Book Review: DUST OF THE DARKNESS by Deck Matthews

(Title: Dust of the Darkness / Author: Deck Matthews / Publisher: Self-Published / Publication Date: July 15, 2019)

Deck Matthews has delivered another winner of a fantasy book with his second installment in The Riven Realm series, DUST OF THE DARKNESS.   This book picks up immediately following the events that concluded book one, The First of Shadows.  Caleb Rusk is aboard the vessel Zephyr's Song fleeing from the evil menace that is hunting him while at the same time searching for answers that could help him defeat the monstrous evil that has been unleashed.

Caleb has some help this time around as he is accompanied by his friends Palawen Ty and Captain of the Song, Shevik Den.  Caleb and his companions escape to his sister Anya's home in the quiet and unassuming village of Timberford both to regroup and to inform his sister of the many troubling events that have recently occurred.   But when Anya and her husband Carvesh reveal to Caleb that Timberford has experienced some brutal attacks of its own perpetrated by dark creatures the likes of which have never been seen in those parts before, Caleb realizes that he has just traded one deadly threat for another.  And this threat may be even more daunting than the one he fled from.

Meanwhile, the blind sage Tiberius Alaran continues to pursue clues to revealing the old magic that might assist him in finding who is responsible for the murders that have occurred in and around the city of Taralius.  The mystery of these deaths still ways heavily on the old man and the deeper he gets enmeshed in finding the secrets he wants more than anything to uncover, the more he finds his life is in grave danger.  For there are those who would kill to protect what is hidden.  There will be much to account for and many will not emerge unscathed when all is said and done in this action-packed fantasy story.

I was extremely impressed by DUST OF THE DARKNESS and it really solidified my feeling that The Riven Realm is one of my favorite new fantasy series in quite some time.  I liked book one a great deal but this one took the series to another level entirely.  I enjoyed seeing Caleb grow as a character and we really get a sense that he is feeling more comfortable in his own skin so to speak.  He is way more assertive in this book and in one particular instance in the story where he is describing his disability to his nephew, you could absolutely feel through the tone of his words to the young boy that he refuses to let his physical challenges limit him in any way or define him.  It was such an inspirational moment and one of my favorite parts of the book to be honest.

There is also a new character introduced in this book named Shade, who I thought was quite intriguing and added a significant amount of mystery to the story.  We get little hints as to whose side she is on but she remains somewhat a mysterious figure for a while.  I enjoyed her character immensely and was happy to see the cast expanding and even more depth and layers being added to the story.  This series really keeps you guessing and I like that a lot, so finding out her motives as this book progressed kept me turning the pages and wanting to know even more about her both now and in future books.

All in all, DUST OF THE DARKNESS was a very entertaining read filled with amazing action, a few heartbreaking moments along the way, an increasingly realized world where magic exists, and a looming mystery at its heart that powers the story and keeps the reader fixated on every word of dialogue and every action of the characters.  If you are looking for a new fantasy read that will delight you and doesn't sugarcoat anything in the process, you need to read this series right away.  Deck Matthews has succeeded in penning a series that has all the hallmarks of a potential blockbuster.  Hopefully more people will get exposed to the The Riven Realm series as it gradually gains more notoriety.  It definitely deserves every bit and then some.  For now, I'll be jumping immediately into book three, A Shattering of Glass, which was just released on October 15th.

(My Rating: 9/10)


  1. Ah, I haven't read the Riven Realm but I'm adding it to my list! You know when the second book gets such a great review as well that the writer is good.

  2. It's a very good series Victoria. And they are novellas so they are pretty quick reads as well. You should definitely check them out!


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