Blood of Mystics is set some three to four years after “the event” that changed the world forever. When all technology failed on Earth due to some sort of EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse), humanity was thrown into chaos and the thin veneer of civilization quickly cracked and splintered. Small groups, determined to carry on and survive began to form but at the same time, extreme groups of would-be rulers and dictators also sought to gain power and dominion. Throw in a fanatical group of religious zealots claiming “the event” was punishment from God and you have all the makings of an excellent dystopian story.
The group of survivors led by Kyle Ward and centred on a fortress known as The Bluffs are going to have to deal with a renegade of their number, Jack, who has managed to perfect the art of reanimating dead corpses and using them as soldiers and as his intelligence eyes and ears. Allied with “the event” was the rise in mystical powers such as healing, controlling light, controlling the weather, fire, and other abilities. These people, now referred to as mystics, will have a major impact on the upcoming battles and quest for survival as humanity tries to return to normal and create a civil society again.
Walters has a style that is readable, relateable and almost conversational. Despite the fantasy elements of the story, perhaps best exemplified by the dragon and the new group, the Angels, known as the A-Team, readers never feel they are past the bounds of believability and, for me, this is the hallmark of an excellent fantasy author. Walters also uses this story to highlight and celebrate the differences in us that make us human, as a counterpoint to those that would demonise these differences. It doesn’t matter whether the characters are gay, totally different in appearance (i.e. Cliff Ko as the demi-human dragon), or incredibly powerful and scary, the author manages to infuse them with qualities that allow us, as readers, to love them and empathise with them. I have followed the development of both the author and the recurring characters throughout this trilogy and must comment on the growth of the writer as the series developed. One thing that did stand out to me was the idea that nobody is irredeemable as we saw through the development and rehabilitation of previously evil characters.
This was and is an outstanding dystopian tale with an overlay of fantasy. In my opinion this is an exceptional read and one I’m sure all lovers of good writing will enjoy. I think the whole series has been a triumph and I look for much for from this talented author in the future.