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The End of Magic

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  52 reviews
‘What will you do when the magic is gone?’

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.

Kindle Edition, 420 pages
Published February 7th 2019 by Unbound Digital
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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The Coycaterpillar Reads
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
The End Of Magic…an ambiguous title that could suggest many things. One thing that it does deliver on is the benchmark that epic fantasy should aspire to reach. In very grim times it brought an element of light-hearted hilarity that was very much needed. The magical system is very cleverly constructed in which that it is integrated seamlessly into the bones of the story. It is believable and is manifested as an everyday occurrence. I very much liked that aspect of the story. Stay is a genius in ...more
Feb 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Confession. I don’t read that much Fantasy.
So, right off the bat, I have to ask, what is it about Fantasy books and maps? At no point in the reading of this novel by Mark Stay did I suddenly think, "Shit! Where the hell am I? Better go back and check the map”.
In recent years, my only experience of fantasy has been watching Game of Thrones.
The comedian Craig Ferguson once asked George R.R Martin why the place names in his books sounded like artisan cheese farms.
George replied, “I like cheese.”
Andy Angel
Mar 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a whole lot of fun and full of some interesting ideas. As you can guess from the title it revolves around what happens when magic disappears from the world and those with, if you like, power become powerless.
What caught me most was what happened with those classed as 'Moon Children'. Those with magic got there power from a moon whereas Moon Children were 'blocked' by it and kept in a state of childlike ability. Unable to think well, communicate etc they are seen as low and only capable
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Mages have been enjoying their power over everyone, while keeping peace in this world. But the source of their magic is about to be destroyed and how will they cope then?
This was a lot more gory and cruel than I was expecting! I found it quite hard to empathise with the main characters through most of the book though they all had a few moments that redeemed them. My favourite character was Anzu, a magical griffin. I think she was probably the wisest of them all.
Interesting idea but I found it ha
Kirsty Herrington
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
The End of Magic offers its readers an intriguing premise. While many of us are no doubt familiar with books where seemingly normal people discover they possess magical powers (unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past twenty years and missed the Harry Potter phenomenon), this new fantasy novel, written by Mark Stay, turns the traditional tale on its head and, as the title suggests, deals with, well, the end of magic.

Rosheen Katell is a freelance mage and trusted truthseer who travels
Nick Brett
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Wow, this is not only very good but really does twist the traditional fantasy story on its head.
We are presented with a traditional fantasy bit of world and plot building, powerful mages, magical creatures and ambitious warlords wanting absolute power. Yep very normal and as expected for the start of the book, and then, everything changes. The moon that is the source of the magic is destroyed and magic…ends.
So there are instant changes, powerful mages no longer have magic, the magical creatures
Jul 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
This story is a mix of fantasy, adventure, mystery, and friendship. The main characters must help to save the life of a young girl as she is dying from poison. The only way to do this is to go get mermaid blood. This is not an easy task, especially since something happens and magic is no more.

Stay does a great job weaving in different characters. I really liked Rosheen and her griffin Anzu. She faces a lot of trouble as magic is now gone and she must fight without it. She is an awesome character
G.M. White
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was one of the patrons that helped crowdfund this novel via Unbound and I've really enjoyed the resulting book. Mark Stay has written a book with a gripping plot, fascinating characters and intriguing world building that is right up there with the best in modern fantasy. Although this is a standalone novel he has created a rich world and characters that I hope he returns to in the future.
Julian Barr
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stay does for George R.R. Martin what Pratchett did for Tolkien. It's fast-paced, funny, and occasionally poignant, taking many tropes of the fantasy genre and subverting them brilliantly.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indie
The End of Magic is a fantastic epic fantasy book, with a nice twist on the genre tropes. It is filled with fun and believable characters that are each interesting in their own way, and it immediately turns their world upside down, which creates some really great conflict and situations. It was a real page turner, i found myself staying up late just to finish a chapter, and then immediately starting the next one. Highly recommended!
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
First Five-Star Book of 2019! (For me at least)

It has been a long wait for me to read the End of Magic. Having first seen it on the crowdfunding publishing site Unbound, I knew I had to read it and became a Super Patron of the book. My reasons were the same as those mentioned by Stay in his video about his motivations for writing the book. As an avid reader of fantasy, I agree with him that there are either fantasy novels filled with living magic, or fantasy novels where it has been long dead an
Sasha Greene
May 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
The start of this book may seem like a typical opening for a fantasy novel. Mages use their powers to assist powerful rulers to fight battles. But everything is set to change when the magic comes to an end...

I really liked this book. The characters were multifaceted and the plot kept twisting in ways that were unexpected. Definitely one to read if you like fantasy novels.
Tatiana Dengo
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The End of Magic might seem friendly and unassuming based on its book cover, but it is anything but!

This is a high-octane fantasy novel where violence will happen at the drop of a pin, and somebody’s life is always at stake. It’s not without its lighthearted and humorous moments however.

The End of Magic takes place on a planet with two moons, one of which provides mages with their magical powers.

This is dreamy fantasy magic we
Yzabel Ginsberg
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magic, fantasy, pigeonhole, war
That was a fun and intense read. I'd say it's between grim fantasy and a somewhat humorous one, the latter mainly owing to the dialogues (Malachy was definitely one of my favourites in terms of dialogues). The world depicted here is not a nice one. As magic disappears overnight, former mages that previously held people in check through the threat of their powers find themselves on the other end of the leash, and it's not going well for them. Meanwhile, a warlord uses this to raise to power and o ...more
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Many people do judge a book by its cover, look at the amazing cover! Okay, maybe I’ll justify my 5 star ;-)

I found The End of Magic to be a wonderful tale. I thought it conveyed a strong theme of hubris and complacency, with so many characters assuming that a world of magic was stable, just accepting things as-is. Characters had high stakes, one focused on family, many on power and nation-shaping, whilst for another all they cared about was their own survival even at the cost of their principles
Nov 26, 2019 added it
Sometimes you take a risk on reading something out of your comfort zone and are happily surprised with what you find; in my case it was Mark Stay’s “The End of Magic”.
I’m not really a high fantasy fan, having struggled with The Lord of the rings and other of that ilk. In fact the closest I get to high fantasy is a love of the Discworld series, simply because the fantasy setting is a backdrop for good storytelling and not an overriding feature.
So a fantasy world where Magic is on its way out seem
Jul 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Pros: What worked for me

The worldbuilding was fantastic. There is so much attention to detail and everything made sense. It was neither too complex nor overly simplified. The author did a great job of teasing little nuggets of information as the story went on and I really felt part of this world.

Such a fantastic range of characters! The story is written from multiple perspectives, and each one is unique! I loved the entire cast, as the author really gave them all distinct personality traits.
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Magic is a born gift pulled from the power of the lapis moon. The story follows two mages, “one being a witch who thinks she’s a warlock”; Sander Bree, a kings mage and Rosheen Katell, a solitary mage who flies around on her griffin and helps those in need. The difference between these two is illustrated incredibly well from the beginning, even though they’re both people of magic, their personalities and morals are clearly defined. The point of this if for Stay to establish that in truth, they a ...more
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The End of Magic tells the story of two mages, Rosheen Katell and Sander Bree, whose magic is derived from the Lapis Moon. When the moon is destroyed, and with it the source of their magic, they have to rely on their luck and nous to try and thwart evil warlord Haldor Frang, avoid the vengeful crowds who resented the mages' previous power and are all too happy to kill any newly-weak mages they find, and rescue Rosheen's brother Oskar (a so-called moon-child whose world is also turned upside down ...more
Nov 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Although I don't read a lot of fantasy, I've read HP and LOTR and a little bit of other stuff here and there. But The End of Magic took me by surprise at how relatable Rosheen is, and, to a lesser extent, Sander. They are two mages forced by fate to opposite sides of a war to essentially rule the known world.

Haldor Frang is definitely an antagonist I despised out of the gate. As with Stay's recent co-written book Back to Reality (which I loved), the writing is excellent: vivid images, clear voic
Tom Loock
Aug 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one fine fantasy novel.

What makes it so good? First and foremost, the main characters; to name just three: the mage Sander Bree, the soldier Malachy Nye and my favourite Oskar Kartell, the moon child.

Add to those memorable characters a well-told story with the very uncommon idea that a catastrophic natural event affects not just the magic users, but the balance of power and even a group of people who were probably the last to expect it, and you have the recipe for a great fantasy novel.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
I very much enjoy this genre and look forward to a sequel if ever there is one. The book is action-packed and fast-paced, written with humour interspersed with wit and came with an illustrated map. It was easy to immerse very quickly into the story and to become one with the characters. Others have already outlined the plot, which I felt was well structured. It is disturbing a notion that one can manipulate faith into a weapon of control and how zealots can be so tunnelled vision that no rationa ...more
Rhoda Baxter
Nov 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
An unusual take on the usual fantasy trope in that this is a story about coming to terms with the loss of powers, rather than people coming into their powers.
Sander Bree is a royal mage who has power (both magical and political). Without that power, he's a bit lost. He needs to learn to do all manner of things - like light a fire without magic and be civil to people against whom he has no protection anymore. He also has to save a little princess who will die if he doesn't get back in time.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The blend of fantasy and comedy can often be difficult to get right, especially for readers outside the UK who might struggle with some of the 'popular culture' references. I thought one of Sir Terry Pratchett's weaker points was relying too much on English whimsy in places. Clever jokes, but would someone in Milwaukee or Melbourne appreciate them?

Mark Stay didn't fall into the same trap, I'm pleased to say. He's devised a plot that fits together like a piece of precision engineering, a cast of
James Day
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Absorbing and a well done fantasy novel

I didn't know how good this book was going to be, but i was pleasantly surprised about the quality and the page turn. All the characters are interesting and have their good and bad points to them that make them interesting.

The story gets a hold on you and you can't hope but want to keep reading to know what happens. I thought it was quite clever and reminded me of Joe Abercrombie, though with a little more lightness.

I felt the world was fully realised and p
Susan Page
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I don’t read much fantasy, but this was a really interesting and exciting story. It begins more or less at the point where an astronomic event causes the end of magic. Those who have magical skills, or live by magic, lose their powers, and have to live by their wits. Magical species like griffins and merpeople start to die. Humans are already at war, but now have no mystic help. The story is funny in places, very violent and vicious in others. I was a bit disappointed in the ending, I enjoyed th ...more
Thomas R.
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a solid fantasy story with brilliant world building and great characters.
Haldor Fang really is up there as the antagonist I love to hate. He’s left no stone unturned and covered every avenue to get what he wants. It really was a wonder if he could be beaten at all.
As I said, the world building was brilliant, floating mountains, elves, merpeople with razor sharpe teeth, trolls, flying creatures and so on. Mark has clearly put a lot of thought into the story and it’s added to an enjoyable
Feb 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this book.

Got a copy after pledging through Unbound and I've been listening to the BestSeller Experiment podcast almost from the start.

I have always wondered how good a writer Mark Stay is on his own, and the answer is a very good one. This book engaged me from the first chapter and I made huge progress without realising, its such a page turner.

So much happens its hard to believe its just one book. Loved the premise and the originality of the story. The ending went in a completely
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Read via Pigeonhole. Unfortunately "The End Of Magic" didn't really work for me. When I read fantasy, I am looking for pure escapism untempered by realism - particularly when it comes in the form of expletives and the demonstration of less than desirable personal habits, both of which felt incongruous. This review makes me sound far more prudish than I am but that's how I felt about it. Too many characters vying for attention so it felt like the story had no time to breathe as it developed. I am ...more
Di Paterson
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What happens when power shifts? This book explores the concept, wherein the power lies with those who possess magic, but then they lose it. With deep insight into the human psyche, Mark Stay manages to look at this complex aspect of human (and fantasy creatures) interaction with a light tone and humorous style. The characterisation is brilliant; I felt sorry for, and angry at, each of the three main protagonists in turn. And the supporting cast is just as good. As power shifts and good intention ...more
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Mark co-wrote Robot Overlords with director Jon Wright for Piers Tempest’s Tempo Productions. This was selected for the 58th BFI London Film Festival. Mark also wrote the film’s novelisation to critical acclaim.

Mark is also co-presenter of The Bestseller Experiment, which was shortlisted for the Futurebook Podcast of the Year award. The podcast began when he and Mark Desvaux challenged themselves

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