The premise of this
book by Lev Grossman is that it’s surprising that the young heroes and
heroines of other fantasies never seem to have read about each
other. So in this book, some of the teenagers recruited to a
Hogwarts-like school for magicians on the banks of the Hudson
River are in fact big fans of a Narnia-like series of books about
a world named Fillory.
I wouldn’t say to run out and buy the book even if you find that
premise intriguing, but I was glad that I could borrow it from my public
library. And I finished it even though reading in bed on that
laptop at the wrong orientation was not doing my neck any good.
The major problem is that the characters aren’t interesting
enough to sustain 400 pages. But all the points about the Narnia
and Harry Potter series are valid, and interesting to
contemplate. Why does Narnia always reform the initially
recalcitrant earthling? If the children lifted to another world
have experienced evil in this one, mightn’t they bring it
If you aren’t a Narnia fan, I would say there’s no point at all
in reading this book. You’ll miss some jokes if you aren’t a
Harry Potter fan, but that’s less critical.