“The Waking Fire” by Anthony Ryan was a delightful surprise to me, as I had not read any stories by this author before yet was intrigued by his blurb. I love stories that unfold gradually and keep me wondering about the world and the author did a great job of whetting my curiosity with the initial report that contrasts such horrific details with the clinical detachment of technical recounting to a superior. The shift to another venue and the circuitous path that starts tying characters together as the basis for the society on a particular planet is revealed kept me enthralled even as the action shifted from site to site. Those who love sea battles will undoubtedly appreciate the details of those engagements while readers who appreciate quest tales will be entertained by the disparate individuals who undertake a seemingly hopeless task that requires courage, marksmanship, and ingenuity.
The story is told from several points of view, and the deft weaving of a tale that joins all of those who are narrating kept me fascinated with this world. This is the first book of the series, so naturally there are still multiple dangling threads at the conclusion but I loved the twists and turns that both surprised me and made me unwillingly cheer for ruthless and pragmatic characters who managed to achieve remarkable accomplishments. I confess to being a bit puzzled about the reproductive process of the creatures who form the basis for this particular society but I look forward to finding out what other unexpected revelations will emerge from this talented author’s subsequent stories.
This fantasy story is the initial volume in the ‘Draconis Memoria’ series and centers around an upheaval in a society that depends heavily on the harvesting of creatures who have inexplicably began to change their behavior. A life-changing event for a young man, Clay, requires that he make difficult decisions to embrace a power that may prove to be more than he can handle and forces him into situations that remind him it is virtually impossible to distinguish friend from foe when significant power and wealth is at stake. His unexpected relationships with diametrically opposed individuals may propel him into stratospheric heights…or kill him.
The New York Times bestselling Raven’s Shadow Trilogy was a perfect read for “fans of broadscale epic fantasy along the lines of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and George R. R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire novels.”* Now, Anthony Ryan begins a new saga, The Draconis Memoria...
Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Trading Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from captive or hunted Reds, Greens, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that bestow fearsome powers on the rare men and women known as the Blood-blessed.
But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighbouring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly. The Syndicate’s last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it.
Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered Blood-blessed who finds himself pressed into service by the Protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted lands in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an Ironship cruiser whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.
As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war, or drown in its wake.