Drasmyr by Matthew D. Ryan
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Length: Full (200 pgs)
Age recommendation: 14+
Rated: 5 stars
Review by Poppy
We vampires do not make easy prey. Our weaknesses are few, our strengths many. Fear is something we do not know, and death but a distant memory. So tread softly, pray to your god, and gird yourself with silver when the moons arise and night’s dark prince awakens. We fear not the wizard, nor the warrior, neither rogue, nor priest; our strength is timeless, drawn from darkness and we know no master save the hot lust of our unending hunger. We long for blood, your blood and no blade, nor spell, nor clever artifice, can keep us long from our prize. Feel our teeth at your throat, your life ebb from you, and know as darkness comes to claim you that the price of your folly is your everlasting soul.
Drasmyr effectively returns us to the days when vampires were evil (not sparkly) and something to be feared.
Truth: I almost didn't choose to read this. I wasn't impressed by the blurb (really, it tells us nothing of the story) and didn't love the cover (and I've been known to buy--or not buy--a book for the cover alone). But I gave it a try, skeptically started the first page and was completely hooked. This author has mad writing skills!
The story is told from various points-of-view: a mage, a thief, a bounty hunter and, of course, from the vampire's himself. He's evil to the core and has all the vampire traits of old: he's a shape-shifting, coffin sleeping, blood-thirsty, immortal. It's surprisingly refreshing to return to this type of vampire after reading so many romanticized versions of the creature.
The writing is deeply descriptive, interesting, complex. This isn't a fluffy read, but it's oh-so good. The characters are so real and we become truly and completely invested in them. Though the author is marketing this a YA dark fantasy, it's a book that will appeal to any and all fantasy lovers. And, thankfully, it's just the beginning. I checked: he's writing more! I, for one, am thrilled.
Folks, if you're looking for a story that will grab you and hang on tight, for a story that enthralls and leaves you wanting more, then look no farther than Drasmyr. It's really that good.