Author: Crystal Phoenix
Review: The opening pages to Mystra were amazing. They had just the right amount of mystery, suspense and instantly caught the attention of the reader. Certain aspects gathered from the blurb reminded me of my favourite series of all time; These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner which is an amazing things. For the offset I loved the setting, a mysterious planet and space. I loved books set in space or that have interstellar travel and it is one of my favourite sub-genres of YA.
The rest of the opening chapter left me in awe. It extremely informative without being boring, scientific without being confusing and yet remains exciting within a strong robust structure. The way each chapter is divided into a log of sorts being labelled 2605 (the year) and Day 111 is great because it always for ten times the amount of action without the book being rushed as there is a break up of time. We immediately love Jasen as a character, he is smart, witty and the way I picture him in my head has added him to my list of fictional boyfriends.
I loved the two interconnecting storylines between Jasen and Tivonna and the scene where they meet for the first time. I loved the bonding process between the two and how even though they had never met before, pure instinct drove them towards each other. My favourite bit of this was watching the aftermath, Tivonna surviving the change, Jasen’s illness and learning more about the people of Mystra and how unusual Tivonna and Jasen’s bonding actually was. But there is a strong sense of foreboding indicted by the storm the night of Tivonna, Hawk and Jasen’s return, foreshadowing something darker to come. And we must not forget why Jasen went to Mystra in the first place to look for the beings that killed everyone on his home planet.
I loved watching Tivonna and Jasen uncover how deep their bonds go and how willing they are to accept each other but I have a feeling a lot of trails are going to lie ahead for this pair, especially given that telepaths like Jasen are feared and often hunted throughout various planetary systems, so leaving Mystra can be deadly for the pair. I often found my thoughts turning to the fact of if Tivonna lost control and Jasen had to openly use his powers to save her would he or would self-preservation win out, and if he did save her what would happen to them after. Alas, the only solution is to read on.
After the dynamic trio set out on their quest for answers we are introduced to the story’s antagonist Malycon who has a special interest in Jasen. Malycon is obsessed with making technology work on Mystra and is willing to anything to get it even kidnap Jasen with the aid of some dragons. Thrown into this mix as well he wants to turn Tivonna into his slave after she rejects his “love”. With the gang heading north and dragon searching for them their quest is only going to get harder from here on out. All the while Hawk is helping Tivonna as she tries to break down the wall Jasen has built around himself.
My favourite thing about Mystra is seeing the diverse array of characters from shape shifters, telepaths, elements, centaurs as well as a whole other host of incredible races. I also loved seeing and experiencing each race’s own culture and customs and how they delicately intertwine with others, a key example being the elementals and the kiosans.
I really enjoyed watching Tivonna and Jasen budding romance and how she managed to completely destroy his defensive walls to show him true love and how it can strengthen a person but this bond is also their greatest weakness as they are in essence two halves of the same being.
As we come through the halfway point of the novel we are barreling at high-speed through the pages, Malycon’s plan has not yet become clear nor have the dragons made a move on Jasen yet and Jasen’s original mission has been diverted at every turn so I am excited to read the action packed second half of the novel. We soon learn the extent of Malycon’s cruelty going as far as risking the lives of many centaurs to obtain Jasen. He uses the elemental Tyr and forces her to break her oath as an elemental as he holds her kiosan hostage and she has no choice but to obey. He is a cruel man who will allow nothing to stand between him and his goals, endangering and ending lives at will. I have no respect or love for him as a character and sincerely hope the dynamic trio put him in his place.
After gaining the trust of the centaurs and travelling a great distance to their home, the storm Tyr unleashed finally catches up with them. Tivonna and Jasen made an incredible pair in the battle of the storm feeding and enhancing each other’s power. But shortly after they are capturing by the Wer people serving Malycon, and Jasen has a plan to turn the loyalty the same way he did that of the centaurs. Meanwhile Chauras is sent back to gather the centaurs and get word to Tivonna’s father to prepare for war with Malycon.
I loved how Hawk plays a huge part in the Wer’s prophecy as each clan seeks a man who can change into their clan animal; Hawk, Wolf and Cat. This is a major part into getting the Wer’s on their side as they did the centaurs. Jasen also learn how to break his memory block learning who and what he is. The major sense of foreboding increases as Malycon unknowingly uses technology to awakening the Firehawks and I have a feeling the first planet they are going to attack is Mystra and the dynamic trio will be all that stands between the Firehawks and their quest of destruction.
In the last 50+ pages of the novel the Duke Malycon succeeds on getting Jason captured but he doesn’t know Tivonna’s father and a small group of elementals and soldiers are on their way. Speaking of Tivonna; she and Hawk (now in dragon form) are hot on Malycon’s heels but they run into a large gathering of real dragons. After turning the tide on the centaurs, Wers and Mers, the dragons shouldn’t be that hard as they already despise serving Malycon.
The final battle scene and conclusion of the novel were stunning. Jasen is freed by Hawk but only because Tyr killed Malycon an unexpected twist. Jasen also removes the machines from Mystra and finds a way to send the Firehawks back to where they came from and all is well. Jasen with the help of Hawk helped re-balance a whole planet. The ending of the novel gave me so many feelings for all the characters we had met and for the ones lost. Even though this novel would work perfectly as a stand alone I am hoping the author writes a follow-up or companion novel to this one. If you like dystopian sci-fi novel with a stunning magic system that would challenge the creations of Brandon Sanderson I highly recommend you read Mystra.
The pace, setting and character development in this novel are done to exceptional standards. It was an enjoyable and exciting read and I would gladly read it again and anything else the author decides to write. Mystra has become my favourite book of the year so far and I urge everyone to go and buy it!
This book was sent to me by the author for review
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