by Matthew D. Ryan
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.
There’s a woman in chain mail standing across the room from me; her sword is leveled at my chest. I can smell the enchantment on the blade, it’s a strong one; maybe even strong enough to cause me harm. Still, I’m not too concerned; it’s at least a ten foot lunge and I know I move faster than she does. Indeed, she’s the one who is looking worried. My display of strength and the death of her comrade have shaken her resolve.
She’s got a pretty face, flushed with excitement but strong and in control. It is her neck that really draws me, though, so soft and inviting, filled with the warm blood I desire. The curve of her flesh glistens, waiting for a well-placed gentle kiss.
She’s breathing rapidly now, her breath coming in shallow gasps. Her trek up through the castle has sapped much of her strength. And the fear she feels is naked in her eyes. Now, she’s getting ready to pounce, just a little too much tension in her stance, her eyes just a little too focused. She couldn’t give me more warning if she were to ask my permission first.
She moves in with remarkable speed, her blade striking out like a serpent’s tongue. Even winded, she still manages to cut my cape, then prances away with her back toward the wall, ready for anything. Anything, except me.
DRASMYR - BOOK REVIEW BY BELLE
(FROM THE ASHES OF RUIN) VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR
Do not let the simple cover fool you into thinking that this book is simple too.
The author has taken many a winding tour through the mind and thoughts of a vampire. Written in high fantasy language and sumptuous detail.
Beautifully gothic, read it with some candles on and your chair turned toward the moon.
It smacks of Arthurian legend, mysticism and magic, monks and monasteries with a mystery running through it. The names of the characters evoke a golden age of dark sorcery.
The story revolves around Coragan a bounty hunter who must pit himself against the old world Vampire Lucian Val Drasmyr. As the name suggest Drasmyr does not evoke the imagery of some lovey dovey vampire pining after his lost love. It is back to tradition with a good old-fashioned dose of Dracula like phantasmagoria of blackness.
I identified with the idea of vampires in a fantasy world, as it is something I have flirted with over a number of years. However, pitting the vampires against wizards was extremely original.
There is a master slave love-story between Drasmyr and Clarissa which is very interesting. It appears to be a reluctant love, yet a love that spurs Drasmyr on to his final conflicts.
If there is any criticism to be made it is that it may be slightly overblown for some palates in todays market. Mores the pity, I have long thought that we should get back to the golden age of colourful, flowery language and twisted imagination.
One thing that irked me as a woman was the line, “I shall rip those pretty legs off.” It just sounded too modern man for the courtly language used. Not to say it is not an old-fashioned word, just perhaps not apt at that point. Small fry really and if that is all that irked me I think the author can be justly proud.
Also, I was intrigued as to whether it was Drasmyer or Drasmeer. Perhaps I will find out when Matthew comes round for a chat, metaphorically speaking, so I can ask him then.
There is a helpful glossary at the back to assist you to navigate the world from the author’s point of view.
For the above reasons I really like this book. It evokes the right level of inky blackness appropriate to the subject matter.
I think the author might invest in a similar cover but with a more glossy production though. The story is evocative of Interview with a Vampire the movie and the book is more tent poll than low budget indie and should own that.
I write about vampires myself in a completely different genre of mystery whodunnit. However, what I love about this is that I could see the past of the characters of my own books as if it was somehow their own back-story fleshed out. In other words the world felt totally real. Drysmyr strikes as cold, haughty, cruel but also lonely. Funnily, enough like Lucian Val Drasmyr my vampires know nothing about love and regret that makes it all the more poignant. Therefore, I felt a sort of affinity with his internal fantasy world, deeply steeped in darkness, temptation and the colour red.
I give this book a blood curdling four stars. ****
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Matthew D. Ryan is a published author living in upstate New York on the shores of Lake Champlain. He has a background in philosophy, mathematics, and computer science. He also has a black belt in the martial arts and studies yoga. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. He believes he saw the legendary Lake Champlain Monster (a.k.a Champy) once and he has a cat named Confucius.
Author’s Smashwords Page: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/matthewdryan
Author’s Book Page: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/131156
Author’s Blog: http://www.atoasttodragons.com
Author’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000038781652
Author’s Twitter Handle: @MatthewDRyan1
Author’s Goodreads Page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/579148.Matthew_D_Ryan
Author’s Shelfari Page: http://www.shelfari.com/matthewdryan/shelf
The book is available on Smashwords and elsewhere for no cost.