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The Last Days of Magic

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  2,731 ratings  ·  539 reviews
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 questio
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published March 1st 2016 by Viking
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Mark Tompkins As long as readers keep enjoying the novels, and I keep relishing writing them, I will continue to develop this magical world. For the next book I am …moreAs long as readers keep enjoying the novels, and I keep relishing writing them, I will continue to develop this magical world. For the next book I am expanding the magical/historical hybrid world into additional countries, each with their own mythos. When I learned that European witch hunters were paid per witch, it was a discipline I had to investigate. A witch hunter character has emerged and she is determined to go up against some of the survivors of the first book, so I will have to let her out to play. I love writing villains!
Mark Tompkins Eventually all times will be considered myth and legend, or they will be forgotten (keeping in mind that history and truth are not friends). Whether o…moreEventually all times will be considered myth and legend, or they will be forgotten (keeping in mind that history and truth are not friends). Whether our time will morph into myth depends on the magnitude of the events that occur. Regarding writing about it, I am noodling on a novel set in the future that looks back on today, and yes, it will have faeries in it. (less)

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Darth J

I 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
Kevin Kuhn
Aug 13, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This is an intricate tale of the loss of magic in the world. I love that idea, that magic once existed and through historical events, was lost or destroyed. It’s not completely original, but the amount and complexity of history, lore, and myth, that author Mark Tompkins weaves into his story is very original. The first half of the book feels almost more history book than fictional novel. We learn huge amounts of myth and legend of 14th century western Europe. I am in awe of Tompkins ability to c ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum http://bibliosanctum.com/2016/03/01/b...

Diving 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 nov
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
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 (an ...more
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
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 place.

Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
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 ...more
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
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 fresh
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 more to come! ...more
Maurice LaMee
Dec 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mar 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted on [www.125pages.com] killthemall 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 Magi ...more
Tom Bernard
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 more about the era. And I can't wait for the sequel! ...more
Dec 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book is hard to put down. The author paints a picture so vivid you become engrossed in the characters and their stories. I didn’t want it to end.
Kathy Naumann
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Oct 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Feb 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, best-in-2016
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 mo
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fae, historical
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 T
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 more 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 more acclaim for t ...more
Mar 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
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 more of Ty and the Queen of France. The mix of real history, with "real" mythology, with fiction ...more
Erica (LibrettoReviews)
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
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 more 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 o
Heather Burns-Schmidtke
Mar 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing

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 hop
Feb 15, 2016 rated it liked it
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, o
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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 negatives..

In 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 mo
Star Bookworm
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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 f
Nov 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 more!! I received this book at the Goodrea ...more
Kimberly (Book Swoon)
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it

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. 


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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: https://www.facebook.com/ ...more

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