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Ted Dekker has made a name for himself by writing spellbinding fiction that masterfully blends fascinating characters, gripping plots, and underlying symbolism. The results for Dekker have been impressive—over ten million copies sold, appearances on every bestseller list in the country. But Dekker’s greatest desire is for readers to encounter the spiritual truths hidden in his captivating storylines. In The 49th Mystic (May 2018) and Rise of the Mystics (October 2018), Dekker introduces readers to five seals of truth that he hopes will prompt readers to take their own journey of transformation from being lost in fear to the love that holds no record of wrong.

Both volumes in the Beyond the Circle series are based on the spiritual insights he has explored in his nonfiction works, The Forgotten Way and The Way of Love. These books along with The 49th Mystic and Rise of the Mystics investigate the journey from fear to love, from blindness to sight, and from darkness to light. Dekker asserts that only as we come to understand our true identity in Christ can we grasp unconditional love and be set free from the fear that enslaves humanity.

Dekker has stated that The 49th Mystic and Rise of the Mystics are “without a doubt the most important novels I have ever written.” They will challenge a reader’s views on faith, love, and Christianity and invite readers to take their own journey from blindness to sight.

The 49th Mystic and Rise of Mystics are much more than an entertaining story. What was your purpose in writing them?

With even a cursory look at the world of faith, it becomes clear that Christians are really no different from people of other faiths or of no faith. This defies Jesus’s announcement that those in his way will be known for a radical kind of love that holds no record of wrong. So the question we ask is, What does it mean to be in his way? And are we in it now? I wrote these novels to plumb the depths of those questions. 

Throughout both volumes of the Beyond the Circle series, you explore the journey from fear to love, from blindness to sight, and from darkness to light. Can you expound upon these concepts?

We are Christians, but we live in fear of loss. We live in blindness to the kingdom of heaven now present. We live in the darkness outside of our glorified nature, risen with Christ. These novels take us all into a radical reexamination of what love, light, and sight are, and why we, though claiming to be Christian, are still lost to these simple truths.

Rise of the Mystics is the conclusion to the Beyond the Circle series and picks up where The 49th Mystic left off. Rachelle Matthews has found three of the five seals but still needs to find two more. Why do seals play such a huge role in your books?

Each seal is a revelation of truth regarding the nature of reality. Rachelle’s task is to discover truth beyond what humanity ascribes as truth. Ultimately, the seals are the only truths that matter, and each radically shifts her experience of her life in the story. The same goes for all of us.

You have some very dynamic characters in both The 49th Mystic and Rise of the Mystics. Which character has made the biggest impact on you?

Without a doubt, Rachelle. She really is all of us—certainly me—journeying through wild adventure to know herself in the midst of great change and challenge.

Was there any part of this book that really surprised you once you began writing it?

I was taken off guard by the climax, the last hundred pages. I had no idea it would end the way it did. But I quickly understood that it was the only ending that made any sense.

What do you hope readers gain from reading Rise of the Mystics?

An addictive read and a shift in thinking about their own purpose for existence, whatever that shift might be. It’s the reason we all read.

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Ted Dekker is the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of more than forty novels, with over ten million copies sold worldwide. He was born in the jungles of Indonesia to missionary parents, and his upbringing as a stranger in a fascinating and sometimes frightening culture fueled his imagination. Dekker’s passion is simple—to explore truth through mind-bending stories that invite readers to see the world through a different lens. His fiction has been honored with numerous awards, including two Christy Awards, two Inspy Awards, an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, and an ECPA Gold Medallion. In 2013, NPR readers nationwide put him in the Top 50 Thriller Authors of All Time. Dekker lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Lee Ann.

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