The Magician's Land is a fantasy novel by Lev Grossman, published in 2014 by Viking Adult, the second sequel to The Magicians. It continues the story of outcast magician Quentin Coldwater, interweaving it with the story of several of his friends who are questing to save the magical realm of Fillory.
After being expelled from the magical realm of Fillory, magician Quentin Coldwater returns to his alma mater, the magical college of Brakebills, as a new professor. There he is finally given a discipline, the repair of small objects, and spends his spare time studying an ancient spell found in his travels through the Neitherlands, the magical space between worlds. Near the end of his first semester, he rescues a student, Plum, after a magical prank gone wrong, revealing to Quentin that Alice, now a niffin (a malicious spirit of pure magic), is still alive. The school’s dean expels Plum for the prank and fires Quentin for failing to follow protocol in his rescue attempt.
Needing money, Quentin and Plum independently join a gang of magician thieves led by a talking bird intent on stealing a mysterious suitcase. They are interrupted during the heist by a competing group of thieves with translucent golden hands, a battle and chase ensue, and the survivors disband. The suitcase contains an old book and a blade capable of killing a god, and one of the gang reveals she is Asmodeus when she takes the blade to kill Reynard the Fox; Quentin and Plum take the book. Written to tell his side of the story before he dies in the second world war, the book is Rupert Chatwin’s memoir and tells the story of how his family discovered and inhabited Fillory and then of how he accompanied Martin as he sells his humanity to Umber to be able to stay in Fillory.
In Fillory, Eliot and Janet learn from Ember, the ram god, that the magical realm is dying. They quest on horseback across the land, and each discovers that the other has unexpectedly grown up and become responsible. After Eliot leaves for Earth, Janet, Josh, and Poppy continue searching for answers in a hidden castle (after receiving a clue from Rupert’s book sent by Eliot) where they find Umber, confronting him just as an apocalypse begins.
In New York, Quentin and Plum use a spell previously tucked into Rupert’s book to create a new magical land, but, missing an ingredient, the spell goes wrong and creates an eerie mirror image of their house in which Alice is trapped. Eliot arrives from Fillory to share the news of that realm’s demise while Quentin uses the spell from the Neitherlands to restore Alice to her human form. Initially furious at being reincorporated, she tells Quentin, Eliot, and Plum of her travels, which included back in time to the dawn of Fillory when a tigress goddess sacrificed herself to give life to Ember, Umber, and eventually Fillory itself. The talking bird arrives, desperate for help, and reveals he was sent by Ember; Quentin throws him out, and slowly begins to reconcile with Alice.
Quentin, Plum, Eliot, and Alice travel to the Neitherlands, where they encounter their former classmate Penny, now a powerful librarian with new, translucent golden hands that some of his subordinates have emulated. They meet Janet, Josh, and Poppy escaping the end of Fillory, but Quentin and Alice refuse to give up, travelling back to the dying world. There, Quentin, mimicking the beginning of Fillory, sacrifices Ember and Umber to assume their power and rebuild the world. When the job is finished, he relinquishes the divine power and Julia, now a demigoddess and queen of the dryads, rewards him with a brief tour of the Far Side of Fillory, where he is given a seed pod from the Drowned Garden and informed that Asmodeus was successful in killing Reynard.
Eliot, Janet, Josh, and Poppy return to Fillory as its rulers and Plum joins them to find her own adventures. Quentin returns with Alice to New York and attempts the spell to create a magical realm again, this time with the seed pod. He succeeds, and he and Alice head into the land to explore.Quentin Makepeace Coldwater — The novel's primary protagonist. When the novel begins, he has been expelled from Fillory and is approaching 30.
Plum Purchas — Expelled Brakebills student and last living descendant of the Chatwins. Plum travels with and assists Quentin after the heist goes south.
Eliot Waugh — High King of Fillory, and former classmate of Quentin's. He travels from Fillory to Earth to enlist Quentin's help when the end of Fillory approaches.
Janet — High Queen of Fillory, and former classmate of Quentin's. When riding with Eliot, she tells the story of the year she spent ruling Fillory by herself, in which she enacted reforms, wrote a constitution, annexed the southern desert, and became stronger. She is called "Janet Way" by another student in the first book, but "Janet Pluchinsky" by Dean Fogg in the second.
Alice Quinn — At the start of the novel, Alice is a niffin, a spirit of pure magic. She is Quentin's ex-girlfriend, and is reincorporated by him after being trapped in a mirror image of the house he is staying in. Initially furious at him for all he has done to her, she begins to reconcile with him.
Josh Hoberman — King of Fillory and husband of Poppy.
Poppy — Queen of Fillory, wife of Josh, and expectant mother.
Julia Wicker — Queen of the dryads, a demigoddess, and old friend of Quentin's, Julia lives on the far side of Fillory.
The Magicians Land received positive reviews, with a 4.2/5 rating on GoodReads. The review by The A.V. Club gave the novel an A-, saying that it "manages to be a satisfying finale to the series, while adding depth and shading to the world—magical and otherwise—of the earlier books." The New York Times called it a "richly imagined and continually surprising novel", and said that it "is the strongest book in Grossman’s series. It not only offers a satisfying conclusion to Quentin Coldwater’s quests, earthly and otherwise, but also considers complex questions about identity and selfhood as profound as they are entertaining."