Lev Grossman has written The Magician’s Land, the conclusion to his Magicians trilogy. Grossman’s take on fantasy and schools of magic is dark, smart, and atheistic in a heartbreaking way. Give the trilogy to someone who wants to hope but has lost that Narnia magic.
I found Gilead such a complete experience that I didn’t feel a need to know more about Lila, a secondary character in the book. But in Marilynne Robinson’s new book, Lila, her occupation of this young woman’s thoughts and experience is so musical and convincing that I’ve read the novel twice and recommend it far and wide.
In The Luminaries, Eleanor Catton entwines rich characters into the stunning landscape of historic New Zealand. Catton constructed a fascinating view of vocations, economy, and culture, while employing a unique structure that waxes and wanes with the moon.