Book Cover
Title The Last Days of Magic
Series ---
Author Mark Tompkins
Cover Art ---
Publisher Viking - 2016
First Printing Viking - 2016
Category Alternate History
Warnings None

Main Characters

Aisling, Anya, Liam, Jordan, Najia

Main Elements Faeries, Gods

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

What 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.

"Today we call it myth and legend - but once, the stories were true"

I don't know if any of you have ever watched that Ancient Aliens television show. Sure, most of the time I roll my eyes thinking how little credit is given to humans in the past to figure out how to create and build ancient monuments by themselves (just because we can't figure out how they did it must equate to them being incapable of doing it without help, right?), or even to invent fantastical creatures. But sometimes, you just have to wonder a little. What if they didn't invent them, what if that ibis-headed god was real, or that flying carpet was really a spaceship?

Mark Tompkins does the same for magic. Weaving it into real historical events, questioning if maybe magic was real (and maybe still is), and it has simply been removed from historical record. After all, the Bible had a lot more books than it does now, at some point someone decided which ones to keep and which to discard, for whatever reasons. And some books, were just plain lost.

So we find ourselves in late 1300's Ireland, a land where the Sidhe, children of fallen angels, live side by side with the Celts, the druids, human-fae halfbreeds, Vikings, and a goddess made incarnate in the twins Anya and Aisling. The world is in turmoil, the Roman Catholic church is looking to bring the other churches under its control, Richard II is on the throne and looking for a victorious conquest after his failure against the Scotts, and witches and exorcists trying to eliminate, or at least, manipulate, those around them, while demons lurk in dark corners waiting to break free. And seems like everyone is out to get the Sidhe, including themselves.

I found myself enjoying this novel as we see events through the eyes of several narrators on both sides of the conflics. A beautiful blending of fantasy and history (my two favorite genres). And it makes you think. Always remember that history was written by the victors and rarely portrays the truth, at least not the *full* truth.

Posted: February 2016


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