The End of the Magi

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

Myrad, raised in the streets with a club foot, is adopted into a magi’s home. He is taught the skills the magi have preserved for centuries.    His adventures take him through the desert, escaping for his life. His intelligence and cunning prove invaluable, and he manages to outwit his pursuers and secure a place for himself in a wealthy merchant’s family. As he meets up with other magi, he is persuaded to begin a new quest—the search for the Messiah. 

Even though I have read many other Biblical fiction novels, this one exposed me to elements of life during that time period that I was unaware of.   The author has evidently done his research and sets the story in a somewhat turbulent political climate. 

The main character, Myrad, was intriguing. I was amazed by his shrewdness and ability to survive whatever life threw his way. Because he was an underdog, I found him endearing. Personally, I had hopes for a different ending for Myrad’s story, so I was a little disappointed. But overall, I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to those who relish a good adventure story.   I received a free copy of this from the publisher for this, my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I have never read a book from the perspective of the magic before. I started reading this book in a book club group on Goodreads. Patrick W. Care does not disappoint. I will be reading more of his work.
The book starts with Daniel in Babylon 537 BC. He created a group of the people called the Magic who count down the days until the Messiah would be born. 

Thank you to Publisher and NetGalley for the eARC
Was this review helpful?
I have never read a book from the perspective of the magi before. I am so glad that this is the one that I read. This was an amazing story that really brought Christmas to life. It has great characters who feel real and react in normal ways. This book has so much action that it never felt boring. I could not put it down! 

I received a copy via Netgalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
So powerful!

I was in tears in the first chapter, and totally invested.

I would love to read a book with That Daniel. I've enjoyed other Daniel stories, but I believe this one is the most convicting.

That said, I connected with Myrad, and his journey became mine. I was not a passive observer.

You find yourself In the story. Desperately trying to prove yourself worthy despite your defects. Do the right thing regardless of other people's opinions. Figure out who you can trust.

And follow the star and the prophecy. 

Myrad is so very human. It is amazing how well he exemplifies the good qualities, and the weaknesses we can all relate to, 2000 years later.

As I said, I cried during the first chapter, and I had goosebumps / chills for the last hour of the book. (plenty of emotions in between, too). And I've started in on a second reading already. That almost Never happens.

I would recommend this book as an excellent Christmas story, but an equally amazing Easter read.

I received a copy of this book from @netgalley, and chose to review it here. all thoughts are my own.
Was this review helpful?
The story of the three wise men is familiar to Christians. They are briefly mentioned in the New Testament. This story explores who and what the wise men could have been.

The book begins with Daniel in Babylon 537 BC. He creates a group of people called the Magi who count down the days until the Messiah would be born. The Magi over the years become corrupted with the political power that they have been given. Tragedy strikes the Magi and Myrad escaped with the calendar and other political documents. He was hunted and took measures to make sure his task was successful. Myrad had a disability, he was born with a clubbed foot that made him easily recognizable and slowed down his flight from Persia.

This book is fascinating. The thought of "what if" and "what could have happened" during the time period propelled me to keep reading. I loved following Myrad on the trade routes through the desert. He faced life-threatening situations and was sustained by his God and belief.

This book is perfect for this season. But it is so much more. It is an adventure. It is about faith and prophetic dreams. It is about a young man learning and growing. It also has quite a bit of the time periods of culture.
Was this review helpful?
Patrick Carr is known for his fantasy writing so seeing that he was delving into the biblical fiction arena I decided to give it a go. 

I have had a love hate relationship with the Magi since it was brought to my attention that the Magi were not there when Christ was born. With that said I enjoyed how Mr. Carr put a unique spin on the Magi. So many what if's that leave the reader not questioning God but wondering about all the details that God put together to fulfill the prophecy of the Magi finding Christ. 

This book has solid research and will be one enjoyed by all ages!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book via the publisher. I was not required to write a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
The End of the Magi brings to life an unfamiliar aspect of the familiar Christmas story – in such a way that you’ll never view the magi or their gifts the same way.

I confess that the magi are usually sort of an afterthought for me as I reflect on Advent & the Nativity. But in Carr’s new historical fiction, the magi become men with hearts and souls and dreams. Particularly dreams. The author’s imagining of what could have happened in the magi’s journey feels rooted in solid research, giving it plausibility and imploring the history geek in me to learn more about what transpires over the course of Myrad’s determination to follow the star & find the King.

Myrad is a wonderful protagonist, the perfect one for this story. He is authentically flawed but stronger than he thinks he is, yet – at first glance with his weak form & club foot – he seems the least likely to do great things. But, isn’t that just like God? “It’s almost as if God takes delight in accomplishing His end in the most unlikely way possible…”

Bottom Line: The End of the Magi is captivating and soul-stirring. While it gets a bit long in the middle, you still won’t be able to put it down because you are fully engaged with the characters. A fascinating creative look at men who only get a few sentences to their name in Scripture yet undoubtedly endured a long journey to find the King. Love the dual meaning of the title as well (hint: I quoted one meaning above.) Not your average Christmas read – and that’s a good thing!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)
Was this review helpful?
Myrad is the adopted son of a Hebrew magi in ancient Persia. After having a dream of a star in the sky that didn't move throughout the night, Myrad is brought into the order of the magi, just in time for a massacre. Barely escaping, Myrad now must outrun his pursuers while also attempting to discover the meaning of his dreams about the star and the prophecy of the Hebrews Messiah that his father taught him about.

With Christmas looming, I loved the idea of reading a book about the advent of Christ from the perspective of the magi that visited Him not long after his birth. This book really hit the spot, easing me into the season. With great characters and some fun relationships, following the star with Myrad was an adventure that highlighted some important Biblical truths.

Myrad himself is a decent protagonist, young and inexperienced, learning everything around him along with us. He has a clubfoot, which gets in his way quite often. Walagash is now one of my favorite characters ever. And the relationships between Myrad and Walagash, Roshan, and Aban are enjoyable to watch develop along the way.

One of the main reasons for 4 stars, instead of 5, is that there was a lot of politics in the book, which is the main thing that caused the story to drag in parts. It does make sense, given the state of the empires in that region at the time. But it wasn't terribly interesting to read the characters discussing it.

(Warning: the following paragraph contains spoilers.) What I loved most about the book, though, was that it went past the birth of Christ to the real root of Christianity--His death and resurrection. We see the rift form between those Hebrews who believe that Jesus is the Messiah and those who don't, because he didn't conquer the Romans like they thought he should (or because he died and they left before his resurrection). And when the magi who stayed in Jerusalem even after the resurrection because they felt there was more for them there got exactly what they were looking for, they left changed.

For me in particular, the book really drove home the importance of trusting that God's way is the best way, even when we can't see what He's doing. It's a reminder that He can and does use anyone He chooses for his plans, even those people who think that they are worthless--even those people who don't follow Him. We can only do our part and accept His will in our lives, and in this, we can have peace in stressful times. This has been really important for me lately.

While this book could easily be pigeon-holed as a Christmas book, it is so much more than that. I recommend it for all fans of Biblical fiction. In truth, I think it should be read by anyone who enjoys historical fiction or quest-driven stories, because the message contained within is important and should be heard by everyone.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
Review:

When the King's favor turns against his Magi, killing Myrad's father, it unleashes a chain of events that send Myrad on a journey that will leave him forever changed.

A step in a slightly different direction for author, Patrick Carr, who I am familiar with as an epic fantasy writer, in The End of the Magi, he delves into the time before Christ was born, showing the political tensions and unrest of a world in need of a Saviour.

Myrad is a newly appointed Magi, who has been dreaming of a luminous star that calls to him. After his father's death he finds himself at a loss, not knowing who to trust or where to turn, with the wrath of the Queen's soldiers after him. On the journey he faces attacks, betrayal, and also finds friends that become like family. Myrad shows a keen mind with a wisdom beyond his years, I admired his devotion to his mission, and determination to not let physical obstacles get in his way, as well as his honesty about his weaknesses.

Overall a well written high stakes journey, that imagines what it might have been like to follow the star, risking it all in a explosive political atmosphere, for the promise of the King. A story of courage, faith, and hope, just in time for Christmas. Multiple colorful characters, well researched, and daring. Great for fans of Biblical fiction and of Mr. Carr's worldbuilding skills!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Was this review helpful?
Myriad has listened to the teachings of Isaiah and Daniel for as long as he can remember. He is an apprentice to the Magi. His adopted father has taught him a lot. But his father and other Magus were struck down by a wicked king.
Myriad is on the run, as much as he can having been born with a club foot.
He finds shelter  in the company of a merchant and his traveling household. 
Myriad has had dream since his youth. He has dreamed of the birth of the Messiah. He can see the bright star. It seems like only the Magus have been given this gift. No, not everyone sees the star.
Through many travels, dangers and adventures Myrad has finally been to see the baby. He is in awe of the child.
Years later he discovers that he has not learned all of the prophecies.  His father was killed before he could be taught. He can feel in his heart that something phenomenal is to happen. 
This is a wonderfully written account about the life of the Magus.
Definitely worth reading!
Was this review helpful?
I've often wondered about the three Wisemen who journeyed from afar to see Jesus their king. Have you?This book will have you journeying with them.  
However; this book starts out with Daniels prophecy from Babylon first. All of this reverts back to the calendar predicting the Messiah's birth which comes 30 years later from which Daniel wrote from a vision given to him by God. 
 It's certainly a very powerful book with lots of exciting scenes. The most powerful scene comes at the end and may leave you in tears so please have a box of tissues around.
I've read a book by this author  before and his writing style draws you into his books immediately. I like how he does extensive research and then turns it into a story and it's believable.  He takes you into the magical world of the Magi. It's from this read that I really enjoyed a true tale from the Bible.
I could vividly "see" some of the scenes in the book especially in the beginning at Musa's court and feel the characters' feelings coming through the book is how well this author writes. 
"Everything in the New Testament reverts back to Daniel" Yehudah said to Myrad. I sort of liked Yehudah because he answered Myrad's questions as best as he could and was honest about it. " Every time we read of a prophet interpreting prophecy, the words are read literally with events taking place exactly as it was spoken." 
Herod was an evil man. I"m so glad that the Magi didn't go back to him. If they had of, history certainly could have been so much different. 
I feel that Herod kind of reminds me of King Henry the 8th. If everything didn't go his way, he would throw a temper tantrum and start killing everyone. Even Hitler who had all the Jews murdered in World War 2 which is such a shame. 
I wished I lived thousands of years ago. How wonderful it would've been to see that star shinning brightly on our Lord Jesus. I'm so glad that we have these reenactments of Jesus' birth. This is also where our Faith comes in. Even though we missed that event, we don't really have to see Him in order to believe. The Bible is the Word. 
The other thing that hasn't really changed over the years is politics. I couldn't fathom on how dangerous those times would've been. Seems like every time someone turned around they found themselves in danger. 
Myrad is my favorite character along with a few others. Why you ask?  time. 
 I love Myrad because he is like the rest of us flawed, full of doubts and well he was just a hot mess all the way around. In other words, human. I felt connected to him because he was adopted just like I am and I'm sure there are others out there as well. 
I can also relate to him as he was born with a club foot just like my son was. But my son's  wasn't as severe as Myrad's was. 
I consider Myrad a very lucky man to be put in a life event like this one and an exciting one at that. He is truly a blessed man even though sometimes I felt that he couldn't really see it at the time. 
Along with his skills we see that he can make trades fairly with the other caravans and marketplaces or wherever they are at the time.
Walagash is another man whom I truly admired. It was his trust and faith that I admired. 
I can't stress enough that this story is wonderful!! I highly recommend reading this book at Christmas or any other time of the year. 
Especially since we really don't know when Jesus was born because he was born in Bethlehem in the middle of the desert.
 Either way, I felt that I got to know our Lord and our three Wisemen a little better thanks to the magical pen of Patrick Carr. 
The cover of the book is absolutely gorgeous!! I like how the figure is shadowed to make you guess who the person on the from of the book is about. I was pleased that story in the book matches what the picture and the title says on the front of the book.
Was this review helpful?
The End of the Magi is the story of the wise men as you have never heard it before. Political upheaval, a perilous journey, and a prophecy that is as confusing as it is promising form the barest outline of what you will encounter in these pages as Myrad makes his way to Jerusalem among a caravan of merchants, magi, and soldiers. Surprisingly (at least, to me), the story does not end with the visit to the Christ-child, but skips forward thirty years to the week leading up to the crucifixion, as Myrad and the remaining magi watch the fulfilment of all that has been prophesied about the Messiah.

For readers who enjoy a rollicking good adventure, this book will tick a lot of boxes. Also, readers who are interested to know how the prophecies concerning the Messiah were interpreted (and argued over) prior to their fulfilment, the conclusion of the story will be of particular interest. Personally, I felt the one thing that could have made the story more engaging for me was a stronger character arc for Myrad. I’m a very character-centric reader, and while Myrad was well written, the challenges he faced throughout this novel were largely external, leaving him much the same character at the end of the novel as he had been at the beginning.

For readers who aren’t as character focused, however, and interested in Biblical fiction or adventure-based historical fiction, this would be an ideal Christmas read. And while it’s not written specifically for a young-adult audience, I can see this appealing to male young-adult readers in particular.
Was this review helpful?
When we hear the word "Magi," typically thoughts of Christmas and the three kings come to mind or O.Henry's famous story "The Gift of the Magi." We don't often think about how the individuals who were part of the group of people called "Magi" actually played a significant role and were important to their culture. When Patrick Carr's newest book The End of the Magi popped up on my reading list, I immediately jumped to the connection with Christmas but as I read the book, I discovered it was so much more.
Patrick Carr delves into the story of the Magi, and one apprentice specifically, well before the birth of Christ. This allows Carr to provide a very detailed account of the Magi, their role in society, and how they came to follow the star. Granted, The End of the Magi is fiction, but Carr has invested time in research as well. The story follow apprentice Magi Myrad from his initial dream regarding a star to the time when the star stops and he finds what he has sought. However, The End of the Magi does not end there. Carr picks up the story of the Magi again 30 years later and interjects them into the events of Holy Week as well. This part of the story brings the Magi full circle and provides insight into Carr's choice of title as well.

The End of the Magi is a great book to read around Christmas given who the main characters are and their final destination. However, it is a book that could be enjoyed at any time of the year given Carr's excellent writing and research. I found that Carr's story emphasizes that most people of this time period, including the Magi, expected the Messiah to overthrow Rome. This reminder is important. While not necessarily a book for children, The End of the Magi is appropriate for high school and up and perhaps to be read aloud to junior high. As such, it might fit the age group that has outgrown Arnold Ytriede's excellent Advent books but are still looking for a Christmas read-aloud.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received The End of the Magi via NetGalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.
Was this review helpful?
Whether he’s writing historical fiction or epic fantasy, Patrick W. Carr brings exotic settings to life and creates unlikely heroes who inspire strong reader loyalty.

The End of the Magi is an intense, danger-fraught novel of biblical fiction where the magi in question are those who come bearing gifts for the Christ child. But the story—and their role in it—doesn’t end there.

The culture and the prophecies fascinate, and the snippets of wry humour make me smile. And I love how the story shows God choosing to use someone from outside the Hebrew lineage, someone with questionable heritage and a physical deformity, as part of His purposes. How like God to use the unlikely and to include the excluded.

Favourite lines:

“The only thing worse than disagreeing with the king is being right when you do it.” [Kindle location 3182]

“You see yourself as a man cursed with a clubfoot and beset by trials at every turn… But I see a man who has triumphed over every obstacle placed before him.” [Kindle locations 3373 and 3376]

“It’s almost as if God takes delight in accomplishing His ends in the most unlikely way possible.” [Kindle location 3943]

This is a novel for Christmas or for any time of year, for savouring and for discussing. It reminds us that God works in His own methods and according to His own timetable, often in ways that surprise, and that He has a place for the willing heart in His service.

Well done, Patrick W. Carr! As a long-time fan of his fantasy fiction, I give my hearty approval to his first historical fiction.

For more about the author and to read samples of his work, visit patrickwcarr.com.

[Review copy provided by the publisher through #NetGalley. My opinions are my own.]
Was this review helpful?
This book is NOT your typical retelling of the account of Jesus’ birth.  This is not the “manger scene” that’s so familiar to all of us.  This is not the Christmas story with all the pretty things we associate with it.  It is, however, a rather gripping story about the Magi and their journey to follow the star to find the King of Kings.

This story is not always easy to read.  The author has taken quite a few historical facts and shows us just how difficult the political landscape was in the times surrounding Jesus’ birth, and how that turbulence often turned to violence and murder.  This book focuses on Myrad, a young man who has just become a magus. The evening of his first meeting with the magi, the political boiling pot overflows and many of the Magi are murdered, including Myrad’s esteemed father.  Myrad himself begins a perilous journey of escape, but also one of seeking to find the meaning of the dreams he’s had about a bright star, unlike any other, appearing in the sky.  His faith in God is all he has as he seeks to find the meaning of the dream and how that fits into God’s purpose for his life. He has become a “Keeper of the Calendar” that began back in the days of Daniel to keep track of prophecy about the Messiah being fulfilled.

This sweeping story takes the reader from the days of Daniel to the events in Acts Chapter 2.  There were times I had to re-read something for clarification or refer back to chapters I’d already read.  But that was fine, because this book was well worth reading.  It gave me a whole different view of what was happening in the world when Christ was born.

This is a clean story, with no bad language or inappropriate scenes.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher.  All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
Patrick W. Carr presents to us "The End of the Magi," a work of Biblical historical fiction that dares to tackle the story behind those wise men who journeyed to visit the newly born Jesus of Nazareth. The focal character, Myrad is a club foot young man who has been adopted into the family of one of the Magi. He finds himself fleeing for life while simultaneously pursuing that long awaited goal of the Magi, to see the coming Messiah. The metaphoric use of an adopted, club foot child who is pursuing the Messiah cannot be lost on the reader. For those who appreciate Biblical historical fiction, I would strongly encourage the reading of this book.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley and was not required to write a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This gets a solid 4 star rating from me. I truly enjoyed the writing of this story from start to finish. It was very captivating and pulled me in from the very first page. I loved the characters and how dynamic they were. I also enjoyed going on the journey within this book. Seeing different places, people and kings was quiet intriguing.

Myrad is the main character of the story who happens to be a semi-magi apprentice. He is the adopted son of Gershom. He's Persian, but he's very interested in the ways of God. Myrad was such a dynamic character from beginning to end. He was a magi, but also not. He was raised Hebrew, but was Persian. He believed, but had his doubts. He sought vengeance then had a change of heart. Seeing him in every aspect as a human was amazing. Myrad had a great mind as well. They way he did negotiations was amazing to me and his heart was PERFECT. The fact that he also had a "disability" and kept going was so encouraging, inspiring and heartbreaking!

Walagash was such an amazing man! I loved the way he cared for and loved on Myrad from the very beginning. He gives such wisdom and knowledge at times. He helps Myrad out in the best ways possible. I will say...that scene with the punch!!! I died. Great father figure!

Roshan was such an interesting character -- especially when that plot twist came in. I was NOT expecting it! Roshan is a strong will character. Very assertive, hands-on and do it myself type of person. Loved the way Roshan handled things.

I also loved Aban -- he reminded me of a cool grandpa and Storana was kickbutt!!! A warrior through and through. She was always on guard to protect Myrad in battle.

Masistas and Musa can BOTH go to a pit and drown...no seriously. Masistas is a terrible magi who's out for self and wealth. Musa was a black widow. She was evil, money hungry, power obsessed and downright pure evil.

The romance in this book was of course surprising! Totally unexpected, but well enjoyed. Myrad makes for a fine husband and his wife -- let's just say I'm basis.

Though I enjoyed this story, I didn't care for the final portion of this book because it felt rushed and "thrown together" with how much scripture was squeezed into the last 5-10 chapters.

Overall, I totally enjoyed this book and definitely recommend this book to all!!
Was this review helpful?
This was a quite a shift away from Carr's usual fantasy stories but The End of the Magi used all the elements we've come to love in a Carr novel. He takes the reader deep into the heart and place of his stories so in The Magi we get to experience the nomadic merchant life of historical biblical times, so that we are almost able to smell the camels, taste the saltiness of the desert sand and feel the oppressive nature of the desert heat. He gives us wonderfully developed characters. Myrad, who tells the story, has a disability which he initially allows to restrict him but he learns to accept his club foot as not a limitation as he follows the prophesy of the book of Daniel to discover who will be the saviour of the Israelites.

Roshan, a precocious teenager, matures into a generous and loving adult (don't want to share a spoiler) with a directness and courageousness that is tremendously endearing. Roshan's father, Walagash, the savvy merchant is similarly a loyal and trusted confidant. 

But this is Myrad's story and we see his journey of faith and trust in God grow as he experiences the hand of God in protecting him on numerous occasions plus the revelation of Daniel's prophecy.

The story is a slow-burn with a consistent pace that mirrors the pace of a merchant caravan moving from town to town and the many conflicts the group is challenged by throughout their long journey. 

I hope this isn't the last we see of Carr's deviation away from fantasy stories. Here he takes the biblical story of the Magi and presents a fictional account of the lives of the men who were to meet the newborn Jesus and present him with those superlative gifts we sing about in Christmas carols.

As the Christmas season is fast approaching I'd encourage readers to check out The End of the Magi to broaden their view of these significant contributors to the nativity story.

I received a complimentary e-book copy from Bethany House via Netgalley with no presumption of a positive review.
Was this review helpful?
"The End of the Magi" is a Christian historical novel set in Babylon in 537 BC and then around the birth of Christ (5 BC) and his death. The prophet Daniel tasks a group of Hebrews among the magi with accurately counting down the days to the appearance of the Messiah-King. Myrad was adopted by one of these magi and taught about the Hebrew beliefs and the prophecy. When his adoptive father and many other magi are killed at the command of a Roman concubine determined to rule as queen, he gathers his father's money and papers and flees. His clubfoot makes it difficult to travel quickly or hide his identity. He bargains what he has for what people want most and gains their help. In the process, he travels with several magi to witness the birth of Christ. However, the count won't be complete for another 30 years, and the Hebrew magi are determined to be there at the announcement of their Messiah-King.

The characters were complex, likable people who reacted realistically to events. The story was very suspenseful from start to finish due to the danger to Myrad and the people with him. God's hand was seen subtly working events so that Myrad and his companions not only survived but affected the major political and military events happening around them. Their lives were changed by the events they witnessed and participated in. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I'd highly recommend this exciting biblical adventure.
Was this review helpful?