I’m really looking forward to bringing you today’s review of The End of Magic by Mark Stay. I was kindly offered a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. The first thing that struck me about the book is the fabulous cover. Don’t you agree? It’s the first of many great things that can be said about the book! I’ll also be giving you the opportunity to win yourself your own copy of the book!
Sander Bree is a royal mage. Steeped in privilege, he lives a cushy life advising the king on matters of court and politics, yet still complains that he’s stuck in a rut.
Rosheen Katell is a freelance mage and, with Anzu her griffin, she’s worked hard to build a reputation as a trustworthy truth seer. She never lies, never kills.
The source of their power is the Lapis Moon in orbit above. Very soon, that magic will be gone, changing their lives and their 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.
Fantasy is a genre full of common themes – magic, mythical creatures and epic adventures; prophecies, legends, religion and political conflict. In its own way, The End of Magic pays homage to all of these classic themes. But what sets it apart, you ask? That’s easy. Instead of impossible feats being achieved with the aid of magic, mages of the universe find the rug yanked out from under their feet. Magic dies. Their power is lost – and all their privilege associated with being in the top tiers of society goes with it.
Sander Bree’s tumble from his position as mage to the King lands him between a rock and a hard place. Charged with the task of retrieving an antidote to cure the poisoned princess, he is no longer able to rely on the magic feats that have become commonplace to him. He departs on a quest to obtain the antidote; it’s a race against time. He is my favourite character of all those in the novel because his sardonic nature is hilarious. His compulsion to speak his mind freely in the heat of the moment lands him in trouble repeatedly. He is also very much like me – fluent in sarcasm!
Rosheen is also a mage, blackmailed into the service of a power hungry warlord. In the name of protecting her family she disregards her morals and commits heinous acts. Pitted against Sander in teh embroiling war and with danger lurking around every corner, she is in a precarious position. The death of magic is just as cataclysmic for her, albeit for different reasons.
The novel is beautifully written, balancing the art of world-building and maintaining the progress of the plot nicely. The history of the world has also been well-considered. It lends depth to the current story without overwhelming us as the reader.
Despite the novel centring around the conclusion of magic and its influence on the world, there is still so much rich detail about it. Its loss wouldn’t be so keenly felt and the main conflict of the novel would fall flat. This is by far my favourite aspect of the book as it makes a refreshing change of tale. Usually fantasy novels are riddled with stories in which magic conquers all. Its presence creates the conflict or resolves it… but not the other way around.
Saying yes to ark’s invitation to read the book was the right decision. The book’s approachable and enjoyable tale is as intriguing as it is refreshing. If you love reading Fantasy, I think you will feel the same way too!
***If you would like the opportunity to win yourself a copy of The End of Magic, please check out my Twitter and/or Instagram for chances to enter the draw! I will be drawing a random winner at 11:59pm on Sunday 7th April, so get your entries in – best of luck!***