Title / The Empire of Ashes
Author / Anthony Ryan
Publication Date / 2018
Series or standalone / book 3 of 3
Page no. / 656
Overall Rating / ★★★★
This is the third and final book in Draconis Memoria trilogy. It continues shortly after the events of the second book, The Legion of Flame. Like the previous two books, it follows multiple perspective. I’ve been wanting to read this ever since it came out last year but I waited until it came out in paperback since I own the first two books in that format.
Since I loved the first two books in this trilogy, I had high hopes for this concluding instalment and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint. I will admit that it did take me a little while to get back into the flow of the story, but it had been over a year since I read the second book, which I probably should have reread. Fortunately after a couple of chapters, I found that I had settled back into the world and characters.
In terms of the plot, I enjoyed this concluding instalment. Ryan weaves a lot of politics into this book and while I personally enjoy this element, I think some may find these sections too long and maybe a little boring. I also thought that the final battle ends a little too easily after all of the build up and the pacing is a bit uneven at times. Having said that, I did really enjoy this book, but I wanted to mention these small issues so you guys are aware of them if you choose to check out this trilogy. I did really enjoy the plot of this book and felt that Ryan did a good job with this concluding instalment.
Once again one of my favourite things about this trilogy is the world and the magic system. Ryan continues to build on what we already know of the world and it was great to explore more of it in this book. The magic system uses the blood of drakes (dragons) as the source of a persons power. Drakes are different colours (White, Black, Red, Green and Blue) and each colour has a different power. For example when you ingest Green, it enhances your sight. My one issue with the magic system in this book is the overuse of Blue magic. Basically when you ingest Blue you enter a trance where you can communicate with other magic users or access memories. I did really enjoy this element of the system but I kind of felt that it was used a little too much in terms of going into the past. It was a little jarring to be in the present one minute and then to be in the past in the next. Overall though, I love the world and magic system of this book.
Lastly, while I do think the characters are well written and they have good development, I wasn’t as invested in them as much as I wanted to be. There are a lot of characters to keep track of so I found myself caring mostly about a select few, instead of all of them. I would therefore say that this is perhaps more plot driven, then character driven, which may be something to be aware of going into this trilogy. Personally, I found Clay’s and Lizanne’s chapters the most compelling. As this is a multiple perspective story, we get a wider view of the events of the book from different points of view. I felt that Ryan did a good job at maintaining the flow of the story throughout and I didn’t find the switches in perspective jarring.
Overall this was a fantastic conclusion to this trilogy and I would highly recommend starting it if you haven’t already. If you enjoy epic fantasy mixed with steampunk, then you should definitely check it out. Have you guys read this book? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.