of Fillory are both real. In the sequel, The Magician King, Quentin is a king, but it is the story of Julia that turns the pages. In the first book, Quentin was handed an education in magic, while Julia was denied admittance and had to figure it out on the street. This book tells her painful journey, a testament to alternative education. “That was the thing about the world: it wasn’t that things were harder than you thought they were going to be, it was that they were hard in ways you didn’t expect.” She gave up at times, “when your sacred intentional community collapses, it’s time to suck it and sell silverware instead.” In the end, she “won ugly” but she won. That part I liked and merits this short review. I suppose I should share Lev Grossman’s Gen-X wit and get his video game metaphors but I generally do not care for them. Overall, a nice light January read.