Quentin switched arms again, and then again. It reminded him of his days as a semi-pro sleight-of-hand magician. The beginning, the laying down of the fundamentals, was always the worst part, which he supposed was why so few people did it. That was the thing about the world: it wasn’t that things were harder than you thought they were going to be, it was that they were hard in ways that you didn’t expect.
Lev Grossman, The Magician King: A Novel