The End of Magic • Mark Stay • ★★★★★
Although I don't read a lot of fantasy, I thought I'd give this one a try. I've enjoyed Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and a little bit of other stuff here and there. But The End of Magic took me by surprise at how relatable Rosheen is, and, to a lesser extent, Sander. They are two mages forced by fate to opposite sides of a war to essentially rule the known world.
Haldor Frang is definitely an antagonist I despised out of the gate. As with Stay's recent co-written book Back to Reality (which I loved), the writing is excellent: vivid images, clear voice, and well-rounded characters.
I might not recommend this to new readers of the genre, particularly if they're not used to the more Tarantino-esque fantasy books, but The End of Magic has a compelling narrative, as well as a strong authorial voice.