Wow! I would like to start this review by making the point that Fantasy is not my usual genre, so much so that I didn’t even know what a ‘mage’ was. If you are the same then please don’t let that put you off this amazing book as it has certainly reignited my passion for fantasy. Having not read any fantasy novels for the best part of ten years, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from ‘The End of Magic’ but Mark Stay is such a talented author who had me in suspense throughout.
Two powerful mages. One steeped in privilege, the other bound by a moral code. Their world is thrown into chaos by the end of magic.
‘What will you do when the magic is gone?’
Sander Bree is a royal mage. He lives an easy life advising the king on matters of court and politics, yet he still complains that he’s stuck in a rut.
Rosheen Katell is a wandering mage and, with Anzu her griffin, she’s worked hard to build a reputation as a trustworthy truth seer. She never lies, never kills.
Very soon, their magic will be gone. A cataclysmic event will change their lives and world forever.
Sander must keep a promise that would have been difficult enough with magic, but is a suicide mission without it.
Rosheen is forced to side with a murderous warlord, and her once-solid principles are tested and found wanting. Both will be set against one another in a war unlike anything the world has seen before, in this sweeping fantasy of magic’s ending.
A stand alone fantasy novel for fans of Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch
Although the story is about battles between kingdoms, the real story is told through the characters and their relationships. The story encompasses so many relationships which are portrayed well by Stay, my particular favourite being that of Rosheen and Anzu. Anzu is a very wise creature and certainly tried to keep Rosheen in check, it was clear that these two had a lot of history which I would have been keen to learn more about – something for the next novel perhaps?
The main characters, Rosheen and Sander are very different. Rosheen filled me with frustration and anger at times which I feel only further emphasises how much the characters came to life for me. Sander made me laugh throughout the book, he was witty and straight talking, it would be difficult not to warm to him right away.
The book tells the story of a real shift of power and with that comes a lot of death. I was surprised by how many characters are killed in the book, I started to wonder if anyone would still be alive at the end. It was a little off putting at times although it did not deter from my overall enjoyment of the story.
For me, the best part of the book is the story of Oskar. He has a tough journey and I really felt for him and willed him to succeed. However, I am not sure I liked how it ended for him – maybe this wasn’t quite the end?
Overall, ‘The End of Magic’ was a very enjoyable read and it kept me in suspense throughout, it is a real page turner! I would recommend it to both fantasy enthusiasts as well as those looking to try something a bit different.
About the Author
Mark Stay co-wrote the screenplay for Robot Overlords which became a movie with Sir Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson, and premiered at the 58th London Film Festival. Author of the fantasy novel The End of Magic, he is also co-presenter of the Bestseller Experiment podcast and worked in bookselling and publishing for over twenty-five years. He lives in Kent, England, with his family and a trio of retired chickens. He blogs and humblebrags over at markstaywrites.com
Not my usual genre but I do not regret picking up this book. Fast-paced, witty and very entertaining. Certainly worth a read!
Buy your copy here…