First of all, don’t read this unless you’ve read the first two books in the series — The Magicians and The Magician King. I read them both in June of 2012, and I wish I had reread them before tackling the final book, since it was hard to remember a lot of the story (it’s pretty convoluted, involving a lot of characters and twisty turns of plot). But I enjoyed the final book so much that I think I’ll just reread the whole series, start to finish, as soon as I get a chance. Also — spoilers ahead for the first two novels.
“Magic was wild feelings, the kind that escaped out of you and into the world and changed things. There was a lot of skill to it, and a lot of learning, and a lot of work, but that was where the power began: the power to enchant the world.”
At the end of The Magician King, Quentin Coldwater has been kicked out of the magical land of Fillory. At the beginning of The Magician’s Land, he’s meeting other magicians in a bookstore to find out about a potential job. The parts in between begin to get filled in — he went back to Brakebills as a professor, then got kicked out after an incident involving a student — as Quentin is hired for a magical heist. Meanwhile, Elliot and Janet have noticed that things are changing in Fillory — and not for the better.
I think this was the best book in the series, and I think the main reason is that Quentin, in my opinion, is at his most likable here. He’s kind of an ass in the first two books, although a compelling one, and he’s learned his lesson a bit by the third. There’s also a much better sense of camaraderie present in this final tale. And the magic is incredible.