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 believes he saw the legendary Lake Champlain Monster (a.k.a Champy) once during a nighttime adventure with his brother canoeing to Valcour Island. His work has been featured on-line at Aphelion.com and YesteryearFiction.com. He has been deeply involved in the fantasy genre for most of his life as a reader, writer, and game designer. He is the operator of the web site matthewdryan.com which features his blog, “A Toast to Dragons,” a blog dedicated to fantasy literature, and, to a lesser extent, sci-fi. Mr. Ryan says he receives his inspiration from his many years as an avid role-player and fantasy book reader. He has spent many long hours devising adventures and story-lines as well as gaming systems for role-playing games. He has played a motley assortment of characters in RPG worlds, and digested the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien, Robert Jordan, and others. As a result, he is quite comfortable in the fantasy genre and feels it was a natural shift for him to move into fantasy writing.
Mr. Ryan is the author of the exciting dark fantasy novels "Drasmyr," "The Children of Lubrochius," and "The Sceptre of Morgulan," as well as a growing number of short stories. His first novel, "Drasmyr," won the book of the month award on Long and Short Reviews: Young Adult for the month of September 2012. The story features a traditional Dracula type vampire in a Middle-Earth type setting. It is a dark fantasy geared toward teens and adults that has consistently earned reviews in the four and five star range. Drasmyr serves as the prequel to the series "From the Ashes of Ruin." In addition to this series, Mr. Ryan has published several short stories on-line, including: “Haladryn and the Minotaur”(published at the now defunct Pegasus On-line), “The River’s Eye”(published at YesteryearFiction.com) , “Escape”(published at Aphelion.com), and the three-story collection "Of Dragons, Love, and Poison." He has also spoken on the topic of “World-Building” utilizing his considerable experience as an author and game-designer. When not engrossed in his fantasy worlds, Mr. Ryan can be found volunteering at the local food shelf or playing with his cat, Confucius, who is as wise and wily as his name suggests.
on Dec. 31, 2015 :
Really good and so much fun! I couldn't put it down, very solid storyline.
(review of free book)
on Dec. 03, 2015 :
Fantasy isn't my genre of choice, however I found the language used by Matthew Ryan to be intriguing. Not a book with just the typical "who did what where", the author's ability to bring ideas forward and infuse real depth to the story are what kept me engaged.
(review of free book)
on Oct. 29, 2015 :
The movement and detail in this book grabbed my attention. You were able to know each of the major characters from their own point of view, giving a lot of insight to what was going on. The "good guys" and the "bad guys" all had their own story. It is packed full of magic and vampires! I was unaware at first that this book is a prequel to a trilogy, but I am sure I will be following this story to see where it will go. I must say, I was somewhat surprised at the ending of this book!
(review of free book)
on Sep. 03, 2012 :
I'm not sure why this is being marketed as YA, as none of the characters is a young adult, and the storyline is certainly adult (though, I do believe teens would really eat it up). If you're a grown-up and hesitant to read anything marked "YA" but you love a good fantasy, do yourself a favor and pick up this book.
It was refreshing to find a book which makes vampires scary again. To have them long for human blood, to make their souls dark and their powers strong. This book is very much a battle between good and evil.
I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect after reading the blurb for this book -- and it's not a good representation of what this is about. But I completely enjoy a good fantasy, so was game for just about anything and accepted the challenge. I cut my reading teeth on fantasy many years ago (didn't most kids?) and haven't found many of late that were really enjoyable. I'm happy to say, this was the exception. I gobbled this book up, picked my teeth and looked for more.
Drasmyr has all the elements of a good, old-fashioned fantasy: wizards, a quest, and great evil. The writing reminds me of the classic fantasies with sometimes flowery descriptions and formal dialogue. I enjoyed every word. The author is incredibly talented and truly paints a picture with words. I was immersed in the story from the first line and didn't want to stop reading. He cleverly used different points-of-view, so I was invested in every character (even the vampire's) and had to know what happened to them.
Each piece to the puzzle is cleverly added, many surprises were in store for me (I love a story where I can't figure everything out right off the bat) and the ending is satisfying (and clearly indicates that this is the beginning of a series). I'm so glad I chose to review this book, despite my apprehensions over the blurb and somewhat lackluster cover (yes, it reflects the darkness of the book, but just didn't grab me with anything that felt unique and certainly doesn't make it clear that it's a story filled with magic and fantasy elements). The author's way with words made the journey through Drasmyr utterly entertaining and worth every minute of my time. I look forward to reading more from this author.
Don't believe me? Try for yourself. Drasmyr is currently available FREE at all eBook outlets.
(review of free book)
on June 22, 2012 :
This was defiantly different from what I normally read; I really liked reading about the darker side of vampires. The only reason this is not a 5 star is because sometimes it was a bit hard to follow, it would go back and forth between Coragan and Drasymr but the way it was done took a bit to get use to and confused me at first. But once you get used to it then it all falls into place.
Coragan is a bounty hunter, that’s always been his dream until he was not hunting bad people anymore it was hurting innocent people so he stopped. Or so he thought anyway, until he was offered a job to a investigate fire.
Drasymr is not you every day run of the mill vampire in Ya books. He is a vicious killer that will leave you watching you’re every step. This is a great read if you like horror books.
(reviewed 65 days after purchase)
on May 26, 2012 :
Initially I was a bit confused as the book moves back and forth between the minds of Coragan and Drasymr. Once I got used to the voice used for each character it was fairly easy to tell when the author moved from one character to the other. But initially I was a bit confused when the bounty hunter started talking about being hunted and having a girl trying to shoot him. Eventually I realized it was Drasymr, the vampire. That helped clear a lot of things up.
The book is a different take on the vampire story, a much darker and more evil vampire. This book was much more along the lines of Frankenstein or what I think Dracula would be like, with the creepy evil guy and the twist making you look over your shoulder. When my kids were little we took my daughter on the haunted house ride at Disneyland. It scared her to death and she was convinced the ghost followed her home; I’m going to be looking over my shoulder for vampire for a while. That’s the sign of a good book.
I happily give this book 4 out of 5 clouds.
Books, Books, and More Books
(reviewed 50 days after purchase)
on May 23, 2012 :
“Listen to them - children of the night. What music they make.” - Bram Stoker, Dracula
in Drisdak, the city on the Sea of Sorrows, the disappearance of Guild Master Arcalian and a mysterious fire in the Mages' Guild House prompts Councilman Regecon to hire a bounty hunter, a rogue and a warrior to investigate and solve the enigma. the quest for answers brings these three men to confront an ancient, evil and powerful enemy - the vampire Lucian val Drasmyr.
author Matthew D. Ryan's novel is a refreshing take on the Dracula legend and is set in a world inhabited by humans and supernatural creatures.
i was very impressed with this dark literary fantasy. it is filled with heart-stopping scenes and a storyline that engages the reader from the first page to the last. the prose is also excellent and i never had a dull moment as the story progressed.
i highly recommend this book which i devoured in one sitting. it has enough magic, mystery and adventure combined to provide chills and thrills for lovers of fantasy and vampire stories.
(reviewed 47 days after purchase)
on March 26, 2012 :
This book was a fun read. The characters are well written and are multidimensional. At the start the story can be a little word heavy, but keep going. It get's better and will keep you "turning the page". Fantasy mixed with horror in a really awesome way. And for those who are looking for sparkly vamps look elsewhere... Great read!
(reviewed 34 days after purchase)