Legacy of the Brightwash by Krystle Matar – A Book Review

Legacy of the Brightwash


Follow the law and you’ll stay safe. But what if the law is wrong?
Tashué’s faith in the law is beginning to crack. Three years ago, he stood by when the Authority condemned Jason to the brutality of the Rift for non-compliance. When Tashué’s son refused to register as tainted, the laws had to be upheld. He’d never doubted his job as a Regulation Officer before, but three years of watching your son wither away can break down even the strongest convictions.

Then a dead girl washed up on the bank of the Brightwash, tattooed and mutilated. Where had she come from? Who would tattoo a child? Was it the same person who killed her? Why was he the only one who cared?

Will Tashué be able to stand against everything he thought he believed in to get the answers he’s looking for?

Author: Krystle Matar

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: 18/02/2021

Series: The Tainted Dominion #1

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 664

My Chosen Format: Kindle

My Rating of ‘The Legacy of the Brightwash’: 4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon


The blurb for this got me very excited. I love a good fantasy detective-style story and the idea of a grizzled, weary detective who no longer fully believes in the system he works for, hunting down the killers of a poor, mutilated child found washed up on the banks of the river just struck me as the kind of book I needed in my life.

Sadly, as far as fantasy detective type books go, there wasn’t much in the way of fantasy detective work for the bulk of it. The blurb made me think there would be a lot of focus on the dead girl and the case that surrounded her, but for the most part there just wasn’t. It was a huge plot point and everything that went on from start to finish was tentatively linked and threaded through that overlying dead child plot, but it didn’t feel like it at the time of reading. It felt like a book that was eighty-percent romance and political intrigue (two things I really don’t enjoy in books) and twenty-percent ‘what happened to the child’.

As I drew near the end of the book I realised the child plot line was cleverly worked in through the whole book. Even when Tashué didn’t appear to be looking into it, he was uncovering aspects that led back to it. So that was very well done and made the book feel like a very solid story throughout, a solid story that you appreciate more as you draw toward the end.

I do feel the lack of mention in the blurb to the heavy political intrigue and romance side of things spoiled my enjoyment (as I said, I really don’t enjoy those things). If I’m going to be reading a book with those things in, I like to know so I can go in prepared. I think that when I pick book two up I’ll enjoy it a lot more as I’ll be prepared for that kind of thing rather than just wondering why I am sitting through social functions rather than figuring out why there was a dead child in the river.

The writing was incredibly solid from start to finish, my only iffy complaint being that, occasionally, it does feel as though the author is padding it out by being a bit too overly-descriptive. I don’t need to know which two fingers are used to hold a cigarillo or strike a match etc … 

Legacy of the Brightwash, as you’d imagine from the blurb, is a very dark book. Any book that has mutilated children in the blurb isn’t going to be a rosy, happy go-lucky affair. Matar handles the grim darkness of her world very well and keeps us dark fantasy lovers on the edge of our seats wanting more. Her character work is another strong point, each character feeling like real people with depth rather than just names on a page that are just there. The work that went into them really made the world of the Tainted Dominion feel more complete and enjoyable to dip into.

I particularly liked the magic system used in this (tainted/talented individuals). I won’t say too much other than they are regulated and kept as semi-free slaves of the state. The pros and cons of having talent/being tainted are pretty cool and I just love the work Krystle has put into creating this particular magic system.

I look forward to seeing where Tashué’s misadventures land him next as we were left with quite a few big events in motion as book one drew to a close.

15 thoughts on “Legacy of the Brightwash by Krystle Matar – A Book Review

    1. The romancy political stuff was a bit jarring at the time, but everything ties in well near the end. I just wish there’d have been some mention of it in the blurb.

      I have forgotten everything about Equilibrium other than ‘I really enjoyed it when I watched it’ haha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was good🙂. I wish blurps would become better, these days i tend to just be put off by any book blurp. At least i know what i get with my Warhammer novels. Apart from a few here and there. Cadia stands comes to mind…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I’m only 33% into the book and so far it is exactly how you describe it. The first 7% was excellent, which is why I bought the ebook.
    I have been reading reviews just to keep me motivated, but it seems they’re reading a different book.
    I’m going to try to push through to the end, but now with new expectations. However, there is a good chance I will likely DNF this book (I really hate doing that).
    Thank you for your review

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know exactly how you feel. I hate DNFing a book. At least, in this case, if you were to do so, it’s more because the book you’re reading isn’t the book that was promised in the blurb. It’s not as bad in such circumstances.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was surprised to see you rated it so highly especially after you said it was 80% political intrigue and romance. Did the mystery make up for the rest, or did you actually enjoy the politics and romance in this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was honestly expecting a 3 star rating but then writing was excellent and the characters were all really well done. After I accepted the romance and politics the strong writing really carried it through.

      Anything less than a four would have been a disservice.


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