Mystic by Jason DenzelMystic by Jason Denzel

Mystic by Jason DenzelI almost didn’t read Mystic (2015). I got through about three pages, and I was 90% sure I would put it down. However, I pulled through, and in the end I’m glad I did. This book enchanted me, and once I got used to the thing that bothered me at first (which I will expand on below), it was easy to ignore because there was so much else for me to enjoy.

So what bothered me so much at the start? Honestly, it was something that hasn’t ever bothered me this much before. Normally, naming conventions usually don’t faze me. However, for whatever reason, it bothered me this time. The words that bugged me are “fathir” instead of “father,” and “grandmhathir” instead of “grandmother.” I’m mentioning that because I do know that some people are big on naming conventions, and thus, should be prepared to expect this.

Honestly, that’s the biggest gripe I have with this book. There is a lot here that is quite enchanting. Mystic is a book with intergenerational appeal. It’s a heartwarming coming-of-age tale about a young woman who is finding her place in a very large world. It’s a fish out of water tale, and it’s quite well done. Pomella’s story is told in such a way that I can easily picture teenagers enjoying it, as well as adults. It’s not really a challenging story. You’ll probably be able to predict most of it, but that’s not a bad thing. Sometimes it’s nice to just curl up with a book and enjoy the story. Knowing where it’s going just allows you more time to enjoy where you’re at.

One of the best aspects of Mystic is the world building, which is steeped in nature and, due to Pomella’s singing ability, song. Jason Denzel weaves together nature and music and creates something that is truly his own. However, there are a lot of little flourishes that I also enjoyed, a lot of mythology that reminded me of stories I’ve heard before, and books I’ve read. This definitely is Denzel’s own creation, but he also pays homage to some of his inspiration, and I really enjoyed that aspect of it. Furthermore, much of the magic in this world is known, but not understood, so it’s a lot of fun to ride along with Pomella as she learns and explores the magical elements of her world.

Pomella herself is a character you’ll either love or hate. She is absolutely genuine. If she were a D&D character, she’d be aligned with lawful good. She’s a lot of fun to read about, mostly because so much of her story is discovering who she is in the face of all these interesting things that are happening. This character and her magical world are an enchanting combination.

Mystic by Jason DenzelWhile Mystic might seem pretty self-explanatory on the surface, it’s impressively thought-provoking too. Not only is Pomella navigating these interesting trials and learning about the myst that is such a driving force in her world, she’s also exploring deep and very well explored themes regarding social class, responsibility and so much more. It’s aspects like this that make me look at this book as something more than young adult (according to Denzel, it is intended to be both adult- and YA-friendly). It will appeal to a wide range of readers, mostly because Denzel has an art with breaking down important topics and making them digestible to a wide range of readers.

There are quite a few surprising twists and turns, and while I did feel like most of this book was predictable (again, that’s not a bad thing.) the ending wowed me. Denzel neatly explored the world he created in this novel, but he left room for more depth and details in future books, and I’d honestly love to read them.

I’ve been having a hell of a year, and I’ve been wanting comfort reads that will help me relax, detach, and just enjoy. It’s rare that I come across a book that feels like the comfort blanket I’ve been looking for, but Mystic certainly is one of those. It’s fun, surprising, and thoughtful. The best word I could use to describe this book is enchanting. Mystic is enchanting. It is the literary equivalent of a warm hug, and I read it right when I needed one.

Published in 2015. Mystic is the start of an enchanting new epic fantasy series from Jason Denzel, the founder of Dragonmount. I called to the Myst, and it sent us you. For hundreds of years, high-born nobles have competed for the chance to learn of the Myst. Powerful, revered, and often reclusive, Mystics have the unique ability to summon and manipulate the Myst: the underlying energy that lives at the heart of the universe. Once in a very great while, they take an apprentice, always from the most privileged sects of society. Such has always been the tradition-until a new High Mystic takes her seat and chooses Pomella AnDone, a restless, low-born teenager, as a candidate. Commoners have never been welcomed among the select few given the opportunity to rise beyond even the highest nobility. So when Pomella chooses to accept the summons and journey to Kelt Apar, she knows that she will have more to contend with than the competition for the apprenticeship. Breaking both law and tradition, Pomella undergoes three trials against the other candidates to prove her worthiness. As the trials unfold, Pomella navigates a deadly world of intolerance and betrayal, unaware that ruthless conspirators intend to make her suffer for having the audacity to seek to unravel the secrets of the Myst.


  • Sarah Chorn

    SARAH CHORN, one of our regular guest reviewers, has been a compulsive reader her whole life, and early on found her reading niche in the fantastic genre of Speculative Fiction. She blames her active imagination for the hobbies that threaten to consume her life. She is a published photographer, world traveler and recent college graduate and mother. Sarah keeps a blog at Bookworm Blues.