Tor.com content by

Jason Denzel

Fiction and Excerpts [3]
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Fiction and Excerpts [3]

Mystic: Chapter Three

|| 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.

Mystic: Chapter Two

|| 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.

Animagi En Route to Mount Greylock: My Road Trip to Ilvermorny

Please enjoy this encore post on Jason Denzel’s magical road trip, originally published August 2016.

Greetings witches, wizards, and muggles! (Or, No-Maj’s, if you prefer) With the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, along with early buzz for the upcoming film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I’ve recently felt Potter fever consuming me again. Hyping my excitement even more is the fact that my 11 and 8 year old boys are enjoying the books for the first time, which makes everything new and special again in its own way.

So when I flew across the country, from California to Massachusetts, to conduct some business for the company I work for, I knew I had to take an afternoon off and check out the summit of Mount Greylock, the supposed location of Ilvermorny, the magical American school modeled after Hogwarts. What follows is an account of my road trip across the state of Massachusetts, culminating at the peak of the state’s highest mountain. What I found there was, well… unexpected.

[Read more]

My Road Trip to Ilvermorny

Greetings witches, wizards, and muggles! (Or, No-Maj’s, if you prefer) With the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, along with early buzz for the upcoming film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I’ve recently felt Potter fever consuming me again. Hyping my excitement even more is the fact that my 11 and 8 year old boys are enjoying the books for the first time, which makes everything new and special again in its own way.

So when I flew across the country, from California to Massachusetts, to conduct some business for the company I work for, I knew I had to take an afternoon off and check out the summit of Mount Greylock, the supposed location of Ilvermorny, the magical American school modeled after Hogwarts. What follows is an account of my road trip across the state of Massachusetts, culminating at the peak of the state’s highest mountain. What I found there was, well… unexpected.

[Read more]

Mystic: Chapter Three

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.

Available November 3rd from Tor Books, Mystic is the start of an enchanting new epic fantasy series from Jason Denzel! Read chapter three below, or head back to the beginning with our excerpt of chapter one.

[Read an excerpt]

Mystic: Chapter Two

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.

Available November 3rd from Tor Books, Mystic is the start of an enchanting new epic fantasy series from Jason Denzel! Read chapter two below, or head back to the beginning with our excerpt of chapter one.

[Chapter Two]

Mystic: Chapter One

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.

Available November 3rd from Tor Books, Mystic is the start of an enchanting new epic fantasy series from Jason Denzel!

[Read an excerpt]

“Dear Robert Jordan,” a Response to A Memory of Light

Dear Robert Jordan,

Today I read your final book. The end of The Wheel of Time came to my hands nearly twenty years after I first picked up its beginning. It was a story well told, a story whose ending lived up to the promises made so very long ago. I’m writing in order to tell you a little about it.

What I’ve loved most about your grand story throughout the years is how true it is. Those who cherish the fantasy genre understand this. Within a story about fictitious people, in fictitious worlds, with conflicts that never actually happened, we have the opportunity to explore what makes us real. The Wheel of Time has, for me, and I suspect for thousands of others, done that better than any of its peers. One of its most fundamental lessons is that time is a wheel, and that endings are simply new beginnings if you have the courage to turn and look the other way. 

[Memories and reactions ahead, but no spoilers]

Series: A Memory of Light

The Dark Tower: The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen King

To the Constant Reader and to new friends walking the unfamiliar Path of the Beam for the first time I say, “Hile! May it do yeh fine.” Be welcome to this special review of Stephen King’s upcoming novel, The Wind Through the Keyhole.

This newest book from “Sai King” is a part of The Dark Tower Cycle, the series known for being both King’s self-proclaimed magnum opus, as well as “the series whose ending everyone hated.” Over the years when I mention the Dark Tower to friends and associates familiar with the series, I usually receive a sigh and a comment about how the ending just wasn’t what they expected or wanted. That it was such a let-down. A disappointment.

[Gather your gunna and take a look at the new book with me.]

They Had Me at the Singing: Why The Hobbit Adaptations Will Succeed

As reported yesterday, the first trailer for the first Hobbit film has debuted. What’s remarkable to me is how it only took a few seconds for the imagery and sounds of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey to instantly take me back a decade and an Age to that triumph of cinema that was the The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Once again I felt magic wash over me and capture my attention in a way so few other big-budget films manage to. And judging by the comments here on Tor-dot and on Twitter, I’m not the only one who felt that way.

What is it about these adaptations that captivates us so? Why do they succeed where others fall short? The answer, I think, is surprisingly simple: the filmmakers on Team Hobbit continue to cherish the spirit and integrity of the source material.

[Let]

The Wheel of Time Roundtable, Final Week: All Singing! All Dancing!

Welcome to the final installment of the Wheel of Time Roundtable! In this weekly mini-series we’ve asked a panel of Wheel of Time experts a number of questions that look at the upcoming final volume in this long-running fantasy series: A Memory of Light and beyond.

We’ve looked at the threat of the Shadow, the threat of everybody else, postulated on what may happen after A Memory of Light, made a wishlist of things we want to see in the final book, and thought about what legacy the Wheel of Time will leave behind.

And you know what? We’re a bit tired of thinking right now, so in this final installment we’re going to imagine what The Wheel of Time:
The Musical!
would be like. Moo ha ha!

[Come play along with us]

Series: A Memory of Light

Acceptance, Decay, and Duality. What The Wheel of Time Means: Roundtable, Week 5

Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Roundtable! In this weekly mini-series from Tor.com, we’re asking a panel of Wheel of Time experts a number of questions that look at the upcoming final volume in this long-running fantasy series: A Memory of Light.

The questions will range from the specific, to the silly, to the broad, eventually encompassing the Wheel of Time’s legacy itself.

We’ve looked at the threat of the Shadow, the threat of everybody else, postulated on what may happen after A Memory of Light, and made a wishlist of things we want to see in the final book.

Now we look at the series as a unified whole. In the end, what is The Wheel of Time about?

[Read more]

Series: A Memory of Light

What We Want From A Memory of Light: The Wheel of Time Roundtable, Week 4

Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Roundtable! In this weekly mini-series from Tor.com, we’re asking a panel of Wheel of Time experts a number of questions that look at the upcoming final volume in this long-running fantasy series: A Memory of Light.

The questions will range from the specific, to the silly, to the broad, eventually encompassing the Wheel of Time’s legacy itself.

We’ve looked at the threat of the Shadow, the threat of everybody else, and what may happen after A Memory of Light. Now we make a wishlist of the scenes we want to see in the final book.

[Read more]

Series: A Memory of Light

Ages to Come, Ages Long Past: The Wheel of Time Roundtable, Week 3

Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Roundtable! In this weekly mini-series from Tor.com, we’ll be asking a panel of Wheel of Time experts a number of questions that look at the upcoming final volume in this long-running fantasy series: A Memory of Light.

The questions will range from the specific, to the silly, to the broad, eventually encompassing the Wheel of Time’s legacy itself.

Each week (unless it’s Thanksgiving and we are turkey-bound) a different question will be posed to our panelists, then you, the commenters, will be invited to join in.

We’ve looked at the threat of the Shadow and the threat of everybody else to figure out just what still awaits us in A Memory of Light. Now we turn past the events of the final book, to ponder the layout of The Fourth Age and beyond.

[Andor as a tech capital, a worldwide stedding, and the One Power disappearing]

Series: A Memory of Light

We Can Do Bad All By Ourselves: The Wheel of Time Roundtable, Week 2

Welcome back to the Wheel of Time Roundtable! In this weekly mini-series from Tor.com, we’ll be asking a panel of Wheel of Time experts a number of questions that look at the upcoming final volume in this long-running fantasy series: A Memory of Light.

The questions will range from the specific, to the silly, to the broad, eventually encompassing the Wheel of Time’s legacy itself.

Each week a different question will be posed to our panelists, then you, the commenters, will be invited to join in.

Last week we looked at the threat of the Shadow as it loomed over our intrepid heroes, despite their victories in recent books, and we postulated how we’d kill Rand and company ourselves. (Then Leigh adopted a puppy and the light came out.)

This week, we move on to threats of the non-Shadow variety. And boy, are they ever legion…

[Read on for the second question]

Series: A Memory of Light

Thinking Dark Thoughts: The Wheel of Time Roundtable, Week 1

Welcome to the Wheel of Time Roundtable! In this new weekly mini-series from Tor.com, we’ll be asking a panel of Wheel of Time experts a number of questions that look at the upcoming final volume in this long-running fantasy series: A Memory of Light.

The questions will range from the specific, to the silly, to the broad, eventually encompassing the Wheel of Time’s legacy itself.

Each week a different question will be posed to our panelists, then you, the commenters, will be invited to join in. Let’s meet our panel, and read the first question, below.

[Undead Trollocs! Pudding mines! And how we would kill Rand]

Series: A Memory of Light

Dragon Age II: An Interview with Designers David Gaider and Mike Laidlaw

Rejoice, fantasy gamers, for the mighty sequel to Dragon Age is here at last!

Today marks the release of Dragon Age II, the heavily anticipated follow-up to the award-winning role playing game, Dragon Age: Origins. To celebrate its release, I’ve got a special treat for you in the form of an exclusive interview with two of the driving forces behind the game’s design.

Developed by BioWare, the Dragon Age franchise began with the original game Origins in 2009. It’s still available on Windows, Mac, PlayStation 3, and XBOX 360 and is one of the finest examples of character-driven storytelling in gaming history. The original showcased compelling characters and themes within an original world which was developed from the ground up.

With Dragon Age II, BioWare has raised the bar again by embracing a framed narrative and even more epic storyline. I had the privilege to sit down and talk with David Gaider, the lead writer for the franchise, and Mike Laidlaw, the lead designer. Let’s dive into that discussion!

[More below the fold. Did I mention we talk about Felicia Day?]