Narrator: Steven Brand
Series: The Draconis Memoria #1
Published by Penguin Audio on 05 July 2016
Length: 22 hrs and 34 mins
Genres: Epic Fantasy
Source: Publisher, Submitted
The New York Times best-selling Raven's Shadow Trilogy was a perfect listen for "fans of broadscale epic fantasy along the lines of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire novels". Now Anthony Ryan begins a new saga, The Draconis Memoria....
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 neighboring 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.
©2016 Anthony Ryan (P)2016 Penguin Audio
ABR received this audiobook for free from the Publisher, Submitted in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect our opinion of the audiobook or the content of our review.Buy from Audible Buy from Amazon.com Audio SampleAdd to Goodreads
The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan is the first novel in the series called The Draconis Memoria. Dragons are a central part of this world. Their blood is needed by people who are blood-blessed – these people have the ability to consume dragon blood and use the powers that come from that blood. This blood and power are the financial lifeblood of this world on the brink of war. This novel follows three different characters’ points of views. Claydon Torcreek is a thief from the underworld, who happens to be an unregistered blood-blessed. Lizanne Lethridge is a spy and assassin for a company called the Ironship Trading Syndicate. And finally Corrick Hilemore is a naval officer on an Ironship warrior vessel. These three characters set off on different adventures for the Ironship Trading Syndicate. Hilemore is tied to this officer’s commands while Lizanne works with Clay to obtain the rarest of dragon blood. Each of these characters must deal with the consequences of their actions, especially as they navigate their interactions while on a brink of at least one war.
This is a long book, and unfortunately, it felt like it. While I liked the characters of Clay and Lizanne and their story lines, the novel still definitely dragged for me. Clay and Lizanne’s story lines did however tie in together that made it easy to see how everything fit together. Hilemore’s story was by far the slowest and that could be because there wasn’t an immediately clear tie in with Clay and Lizanne’s story, which made the switch between the different points of view challenging. The connections may become clearer and stronger as the story progresses through the next novels. The premise of the blood-blessed and the power in the dragon blood was definitely interesting and there was a cool steampunk aspect of the weaponry and developments. The end of the novel was exciting. It tied together a lot of loose ends while leave a lot of room for the story to continue. Overall, the story was well put together intellectually.
Unfortunately, at least partially, the narration by Steven Brand made this novel go extremely slowly. There was little voice inflection or changes and I had a difficult time distinguishing who was speaking. This is especially critical in a novel like this one where were at lot of characters and a lot of switching between points of view. I would recommend this novel to readers who like long fantasy novels that include dragons and are committed to a long series.
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