Mystic: A Novel

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Few were as shocked as Pomella AnDone when the Green Man appeared in the middle of their village and invited her to become a candidate to compete to become the apprentice to the High Mystic. This is a thing unheard of, the Mystics of the past have always come from the nobility. Threatened with banishment (and worse, having her name taken from her), she decides to journey to the tower of the High Mystic and compete. But with a position at the hand of the most powerful individual in the world, she must beware her fellow competitors.

Mystic is a straightforward novel, following classic fairy-tale tropes. A commoner with a gift. A chance to rise above drudgery and suffering. Unknown dark forces operating in the background. Denzel weaves a tale that is as honest and simple as his protagonist. But don’t think that because it is simple, that it isn’t worth reading. Denzel dabbles in deeper waters, touching on the world’s caste system, where being a peasant is the worst thing possible… save for being Unnamed and cast out. Pomella is torn between her feelings for Sim, her friend (and possibly more) from her village, and the exotic and exciting Quentin.

It is this last point where Mystic fails. Having set up the caste system, it is almost not explored… the relatively egalitarian High Mystic forces the children of the nobles to lose their retinues and stay in the same houses that Pomella does. While there are some insults hurled at her for her upbringing, it barely factors into the story (It’s hard to imagine a group of wealthy teenagers not doing a little picking on or pranking the outcast in the group…). Pomella’s feelings for the boys in her life are described well, but there was so much more room for exploring the aches and wonders of those young crushes… the impossible match and the comfortable and forgettable ordinary. I would have loved to see either of these topics explored more deeply.

Mystic is a breezy little novel good for a lazy weekend. Denzel’s writing is clear and quick, and you’ll find yourself having read half the novel before you realized.


Reviewed By:

Author Jason Denzel
Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 320 pages
Publisher Tor Books
Publish Date 2015-Nov-03
ISBN 9780765381972
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue February 2016
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy
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