Musing Mondays – October 10th, 2016

Musing Mondays is a weekly theme hosted by the lovely MizB @ Books and a Beat, that asks you to answer one of the prompt questions and that week’s random question.


  • I’m currently reading…
  • Up next I think I’ll read…
  • I bought the following book(s) this past week…
  • I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
  • I can’t wait to get a copy of…
  • I wish I could read ___, but…
  • I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK’S RANDOM QUESTION: Can you recall a time that you weren’t an avid reader?

I can’t wait to get a copy of…


The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins

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

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 co-exist 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 a stake 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.

I saw this book at my local Books-A-Million a couple of weeks ago, and it has literally been on my mind ever since. While the cover immediately grabbed my attention, the synopsis is what has really got me interested! I took Mythology my last semester of school and I really enjoyed the section on Celtic myths, which is probably helped by the fact that Ireland is my favorite place in the world and that my mom’s side of the family is Irish. And while I’m a sucker for any mythology, be it Greek, Roman, or Norse, the literary world tends to overplay them a bit. So when I saw this book was about the Celts, well… Count me in!

I’ve noticed that a lot of the Goodreads reviews for The Last Days of Magic are pretty polarizing, and it seems to me like this might be  a love-it-or-hate-it novel. Now I noticed the biggest complaint to be that there’s too much history and background information, and not enough action. Well since I am a bit of a history nerd, that probably won’t bother me too much. This also is just the first book in the series so I expect it just be the introduction and buildup to real action that comes later on. Either way, this book has got me all kinds of interested and I plan on grabbing a copy the next time I make a trip to the bookstore!

Can you recall a time that you weren’t an avid reader?

I’ve always been a huge reader, but I guess a period of my life where I wasn’t reading as much as I usually do, was probably my first 2 years of college. But I think that’s probably a very normal situation for anyone who’s attended university. Sorry I didn’t have a more interesting answer for y’all nerds! 😉

What does your Musing Monday look like? Are there any books that you’ve seen recently that really piqued your interest? What do you think about my choice? Have you always been an avid reader?

Review: The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2)

For the first book to be such a challenge to get into, The Heart of Betrayal (The Remnant Chronicles, #2) by Mary E. Pearson, was a giant step forward in the right direction!

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia’s life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There’s Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny.

The Good

  • The Komizar – I love a really fleshed out bad guy, who’s complicated and evil in the most intense ways. The best bad guy is the one who doesn’t realize that he’s the bad guy, the one that truly believes that what he’s doing is the right thing. If you’re a fan of The Darkling from The Grisha Trilogy or The Mage in Carry On, then you’ll appreciate  the Komizar too!
  • Lia’s character development – Lia was pretty strong and independent in the first book (I mean she did run away from her own royal wedding), but she came into her own fully in this book. Watching her accept her life in Venda and connect with it was really fascinating.
  • Plot – Instead of focusing on the romance and keeping Lia hidden, this book finally dove into the politics of the three kingdoms. We were able to learn more about this world itself, and how the past was connected to Lia and her Gift. You could definitely tell that this book was leading up to something really big.


The Bad

  • Rafe – I felt that Rafe kind of had a Tamlin moment in this book. I understand that the situation was very intense and dangerous, but I don’t think it justified him becoming so controlling. He stopped trusting Lia and wouldn’t try to understand what her connection with Venda was.
  • Slow start – As was the case with the first book, The Kiss of Deception, this one was a little slow in the beginning. For the first 100 pages or so, not a whole lot happened. It wasn’t as bad as the previous book, but I feel like there was still some room for improvement there.

I know I was a little hesitant to continue this series after my struggle with the first book, I am really glad that I stuck with it. This book definitely grabbed my attention and made me hungry to see what was going to happen next. And really, what else can you ask for in a book?

Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars

What are your thoughts on this book? Do you agree or disagree with me?