The Last Days of Magic

The Last Days of Magic is Ebook A BORE A CHORE AND A SNOREI thought from the cover and description that this would be a fun popcorn book and I was very wrong There s neither anythi

The Last Days of Magic is Ebook A BORE, A CHORE, AND A SNOREI thought from the cover and description that this would be a fun popcorn book, and I was very wrong. There’s neither anything fun nor popcorn about this. It’s just a long slog through a bizarre mishmash of history and is basically a big prologue for its sequel. Here’s a quick breakdown chart for this book:You’ll notice that there’s very little actual magic here. What the reader is treated to instead is a story that takes itself way too seriously—to its own detriment in certain instances—while trying to be high fantasy. We begin with a ~supposed~ murder that takes place in the present, and then the audience is thrust back into a time of mythology. Again, while that sounds interesting, the author makes the mistake of presenting this book more as a droning lecture rather than one of legend and adventure. Most of each page is devoted to his research, of which it is apparent he has done a shload of, however it just doesn’t work for the story and causes so many pacing problems. Then the last few pages, we come back to present times to see that *gasp* the ~murder~ was really a ruse all along.When you actually do get to the occasional snippets of magic, it’s tonally discordant with the rest of the book to the point of utter silliness. The mythological beings and spells are laughable and stick out like a sore thumb because the rest of the text tries way too hard to be grim and serious. No wonder these are the last days of magic, the author can’t even keep it alive anywhere in this book!I certainly didn’t expect this book to be more about warring churches than sorcerers and magical beings, but that’s the bulk of what’s going on here. Ugh. The churches are pettily trying to gain more followers like a youtuber who buys subscribers. I mean, because you want to hear about churches being frenemies when you pick up a book about magic, right?/sarcasmAnd you won’t either about the characters or the plot. The only interesting thing here are the French witches and they get less screen page time than anyone else, especially with the bloated cast of characters—many of whom have unpronounceable names. Listen, I get what the author was trying to do, but it just doesn’t work on any level; there are too many things it’s trying to be but the one thing it isn’t is interesting.1.5 stars for the cover and author’s research, but even that is generous here. Please note: Do not be fooled like I was into thinking this is a YA book, as it’s more historical fiction than anything else.While I mentioned earlier that this book is basically a large prologue for a sequel, you can bet I certainly won’t be wasting my time on that one.. An epic novel of magic and mysticism, Celts and faeries, mad kings and druids, and the goddess struggling to reign over magic s last outpost on the EarthWhat became of magic in the world Who needed to do away with it, and for what reasons Drawing on myth, legend, fairy tales, and Biblical mysteries, The Last Days of Magic brilliantly imagines answers to these questionsAn epic novel of magic and mysticism, Celts and faeries, mad kings and druids, and the goddess struggling to reign over magic s last outpost on the EarthWhat became of magic in the world Who needed to do away with it, and for what reasons Drawing on myth, legend, fairy tales, and Biblical mysteries, The Last Days of Magic brilliantly imagines answers to these questions, sweeping us back to a world where humans and magical beings co exist as they had for centuries.Aisling, a goddess in human form, was born to rule both domains and with her twin, Anya unite the Celts with the powerful faeries of the Middle Kingdom But within medieval Ireland interests are divided, and far from its shores greater forces are mustering Both England and Rome have a stake in driving magic from the Emerald Isle Jordan, the Vatican commander tasked with vanquishing the remnants of otherworldly creatures from a disenchanted Europe, has built a career on such plots But increasingly he finds himself torn between duty and his desire to understand the magic that has been forbidden.As kings prepare, exorcists gather, and divisions widen between the warring clans of Ireland, Aisling and Jordan must come to terms with powers given and withheld, while a world that can still foster magic hangs in the balance Loyalties are tested, betrayals sown, and the coming war will have repercussions that ripple centuries later, in today s world and in particular for a young graduate student named Sara Hill.The Last Days of Magic introduces us to unforgettable characters who grapple with quests for power, human frailty, and the longing for knowledge that has been made taboo Mark Tompkins has crafted a remarkable tale a feat of world building that poses astonishing and resonant answers to epic questions.. Bestseller Ebook The Last Days of Magic 4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum into a debut novel is always a bit of a gamble, but it can also prove exciting and extremely rewarding—especially when a book ends up surprising me or blowing away all my expectations. These are the moments I live for and this is exactly what I felt with Mark Tompkin’s The Last Days of Magic, a breathtaking historical fantasy saga about mysticism and mythology through the ages.I am absolutely in love with this novel and its premise, which posits that magic is real but merely forgotten, suppressed and denied. Today we dismiss the tales of the Sidhe as nothing but folklore and legend, but just a few centuries ago humans co-existed with all kinds of supernatural creatures, and in no other place was that bond stronger than in Ireland, the last bastion of magic against the encroaching powers of the Vatican Church. Much of island’s strength comes from the protection of its patron deity the Morrígna, a goddess whose three aspects come together to rule over the Celts and the Sidhe. One of Her aspects resides in the Otherworld as a source of power, while the other two—known as Aisling and Anya—are always reborn in the mortal realm as identical twin girls.The book begins with the introduction to the last incarnations of the twins Aisling and Anya in the autumn of 1387. But just days before their ascendance ritual to become one with the Goddess, disaster strikes. Without the assurance of the Morrígna on their side, fears begin to rise and alliances start to break down, leading to a weakened Ireland and a fractured Middle Kingdom, which is the home of the Sidhe. Taking advantage of this instability, the Vatican prepares to rid the world of its last remnants of magic by using the forces of King Richard II of England to invade. Thus the story is as much about Aisling and Anya as it is about their protectors, and about Jordan, a mercenary turned Vatican commander who arrives on the shores of Ireland to find that the magic is not all as it seems.When I’m promised epic historical fantasy, this is exactly the kind of book I’m looking for, pushing the boundaries of multiple genres by blending medieval history, Irish legends, and even Biblical elements. Other religions were mostly stamped out during the Christianization of Europe in the Middle Ages, which serves as the backdrop for The Last Days of Magic. But while this by itself has been a theme in many works of fiction about why real magic has passed from this world, what I find interesting here is foundation for the origins of all supernatural creatures. In this book, magical beings like the Fae (which are typically associated with paganism, earth spirits, and nature worship) also have their roots in Christianity, so that the Sidhe (faeries like the Skeaghshee, gnomes, pixies, fire sprites, leprechauns, dryads, etc.) along with the Elioud (banshees, imps, sirens, goblins, giants, etc.) are all branches of the Nephilim, offspring of humans and fallen angels. Tompkin’s portrayal of the trinity goddess Morrígna as Anann, Aisling and Anya to bring all Irish Fae and humans together adds even more layers to the land’s mysterious and ancient magical customs.At first, all of this can be a little confusing, and the author’s somewhat pedagogical style also has a tendency to be distracting. He inserts a lot of historical detail, though this isn’t really a criticism since most of the time I find the information helpful and educational. Of more concern is probably the non-linear storytelling. While each chapter is labeled chronologically, within most of these sections are multiple time skips and flashbacks, and it took me several chapters to grow used to this rhythm. Once I got it down though, the story really took off.Soon enough, this book had me completely captivated. In light of my observations about the writing, I was actually a little surprised at how quickly I took to the characters. I wouldn’t have thought Tompkin’s seemingly didactic style would translate all that well to deep and engaging characterization, but in truth his storytelling is remarkably expressive. There are a lot of players in this book, some fictional and some not, but they are all shaped very convincingly by the story’s events. This is especially true of Aisling, who had her entire worldview ripped away from her on the day she lost everything she loved. Her tale is a tragic one, but after a while Jordan also emerges as a more prominent figure. His role to seek knowledge goes a long way in transforming the narrative by giving it a more hopeful tone. I also enjoyed seeing how everything that happened in this story was placed in a historical context, including all the magically-infused scenarios—a testament to the amount of research that must have gone into the writing of this novel.All that’s left to say is bravo! The Last Days of Magic is everything I want in a historical fantasy, offering a tale that sparks the imagination and explores the multilayered relationship between truth and myth. Mark Tompkins has created an incredible world filled with vivid characters, capturing the complex nature of faith, love, and conflicting loyalties. A stunning, evocative debut.

About Author

  1. Mark Tompkins founded the Aspen Writers Network and he serves on the board of Aspen Words, a program of the Aspen Institute He is a published poet and international award winning photographer whose work is held in the permanent collections of museums in the United States and abroad Born in Texas of Irish ancestry, Tompkins lives in Boston, Houston, and Aspen Facebook facebook MarkTompkins


The Last Days of Magic Comment

  1. A BORE, A CHORE, AND A SNOREI thought from the cover and description that this would be a fun popcorn book, and I was very wrong There s neither anything fun nor popcorn about this It s just a long slog through a bizarre mishmash of history and is basically a big prologue for its sequel Here s a quick breakdown chart for this book You ll notice that there s very little actual magic here What the reader is treated to instead is a story that takes itself way too seriously to its own detriment in c [...]

  2. 4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum bibliosanctum 2016 03 01 bDiving into a debut novel is always a bit of a gamble, but it can also prove exciting and extremely rewarding especially when a book ends up surprising me or blowing away all my expectations These are the moments I live for and this is exactly what I felt with Mark Tompkin s The Last Days of Magic, a breathtaking historical fantasy saga about mysticism and mythology through the ages.I am absolutely in love with this novel and its prem [...]

  3. THE LAST DAY OF MAGIC is Mark Tompkins debut book Myth and history are mixed together into a wonderful magic story The book starts off in the present time, but then quickly moves back in time to the year 1387 where Aisling and Anya are about to celebrate their fourteenth birthday, which is also their coronation day when they will become one Goddess But danger threatens There are those who would do anything to stop the ceremony from taking placeAD THE WHOLE REVIEW OVER AT Fresh Fiction

  4. Though I was absolutely sold on the description of this novel the history and intersection of myth, magic, fairy tales and faith I struggled to get through it There is a lot a LOT of dense history and backstory, some of it interesting, almost all of it a chore to read I appreciate the author s vast knowledge of Catholic history and Celtic lore, but he is not good at translating that into story It reads as if he felt obliged to cram in every morsel of information he had, storytelling and editing [...]

  5. I really loved this book Set in medieval Ireland, half goddess Aisling, the Celts, and Sidhe faeries battle against Vatican forces and England s King Richard II At stake is the very existence of magic The story is rich and complex, crafted as a sort of pseudo history that asks what if the stories of witches, spells, and demons once were true The world in this novel felt wholly alive it s clear the author has done immense research and it shows on every page Not only was the story engrossing, but [...]

  6. If the basic outline and concept appeal to you at all, I recommend this without reservation If you re the sort of person who wouldn t touch fantasy with a ten foot pole, well, I can t help you Your life is dull Good atmosphere and take on historical fantasy The way the book layers fantastic elements on actual historical events works out well here The setting is particularly immersive Irish history is familiar enough in our culture to give people something to start from but feels fresher than the [...]

  7. 1.5 stars I didn t like it.Between the blurbs and the eye catching cover, the publisher did a phenomenal effort with this novel Few synopses have grabbed my attention and set off my definitely want to read this bells as much as this one It has all the wonderful, fantastical things An epic novel of magic and mysticism, Celts and faeries, mad kings and druids, and the goddess struggling to reign over magic s last outpost on the Earth.Unfortunately, it all fell apart in execution There was an overa [...]

  8. Everything I look for in a book captivating story, fully realized characters not all good guys are always good and not all bad guys are fully evil , and set in a fascinating mix of history and fantasy Loved it, hope there are to come

  9. Like the Book of Kells, The Last Days of Magic evokes an adjacent world of half animal, half god, half human creatures wrestling with their place in a medieval Europe shrouded in desire, complexity and mystery Mark Tompkins has imagined an intricate story of savagery and beauty connected to real world ancient texts and scripture Reading the book is like a vivid dream, which after waking, one longs to return.

  10. Great fun to spend a few evenings in the faerie world that Tomkins has created so masterfully I was especially intrigued with the way he weaves his story into actual history I look forward to learning about the era And I can t wait for the sequel

  11. This review was originally posted on 125pages The Last Days of Magic is a sweeping epic that I really enjoyed, even though I was lost most of the time I do not tend to do well with epic stories The Lord of the Rings series almost broke me with the ridiculous amount of characters and the over description of everything I can barely make it through an episode of Game of Thrones without asking my husband who that just was So even knowing that, I wanted to read The Last Days of Magic, as it just soun [...]

  12. Wow, this is the third best of 2016 book I have read in the past month, a new record One of the reviews on the back reads a wild grab of myth, folklore and the fantastical To this list I would add religion, fairy tales and real history I put quotation marks around real because there are some real historical events taking place in the book but some pretty big liberties are taken, haha I love this book, it had everything There are a couple of flashes of current day in the book but most of it takes [...]

  13. What a great book Mark Tompkins debut tale is a wonderful story of ancient times when magic was still alive in the land of Eire This story of conflict between the fairies Shidhe , humans and the Church is rich with well researched detail The artful intertwining of facts with fiction and myth is so skillful, it s difficult to tell which is which The engrossing story of Aisling, the magical half goddess and young manifestation of the Morrigna, pulled me in and kept me up late reading I hope there [...]

  14. THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC will bring you into a mystical world of faeries and enchantments that you will be hard pressed to leave This ride through Celtic history amidst goddesses, Celts, and Vikings is a story rich in love, family, and history.

  15. A publisher rep pitched this to me as the next Lord of the Rings I chided her for saying so While her comparison was faulty, her recommendation was not This has much to my liking It is focused in Ireland, not Finland, but it has in common with The Kalevala, which inspired Tolkien, than it does with his own works He certainly would not have condoned the use of biblical verses and portrayal of the Catholic Church, to which he belonged The less said about him and the acclaim for the accomplishmen [...]

  16. I really, really enjoyed this book It is enticing to think how magic and faerie tales are real and there is some explanation for their disappearance in the modern world That is exactly what this book puts forth It s set in 1300 s Ireland and follows the conflict between Celts, Vikings, English, the Vatican, Irish Faeries, goddesses and witches There are many memorable characters, I badly wanted of Ty and the Queen of France The mix of real history, with real mythology, with fiction is very well [...]

  17. Mark Tompkins debut novel THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC is a wonderful historical fantasy with a delightful mix of history and myths Based on meticulous research, Thompson s created a beautifully imaginative world where Sidhe and the Morrigna reborn fought for Ireland against the power of Vatican and the spread of Church across Europe.The introduction of this book hooked me up immediately What became of magic in the world This is the book I always wanted to read Not only was engrossing, but I also felt [...]

  18. In the thirteenth century depicted in THE LAST DAYS OF MAGIC, magic is still a part of the world and Ireland is one of magic s last strongholds The descendants of the Nephilim i.e the Sidhe are still abundant in Ireland The Catholic church, determined to destroy the Nephilim and to annex the Irish church, teams up with Richard II of England and sets its sights on Ireland What follows is a desperate battle for control of Ireland and the magic that still resides there.The major players in THE LAST [...]

  19. Loved this novel I lost myself in the story and stayed up late to finish it It s rich with fascinating history, which drew me in and made the fantasy elements come to life The novel is written as historical fiction of a magical version of our world By the time I was a third of the way into the story, I had begun to forget the line between history and fiction Some of my favorite passages included King Richard II, Queen Isabeau, and Geoffrey Chaucer I found myself Googling them to find out what w [...]

  20. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from LoP.First I would like to say to Mark Tompkins, Thank you for writing this book I have been waiting for many years to find a book written about the Druids, Fae and the Church I so enjoyed reading this book and I would have to say Liam was my favorite character I love reading about the Druids and fae Ireland always has been and always will be full of magic and I hope some day I will get there and find my relatives I had this book [...]

  21. A brilliant mix of history and fantasy that rouses the spirit and enriches the mind Mark Tomkins exhaustively researched legends stretching back to the Dead Sea Scrolls and conjured a dreamy tale set in a mythical Ireland teeming with fairies, Vikings, angels, villains and heroes He has woven such a rich, colorful, entertaining and dreamy tale, I could not put the book down After racing through the pages like one of the fast moving fascinating characters, I was sorry to come to the end I hope th [...]

  22. Wonderful tale full of intrigue, lust for power, magic and love I read this in one very long sitting, I didn t want to put it down I will admit to it taking quite a few chapters to solidify the characters as to who was who but the writing was intriguing enough I didn t really seem to care.This had it all, a goddess reborn, the evil that turns good, the bad that gets uglier, the love that transcends and the underlying magic that everyone secretly craves I highly recommend that this be in your lib [...]

  23. Now now now What I got from this book was a rather good history lesson I had a few complaints about it, but the positives eclipsed the negativesIn the beginning of the book, the pacing is slow So slow that I had to switched to another book for the sake of pace There were just so many characters introduced in the beginning and several leaps back and forth in time I had to buckle up the courage to finish it, and Boy am glad I did Overtime the characters diminish in numbers Spoiler and focus is pu [...]

  24. For centuries, Ireland has awaited the return of the Morrigna, twins that can unite the Sidhe clans When Ashling and Anya are tested at birth, it is confirmed that the Morrigna has returned at last Trained their whole lives for this role, and protected at all times, no one foresaw the attack that would part the Morrigna and leave Ireland vulnerable to the English This is a great story, filled with magic, rich in historical fantasy, and I hope to read I received this book at the Lovers of Parano [...]

  25. The Last Days of Magic is one of the most ambitious world building novels I have ever had the pleasure to read Simultaneously meticulously researched and beautifully imagined, Mark Tompkins has written an epic adventure that will make you question what has become of magic in the world Readers of Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman and Deborah Harkness will love this book.

  26. Ambitious in scope The Last Days of Magic weaves together exciting strands of Celtic mythology and Biblical lore with deadly medieval mechanizations creating a rich landscape as author Mark Tompkins sets readers on a quest asking will the last days of magic truly end Faeries, druids, warriors and witches clash as the last place of magic, Ireland, becomes a battleground between the humans who want to destroy the last vestiges of magic and the otherworldly powers that fight to keep it When I first [...]

  27. The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins seemed like the kind of book that had all of the elements that I really enjoy reading As a huge fan of Irish folklore, I was very excited to get into it The story is mainly set in the 1300s, however there are a couple of leaps to the present day that at first, I thought would be very relevant to the plot but sadly ended up feeling odd and unnecessary.In this book, we follow a vast amount of characters Arguably, the main character might be Aisling, one of t [...]

  28. Myth, legend, and lore Angels, fairies, and magic Conspiracy This book has it all in such compelling narrative This story highlights a time when illiteracy was rampant and the records were what the victors made of them Ireland relied on their fables to guide them through the mysteries of life, while the Romans were busy focusing on the power of the Vatican priests to dictate people s future This book shines light on the struggle between the two magics.I was originally drawn to historical fiction [...]

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