Sorry it’s taken me so long to review The Last Days of Magic. Life has been hectic and the review kept getting demoted on my to-do list. But, here it is!
The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins is an ambitious novel with a profusion of characters that spans over several time periods. Don’t let that deter you from picking it up. Tompkins weaves magical beings, European history, and politics to create a story that will draw you from the very beginning.
The novel opens up to present day, but the bulk of the the book takes place during the late 1300s. The magic revolves around the legend of goddess Morgana, who rules over both the human and faeries. Made of three entities, she manifests in human form through twins. Aisling and Anya are the most recent human incarnation of Morganna, who have been trained since birth to fulfill their destiny.
However, not all faeries are thrilled with their promise to obey Morganna and live peacefully with the human Celts. England and the Vatican take advantage of their discontent to plan the biggest strike Ireland has ever faced. Rome wants to rid the world of faeries (and therefore magic), but can the Celts and their Morganna keep these forces at bay before magic disappears from the human world?
I’m not familiar with the detailed history of this time period, but I get the feeling that Tompkins has meticulously researched the magical elements, Biblical legends, and European history. He creates an immersive reading experience. I felt as if I were really in Ireland during the 1380s or King Richard’s bedroom.
The biggest problem I had with The Last Days of Magic is the sheer number of characters. Just when I thought all the major players had been introduced, Tompkins throws in another handful. The novel has a short list of important magical faeries, but there’s siblings, acolytes, bishops and many other small characters that are semi-important to the story. I had a hard time keeping everyone straight.
There’s also several time jumps that jarred me from the main plotline. These time shifts were there to educate the reader about legends or lore that is integral to the faery world, but I wished the transition had been smoother.
The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins transported me to another time where magic flowed freely. The novel made me wish we had a bit more magic today.
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