Rise of the Mystics (Beyond the Circle #2)

Reviewed by: G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.



Title: Rise of the Mystics (Beyond the Circle #2)

Author: Ted Dekker

Publisher: Revell (Baker Publishing Group)

Publication Date: October 2, 2018

Format: Hardcover

Length: 416 pages


Rachelle has spent most of her life blind and having nightmares about a man who claims he will blind her again. Four months ago, she got back her sight and discovered an alternate world where people called her “The 49th Mystic.” As she switched back and forth from one world to another, Rachelle learned she had to find five ancient seals to destroy the man from her nightmares, who’s now shown up in her hometown. With only three seals found and various groups from both worlds hunting her, time is running short.

Dekker builds this series around what C.S. Lewis would call a “supposal,” the idea of an alternate world where Christian history played out in a slightly different way. Like Lewis, he uses that idea to present theology in new ways, often to great effect. Some readers may find it strange how the book shifts genres as the main character goes from one world to another, one world having a conspiracy thriller feel and the other feeling like high fantasy. However, Dekker manages to make the novel’s two halves work together, creating an interesting hybrid. Overall, this book is an intriguing fantasy-thriller with compelling spiritual themes.


Rating (1 to 5 stars)

5 stars

Intended Audience

Readers who like conspiracy thrillers or novels about alternate reality, readers who like fantasy novels involving alternate worlds or realities.

Christian Impact

This book describes spiritual concepts like the need for love over judgment, the need for self-sacrifice to find Christ, and others in a way that will help readers better understand those ideas.


This book not only alludes to events in the previous book, but also to Dekker’s Circle series. Readers who want to understand this book’s plot in its full context should read the Circle series beforehand.



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Rise of the Mystics (Beyond the Circle, #2)

About Ceil Carey

The Evangelical Church Library Association, founded in 1970, is a fellowship of Christian churches, schools, and individuals.


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