Title / The Legion of Flame
Author / Anthony Ryan
Publication Date / 2017
Overall Star Rating / ★★★★
Goodreads synopsis: 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 civilisation.
This is the second book in the Draconis Memoria series (the first being The Waking Fire) and it was one of my most anticipated book release of 2017. I am pleased to report that this is just as good as the first, possibly even better. I have to admit I did take me a little while to get into the flow of things again, but I think I should have reread the first book to refresh my memory. Having said that it’s so easy to get into these books. This series is set in a world inhabited by humans, drakes (dragons) and Blood Blessed, who take power from the blood of the drakes. Each type of dragon (Red, Blue, Green and Black) gives the drinker different powers. The magic system is such an interesting and unique one. One of my favourite things about these books is the world. I have to admit that I felt there were a few things were missing from the world building in book 1 (specifically about the white drake) but I love how the world was expanded upon on this sequel – we get some more history about this world and so there is a better understanding of everything that’s going on. Speaking of everything that’s going on, the plot is fantastic. It picks up pretty much straight after the events of the first book and throws you straight back into the action packed story. I love where the plot goes in this book. There were multiple times where I stayed up quite late reading this because I just needed to know what was going to happen next. Ryan does a wonderful job of weaving together the plot and character arcs, and the pacing of it is also done so well. I think at times the first book felt very much like a set up book but with this book it has very much settled into the flow of the story and the characters.
The characters in this book are fantastic. For me characters and their development is such an important element of books and so I am glad to say that it is really well done so far in this series. We get to continue on with some familiar characters from the first book but we also get to meet new ones too. Although it does have multiple perspective we mainly follow three characters – Claydon Torcreek, Lizanne Lethridge and Captain Corrick Hilemore. Each has a distinctive voice, are well written and fantastic character arcs. I definitely found Corrick’s perspective a little less engaging but I did still really enjoy his chapters. These books seriously have an amazing cast of characters. The addition of the perspective close to the White drake added so much to the tension (and creepiness) of the book. It reminded us of the stakes the characters are going against. I will say there are a couple of times where I felt it was a little drawn out. Personally I didn’t have an issue with this, but it is perhaps something to be aware of. Generally I found that even if it dragged a little the writing and the world building pulled it through. The writing itself is great and as mentioned so easy to get into. Basically if you can’t tell already I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I think it expanded on the first book so well and the ending makes me so excited for the next book. Before I finish this review, I wanted to mention the steampunk elements of this series. I haven’t read a lot of steampunk books but I really enjoy how it is incorporated in these books. If you are a fan of steampunk, then I would definitely check this one out.
Overall this is a fantastic sequel that really expands on the characters and world of the first book. As I mentioned it is perhaps a little drawn out at times, but I was hooked from very early on. I think this is going to be a trilogy, which means this series will be concluded in the next book, but I’m not completely sure that is the case. Either way I am very excited for the next book, although a little sad about the wait. I would highly recommend checking this series out, especially if you are a fan of fantasy and dragons/drakes. Quick side not before I go, I love the UK covers for this series! Have you guys read the first book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.