Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mystic by Jason Denzel

I am fortunate enough to have talented, creative, and imaginative friends. One of the side benefits of that is that a number of them write, so I get to read creative and imaginative works by people I know and like. And sometimes, I get to be a part of that creative process, as a Beta reader. Such was the case with Mystic. Back in early 2014, this lucky gal got to read an early version of the manuscript, before it was accepted for publication.

Sometimes re-reading a book you read in manuscript is tiring. Not the case with Mystic. The story zips along, fairly sings to the reader, as Pomella, a commoner,  journeys to the seat of the new High Mystic, to compete as a candidate for her assistant. The catch is, few commoners have ever been welcome into the world of the Mystics. Should Pomella lose to one of the high born candidates, she most likely will be shunned by society, and become a scorned Unclaimed.

One of the things I really like about this book is that Jason has incorporated his extensive knowledge of the master/disciple relationship, gained from his many years involved in martial arts. Whether that relationship is in martial arts, spiritualism, or magic, there are essential shared elements. The author sculpts the growth of Pomella's character using the these same techniques. This, for me, along with the magic system within the book, and with a strong female main character, was quite welcome.

In a market for YA literature drenched in sensationalism, Mystic is a blessed relief. There are elements that satisfy those yearning for romance, but the story itself is focused on the task at hand: the chance to rise above a lowborn birth and find your destiny, find your song, in a world of magic. As the cover proclaims: "One Master. One Apprentice. One Chance."

Pick up a copy of Jason Denzel's Mystic for you or for your favorite YA reader. I think you'll be pleased.

(Jason was just here in Charleston for the start of a book tour that is running conjointly with The Wheel of Time Companion, of which my husband is a co-author. I have known Jason since 2007, when we met at the funeral of Robert Jordan (James O Rigney Jr.) It's just a tad embarrassing  to learn I've been saying "Denzel" wrong, all these years. Sorry Jason. Unfortunately, I can't remember which way is right, as I have both in my head now, so am bound to be wrong at least 50% of the time. What are friends for?!)

tags:  worth-the-rereadmet-the-authorfantasyread-in-2014read-in-2015first-novel-or-bookgrandgirl-nonsparkly-foddergreat-covermagictorwill-look-for-more-by-this-author ya-lit 

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