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When last we saw our gang of Magicians, things were looking pretty grim. Julia double crossed her friends and ran away with The Beast! Penny had his hands cut off! Alice, Margo, and Eliot appear to be dead!!! Bad things entirely.
Quentin, who may be the lone survivor, sprints through Fillory, searching for help. Finding a gingerbread/candy house, with a lollipop garden, inhabited by a witch who requires a vial of Quentin’s blood – he gets her to agree to save his friends. Ominous AF. Anyway, Quentin agrees and brings the witch back to his friends only to find that they are ALIVE!
It turns out, when Alice drank Ember’s (of Ember and Umber fame)… and there’s no delicate way to put this… seed, ew, she absorbed his God powers and was able to bring herself, Margo, and Eliot back to life! Quentin tries to get his blood back from the witch, whose services are now not needed, but she basically laughs in his face and leaves. Probably not the last we shall see of her.
While all that is going down in Fillory, Julia finds herself in NYC with The Beast, (Martin Chatwin from the Fillory and Further book series, as we have come to find out). We find out that Julia double crossed the gang and ran off with The Beast in order to get him to help her kill Reynard the Fox, a trickster god who killed all of Julia’s friend. She still has the secret weapon that the gang was going to use to kill The Beast and makes him sign a contract assuring that he will help her. Also, The Beast is a gross pedophile.
Back in Fillory, the gang doesn’t know what to do next, so they head to Elliot’s wife’s house. Yup, Eliot’s WIFE. As the High King of Fillory, he had to marry the daughter of the guy who made the weapon that would kill The Beast. There’s also a thing about how Eliot can NEVER leave Fillory…but more on that later. After consulting the Fillory and Further books, Quentin, Alice, and Elliot head to Castle Whitespire to find The Armory in hopes of finding knowledge to kill the Beast. Margo and Penny head to a magic river to reattach Penny’s hands, which were severed by The Beast.
On the way to the castle, Quentin realizes that before they can be granted access to Whitespire, they must first be actually crowned as Kings and Queens. Unfortunately, the only clue they have as to where to go to make that happen is something in the Fillory and Further books about a “rainbow bridge.” With a little magic though, they cast a spell that points them in the right direction.
Penny and Margo easily find the magic river but aren’t totally clear on how to use said magic to reattach Penny’s hands. Luckily (kinda) there’s a weird, hermit-like, river man there to provide assistance. Helping Margo sew Penny’s hands back on, he then tells Penny he needs to submerge all the way into the water, WHICH WORKS! Penny has his hands back! All’s well again! Until the river man asks for payment and Penny GOES OFF on him and storms away. After Penny’s back is turned though the river man performs a spell on Penny’s hands which can NOT be good.
With hands reattached, Penny and Margo meet back up with their buddies just in time to find the rainbow bridge! They’re close to finding the crowns! Before they can actually HAVE the crowns though, they must prove to the crown keeper that they are indeed children of Earth by answering a few questions. Unfortunately the questions are all about early 90’s Earth Trivia and seeing as how it’s 2017, the gang finds that their knowledge lacking. That is until Eliot delivers a monologue from the Dirty Dancing, proving to the crown keeper beyond the shadow of a doubt that these are in fact the Kings and Queens of Fillory! Huzzah!
Before Eliot can (un)ceremoniously just put a crown on his head, Quentin interjects that they HAVE to have a proper coronation. Emotional words are exchanged, bridges are rebuilt (remember that before heading to Fillory Quentin cheated on Alice with Margo AND Eliot and things got… well, messy), and Quentin’s little nerdy heart practically exploded, but it’s official. The friends are now the ruling monarchs of Fillory! On to Castle Whitespire!
Before they go though, Alice and Quentin have a moment. Words and feels are exchanged and then Quentin encourages Alice to not be so afraid of what she’s capable of and just let go of what’s holding her back. Alice then does some particularly impressive magic and grows a whole damn tree in a matter of seconds. In celebration, she kisses Quentin, tells him they aren’t getting back together, and then kisses him again! ALL THE FEELINGS!
So, that spell the river man put on Penny’s hands? DEFINITELY not good. Now Penny has no control over the spells he does, so he heads back to the river man to beg for his help, but once he gets there the river man will not be swayed, warning Penny that “actions have consequences,” and alludes to the position that Penny will soon find himself in. Cryptic.
On Earth, Julia and The Beast start their search for Reynard, which first leads them to a gruesome crime scene, reminiscent of the brutal situation where Julia first encountered Reynard. While they don’t find Reynard, they do find a clue which will point them in the right direction. The closer Julia gets to finding Reynard, the more emotional pain she feels. To get away from that pain, The Beast suggests that she sever herself from her Shade, otherwise known as the part of her soul that makes her feel pain, but also allows her to love. Julia, you know THAT’S gonna end terribly. Cool it.
The gang makes their to Castle Whitespire to discover that Fillory isn’t in all that great shape. Enemies from the North and South; no one can find the key to the throne room; and worst of all, The Armory has been ransacked. The only thing they find is a battle magic workbook that leads them to believe that the answers they are looking for just might be at their old school: Brakebills! Unfortunately, since Eliot is not able to leave Fillory, it looks like the gang is going to have to part ways. That was a lot. More to come…