review of Matt Ruff’s novel The Destroyer of Worlds

For the purpose of setting a grim and creepy mood, the prologue of this book could not be more perfect: preparing to escape, a slave kills his master’s hounds one by one, steeling himself for each act of violence by recalling the cruel murders of his family members.

The novel couldn’t really hope to maintain this tone of horror throughout, since the first entry in the series already trained us to expect happy endings. But it’s still a gripping read from beginning to end, and I’m looking forward to more sequels.

Ruff discusses a pretty fascinating legend about a “third lost colony of Roanoke”, aka Albemarle, a refuge from racism and oppression near the Great Dismal Swamp. He cites Hidden Americans: Maroons of Virginia and the Carolinas.