The Waking Fire is set in a vibrant new world where the blood of drakes—creatures similar to dragons—is valued beyond reckoning, and can be distilled into elixirs that grant fearsome powers to those who are “blood-blessed.” The novel follows an unregistered blood-blessed as he searches for an elusive variety of drake so potent, its capture would mean unrivalled riches; the second in command of a blood-burning ironclad ship; and a young woman in a lifelong contract to a trading syndicate, whose espionage mission places her on the front lines of a newly declared war. As empires clash and arcane mysteries reveal themselves, these characters are tested again and again and soon discover that the fate of the world rests on their shoulders.
The Draconis Memoria is a remarkable new epic fantasy series with steampunk flavor, full of the phenomenal worldbuilding and non-stop action that have gained Anthony Ryan a global fan base.
(Copied from Goodreads)
It is no secret that Anthony Ryan is my favorite author. In fact, I’m pretty sure even he knows that (yay, Twitter). His Raven’s Shadow trilogy is the best fantasy series I’ve read to date. So, when this book came up on NetGalley, I jumped on it. I was mildly heartbroken when I didn’t receive a copy and posted about it on Twitter. A few weeks later, this lovely thing came in the mail.
I literally squeed and danced around my living room when he said he would send me a copy! Now, let’s end the fangirling adventure and get to the review.
This book is part Indiana Jones, part Pirates of the Caribbean. Add some drakes and you have all elements of this novel.
There is no one better than Anthony Ryan at setting a scene. He paints his landscapes expertly. I have read a few other authors (who shall remain nameless) that take their description way too far. So much so, that I completely lose interest. Examples could be given, but that is not necessary. Ryan’s descriptions are always deliberate. They set the tone, the pacing, and they allow the reader to be immersed, rather than overwhelmed. My favorite examples, within this novel, are the naval battles. I feel as if I am in the midst of the action.
I think my favorite part of this novel is how the characters all fell together in the end. I won’t give any spoilers, just know, you will be satisfied with how it ends. I love a good cliffhanger, but some writers just leave you going “what?!?”
Another thing I loved was Anthony Ryan’s presentation of a strong female character. I have read many male writers who fall short in their female leads. Ryan has never let me down on this front. While Lizanne may not be the main character, she is still an integral part. She is still emotionally driven but she doesn’t let it control her every move.
I have recommended this and “Blood Song” to some many people that I have truly lost count.
“Caution favours no-one in battle,”
― Anthony Ryan,
“A White breathing fire on a group of Spoiled kneeling in obvious supplication. An egg bathed in fire and cracking open to reveal the screaming infant Black inside, the flames fading to reveal an old man in a robe staring down at the fledgling drake with the expression of a proud father.”
― Anthony Ryan,
“True change has never been bloodless.”
― Anthony Ryan,
Blood Song – Anthony Ryan
Age of Myth – Michael J. Sullivan
The Way of Kings – Brandon Sanderson
The Warden Man – Peter V. Brett