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Songs of the Mystics

Series: Gamebook Adventures #11
Platforms: Android
iPod/iPad
Windows
Author: Coghlan, Kieran
Illustrator: Harvala, Pirkka
Back Cover Text: Travel to the secluded Isla des Misticos, home to the enigmatic Mystics. You are the daughter of the Earth Queen, leader of the Mystics, and find yourself in dire peril from the outset. As you uncover a plot to end your life, you also discover new magical abilities through the power of songs. Can you escape from your predestined fate?
Malthus Dire's Thoughts: This is an interesting premise: you play a "Mystic" (female, specifically), a sort of elven forest-dwelling species that can commune with nature via the use of songs that you learn as you go along. Your eyes are blue (rather like the Fremen in Dune) and this identifying marker can cause you to encounter anatgonism or help from other forest species that may or may not peacefully co-exist with your kind. The adventure starts with your own mother trying to sacrifice you in a bid to become all-powerful so you escape and try to undo the blight she is putting on the region. As you progress you can join the circus, visit disease-ridden cities, try to avoid becoming enslaved, and generally establish that life was much better in your forest glade which encourages you even more to return the balance to nature. When I first played this I was very sceptical as the premise seemed twee and pretentious but the plot and song devices are deployed in such a way that it all gels really well and makes for a very unusual adventure, plus you really do feel sympathy for your character and want to get everything back to normality. The grimness of the world outside the forest is laid on a bit thick and this is certainly not an easy gamebook to complete (especially as there is an optimum combination of songs to try to find) but overall this is another of the better entries in this series if you can get into its in-your-face eco-freak subplot.

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