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Mystic Quest: Book Two of the Bronze Canticles    by Tracy Hickman & Laura Hickman order for
Mystic Quest
by Tracy Hickman
Order:  USA  Can
Aspect, 2005 (2005)

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Most second books in epic fantasy trilogies pick up where the first left off. Not so with the second in The Bronze Canticles by husband and wife team Tracy and Laura Hickman - Mystic Quest takes place 26 years after the end of Mystic Warrior.

Though the wars in the three worlds have calmed down, some groups are still not at peace. Those with the gift to see into the dream world feel a wind pulling them south to an unknown city. Since the main characters from the first book all came into power in the years before this one begins, they send the next generation on quest to the strange lands. Caelith Arvad, son of Galen, is sent over and under many mountains with his older half-brother Jorgan to find the fabled Calsandria, City of the Gods. Aislynn, Princess of Qestardis, is sent with Shaeonyn, Dwynwyn's apprentice, across the sea to discover what happened to the Kyree. Thux, a talented technomancer, is sent by the Dong Mahaj Mimic to spy on the ogre city of Og. Guided by dreams of a great play being staged, this next generation of heroes set out to save their peoples. As with many epic quests, the road is filled with treachery for all three adventurers. While the paths the heroes take are different, the goal ends up being the same a bronze globe that exists in all three worlds.

This trilogy reflects great imagination by taking place in three worlds simultaneously and connecting the characters by dreams. Each world has its own set of customs and beliefs that come through in the narrative (and in footnotes), and also a unique terrain and population. The Hickmans show the passage of time by numbering the Folios into which Mystic Quest is broken up instead of starting with Folio IV which would follow Folio III (that ended Mystic Warrior), this second episode begins with Folio XIV. This makes me hope that there are more adventures to be told in the three worlds perhaps another trilogy or two. Mystic Quest is a wonderful follow-up to Mystic Warrior, and I cannot wait to find out how The Bronze Canticles end.

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