Monday, September 26, 2016

The Last Days Of Magic by Mark Tompkins

The year 1391.  The place, Ireland.  The cause: a battle to control Ireland and all its riches.  On one side is the English King, Richard and his army funded by the Vatican.  Richard wants the lands; the Vatican wants all the monasteries.  On the other side are the ancient families of Ireland allied with the Sidhe.  The Sidhe are the folks of the Middle Earth, the fairies, witches, goblins and other magical creatures.  Chief among them is Aisling, a human goddess, who with her twin, controls the magic passed down through the centuries and who binds the humans and Sidhe together.

There are other players.  Liam is Aisling's protector and a mighty warrior.  Jordan is an assassin hired by the Vatican.  He wants fame and fortune, or at least that is what he thinks until his study of magic makes him question everything he has ever learned or thought he knew.  There is a witches' coven in the highest reaches of the French monarchy, determined to control England through witchcraft.  The battle rages, the Irish overwhelmingly outnumbered but determined to make a last stand for their country and way of life.  Can they be successful against the forces who want to stamp out magic?

This is a debut novel and it is difficult to believe that such a marvelous, magical story could be a first attempt.  The reader is drawn quickly into the conflict between the sides and into the stories of the main characters.  There is magic, whimsy, battles, betrayals, pain and love.  There is defeat yet a hope of eventual success.  This book is recommended for fantasy readers.

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