Anyone who knows me may think this post title refers to my thoughts regarding spiders, but I went with something far less drastic this time. I recently reviewed The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan, the first book of his The Draconis Memoria series. I didn’t find the second book, The Legion of Flame, to be quite as interesting as the first, but I still ran right through it in about three days. I had to know what was going to happen!
For centuries, the vast Ironship Trading Syndicate relied on drake blood—and the extraordinary powers it confers to those known as the Blood-blessed—to fuel and protect its empire. But now, a fearsome power has arisen—a drake so mighty that the world will tremble before it.
Rogue Blood-blessed Claydon Torcreek, Syndicate agent Lizanne Lethridge, and ironship captain Corrick Hilemore embark upon perilous quests to chase down clues that offer faint hopes of salvation. As the world burns around them, and the fires of revolution are ignited, these few are the last hope for the empire and for all of civilization.
This one picks up right where the last one left off, with humanity threatened by the newly risen white drake. Our three POV characters are joined by a fourth, and as to avoid spoilers, I’ll just say his POV is definitely from a different vantage point. He’s the least likable, though for obvious reasons.
Meanwhile, Claydon and Captain Hilemore team up and head south, seeking answers. Lizanne embarks on another dangerous mission to secure an important resource. And the White goes on a really destructive rampage, leaving no doubt as to who is the real bad guy. I found all of the characters more sympathetic in this installation, including all the new people we meet along the way.
I had a harder time getting into some of the settings. They were no doubt vast, complex, interesting, and important. They were just harder to visualize in space for me, making it somewhat more difficult to follow the action. The action was still great and I got over it though, enjoying the ride in the process. When I care about the characters so much, these things matter less.
Overall I thought this was a great novel, and a fantastic second book for the series. I’m looking forward to the third book, which the author announced will arrive July 3rd and is titled The Empire of Ashes. Make sure you’re ready by reading the first two!
Questions for You!
Have you read this book? What did you think?
Have you read the Raven’s Shadow series?
What book(s) should I read next?