Title / The Waking Fire
Author / Anthony Ryan
Publication Date / 2016
Overall Star Rating / ★★★★
Goodreads synopsis: ‘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.’
*I received a digital copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*
This book was one of my most anticipated books of this year. I hadn’t read anything by the author before this book but I had been meaning to try out his Raven Shadow’s series for a while. When I saw the synopsis for this book, I was very much intrigued. I am going to try out my bullet point review again as it kind of helps me to collect my thoughts a bit – I hope that is OK with you all. Suffice to say, I really enjoyed this book.
Firstly the world building is fantastic – you can really tell that Anthony Ryan is a great writer. He has created this incredible and interesting world where there are ‘blood-blessed. People who can ingest the elixir created from drake’s blood to gain powers. There is alot of information throughout the book, but I never felt overwhelmed with the amount – it is all relevant and interesting.
The plot twists were sometimes quite predictable, but it was still enjoyable to watch it all unfold.
The magic system is an interesting one. It definitely gave me Mistborn vibes as it involves ingesting product to gain powers – in this series you ingest drake’s blood, in Mistborn you ingest metals. There are four types – Red, Blue, Green and Black, named after the colours of the drake and each give you different powers.
I really liked the distinction between the different types of dragons. Each colour has differences about them – whether it is the way they fight or live. I think I would have liked more about the drakes – I feel like there was more talk about drake’s blood, instead of the actual drakes, but considering it is only the first book in a series it was still good.
The book was equally split between 3 perspectives – Lizanne Lethbridge, Claydon Torcreek and Corrick Hilemore. Each perspective was engaging and I don’t think I could say which was my favourite. They were all enjoyable. Corrick Hilemore is a great character in himself, but his backdrop did drag in places for me, but overall all perspectives were engaging.
The characters are really well written. There are definitely some really intriguing characters and I can’t wait to find out more about them in the next books. I enjoyed the growth of each character throughout the book and the secondary characters were also well written.
The pacing is sometimes a bit slow and the plot did drag a little in places, but if you don’t mind a bit of slower pacing then this is definitely worth a read. Throughout the book I would say it had purposeful progress, so even when it is a slower pace there is still a stuff happening and it is still engaging to read.
I liked the elements of steampunk in this book – I haven’t read a whole load before but I thought it was really well done and I enjoyed it alot. I also really enjoyed the naval elements of the story.
It is a great piece of imagination. There is a lot going on but it never felt overwhelming and it never got boring. Yes the pacing it sometimes a bit slow but I don’t mind that.
The sections dealing with the myth of the White were some of the weaker bits for me. I just felt that it was abit drawn out, but I am interested to see how it all progresses.
So those are my thoughts on The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan. I really enjoyed this book and I will definitely be continuing on with this series – it wasn’t perfect but I think it is well worth a read. You will definitely being seeing book 2 on my most anticipated books of next year (2017). I highly recommend checking this new release out – especially if you are a fan of fantasy and/or dragons.
See you next time.