Nancy Harvey's The Mystic Quest was published by Ariane Editions in December 2019. It was originally published in August 2014.
About Nancy Harvey:
Nancy Harvey is the whimsical creator of The Mystic Quest series, a fantasy adventure series. Nancy`s creativity is boundless as she is always trying to captivate and enchant the reader`s imagination! Her love of books started at a very early age, and has been a self-proclaimed “bookworm” ever since! Nancy has been a motivational speaker for many years, but now dedicates her time to her magical series and her charity work.
She is very proud to have received praises for her writing in heartwarming letters from both the former President of the United States, Barack Obama, and the First Lady, Michelle Obama, as well as the Queen of England and the Canadian Prime Minister`s wife, for her dedication to The Mystic Quest series.
About The Mystic Quest:
The Magical Journey Begins
The Supreme Rulers of the High Celestial Council decided many centuries ago to hide within our world mystical treasures that hold unimaginable powers to bring the Prophecy of the violet flame to victory!
This magical journey will bring William and Alex, our two young heroes, to travel around the world, even through time and space, all with the complicity of the members of the celestial world (angels, goddesses, warriors of light...) to find these treasures. In the midst of it all, William and Alex will discover their new magical powers in order to defeat the dark side who is spying on their every move.
But Alex must also choose her heart’s true calling between three protective handsome young men; a human, a guardian angel, and a demon! Who will win her heart?...
REVIEW: THE MYSTIC QUEST BY NANCY HARVEY
Let me start this review by saying that Nancy Harvey's The Mystic Quest is something that I don't normally read, but I was curious about it and wanted to take a look at it, because it seemed to be different from other new fantasy books.
This book is not your normal kind of a fantasy book, but rather a fantasy story with a focus on themes and elements which the author has chosen to emphasise. It's a magical and adventurous story with a strong message. It is aimed at both young adults and adults alike, because it suitable for both readerships, but basically it's a YA book.
The story begins with Alex and William spending time in the cabin in the forest. Alex experiences daydreams, which are remarkably real and he wonders if they could be real. When they venture into the woods, they get into trouble and Williams finds out a secret about Alex: she is a girl. Soon, when they enter the caves, they find themselves lost. When William's father and uncle find them, they see a vision of a Native Man who says that they're all chosen by the Supreme Rulers of the High Celestial Council to fulfill the 'Prophecy of the Violet Flame' and they will need much greater strength and tenacity in order to survive their journey. The man also tells them that they need to relive the past, surpass the present and foresee the future in order for humanity to survive the cataclysm of the prophecy, and they have to find magical and hidden objects. Soon, they leave for Ireland and their amazing adventure begins...
Now that I've told you a bit about the story, I'll mention first what I found positive about this book:
It was interesting to read about how Alex and William's lives changed and how they learned more about the High Celestial Council and their roles in the happenings. I found myself fascinated by what kind of people and beings were part of the High Celestial Council, because its members were diverse in many ways.
I was also intrigued by how the author wrote about the dark forces that were after the same thing as the protagonists and their helpers, because the prophecy is the same for both sides, but the outcome will be totally different if the dark side succeeds in its plans. The dark side would open up the gates of the darker realms and it would be a disaster.
Lingus the leprechaun is a delightfully mischievous character that brings a touch of freshness to the story. The author writes well about Lingus' behaviour and how he performs tricks on people. I also enjoyed reading about what the author wrote about a certain famous historical Italian person (in fear of revealing spoilers, I won't mention this character's name or gender in this review).
The most intriguing thing about this book is the prophecy and what it means to the world and to the characters. It serves as a core element for the story and everything spins around it. I also enjoyed reading about the protagonists' adventures around the world and was entertained by what happened to them, because the events takes place in different countries. The events are highly adventurous, which is nice.
I was positively surprised to find time travel elements in the story. These elements were light and entertaining, and they will surely be of interest to younger readers.
I also want to mention that the author has added three enigmas to the book that the reader can solve by cracking mysterious codes. This adds an interesting layer of mystery to the book.
This next part is a bit difficult for me, because I'd like to be able to say that this book was wonderful and I loved everything about it, but unfortunately I was not entirely impressed by its contents and found it occasionally frustrating and cumbersome. The author definitely has something here and the story has its share of good moments and ideas, but there are flaws that bothered me.
In my opinion, this book has a few things that need further development and polishing in order to work well. The story feels a bit rushed, because there are moments in which a slower approach to the happenings would've been benefitial to the story arc, depth and character development (there's not much character development in this book). Perhaps the most frustrating thing about this book is that it emphasises and addresses certain elements too much, because it creates an alienating feeling (many things were a bit too easy and inspirational for my taste). I also need to mention that I often got a feeling that the author wasn't showing, but rather telling what happens.
Despite having the above mentioned imperfections, the story has the power to pull the reader in and it grows on you towards the ending, because it is charming in an innocent and sweet way. Also, the scope of the story compensates for the rough spots and lack of literary finesse. Although I was a bit frustrated by this book, I have to mention that the author has spent a lot of time on creating the story and her enthusiasm can be seen it.
It's possible that this book may not be to everyone's liking due to its strong focus on certain elements, but it's something different and it has a message. Perhaps the most important message of this book is that we are considerably stronger together and we should support each other, but I gather that this book also has another message, which is about us having to take care of Mother Nature and Earth in order to have a future.
After careful consideration, I decided to give this book five stars on the scale from one to ten stars (three stars on the scale from one to five stars). This rating is based on the fact that there are fascinating elements and ideas in the story, but I was not entirely satisfied with it and its literary values.
Nancy Harvey's The Mystic Quest is a slightly flawed YA fantasy book, but it has potential and there are intriguing moments. If you enjoy mystic stories with a touch of spirituality, romance, sweetness and prophecies, this book will be of interest to you. It's not a perfect read, but it's something different (and it's light and inspirational escapism that is easy to read).