The story takes place in the city of Drisdak, and centers on the mages’ guild there. Lucien Val Drasmyr is a 1000 year old vampire and is the main antagonist in this tale. He has made an unwise acquaintance with Arcalian, an evil mage and guild master who wants a magic scepter that Lucien guards. He sends 2 apprentices to get it – one dies and one (Clarissa) is turned into Lucien’s bride. Lucien kills Arcalian in the mage’s own domain and takes the body with him while the study burns behind him.
Regecon, a Mage of noble decent, formerly a councilman and newly made Guild Master has to find out what really happened in Arcalian’s study. He is assisted by Toreg, an arrogant mage, Morcallenon, the head diviner and Ambrisia, a sorceress of earthcraft who is also Regecon’s closest confidant.
Coragan is a bounty hunter hired to find Arcalian if he lives. He is not happy in his profession, feeling more like an assassin for the nobility than a bringer of justice. He feels like he is always cleaning up after his two mates. Coragan has had only bad experiences while working for both mages and noblemen, and does not see that improving.
Galladrin is a rogue. He was once a thief, is a weapons-master and is a reluctant follower, preferring to lead. This story is ostensibly about Coragan but seems to be told from Galladrin’s perspective more often than anyone else’s, although the POV changes frequently during the course of the narrative.
Borak is barbarian warrior, strong, silent, and the only one of the three with any brains, but does not speak often.
While the three men are sifting through the ashes of the fire that had consumed Arcalian’s study they come across a special jar that remains untouched by the fire.
Korina, a student and apprentice of Ambrisia, knows what the mysterious jar is. Korina is possessed of many secrets, all of them evil. She hides her evil under a mask of innocence well, and joins in the fight against Lucien for reasons of her own.
Galladrin is somewhat of a loose cannon and his inadvertent encounter with Clarissa bring them to Lucien’s attention.
The mystery deepens and then the adventures really begin. This is a rather grisly book, and I really don’t recommend it if you have a distaste for graphic violence. People die regularly and gruesomely. Despite the violence, the plot moves along well and kept my attention.
The story frequently alternates point of view between Lucien whose story is told in the first person, and each of the other characters parts of the story, all of whose stories are told in the third person. The point of view jumps all over the place, but still the story is intriguing and immersive.
The system of sorcery is logical and makes sense; the characters are well drawn and engaging. It is very easy to visualize the environment of Drisdak. I was quite engrossed in the world that Ryan builds.
Drasmyr is only available through Smashwords, and the only way I was able to read it was on my Kindle for PC app as it would not upload to my Kindle. Nevertheless, I recommend this as a great rainy-day read.