Fangirl Friday - The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan 

Thank you for writing The Waking Fire (Draconis Memoria #1) Anthony Ryan. When the opportunity came up to read this book with my Fantasy Buddy Reads mates, I had to give the book a go. Anthony Ryan has been on my radar for a couple of years, but I just kept pushing his work down my to be read pile. Why? I have no idea. It must have been moments of idiocracy. Because now I'm wishing I had been reading his work for years! Ryan has made me like fantasy steampunk and that's a hard sell. I thought steampunk and I just weren't meant to be buddies. Ryan proved how very wrong I was.

Let's check out after the jump why I thought this book was so fantastic. Spoiler free review.

Genre: Fantasy
Sub Genre: Steampunk

Book blurb from Goodreads, 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.


I guess I'm so use to multiple (I am slowly making my way through the Malazan series by Steven Erikson) or single point of view books that it was actually wonderful to read a book with only three point of views.  Our three central characters are Clay, Lizanne and Hilemore. It's was fun trying to predict how their lives would all intersect, if at all, after all this is book one of a the Draconis Memoria series. My favourite character out of the three was Clay, but only by a slim margin. His was the big adventure of the story off to search land barely touched by humans. Lizanne's story felt like one of revelation. Was the way she thought the world was the right way? Hilemore's story felt like a battle to stay alive, with plenty of adversity along the way.  Each was a gem of story in it's own way.

I need to wave a placard "Save the drakes." Drakes are used like humans tend to use resources. For their blood allows the blood-blessed to do extraordinary things, but only for a short amount of time. The blood-blessed are only a very, small fraction of the human population. There is price though and ultimately you can't help thinking at some point surely there will be a retaliation. You can't continually plunder a resource, when the resource is much bigger than you and it could be argued smarter. Ultimately you resource might just be put onto a path of revenge! Or there might just be some larger game as play and as the book concludes, you might just realise how little you know about the motivations of drakes.

The supply of product from the drakes has slowly been decreasing in quantity as breeding of drake's seems to decrease the potency of product. Is it only a matter of time before some solution is needed to locate a new source of product? To somehow capture more drakes. The hunt is on to find a new type of drake to see if it's mythical riches will answer the demand for product. It's up to our three heroes to see if they can save the day.  Along the way there will be betrayal, revelations and a expedition fraught with danger.

The novel in many ways reminded me of the colonial expansion in the late 18th and 19th century. Where companies tried to control resources for their company's best interests. The company's best interests is to make profit! The company is going to make profit at any cost. Whether that's human lives or drakes lives. There's a larger game afoot and it's up to Clay, Lizanne and perhaps one day Hilemore to discover what that game is.

This story was a thorough delight from start to finish. Fast paced and action packed, it's the kind of fantasy I like. Don't delay, give this book a go! The second book The Legions of Fire is due out 7th July 2017. 

Recommended for readers who love fantasy, steampunk and dragons.

Let me know below any great fantasy books you have discovered this year.


  1. Another complex, vivid, and engrossing story by Anthony Ryan. He somehow managed to combine steampunk, sci-fi, and dragons, but do it in a fresh way. His characters were thoughtfully and creatively developed, and the story was really, really exciting. Loved it!

    1. Great to hear you enjoy it as well. I thought it was a really great blend of genres as well. I'm really looking forward to The Legion of Flame.


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