Saturday, December 10, 2016

Book Review: MYSTIC, by Jason Denzel

Jason Denzel
Tor Books
Fantasy / YA

Why didn't you use the Myst to save yourself?

In MYSTIC, Jason Denzel lets unfold a wonderful coming-of-age tale. On the Island Moth lives the new High Mystic, Mistress Yarina, and she will need an apprentice. Traditionally, those nominated for the position apprentice are of noble blood, and have been preparing for the role as apprentice from the time of birth.

Which is why when the Green Man appears in Oakspring, during the Springrise Feast and Toweren Celebration Pomella AnDone is shocked to hear her name. She has been chosen by the High Mystic to participate in the Trials. Winning candidate will serve as Yarina's apprentice. The shock Pomella felt is because she is a commoner.

It is made clear by those in Oakspring, if she accepts the Green Man's offer, and fails, then she will be Unclaimed for the rest of her life. Unclaimed is worse than living as a commoner. She will never wed, or have kids. She might not find an employer, or have any friends. Unclaimed is like living as a ghost no one can, or wants to see.

In Kelt Apar, where High Mystic Yarina dwells, the apprentice candidates arrive, and the trials begin immediately. The trials are not in and of themselves difficult, it is how one obtains the end result that Yarina seems most interested in witnessing. Unfortunately, there are evil forces surrounding Kelt Apar. Revenge is in the air, and the Trials of little consequence to those planning an attack.

Yarina life is suddenly in danger. The trials are forgotten. It is up to some of the candidates to work together in order to restore rescue those in danger!

Jason Denzel writes so smoothly, I was immediately pulled into the story. MYSTIC will appeal to most fantasy fans, but especially those just getting into the genre. It is simple, in a good way, with just enough magic, and creatures, and characters, and lands, to not get lost or confused. There is some romance, a splash. And there is plenty of tension, suspense, and action. I am clearly relieved knowing this is the first in a trilogy!

Phillip Tomasso
Author of the Severed Empire Series, and
The Vaccination Trilogy

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