Thursday, June 30, 2016

ARC Review: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

The Waking Fire
Author: Anthony Ryan
Series: The Draconis Memoria (Book 1)
Publication: Ace (July 5, 2016)

Description: 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.

My Thoughts: This volume begins an epic fantasy series. We follow three main viewpoint characters - Lisanne Lethbridge, Claydon Torcreek, and Corrick Hilemore.

Lisanne is a spy for the the Ironship Syndicate. She is a blood-blessed who is able to use the blood harvested from drakes to enhance her speed and healing, shoot fire, have visions, and stop objects in motion. She is set on a mission by her director to locate a mythical white drake. She spies on the scholar who has been searching for it for a lifetime and befriends his young daughter.

Claydon is an unregistered blood-blessed who is a thief in the poorest part of Carvenport. He is drafted by Lisanne's boss Lodima Bondersil to go with an expedition headed by his uncle to find this mythical white drake.

Corrick begins as a Second Lieutenant on the IPV Viable Opportunity but soon finds himself in command when war breaks out between the Protecorate and the Corvantine Empire. An even bigger problem occurs when the various colors of drakes all seem to be becoming more aggressive and determined to wipe the humans off the continent and perhaps the whole world.

This fantasy has a richly built world. I loved the idea of the drakes of red, green, blue and black who are hunted and harvested for their blood. I also thought the hunt which spanned a good part of the continent where the drakes lived was fascinating. The characters were complex and engaging. The action was truly epic.

I am eager to read the next book in this series because I have a number of unanswered questions.

Favorite Quote:
The Ironship Syndicate had made itself perhaps the most powerful organization in the world on the basis of innovation, but in the process had burdened itself with and ever-more-complex and extensive bureaucracy and a Board given to tortuous deliberation. The Corvantines has no Board, they had the Emperor. Scion of an erratic and often corrupt line he may have been, but apparently possessed of sufficient wit and singular vision to at least put the corporate world on the back foot within a few days of launching his grand military gambit.
I got this eARC from NetGalley for review. You can buy your copy here.

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