At the forefront of Matthews’s second book in his Riven Realm series is a deadly attack on the small hamlet of Timberford. Carvesh Tarne is hiding his true identity from the rest of the town, but it might come out as he needs to use the skills and abilities from his past to fight off the Shadowbeasts. Striking at night with no mercy, the townspeople have to come together to stop this threat… his brother-in-law Caleb (who we know from book one) flies in on a strange vessel to deliver bad news, but he may be able to help in the defense of the town.
‘You fight steel with steel. But you fight the shadow with light – or by learning to see in the darkness.’
Matthews continues his style of shifting the focus to other narrative threads in the overall arc. Tiberius the blind sage is thick in his detection of a series of murders. And there’s two underground jobs out there that may surface in the long run… a thief hired to procure a “little bauble” and a group of assassins who are out for political mayhem.
‘The more connections that reveal themselves, the more difficult it was becoming to cling to the explanation of coincidence.’
A great continuation of the stories in The First of Shadows. They are not directly connected at first, but there is a sophistication in the dovetailing of the narratives. The descriptions of the beasts and the awful fighting are palpable in their gore and point of view. And there were several minor characters that Matthews takes the time to flesh out just enough to create the reader’s buy-in. It’s most important in text of this length.
My review of the first book (The First of Shadows) was glowing and I can only add to that praise in this follow up. The third book will be released in only a couple weeks, so get on this series now!