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World's End (Age of Misrule, #1)
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World's End (Age of Misrule #1)

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  997 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
When Jack Churchill and Ruth Gallagher encounter a terrifying, misshapen giant beneath a London bridge they are plunged into a mystery which portends the end of the world as we know it. All over the country, the ancient gods of Celtic myth are returning to the land from which they were banished millennia ago. Following in their footsteps are creatures of folklore: fabulous ...more
Paperback, 413 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Pyr (first published 1999)
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Jeff Martin
Sep 07, 2011 Jeff Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually don't get into urban fantasy that much but I have to say I truly enjoyed this book, Chadbourn really knows how to set a scene and flesh out a character, and unlike some Authors he doesn't use this a a vehicle for his political or sexual beliefs. This book is about the old magic coming back to a modern world and he capture both the dread and the wonder with remarkable clarity. I simply can't wait to read the rest of the series.
Jun 25, 2009 Stefan rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
World's End is the first book in British fantasy author's Mark Chadbourn AGE OF MISRULE trilogy. The novel was originally released in the UK in 1999, and has been re-released in the US by Pyr in 2009.

World's End can probably best be categorized as dark contemporary fantasy. The setting is England, in more or less the present day. Jack Churchill ("Church") lives in London and is trying to cope with the apparent suicide of his girlfriend Marianne. Returning home one night, he has a terrifying enco
Sep 25, 2014 Dorian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-ebooks
Jack Churchill and Ruth Gallagher meet when they both happen to witness a strange attack - a minor civil servant is murdered by a monstrous being which neither of them can describe clearly. The police say "mugging", but Church and Ruth are reluctantly convinced that something else is going on. As they try to find out what, things get ever stranger.

This is a story about what happens when magic, and magical beings, return to our technology-driven world. (It's not very pretty.) Church and Ruth find
Aug 08, 2012 Steven rated it did not like it
Shelves: urban-fantasy, 2012
A good premise can carry a story so far. After the premise is the characters and the language that makes or breaks a book. It's the difference between bad and mediocre, mediocre and good, good and great. World's End is rewarded with a good premise and then propels itself into mediocrity with poor characters and worse writing.

The characters are flat, boring, irrelevant. They speak in cliches and function like characters in a movie/story/comic book. They don't have any attributes that are realisti
Paul Weimer
Sep 19, 2009 Paul Weimer rated it really liked it
With Age of Misrule: World's End, Mark Chadbourn's oeuvre of Celtic gods and monsters returning, with catastrophic results, to the world, finally reaches U.S. Publication. Done in a handsome edition with great art by John Picacio, the book soon transports the reader into a world that starts off familiar.

Only at first.

We met a set of characters in-then contemporary Britain (the book was originally written in the 1990's). Jack, Ruth, Laura, Shavi, and Ryan slowly come together, under the mysteriou
Sep 03, 2012 Casey rated it it was ok
You ever read one of those books that has a great concept but very little follow through? That's what World's End is. The idea of this book, that the heroes need to bring the gods of Celtic mythology back to make the evil of the "old world" go away is intriguing in it's own right. It's a similar concept that Rick Riordian has been playing with in his Kane Chronicles series. Unfortunately the plot was rushed and things just seemed to happen. It felt like an action movie, not a book. Not a lot of ...more
Jason Chang
Nov 03, 2009 Jason Chang rated it did not like it
Unfortunately, this book did not resonate well with me at all. This was my "Judge a Book By Its Cover" choice for 2009, and I probably should have paid heed to the old adage. My main issue with the book were protoganists that did not come alive, villains that did not come alive, and a story that did not come alive. At the midpoint, I seriously debated whether I should call it quits. I presssed on only to confirm my negative impression down to the last chapter. I will not be reading the rest of t ...more
Sep 27, 2012 Briton rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-fantasy
An Awesome book! I found this a while ago on a shelf in an old bookstore, and when i finished this volume, i immediately went looking for the rest of the series.

Mark is a brilliant author, creating very realistic characters from every kind of background, and creates a scene that is totally popular these days, yet never taken from this point of view. I will not say much, but i will say its similar to the stories of gods coming back to our world, yet this one is totally different.

Warning: Mark is
World’s End is a masterpiece of Celtic lore and mythology. Though the details can be overwhelming, and the idea of a band of chosen people out to save the world is a rather exhausted concept, the book itself is worth reading. Chadbourn’s flowing prose and captivating story is nothing short of riveting and will whisk readers away on a wild ride through incredible myths.

Read my full review here:
Jul 14, 2016 Sud666 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Age of Misrule was a book that seemed very familiar to me as I read it, I realized that was because Warren Ellis's Injection is a rip-off of this concept. The ancient gods of the Celts are awakening and the Age of Reason is ending. Magic is returning. Apparently the Covenant between the Light and Dark as been broken. A select group of humans, the Brothers and Sisters of the Dragon, have been chosen by fate to restore the balance. These normal people must undertake a quest to recover ancient and ...more
Nov 17, 2009 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, to-buy
You hear an argument close by and you make in its direction to investigate. What you end up seeing is a man being murdered by a creature so hideous it makes you vomit then completely lose consciousness. That’s exactly what happened to Jack “Church” Churchill and Ruth Gallagher in Mark Chadbourn’s World’s End. The horrific experience has been permanently etched into their subconscious and it has changed their lives forever. Together they embark on a journey to find items that could save mankind f ...more
Swing and a miss. It has a lot of the elements I like but it just doesn't come together. It does get a bit better in the last third, but it still isn't good. For one thing, there's never any emotion in the book. I was curious to see what happened but I never actually cared about the characters. And most importantly, while the writing was pretty good in general, there's no good dialog or clever wordplay enough to make the very, very long book any fun when the plot is full of gigantic holes. I saw ...more
Mar 16, 2011 amanda rated it liked it
There are so many warring emotions going on when I look back on this read. Let's start with the positive: I really, genuinely love this plot. I know there's some people who have problems with old magics being mixed into a current day setting, but I don't mind it. I think it's more interesting if you can make it work & have it believable than creating an entirely made-up world where it'd be completely acceptable. It's much more interesting this way.

Now. Since I really don't have many complai
I started out by reading Jack of Ravens and then realized it was the first in a sequel trilogy to The Age of Misrule. I've only given this book 3 stars even though I really love fantasy, especially the aspects of Celtic fantasy that is woven into the story. I think I slightly ruined this story for myself because Shavi, Veitch, Ruth, and Laura have been seriously changed in Jack of Ravens and it took some time to get used to the characters that they were supposed to be. Its not that it gives me f ...more
Sep 26, 2009 Reed rated it it was ok
Having heard such wonderful things about this series, with comparisons to old Charles De Lint and Guy Gavriel Kay, I was eager to try it out for myself.

I can see how folks would draw such comparisons, with Chadbourn's novel being firmly set in the urban fantasy realm. I guess the Kay comparisons are to his Fionovar Tapestry books, where "ordinary" people take up powerful, archetypal roles in the story.

The problem I had with the story was the characterization was quite weak. I enjoyed the world C
Jan 30, 2011 Siobhan rated it liked it
Shelves: urban-fantasy, 2011
Final verdict: 2 1/2 stars.

This one had potential but wasn't executed well. I picked it up based on the subject matter (the premise that the old Celtic gods were returning, and a post-apocalyptic world without technology), but there was too much going on, the characters weren't very likable, and certainly didn't come off as very smart. There was an awful lot of jumping around, location-wise, and the idea that most of the population of the country hadn't noticed the current events was entirely un
Dec 12, 2010 Rob rated it liked it
...What to make of World’s End? After reading it I am left with mixed feelings. There are aspects of the story I liked a lot. Chadbourn is obviously very versed in Celtic mythology and he uses this to great effect in the novel. He also makes sure not to make his story into a black and white, good versus evil kind of book. On the other hand the plot is pretty standard in fantasy. I didn’t entirely escape the feeling I had read this book before. The final part of the book suggests the plot of the ...more
Sep 07, 2010 Amanda marked it as so-bad-i-didn-t-finish
Once again my high hopes were sooo far off and..Did I miss something? is this some sort of Christian fantasy? At times it seemed like it was then I would think, 'no, i guess not' but it just felt too much like one for my liking. Although this wasn't, by far, the only reason I disliked the novel. It had some well-written parts but they were so few and far between I couldn't take it anymore. I wish I didn't persevere through the 130 pages I did read.

Anyway, I won't rate it because I didn't even g
Sep 02, 2009 Isk rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Remind me never to read books where 'normal world' + fantasy intermix again. Please, just follow Rowling (who did it so well), and let the characters immediately accept that magic or what-have-you exists. I can suspend my disbelief if it means not having idiotic characters blabbering on about retardedly refusing to accept some minor fantasy even when they've already seen fucking dragons with their own fucking eyes.
Robert Underwood
Throw "Lord of the Rings", Del Toro's "Hellboy" movies, and Arthurian legend in a blender and you get Age of Misrule. A very fun and scary story that find 5 ordinary people charged with saving modern England from being overtaken by an evil force out of Celtic mythology. Well drawn characters, lots of surprises, highly recommended for fans of dark fantasy like American Gods and The Talisman. Note, this is for book one. I just ordered books 2 and 3 to finish the trilogy.
I enjoyed the book enough to get the second in the series, but the characters don't seem able to EVER learn from their mistakes and act like they've never heard of magic before. I'm having a hard time relating to them
Jul 15, 2012 Donna rated it it was amazing
Ah, trust Pyr to come through on their claim of awesome fantasy. First THIEF’S COVENANT and now WORLD’S END. Two very different fantasies, mind, but both are still filled with the WORDS and make me giddy for the worlds they build.

I wasn’t as grossly blown over by Chadbourn’s writing as I was Marmell’s but they’re not two books that can really be compared; they just happen to be released by the same publisher and the fact that they can both be filed into fantasy. That’s where the similarities end
Jan 09, 2013 Jibran rated it liked it
You know, it took me like eight months since I started reading this book to finish it. I stopped roughly half-way at some point and was all like: "Oh gawd, its going to be Dawnthief all over again." Well I continued after a while. And lo and behold, it was in fact like Dawnthief all over again. At least I finished this one....

Characters (3/5)

Shavi is the winning grace of this novel. Because he is freaking cool. He isn't even the main character and his presence doesn't exist until half-way throug
Feb 06, 2011 Doug rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
World's End felt throughout like a book I expected to like, and I wonder if I might've liked it better if I'd encountered it earlier. It's a heroic fantasy of the magic-returns-to-the-modern-world variety. Chadbourn clearly knows a lot about the myths and legends of the British Isles, and this was what I enjoyed most in the novel -- oddly, the moments when I was most conscious that a character was delivering exposition to the reader were some of the most interesting. It's not that Chadbourn can' ...more
Fuller review here:

A very good read, but one that had me reaching out for further information.
Ancient gods and beings from Celtic myth are rising up and starting to walk in the modern world. Technology starts to fail, and modern life as we know it seems to be at risk. A small group of people - dare I call them a fellowship? - unite and go on a quest to seek out magical items to help face this threat.

Sounds great. I had this book on my wishlist for months, and was excited to finally get it. Unfortunately I couldn't even finish the book. I gave up on page 54, after the ma
Interesting thusfar, but a bit frustrating for someone who is already fairly well-versed in Celtic mythos and history. The author seems very concerned that his readers won't know what he's doing with it all, so he spends a lot of time pre-chewing things, characters, and concepts which I've long since digested. It gets a bit frustrating, and more than a bit 'talking-headish' That said, it's held my attention this far, and I mean to finish the thing, if for no better reason than that I've the seco ...more
Jan 01, 2016 Simon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whilst it can be read as a stand alone novel, this is actually the first in a series of nine (three trilogies, listed below, reverse order, grabbed from author's site), and is probably the closest that I'll ever get to *my* definition of the perfect modern fantasy format.
In essence technology begins to fail, and the old magic, gods etc. start to return.
So all kinds of legends, fairy tales, religious myths, monsters, witches et al start appearing, and exerting influence. We get to see the gradual
Ryan Mishap
Jack and Ruth encounter a murderous attack on a man one night, but the thing they saw attack the guy couldn't have been....?
Driven by a sense of nagging horror, they team up to find out what exactly happened that night. Their investigation leads them to Laura, but before they can get to her, they are attacked and saved by an old hippie named Tom. He calls the beings Formorii and then a dragon incinerates the freakin' motorway. Escaping to Stonehenge, Tom tells them a little more" about how the
Jul 20, 2009 April rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
You would think that a book about the world being ended by Celtic Gods would be able to hold my interest. Sadly you would be wrong.

Despite the interesting set-up and look into the concepts of non-duality (gods being both good and evil and evil only existing as long as there's good and vice versa), the pacing of this book irks me. The characters do too. Perhaps it's just I would rather read about the gods and their monsters than two people sharing a traumatic experience which will probably end i
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A two-time winner of the prestigious British Fantasy Award, Mark has published his epic, imaginative novels in many countries around the world. He grew up in the mining community of the English Midlands, and was the first person in his family to go to university. After studying Economic History at Leeds, he became a successful journalist, writing for several of the UK's renowned national newspaper ...more
More about Mark Chadbourn...

Other Books in the Series

Age of Misrule (3 books)
  • Darkest Hour (Age of Misrule, #2)
  • Always Forever (Age of Misrule, #3)

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