A sweeping fantasy of magic's ending; a new name to set alongside Jen Williams and Den Patrick.
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.
Shiny happy author
Thursday, 10 January 2019
Spot UV triumph! I'm delighted to confirm that the paperback of The End of Magic will have lovely, shiny spot UV finishes that will really make it stand out on a display and look utterly gorgeous in your hot little hands. Compare these two images:
The black and white image shows where the spot UV will be...
So, just imagine this finished cover with all that spot UV shininess...
And we're done! Thank you!
Monday, 7 January 2019
That's it, we're done. No more funding and the shutters have gone up (actually, at the time of writing the 'Pledge' button is still live, but I suspect that someone, somewhere has to tap some other buttons to make that button go away... stop me if I'm getting too technical).
We're 113% funded, with 270 amazing, beautiful and, frankly, sexy backers like your good self. To you I say…
Wednesday, 12 December 2018
Look at it! LOOK AT IT!!
Designed by the very patient Mark Ecob (I think I drove him nuts with my tweaks) this is everything I hoped for...
Tell your friends! Please share this Tweet far and wide: https://twitter.com/markstay/status/1072871844141658113
Or this video: https://youtu.be/9sOjp3IUxEg
Or this Facebook post: https://www.facebook.com/markstaywriter/videos/613255139106365…
Pre publication quotes are coming in...
Monday, 26 November 2018
Over the moon to see a few pre-publication quotes coming in for The End of Magic from some amazing authors!
Edward Cox, author of the epic Relic Guild series, says... "Slick and entertaining, The End of Magic is powerful fantasy."
Gavin G Smith, author of the superb Bastard Legion series, says... “Mark Stay takes the tropes of high fantasy and uses them to wield an original, compelling and intricately…
Proof Reading - it's all about talking to yourself...
Saturday, 10 November 2018
The proof pages for The End Of Magic arrived at the end of last week. Unbound sent them to me as a PDF, and the temptation was to read from the screen, but I was about to take a bit of advice first given to me by my friend and former audio director at Orion, Pandora White.
Pan said that, almost without fail, whenever she recorded an audiobook they would find typos and errors throughout the book…
We have a publication date!
Saturday, 27 October 2018
Hello everyone - I can officially confirm that The End of Magic will be released on 7th February 2019!
Just in time for the predicted snowmaggedon... You wonderful pledgers will be the first to recieve your copies and Unbound tell me they will be despatched as soon as the stock arrives at their warehouse, so there's a good chance you'll get yours well before the release date.
Thanks again for…
Copy edits are done
Tuesday, 16 October 2018
Hello everyone – After two rounds, the copy edits on The End of Magic are done. I was so happy to get Lisa Rogers as the copy editor. Lisa worked on Robot Overlords and I loved her attention to detail, her forensic knowledge of the English language and all its wonderful nuances, but most of all I loved how she saved me from looking like a complete and utter numpty on countless occasions.
Where's my bloody book?! (part two)
Thursday, 30 August 2018
Hello folks - a quick update for you: after a bit of a lull over the summer, the book has survived the edit and is now with the copy editor Lisa Rogers.
"What the hell is a copy editor?" you may ask... Well, after working on structural and character stuff with Simon, we now move onto what is sometimes also called the line edit, where another editor goes through the book line-by-line and looks for…
Tuesday, 24 July 2018
Over lunch today I finished the latest phase of the edit. I’ve been picking away at Simon’s notes (over 350 suggested changes and comments) for a little over three weeks now.
I started with the easy stuff, namely all the extraneous crap marked ‘Delete’ by Simon. Suggestions to re-word awkwardly phrased sentences, clarity where there was confusion, repetitions, and a whole section where I had a…
The edit has begun...
Friday, 6 July 2018
Hello everyone - just a quick note to say that I received my edit notes from my editor Simon this week, and they are everything I hoped they would be. I've blogged about it here in more detail...
It's curious to edit knowing that you're all out there waiting for this book to arrive, and I hope that it meets/exceeds your expectations. Thanks again for your patience... I'd better get back to work…
A FREE short story!
Tuesday, 12 June 2018
Ahead of the publication of The End of Magic (and while I wait for the dreaded edit notes to come back) I’ve been writing a short story set in the same world.
How Drust Krax Lost Two Fingers introduces the novel’s main villain Haldor Frang, and it’s told from the point of view of the hapless Drust Krax. A defeated warlord, awaiting certain death, who really, really needs…
100% Thank you everyone!! Now where's my bloody book...?
Tuesday, 15 May 2018
It happened overnight while I was sleeping, but one of you beautiful people nudged me over the finish line with less than 24 hours to go. A massive thank you to you everyone who pledged (some of you more than once!), banged the drum and kept the faith - this has been an incredible experience and a massive learning curve.
Already I've had a few messages from you asking when the book might come…
£519 to go on the End of Magic
Wednesday, 9 May 2018
There's about a week to go until the 90 days of pledging are up and there's just £519 to raise for my fantasy novel The End of Magic.
52 pledges for the £10 eBook
35 pledges for the paperback
26 Patron paperback pledges (you get your name in the front)
21 'For a friend' pledges(you get two copies),
11 Robot Overlords pledges
or just 7 of the five-copy bundles! (Why not…
80% and 200 backers, but I'm lost... does anyone have a map...?
Wednesday, 2 May 2018
Hello - 80% funded! Wallop and thank you... Though I've not had a single pledge in the last few days, and I've contacted everyone I know (twice) and chased everyone who hasn't pledged (two or three times) and what was fundraising is now bordering on harrassment! But all is not lost, and I'm hoping to make an exciting announcement very soon...
Please keep spreading the word!
All the best,…
So close to 75% - and a quiz!
Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Hi everyone - the three-quarters funded marker is just a couple of pledges away and it's kind of crept up on me. Again, massive thanks to everyone who's pledged so far, and do please continue to spread the word. In the meantime, here's little quiz you can share with anyone who's not yet pledged...
Till next week!
Week 8... I think... I've lost count...
Wednesday, 11 April 2018
Big love and thanks to all new backers this week. It was great to see some of the 5-pack bundles get pledges... I must confess I bought a 5-pack myself last week to get copies of the book for a few friends who aren't fans of the internet (and after the news these past few weeks you can hardly blame them!).
If you know someone who loves a bit of fantasy but doesn't relish the idea of shopping online…
Week 7 update (complete with subtitles)
Wednesday, 4 April 2018
I've been at this for 7 weeks now, which is fairly mind-boggling, and I'm still astounded by the number of people who have backed this book. You're all beautiful people... especially you... yeah, you know who you are. We're 63% funded at the time of writing, which is amazing, but there's still some way to go, so I'm about to embark on some social media experiments. One thing I've discovered is that…
So close to 60% it hurts!
Thursday, 29 March 2018
Hello - and a huge thanks to all the new backers who've joined us in the last week. I'm still hitting my 1% per day target, which is great, and as a treat (punishment?) here's another clip of me reading from the book with another terrible accent... Enjoy and please keep spreading the word!
All the best,
We've hit 50%!
Monday, 19 March 2018
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,
Week 4 - almost, nearly, partly halfway there... a bit...
Wednesday, 14 March 2018
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…
Week 3 - and the meaning of life, the universe and everything
Wednesday, 7 March 2018
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.
Week 2 and The End of Magic looms closer...
Wednesday, 28 February 2018
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…
First week giddiness
Wednesday, 21 February 2018
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.