Let me start by saying this book is MG (you probably catch that bit from reading the summary, but still). I don't normally read MG and while I do think a book should be judged on its writing and not the age-category, it's good to keep in mind while reading something who it was meant for originally.
This book took me back to my 9-year-old self, I think I would have loved reading this book at that age. I still really enjoyed it now, but it would probably have been my new best friend back then. I did think some of the violence in the books would be shocking to MG readers, but the overall feel of the book is magical. Right at the start Mull had me smiling at Jason entering Lyrian by getting swallowed by a hippo. You don't get that in YA or adult fantasy!
Jason is a likeable boy and while what he really wants is to find a way home, he's not a reluctant hero. He and Rachel team up to try and free Lyrian from the tyrannical king. The king is a wizard and every wizard, no matter how powerful, can be destroyed using one word of power. So Jason and Rachel set off to gather the 6 pieces of this word, hidden throughout Lyrian. They make friends who help them and land in all kinds of trouble along the way.
I though Brandon Mull painted the picture of a truly magical world, the different races he created were really interesting and unlike anything I've encountered before. Though some parts were a bit predictable, I really enjoyed the story. I just wished I would have read this as a kid, so I could have really appreciated it the way it's meant to.
My rating: 3 stars