Arthur C. Clarke

At summer's end, adventure

At summer's end, adventure

Nothing in life is certain anymore — not even death and taxes, thanks to cryonics and a Republican Congress. Thus I can't give you an absolute, ironclad, airtight guarantee that if you hold "The Magician King" (Viking) at just the right angle at just the right time of day and intone a precise series of mysterious words, you will be instantly transported to a new dimension, one filled with beauty and wonder, with danger and joy.

But you might as well give it a shot.

Lev Grossman's new novel, the sequel to his delectable 2009 best-seller, "The Magicians," inspires just that sort of exhilaratingly unrealistic thinking. It's a Harry Potter series for the people...