I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The End of Magic by Mark Stay
Published by Unbound Publishing on February 7, 2019
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Epic, General, Historical, Magick Studies
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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.
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.Sander Bree is a royal mage. He lives an easy life advising the king on matters of court and politics, but dreams of an apocalypse are giving him massive anxiety attacks.Very soon, their magic will be gone. A cataclysmic event will change their lives and world forever. Sander must keep a promise to save the life of a young girl 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 readers of Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch
** "The sort of book you give to people who say “prove to me why I should read fantasy”... A simply terrific read." – James Barclay, author of the Legends of the Raven series "Mark Stay paints his world and characters with deft, confident and dark strokes." – RJ Barker, author of the Wounded Kingdom Trilogy "The sort of book you give to people who say “prove to me why I should read fantasy”... A simply terrific read." – James Barclay, author of the Legends of the Raven series "Takes the tropes of high fantasy and uses them to wield an original, compelling and intricately plotted story... exactly the kind of fantasy that we need more of." – Gavin G. Smith, author of the Veteran series "Stay does for George RR Martin what Pratchett did for Tolkien." - Julian Barr, author of The Way Home"The End of Magic has one of the most compelling narratives as well as a strong authorial voice." ★★★★★ Amazon UK Reviewer
"Like Game of Thrones without the boobs!" ★★★★★ - Amazon UK Reviewer "This was a blast, hints of Joe Abercrombie’s books and his dark humour, but presented in a world in chaos." ★★★★★ - Amazon UK Reviewer "The most fun I've had reading a fantasy novel since Red Country by Joe Abercrombie." ★★★★★ - Amazon UK Reviewer "This book grabbed me in the first couple of pages... Couldn’t stop. Really want more!" ★★★★★ - Amazon UK Reviewer "I may never forgive the author for that (spoiler) death scene... *When you read it you’ll understand* Rarely have I shed tears so early on in a book." ★★★★★ - Amazon UK Reviewer
"A fun and intense read." ★★★★★ - Amazon UK Reviewer
"A fresh take on the perennial story of the golden catastrophe/age. The author has created a completely authentic fantasy world." ★★★★★ - Amazon UK Reviewer
"Normal fantasy conventions are distorted, magic is not dependable and there are evil, bloodthirsty villains at work." ★★★★★ - Amazon UK Reviewer
"The humour in the writing offset the blood and gore that featured throughout." ★★★★★ - Amazon UK Reviewer
"The author effortlessly creates a world that is both wonderfully fantastical and at the same time strangely real." ★★★★★ - Amazon UK Reviewer"Gripping and entertaining." ★★★★★ - Amazon UK Reviewer
The End Of Magic…an ambiguous title that could suggest many things. One thing that it does deliver on is the benchmark that epic fantasy should aspire to reach. In very grim times it brought an element of light-hearted hilarity that was very much needed. The magical system is very cleverly constructed in which that it is integrated seamlessly into the bones of the story. It is believable and is manifested as an everyday occurrence. I very much liked that aspect of the story. Stay is a genius in that he took the usual formula for fantasy novels and turned it upside down. Rules be damned!
I instantly knew the reader was going to be in good hands with the author. Mark Stay’s personality was pretty obvious in the initial few pages of The End Of Magic and I knew that this was a tale that was going to stay with me for the long term. Rosheen Katell, a freelance mage and truth seer, a strong character with an undercurrent of vulnerability and a narration that is both wary and exciting. Her character runs deep, and I often felt a bubbling cauldron of trepidation fizzle my nerves. I could anticipate disastrous events coming but when and where?
As a mage her job takes her from town to town and in any great fantasy, you need a trusty sidekick, let me introduce you to, Anzu, the pretty amazing griffin. I am partial to a dragon in fantasy plots but give me a griffin and I’m anyone’s. I mean, who wouldn’t want to own the most magical mythical creature? The king’s mage, Sander Bree – a mage that is fed up and desperately looking for a way out. One major thing they have in common is the Lapis moon – the place where they draw their power from. It has been relied upon for hundreds of years but what happens when a cosmic event happens, and magic disappears. Lives are drastically changed forever.
What are the consequences of such a world altering event? What choices are ultimately being forced into fruition? Rosheen, against her better judgement and morals is forced to help an evil warlord in order to save the life of her brother, Oskar. The things we do for love. Conversely Sander Bree has to come to the rescue of the king’s daughter. It’s a race against time and both mages will be tested beyond anything they have experienced before.
The End Of Magic takes on a sinister edge at times, but it is essentially a story of epic proportions, one of loss, betrayal and hilarity in equal measures. The writing invites the brain to ask questions, it didn’t feel unbelievable, a reason that I couldn’t stop reading. The author did a fantastic job of laying hints and this book lover was only too happy to lap them up. The human condition was constantly at the forefront of this story and the ability to examine and process the very real human emotions and motivations behind decisions and actions.
The End Of Magic was a non-traditional coming of age epic fantasy that was thrilling and exciting in equal measures. Fans of Raymond Feist and Brandon Sanderson will find much to admire. Action aplenty with a generous splattering of gore!
A massive thanks to the author and Heather @ Overview Media for inviting me to be a part of this blog tour.
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