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. The Last Days of Magic follows the Vatican church trying to take over Ireland at a time where Fey are still strong and the Morrigna are there to save the day.
The Last Days of Magic suffers from feeling too much like a history book and not much like a fantasy book. The pace was slow, the writing was oft overly descriptive and I just found it hard to read overall. I actually put it down, read a different book, and then never went back to reading it. Now this never happens as I always want to know what happens. But with this book I just didn’t.
It’s obvious Tompkins has done a lot of research into myths, folklore and magic. This is something I love, but it wasn’t why I was reading this book. If I wanted a full in depth look at Celtic folklore, I would read a book or search online for the information. I was reading this as recreation and for a fantasy story which I just didn’t get. It just takes too long for the plot to move forward past the backstory and history of magic.
It starts in present day, and then seemingly never goes back to it. (Although, I’ve heard it does go back right at the end!). There’s very abrupt jumps in time, place and character POV which slowed the book down even more. It just felt like a bit of a grind to get through the book, which is never a good thing.
Although I was not getting on with it. I do think there’s a couple things that could have made it much better (and easier) to read. One, I think it needed less characters and more development. An entire book about Aisling and her journey, and then the second book could have been about the Vatican storyline and so on. This could have been a series with less jumping around, and more expanding of characters, places and lore.
The second point would be to use research more sparingly. Tompkins seems like a university student who wants to reference everything they’ve read for their essay. And yes, I have done this before for my assignments. But for a book you need a little bit more writing outside the research and expanding the world to make it less of a retold folklore tale.
I received The Last Days of Magic* by Mark Tompkins from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an unbiased and honest review.