A Dragon in Venice’s Grand Canal

Quentin is about to jump into the canal to retrieve a magic button that he and Julia need desperately: it’s the only thing that will get them back to Fillory.

Witnessing the deed is a dragon expert, a fetching young woman from Australia named Poppy.

“They hardly ever eat people,” Poppy said. “I mean like twice a century. That we know of.”

The Magician King, p. 174

You’ll notice self’s reading pace has picked up. She really loves Quentin and Julia’s backstory. Today, despite watching a bit of the Belfast Marathon, and going to the Botanic Gardens, she managed to spend a good bit of time reading.

Stay tuned.

Last on the Card, April 2022

Bushboy’s Last Photo on the Card allows self to share one more photo from the Titanic Belfast Museum, which she visited yesterday. It was an unexpectedly emotional experience.

There is a very swank hotel next to the museum. Yesterday afternoon, the hotel’s formal dining room was all decked out for a wedding reception. In the lobby were lovingly restored photographs of the ship at launch. You’d think the associations would keep people from wanting to get married there, but the opposite seems to be the case.

This ship’s model was on the second floor, away from the crowds. (The museum got very, very crowded mid-afternoon, at which point self put on her mask. People were staring. But self would rather be safe than sorry.)

When The Magician King is Like a Game Show

Look in the bowl! Look in the bowl! says a high, disembodied voice in a Venezian palazzo (HOW did Quentin and Julia get to a Venetian palazzo? Weren’t they just in RICHMOND, VIRGINIA? And is there ANY sordid wizard Julia won’t, as a frustrated Quentin puts it, bang? This is another thing self appreciates about Lev Grossman: his characters DO bang, and they talk like young people.)


“I refuse to look in the bowl!” says our valiant Quentin, grabbing catatonic Julia by the hand (She’s only catatonic when she’s with Quentin. Ergo, this is NOT a ship!)

Quentin slaps the bowl off the table, it shatters against a wall, out floats a piece of paper, and what does Quentin do? WHAT DO YOU THINK HE DOES? He reads the slip of paper. And it says:


Magic at Brakebills

The Magician King, p. 114:

  • The library was still plagued by outbreaks of flying books — three weeks ago a whole flock of Far Eastern atlases had taken wing, terrifyingly broad, muscular volumes like albatrosses, and wrecked the circulation area, sending students crawling under the tables. The books actually found their way out through the front door and roosted in a tree by the welters board, from which they raucously heckled passersby in a babel of languages until they got rained on and dragged themselves sulkily back to the stacks, where they were agressively rebound.


It’s been a long time since self has read a book about magic, perhaps not since The Infernal Devices. The magic in Lev Grossman’s universe is great.

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