Book Review: The End of the Magi

Book Review: The End of the Magi

About the Book:

Following his vision of the coming Messiah, the prophet Daniel creates a select group of men who will count down the calendar to the arrival of Israel’s promised king. Centuries later, as the day nears, Myrad, a young magi acolyte, flees for his life when his adoptive father and others are put to death by a ruthless Parthian queen.

Having grabbed only a few possessions, Myrad escapes the city, and searching for a way to hide from the soldiers scouring the trade routes, he tries to join the caravan of the merchant Walagash. The merchant senses that Myrad is hiding secrets, but when the young man proves himself a valuable traveler, an epic journey filled with peril, close escapes, and dangerous battles begins.

With every day that passes, the calendar creeps closer to the coming Messiah. And over everything shines the dream of a star that Myrad can’t forget and the promise that the world will never be the same.

My Thoughts:

I am a huge fan of Patrick Carr’s writing, so of course I was waiting on pins and needles for his newest book. The End of the Magi represents a shift from the genre of fantasy to the realm of historical and I think that Carr did an excellent job of navigating that shift.

The characters were extremely engaging and complex, which I have come to expect from Carr’s writing. I also appreciated how human the Magi were, especially in their varying expectations of the Promised One. The historical setting was fascinating and descriptive. In many ways I felt like I was living Myrad’s story, which I think is the ultimate goal of a novel.

I will say that the pace of the novel is slow and thoughtful. This isn’t a galloping suspense novel as much as it is a suspenseful journey of mystery and waiting: waiting for the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy and waiting to discover what that meant for the individual lives of the characters. It’s a perfect read for the season of Advent or honestly for the season of Lent as well, since Carr takes the story of the Magi beyond the birth to the final days of the Long Awaited One.

Overall, I’d say the book was unexpected. I’ve read a number of Magi stories and this one was like no other and yet it was also entirely relatable, perhaps even more so than other tales that have been told. And while I have to say my preference for Carr’s fantasy novels remains, I was impressed by this journey into historical fiction and I would recommend it to you.

I received a free digital copy of this book for review (after I had already ordered a paperback copy) so I’m giving you my honest opinion as a fan who purchased a book and as a reviewer. This book is worth reading.