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World's End: Book One of the Age of Misrule [Mass Market Paperback]

Mark Chadbourn
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 7.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

14 Sep 2000 Age of Misrule
When Jack Churchill and Ruth Gallagher encounter a terrifying, misshapen giant beneath a London bridge they are plunged into a mystery which portends the end of the world as we know it. All over the country, the ancient gods of Celtic myth are returning to the land from which they were banished millennia ago. Following in their footsteps are creatures of folklore: fabulous bests, wonders and dark terrors As technology starts to fail, Jack and Ruth are forced to embark on a desperate quest for four magical items - the last chance for humanity in the face of powers barely comprehended.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (14 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857989805
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857989809
  • Product Dimensions: 4.1 x 11.1 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 123,305 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

A two-time winner of the prestigious British Fantasy Award, Mark has published his epic, imaginative novels in many countries around the world. He grew up in the mining community of the English Midlands, and was the first person in his family to go to university. After studying Economic History at Leeds, he became a successful journalist, writing for several of the UK's renowned national newspapers as well as contributing to magazines and TV.

When his first short story won Fear magazine's Best New Author award, he was snapped up by an agent and subsequently published his first novel, Underground, a supernatural thriller set in the coalfields of his youth. Quitting journalism to become a full-time author, he has written stories which have transcended genre boundaries, but is perhaps best known in the fantasy field.

Mark has also forged a parallel career as a screenwriter with many hours of produced work for British television. He is a senior writer for BBC Drama, and is also developing new shows for the UK and US.

An expert on British folklore and mythology, he has held several varied and colourful jobs, including independent record company boss, band manager, production line worker, engineer's 'mate', and media consultant.

Having travelled extensively around the world, he has now settled in a rambling house in the middle of a forest not far from where he was born.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Mark Chadbourn's first four novels were horror. This, his fifth, opens a contemporary fantasy sequence crammed with horrific events. Its interesting premise is that the New Agers' gooey rhetoric was partly right. Our age of reason is ending on Earth, giving way to "The Age of Misrule"--and it's not just brownies, mermaids and ley-line energies that return, but the worst nightmares of myth. A dragon strafes M4 traffic, shapeshifting demons infiltrate Heston Services and the Wild Hunt slashes bloodily through a pub crowd. Technology is fading, with random power and equipment failures. More conventionally, the hero and four varyingly dysfunctional companions have been Chosen to oppose the darkness by collecting a familiar set of magic objects hidden in booby-trapped locations around Britain: the eternal sword, spear, stone and cauldron/grail/kitchen sink. An ageing hippy who's strayed from an old ballad gives cryptic advice that doesn't seem much help when the legions of hell are in hot pursuit. All the main characters are painfully manipulated by non-human forces, with the distinction between good and bad guys growing blurred. Chadbourn is over-fond of magical "with one bound he was free" escapes from impossible situations, but his story rattles along compulsively--with many a nerve-tingling frisson--to a chill and unconventional finale. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

Gripping contemporary setting for a story of the reawakening of the old gods and legends in the British Isles

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of an epic 9 Jun 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
When Jack 'Church' Churchill and Ruth Gallagher simultaneously witness the murder of a government official at the hands of a monstrous, undefinable being, their lives are changed dramatically as they find themselves on the run from dark demons from the dawn of time, known as the Fomorii, with only a drifter named Tom to turn to for help. Revealed to be two of the fabled Brothers and Sisters of Dragons - five mortals imbued with the power to save the world - they must seek out the remaining members of their group - Laura, an opinionated ecowarrior, Shavi, a deeply spiritual shaman, and Veitch, a well-meaning thug - and locate four objects of power that will summon the Tuatha De Danann, the Gods of old, back to our world to drive out the Fomorii. But Church has already been tainted by darkness - and the Gods are not to be trusted . . .
This, is quite simply, stunning. Read these books, because Mark Chadbourn is well on his way to becoming one of the world's best writers of fantasy fiction.
The scope of his vision is breathtaking, with painstaking research done into all the old Celtic myths and legends to create modern-day interpretations that have proven factually right and fictionally gripping. His portrayal of the six very different characters that lead the book is of particular note - even Tom, who by nature is shrouded in mystery, can be understood and sympathised with.
Having read all three of the Age of Misrule series and its sequel, The Dark Age, it's also clear to me that there are many, many clues to the events of future books in this beginning novel, and only by reading through all of them can you begin to grasp the huge scale of Chadbourn's imagination.
If you like fantasy fiction - if you like fiction at all - read these books. Once you've read one, you won't regret it and I guarantee you'll want to keep on reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mark Chadbourn has written a powerfully imaginative, yet often darkly seductive and disturbing epic, with modern day heroes-both fallible and believable-on a magical quest around Britain to save it and the world from another dark age, brought on by the return of once-mythical Celtic gods. Brilliantly researched, and told at an even pace, World's End is the best new work I've read for twenty years! If you're into Celtic mythology, standing stones, leylines, fairies, magic and a bloody good
read-then but this now!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunned 3 Feb 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'd seen this book in a few shops, and each time I passed it over for no good reason. Thus, after reading it, and after getting over my delighted shock, I am writing this so no one makes the same mistake.

If you like mythology, especially Celtic, magic, anything 'New Age', dragons, or if you just have a feeling that the human race can't last much longer, then you have to read this - and the rest of the trilogy. The only dissapointment was the whole 'prophecy' idea - the five Brothers and Sisters of Dragons, the guardians of the blood of the earth (magic), must arise and defeat the darkness by finding the four talismans od the Danaan. But the origonal, amazing way in which the whole thing is accomplished - not to mention the horrific twist at the end - is enough to sweep any fantasy fan away.

I'm currently reading the second book, and Chadbourn's keeping it up. (Mind you, I'm only on the first chapter, but the prologue took FOREVER...)

All I can say is - READ IT!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant contemporary fantasy 5 Mar 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book starts in a recognisable world and then slowly strips everything we know when reality as we understand it starts to collapse in on itself. The story is clever, twisting itself tighter and tighter across the trilogy, the characters are credible and the mythology deep and well researched, but above all that this is a page-turningly great story. Once you start reading this series you will be gripped until the end.
If you enjoy fantasy set in this world then you will love this series. I cannot recommend them highly enough, and I assure you I am not usually nearly this effusive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty urban fantasy 30 July 2001
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The heroes are flawed, their guides cranky, and the gods and other beings of British myth far from safe or fair. From here on things just get worse for the country and the band of five heroes called to defend Britain in its darkest hour. The mythical quest combines well with a look at the disintegration of society as technology fails under the onslaught of magic. The book also reads as something of a travelogue round mystical sites in Britain; this can seem long and may appeal more to non-British readers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars an undeniably strange and exciting book! 26 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Chadbourn has managed to weave a tale that is both startling in its complexity and width yet reassuringly easy to identify with.In today's britain,five adults with ordinary lives are suddenly thrust together after separate encounters with unmentionable horrors that speak of ancient magic and darker ages.As demons ,Gods and faerie creatures once more walk the earth,they struggle to understand the incidents that have brought them together,seemingly chosen to defend mankind from a darker age.Pursued by the Legendary Hunt,Monster dragons and demon dogs they attempt to recover sacred artifacts that might somehow release the ancient Dunadain,the faeries and angels of legend.Not understanding they unwittingly release a power that threatens to destroy mankind forever! In the first installment of a tale that is at once horrific and magical,Chadbourn manages to make the reader relive the wonder of magic from yesteryears.Enjoy the sense of wonder and the chill of foreboding evil in this modern day adventure.A must-read!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
Some nice ideas the idea that the world is ending through as hidden world built on myths and legends isn't unique to here but it's done pretty well. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Tristram Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars SCARY BUT CAN'T PUT DOWN
Like the characters - all different but fighting for the same thing - to save humanity.
Learned a bit more about the history of the UK. Read more
Published 18 months ago by HelenH
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best
My partner and I are both serious lovers of the fantasy genre. We both agree this is one of the best fantasy novels out there. Read more
Published 19 months ago by D. Champion
1.0 out of 5 stars Implausible and unentertaining
I absolutely adore SF/Fantasy, and and in this genre normally everything goes. However, after reading 200 pages of World's End, I put it away, since I considered it a waste of my... Read more
Published on 31 Jan 2012 by Marianne
5.0 out of 5 stars The cover began what would be a fantastic read!
I remember being in my local bookstore and seeing a book on the shelf depicting a dragon sat astride a car. Read more
Published on 3 Oct 2011 by Mr. R. J. Pascall
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic start to an epic series
World's End is the start of an epic trilogy of trilogies. The Age of Misrule series brings creatures of myth into our reality. Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2011 by Madnad
4.0 out of 5 stars Creepy city catastrope
The world is slowly changing. People are starting to see strange things, monsters, ghosts, and other oddities. Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2011 by Blue Tyson
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Fantasy
This is a great book. It's very slightly heavy on the Celt Mythology, but you get into that through this book. Read more
Published on 15 Feb 2011 by Stephanie
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of a great fantasy adventure truly gripping
This book first book of three trilogies, grabbed me pulling me into the celtic fantasy world. A world of ancient gods and fairie tales. It's a must read. Read more
Published on 28 Oct 2009 by Purple Guy
1.0 out of 5 stars Very very poor
Horrid stuff! Dreadful dialogue, contrived plot, painfully shallow characters and great gobs of saccharine mysticism. Keep well away. Read more
Published on 5 Jan 2007 by Mollybygolly
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