Disclaimer: I received an electronic copy of this book from NetGalley. I was not required to write a review, and the words below are my own.
Patrick W. Carr is known for his fantasy novels, and these aren’t usually novels in which I have an interest. But when I saw a new novel with the title of the End of the Magi, well, I knew I was probably looking at a work of Biblically-based fiction. And I do find those interesting. Given the timing of its release, I presumed this was a Christmas tale, focusing on the Messiah’s birth. After all, isn’t that how we know about the Magi? But it’s actually so much more than that. It can be read at Easter, and at Pentecost, and at any other time you desire.
One of the things I enjoy about Biblical fiction is the opportunity to dig into Scriptural passages that I may have either glanced at or skipped over entirely. Carr has chosen a prophecy in Daniel 9:20-27 as a starting point for this coming of age boy’s adventure. From a layman’s perspective, we know that Daniel was set over a group of wise men in Persia which was to the east of modern day Israel. This is the area from which historical Magi came. It is pure conjecture as to whether Daniel created a group of wise men to count the days until the prophecy might be fulfilled but, when combined with historical record and tradition, the result is an entertaining tale.
The hero is a former street child named Myrad, raised by a Hebrew in the ways of the Magi. While riches might well be his for the taking, his primary aim after the man’s death is to continue his mentor’s hunt for the fulfilment of Daniel’s prophecy. Along the way, he meets both Hebrews and Gentiles and must make important decisions as to whom he can trust. I found my emotions rising and falling by various degrees throughout his journey. And, when it came to an end – much later than I’d anticipated – I knew The End of the Magi was one of my favorite books of 2019.
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date: 05 November 2019