There are epic fantasies where magic is a thing of the past, spoken of in hushed tones until some kid pulls a sword from a stone and it all kicks off again...
This is not one of those stories.
The End of Magic will take you back to a time when magic collapsed, when the world went mad, chaos reigned, and we'll get to see it through the eyes of three people who have everything to lose...
Sander Bree is a royal mage. The personification of privilege, he lives a cushy life advising the king on matters of court and politics, yet still finds plenty of time to complain that he's stuck in a rut.
Rosheen Katell is an immigrant freelancer and, with Anzu her griffin, she’s worked hard to build a reputation as a trustworthy truth seer. She never lies, never kills.
Oskar is Rosheen's younger brother. Mute from birth he is a moonchild. Alone and vulnerable, he will endure more change than anyone.
Both Sander and Rosheen are entirely dependent on magic. The source of their power is the Lapis Moon in orbit above. Very soon, that magic will be gone, changing their lives and their world forever.
Sander must keep a promise that would have been difficult enough with magic, but is a suicide mission without it. Rosheen is forced to side with a murderous warlord, and her once-solid principles are tested and found wanting. Oskar needs to survive unthinkable terror and find his sister. All are set against one another in a war unlike anything the world has seen before.
The End of Magic is an exhilarating wild ride, by turns epic and intimate, funny and dark, and perfect for fans of Jen Williams, Joe Abercrombie and Scott Lynch.
Rosheen was up to her elbows in blood, baby piss and a warm placenta when the message from Torren came begging her for urgent assistance and the promise of abundant silver. She had been helping a midwife in Emerwick deliver a tavern owner’s baby, and the birth had been difficult, taking all night and Rosheen was exhausted, hungry and, of course, covered in sticky fluids and she needed a bath. Torren’s message was emphatic. Battle and bloodshed was inevitable and she had to come immediately. Even with Anzu’s powerful wings, the flight to Canwick Tor had taken most of the afternoon. Now the sun was high and Torren’s men were exhausted and close to defeat.
The battle had been raging all day. Rosheen and her griffin Anzu landed on a high vantage point on a winding path that led to the tor, and found themselves watching with creeping discomfort. At first glance, the fighting in the field below made Rosheen think of childhood games back in Eru, when huge herds of village children would charge each other, or chase a ball across hills and fields with no sense of purpose other than pure joy. But this was no game. Torren’s men surged forward, crashed into the seemingly immovable ranks of mercenaries, then were driven back again. Some floundered in the mud and were rewarded with an axe in the back, or a broadsword biting into a limb. Cries of agony echoed around them, the voices of big men, professional soldiers, reduced to begging for death, weeping for their mothers. Children once more.
Apart from a few localised skirmishes, Agrona hadn’t had blood spilt on its green and lush meadows for quite some time. A battle between two armies of this size was unreal. ‘There hasn’t been anything like this in… decades. Centuries, even.’ Rosheen ran her hand through Anzu’s feathers, something she caught herself doing when anxious. Anzu purred at her touch. ‘It’s like something from the chronicles,’ Rosheen said.
It’s a slaughter. Anzu’s thoughts came directly to Rosheen’s mind with a gentle voice that only the mage could hear. Anzu always spoke with the confidence and conviction of an older sister, even though she was six years younger than Rosheen. There was something inherently aristocratic about griffins that would always add a few years of gravitas whatever their age, though Rosheen was quick to remind Anzu of her seniority if the griffin ever got too big for her boots. Who are these people? They look like mercenaries, but I’ve never seen paid men fight with such passion.
Rosheen winced as she watched one man, wounded in the back and bleeding badly, trying to crawl from the thick of the battlefield. He was spotted by one of the mercenaries who strolled over calmly and, with a chilling inevitability, stuck her sword into his ribs. The wounded man jerked and a moment later his final cry of agony drifted up to the tor.
Oh, gods. Do we have to watch this, Rosh’?
Anzu wasn’t squeamish, but this was unlike anything they had ever seen. Rosheen knew she shouldn’t be dwelling on the carnage, but for a moment she felt like she was getting a glimpse into the future. Prophecy wasn’t one of her skills, but you didn’t need to be a seer to know that things wouldn’t be the same after this.
‘Uh, yes, sorry.’ She shook herself back to reality. ‘Let’s find Torren,’ she said.
Huge thanks to everyone who's pledged so far!
Here's a quick extract from THE END OF MAGIC... I apologise in advance for the Scots accent. a) The character was written that way, and b) I'm an old ham and can't help myself.
Just a mere 50% to go now...
All the best,
The End of Magic now has over 100 backers, which is amazing and I would hug you all but I suspect there are laws against that sort of thing and my arms aren't nearly big enough. Didn't quite make my aspirational 50% target this week, but I'm really happy at 46%. Still, almost, just, maybe making my 1% per day target... But next week, folks, next week it's 50% or bust! I've been told that getting to…
This morning I was delighted to discover that we've hit 42% funded, with 93 wonderful, beautiful backers!
42, of course, is the answer to the question of Life, the Universe and Everything as featured in the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy (my Desert Island Discs book), and so I'm doubly happy. I'm still hitting my 1% per day target, and it would be great to hit 50% this time next week.
Hello everyone - another week passes and I'm currently at 35% funded with 73 wonderful backers. A big welcome to everyone who's joined us in the last week. Your pledges mean the world to me. I'm also amazed to see that the 'Be in the book' pledges have sold out! Thank you Craig, Phill and Andy... I look forward to giving you all glorious deaths on paper very soon.
I'm currently hitting my target…
One week on from launch and we're at 27% already - a massive thank you to every who has pledged and spread the word already! It's my birthday today (preciousssss!) and it's made my day to get this far so soon.
A few of you have asked about the music on the video. It was composed and recorded by my good friend Dominic Currie. He's recorded music and sound effects for my plays and short films for…
These people are helping to fund The End of Magic.