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Summary

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 questions, sweeping us back to a world where humans and magical beings coexist as they had for centuries.

Aisling, a goddess in human form, was born to rule both domains and - with her twin, Anya - unite the Celts with the powerful faeries of the Middle Kingdom. But within medieval Ireland, interests are divided, and far from its shores greater forces are mustering. Both England and Rome have stakes in driving magic from the Emerald Isle. Jordan, the Vatican commander tasked with vanquishing the remnants of otherworldly creatures from a disenchanted Europe, has built a career on such plots. But increasingly he finds himself torn between duty and his desire to understand the magic that has been forbidden.

As kings prepare, exorcists gather, and divisions widen between the warring clans of Ireland, Aisling and Jordan must come to terms with powers given and withheld while a world that can still foster magic hangs in the balance. Loyalties are tested, betrayals sown, and the coming war will have repercussions that ripple centuries later, in today's world - and in particular for a young graduate student named Sara Hill.

The Last Days of Magic introduces us to unforgettable characters who grapple with quests for power, human frailty, and the longing for knowledge that has been made taboo. Mark Tompkins has crafted a remarkable tale - a feat of world-building that poses astonishing and resonant answers to epic questions.

©2016 Mark Tompkins (P)2016 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Simultaneously sweeping and intricate.... Tompkins's amazing debut novel conjures an epic battle for the soul of Ireland. Filled with papal machination and royal intrigue, magic and mayhem, faeries, Vikings, legates, kings and queens, angels and goddesses, this is one wild and breathless ride." (Karen Joy Fowler)
"Plundering the treasure chest of human myths, from mysterious biblical giants to ferocious Celtic faeries, Tompkins has created a fantasy adventure with the shifting perspectives of dreamscape. A novel rich and strange." (Geraldine Brooks)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tom Bernard
  • 29-04-16

Great fun

Great fun to spend a few evenings in the faerie world that Tompkins 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! Ms. Bermingham read wonderfully.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah
  • 01-04-16

Wonderful!

I wasnt sure about this book when i read the summary, but I have always had a pull toward books about the fae, magic, etc, so I figured I would give this a chance - I hadnt realized how many historic figures were also part of this story, and that made it quite interesting :) Makes you ponder at least a little, if there really are fae :)

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • David Brice Carlisle
  • 19-08-17

Great listen. Imaginative, fun, beautifully woven with historical theology.

Love the reader's voice! She does a great job with both make and female roles. She does read a bit fast, but it's in pace with exciting events in the book. I love how steeped in historical accuracies and dripping with conspiracy and theology the author brings it all together synergistically in a beautifully woven enchanted tale for adults! I also love the sexual liberation in the mind set of the people of this time.

Interesting, fun, throughly entertaining!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Angela
  • 10-02-17

Could have been a good book!

What would have made The Last Days of Magic better?

A single storyline.

Would you ever listen to anything by Mark Tompkins again?

Probably not.

What about Sile Bermingham’s performance did you like?

She did a great job distinguishing the different characters. She was expressive, but not overly so, and the speed was just right.

What character would you cut from The Last Days of Magic?

The one in the very beginning, I think her name was Sarah.

Any additional comments?

The concept is interesting, but the book skips around too much. Too many things going on. I found it confusing and hard to follow.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • etherealpromise
  • 09-07-16

I'm confused

Was I missing chapters? It seemed as if there was only 2-3 chapters set in the modern world, almost like the book was originally just set in the past and as an afterthought, the first and last chapters were added. I couldn't really enjoy the story, because it felt like something major was missing, I'm sad to say. The narrator was good, but the story felt disjointed and as I said the first and last two chapters felt like a definite afterthought

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • 16-05-18

This was hard for me to get through.

I really like a lot of history in the story. However, I could not handle eating of people and animals and the extensive gore! Was just way too elaborate for my taste. What happened to Sarah? I would have liked a little bit more about that situation at the end.

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  • Toni DiPietro
  • 14-03-18

Too scattered

Would you try another book from Mark Tompkins and/or Sile Bermingham?

This book jumps from one disconnected story to another. The authors writing style does not allow you to get to know or like the characters before delving into another back story. I’m sure they come together in the latter part of the book. The constant shifting to more back stories and tons of new characters with every chapter, made it difficult to enjoy this book or invest the time to put it all together. I will return this book without finishing it. The best I can say about this book was the narration.

What was most disappointing about Mark Tompkins’s story?

Constant jumping to new characters and back stories

What three words best describe Sile Bermingham’s performance?

Entertaining

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointed

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  • Nicole
  • 04-03-18

Terribly narrated.

I couldn’t finish this book (really couldn’t even get into it), the narrator was awful.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • P. B.
  • 06-02-18

Disjointed timeline

What did you like best about The Last Days of Magic? What did you like least?

Each of the two stories in the book were interesting, on their own, but having a story in the past sandwiched randomly between the two parts of the story in modern times didn't make sense, and the transition between the two was forced.

What could Mark Tompkins have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Remove the parts set in modern times and just have the book be, as the title and summary imply, the history of why magic largely vanished from our world. Then release those modern times parts as the beginning of an entirely separate novel.

What about Sile Bermingham’s performance did you like?

The majority of it was great. Her "Italian priest" accent, though, was a little over the top.

Was The Last Days of Magic worth the listening time?

Mostly, if you ignore the modern times parts.

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  • Debby Bliss
  • 13-01-18

Great read

This is one of the best magical fantasy books I have read in a very long time. I really hope Mark Tompkins writes a sequel. It’s very well done! Loved the story
and the narrator was fabulous!