's review
Jan 02, 12

5 of 5 stars false
bookshelves: 2011-read, 2011_5-stars, different-and-strange, fantasy_myths, fantasy_adventure_worldbuilding, magic_wide-range
Read from December 30 to 31, 2011

Leaves of Dusk is the conclusion to Exiled Son. The two part series doesn’t have a name but neither book is a stand-alone.
There are so many great things about this dark fantasy that I struggle to find the right words. So I will break it down by what impressed me most.

A war is coming and the odds are not in favor of the good guys. The impossible struggle these characters faced to save their world is epic in and of itself. A dark force has risen to settle a score between long dead and forgotten gods. There is corruption in the land and the heart of the ruling class. The people suffer in fear rather free or surviving enslavement. There is a prophecy that the Exiled Son will be the key to saving the world while wielding a magical sword.

An epic journey requires epic world-building. The trick is doing it like the master pieces – Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones. Suffice to say, Exiled Son and Leaves of Dusk holds its own. I was awed by each forest, desert, cave, city, and stream. The people and creatures that lived beside them were so distinctive and original. I especially found Leaves of Dusk to be the stronger of the two as far as world-building based on the fact that the main characters spilt up thus expanding the scenes.

The main hero is Tallic Shawen if you look at it from the perspective of the first book and the prophecy. At least I did until Leaves of Dusk. In this final installment, the supporting cast of characters expanded with new heroes and gave much more dimension to those already introduced. A few must be mentioned such as Santeris, VonWhitager, Pestileras, and Iolore. There were a couple of non-human heros that won my respect as well – Steedwing and Spiritlit were flying reptiles/small dragons called Atrecans that saved the day more times than I can count. The Meagers were a race of short men that that spoke like pirates and had fingers that were just as sticky. They grew on me and I found their part in the journey gave me some needed comedy relief. I am just mentioning a few to provide a sense of the size of the cast and emphasis the need for many heroes to battle the SagreLin, an enemy I wouldn’t wish on any world. The SagreLin were pure evil and damn near indestructible.

I am very happy with myself for sticking with this series and reading Leaves of Dusk. I was going to skip it because I didn’t know it was already published. I was worried I would not remember all the characters from Exiled Son. I was also worried that I would not receive any reward after over 1000 or more pages. I wanted my payoff in an HEA. Well, I got the payoff and as I expected, the price was very high and was paid in ways I would never have foreseen. Going forward, this series will become part of the template I use to frame my definition of great fantasy. I feel absolutely comfortable putting this one on the same shelf as Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of the Necromancer, and the Warded Man. I recommend this series to lovers of epic fantasy who enjoy a large cast of characters, changing perspectives, and plenty of bloodshed. It’s not a pretty war when the time comes and it’s not a quick chapter trip in and out but it’s well worth every painful moment. I could give this no less than 5 stars because it was exceptional in every way that counts.
This one was a mix for me at first but I am rethinking my initial review. I loved the underlying story and the richness of the characters, especially the characters. The Exiled Son was so much more than I expected. I am actually going to change my rating to five stars because it is and I am not as pissed over the cliffhanger. Yes, I am petty at times but will admit when I am wrong. This is the first time I have ever changed a rating but I wanted to do the right thing.

The plot was creative and filled with aspects of fantasy that I love such as worldbuilding, epic journeys, legends come to life, large scale battles, and friendship. The imperfections where not of the writer's making but my own personal taste. I did not like the heroine, for example. Some of the magic was too convenient, making and breaking heros as the story required versus what should have happened based on the parameters of the magic.

The story is edited quite well so I did not find myself slogging through long-winded scenes. Mr. White was very efficient in moving the story along at a comfortable pace while taking time to build this unusual world.

I hate cliffhangers even when I know they are coming. I thought I was going to skip the next one but have changed my mind since it's out and the characters are now in my blood. I knew I had to change my rating from 4 to 5 stars because of the fact that I can't stop thinking about this story. I highly recommend this book to those who love a little steampunk mixed in with major sword play in their dark fantasy.

¿Knights ¿ Dragons ¿ Beasts, Oh My!¿

¿The Leaves of Dusk¿ is the second of a two-part epic fantasy adventure by author, Mattius C. S. White ¿ author of ¿The Exiled Son¿. The journey continues as Tallic, the son of Lasech, continues his father¿s quest to destroy evil and retain a balance of peace across the land.

Tallic and Dirlan struggle but lose their battle with the SangreLin army and are taken captive. We enter the collapsed entrance of the cave where we find his allies ¿ the band of the Forghonyi, Santeris, Von Whitager, Shad, and the love of his life, Iolore, bloodied and bruised. Von Whitager takes the torch and leads them down into the deep cave in search of Tallic and Iolore¿s infant son where he laid in the grips of the beast ¿ a beast capable of not only taking life but restoring it as well. Iolore stood looking upon the beast who had given life back to her precious infant son and listened as he muttered his last words, ¿In the autumn of this green world, leaves always show their brightest colors at the dusk of summer, when they are faced with the darkness of approaching winter. The leaves of this world are falling. Let your colors shine bright and true in these dark hours, my friends, the Leaves of Dusk.¿

While captive, Tallic has a wonderful vision of a past he had not lived, one without war and prejudice. However, he is quickly awakened by Dirlan¿s deathly screams. Tallic glared up at his captor, Clybanus, as he held his wounded friend in his arms. Beat and broken, Tallic does not waver in the fact that his destiny must be fulfilled, but he mourns at the thought of ¿ at whose expense.

Will Tallic be able to save himself and Dirlan from the band of evil tyrants? Will he be united with his love, Iolore, and their young infant? Will the band of Forghonyi cease to exist at the hands of wicked and vile beasts? Will those oppressed by the old SangreLin ever be freed?

Author, Mattius C. S. White, has managed to fulfill his reader¿s thirst for the utmost fantasy adventure in a magical realm full of colorful, descriptive, and unique characters. I feel I should apologize for not mentioning all of the essential characters in this well-rounded tale, as they are many, and each play a fundamental role. I can truly say that I have never read a fantasy saga that had such intensity ¿ one with a pivotal underlying message as such. Mr. White knows his genre and draws on his imagination to create a magnificent piece of literature ¿ and magnificent it is.

In conclusion, I give ¿The Leaves of Dusk¿ five stars for its uniqueness, well-defined characters and just all around joy to read.

Review by Barbara Watkins
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read April 30, 2012
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
Having enjoyed The Exiled Son so much, I bought the Kindle version of The Leaves of Dusk without hesitation and am pleased that I did. Leaves of Dusk is a wonderful follow-up to The Exiled Son taking the reader deeper into the characters and the world they live in. Mr. White's writing style is easy to read and incredibly descriptive. His word choices are spot-on. At no point was I left with a gapping plot flaw or hole in the character development. Mr. White is seemless in his descriptions and action - unlike so many books where entire chapters are lost to description. I am anxious to learn more about Tallic and his comrades in arms. Thanks, Matt White, for a great read!

5.0 out of 5 stars White's Mastery Continues January 8, 2012
By Bijou
Format:Paperback|Amazon Verified Purchase
I enjoyed The Exiled Son so much that it was a no-brainer for me to continue on and read more adventures at hand (no pun intended) from this exciting new author! He has an uncanny ability to put forth his own unique touch, while at the same time sticking with some core themes that permeate much of the fantasy world. His works are the first I've read of this genre (quite frankly, I didn't think I'd be all that interested), but thanks to the enjoyment I've received after reading The Leaves of Dusk (and The Exiled Son), I've since read several other fantasy novels. I've come to find that I rather enjoy the "escape" they bring me. I can honestly say, White's works have been so enjoyable for me that I've read them twice. The second time through enhanced the adventure all that much more. I've come to really grasp the characters and appreciate all the effort this author has put into his magnificent creations! These reads are well worth your time.

5.0 out of 5 stars EPIC NOVEL! May 19, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
The second book of the series The Immortal Veil, titled "The Leaves of Dusk," redefines the word EPIC. The first part, "The Exiled Son," introduces the reader to the characters, and gets the reader attached to each and every man, woman, and creature through side stories and plot lines. Then, in Part 2, White takes the reader's favorite characters and begins to systematically abuse them, breaking them down emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I found myself actually vocalizing while I was reading, "He better not actually be dead! He better make some miraculous recovery!" White pushes the characters to the edge, and in doing so pushes the reader to the edge as well. Then, when it couldn't possibly get more epic, "The Leaves of Dusk" climaxes with the most intense and moving battle I have ever come across. Don't make the mistake and stop reading after Part 1. Instead, dive into "The Leaves of Dusk," Part 2 (I promise you won't regret it!) If you don't read the second half (now that would be regrettable!), you will be missing out on a rich and rare experience that comes only with reading the most epic novel ever written.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Exiled Son: an unexpected jewel, April 13, 2012
This review is from: The Exiled Son (The Immortal Veil) (Kindle Edition)
The Exiled Son is the first half of a two-part novel. I was blown away when I learned that this is the author's first published work. I could not put the book down after I read the first chapter. The writing style is seamless and smooth, and the story is like a steam engine, the wheels are always churning and pushing forward. I am used to books having "troughs"--long-winded chapters that seem to be necessary setup for a climax later in the novel. As I turned page after page, I kept expecting to come to one of these low points. But there are none. The introduction of characters and description of locations and background information are woven into the sequence of events so flawlessly that I did not realize that I was learning essential information about the characters. There were no chapters sacrificed to background information or location description, as is so often the case in other books I have read.
In addition to the author having a truly rare and fantastic grasp of language and timing, the novel is filled with actions and sequences I have never encountered before. The creativity is seemingly endless, in the characters, events, and action sequences. As I read, I found myself constantly amazed. I kept asking over and over again, how can he keep coming up with such incredible ideas? I have read many novels, and I come across repeating storylines and design all the time, but there are so many concepts that I have never encountered before in this novel. I was truly awed with each new page. It was like opening a treasure chest, and it kept me hungry to read more.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Exiled Son two thumbs up!, April 17, 2012
This review is from: The Exiled Son (Paperback)
I have read hundreds of fantasy novels and this one is up with my top 5 favorites. When I read books I can usually tell if I am going to like it in the first couple of pages. In this book I was able to do that, I could identify with the character and it was written in a way that it was able to take me inside the book. There is an outstanding flow to the story line that make you what to keep reading. I would recommend that you read this book, I enjoyed this book and will be looking out for more adventures. 
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a fan!, April 30, 2012
This review is from: The Exiled Son (Paperback)
I thoroughly enjoyed The Exiled Son. It is very rare that I will take the time to leave a review for a literary work. IMO, books are like fine art and the beauty or worth is in the eye of the beholder. To my thinking, that makes my opinion only so much babble to anyone else, but Matt White has a talent worth recommending.
The Exiled Son is well written. It is gramatically sound and the language is easy to read and follow without being juvenile. The author has a wonderful style for storytelling. Mr White's descriptions of both character and place are engaging and entertaining. They are thorough, appropriately likeable and entirely believable despite being fantasy. One needs only let the picture form in his mind to be transported into Tallic's world. Mr. White's timing and plot progression are remarkable: I didn't encounter a single "lull" where he was filling space to build to the next big thing. This mesmerizing flow made it difficult for me to set this story aside and I found myself reading well into the night despite early morning committments.
I wholeheartedly recommend The Exiled Son and can't wait to see what adventures Mr. White has in store for us. I am a fan for certain!
5.0 out of 5 stars Got me back into reading. I'm hooked!!, September 25, 2012
This review is from: The Exiled Son (Paperback)
I never really was that much into reading in the last few years proir to reading this authors books. After having the first book of this series recomend to me by a good friend, I thought I would give it a chance to get me back into reading. I was hooked after the first chapter, the author sucks you into the realm of his created world. Your imagination runs free with his descriptions of the different beasts and entities, and elaborate battles throughout the novels. Each characters emotions seem to become your own with each rise and fall of accomplishments and let downs. I found myself struggling to put the book down after finishing a chapter. I highly recomend this author and his books to anyone. I cant wait for the next book in this series and for his future writings.

5.0 out of 5 stars wow, November 7, 2012
This review is from: The Exiled Son (Paperback)
if your a fan of sci-fi/fantasy you will love this book, the characters really come to life and you really feel like you are there with them, i would highly recommend this book
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic hero mythos told from a refreshingly new perspective, July 18, 2011

This review is from: The Exiled Son (Paperback)
The book The Exiled Son excels at capturing a well balanced perspective of the internal and external forces surrounding our archetypal hero, Tallic, on his struggle for survival, self discovery, and salvation amidst an epic collision of opposing nations locked in strife. The writer captures the intimate struggle for redemption of the protagonist, and at the same time develops an epic scope of intrigue in the world in which he is resident - a world clamoring with a chaotic maelstrom of political unbalance. Also, the archetypal characters resonate on a primal and profound level, being reinvented in a fresh new mythology reminiscent of a young Tolkien. The author chooses not to simply cling to a preset standard of fantasy fiction, but aspires to develop his very own races, languages, and even a pantheon of deities to flesh out a lush and elaborate world. The Book is quite engaging from beginning to end, taking exciting detours in unique and unexpected directions. I eagerly await the next chapter in this engrossing and compelling adventure.

5.0 out of 5 stars an adventure from start to finish, July 14, 2011
i recommend this book to anyone who enjoys exploring life and its complexities through the eyes of a character in a world created from an imaginative author. his words paint a picture in your mind that transports you to a new place filled with passion and dilemma. i will be waiting for the following book for more hours of mind traveling adventure.

d.d. bellevue washington

5.0 out of 5 stars A MasterPiece, July 18, 2011
This review is from: The Exiled Son (Paperback)
The author pulls you in instantly with his detail and creativity. You can't deny his passion that permeates the entire story. I'm new to the fantasy world and didn't know what to expect; however, after reading The Exiled Son, I now want to read more fantasy novels. I look forward to more work from this author. He has an imagination of which I am envious. I love how his story touches on some realistic issues, yet at the same time, serves as a means by which one can escape the pressure and realities of life. The artwork is amazing, too. I think this author has a bright future ahead of him! Definitely check this book out.

5.0 out of 5 stars The Exiled Son, August 16, 2011
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: The Exiled Son (Paperback)
This is truly an amazing book... What makes it especially amazing is that this is a first book from a new author. The Exiled Son would make an incredible movie! Mattius CS White is eloquent and weaves an incredible tale that has left me wanting more! I can't wait for his next book. Cover art is beautiful and conveys just what our hero was feeling... Excellent book! For anyone who loves a great read, this is your book!

5.0 out of 5 stars "Medieval Adventure - Romance - Heroism Above and Beyond", July 4, 2011
This review is from: The Exiled Son (Paperback)
The first of a two-part epic fantasy adventure `The Exiled Son' takes the reader on a journey into a time when a ruthless leader, Yaernich, rules the SangreLin Dynasty with merciless dominance. Lasech, his older brother - meek and merciful is imprisoned to a life of torment and ridicule. Under Yaernich's control, Lasech becomes his brother's servant - expected to fulfill his brother's every wish and command. Paranoid, Yaernich unjustly accuses his brother of treason. Upon his brother's command, Lasech is detained to the corner of darkness in a dungeon to await his final punishment. It is there that Lasech encounters visions from beyond - spirits of his ancestors. The spirits divulge to him a near future in which Lasech's love of his life, Kiene, will give birth to their son, Tallic, who will carry on his father's quest for a peaceful humanity. They encourage him to be brave as the end comes for him, for his death will mark a new beginning for humankind.

Leading Lasech to the courtyard in the town square of SangreLin, several thousand followers wanting to see his blood shed throw rotten food, spitting and violently punching him as he passes by. Tied with leather straps to a pole, he endures hours of gruesome torture by the hands of the guards. Showing no fear and an abundance of courage, Lasech spit at the ground of his brother's feet. Pinned to the wooden pole, Yaernich fires the first of two arrows - lodging them deep into his brother's shoulder. The persecution proceeded when the guards led a horse directly behind him and stopped. Fastening the end of a chain to the horse, they took the other end engulfed with razors and inch long spikes, and wrapped it around the arrows connected to Lasech's shoulders. A cloaked figure emerged and lifted his hood. Lasech gasped with anguish as he recognized him as a former beloved student. Yaernich dropped his hand and the guard cracked the whip sending the horse into a gallop. Roaring applause could be heard from the crowd as Lasech's life drained from his tortured body.

The story moves forward to sixteen years later and introduces to the reader, Lasech's son, Tallic. Like his father, Tallic was courageous and heroic. However, he would soon face his own trial and tribulations. After saving the life of a young maiden in distress, he is taken into captivity. Threatening the life of his mother, he is made to fight to the death for his own life, as well as hers.

The reader takes a journey alongside Tallic, as he fights against beasts and evil men in a quest to abolish dictatorship.

The author's account of this era is quite astonishing as he utilizes a brilliant imagination in his writing. He creates a world so very different than we know, but at the same time - he incorporates the need we all have for equality and balance in our own lives, and the lives of others. I found this to be an extraordinary tale of fantasy mixed with an underlying absolute truth. Looking for a fresh new writer - Mattius C. S. White is your next upcoming new author in this genre!

Review by, Barbara Watkins - Allbooksreview