Book Review: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

Title: The Waking Fire

Author: Anthony Ryan

Series: The Draconis Memoria #1

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5/5 stars!

The Overview: The Waking Fire is set in a vibrant new world where the blood of drakes—creatures similar to dragons—is valued beyond reckoning, and can be distilled into elixirs that grant fearsome powers to those who are “blood-blessed.” The novel follows an unregistered blood-blessed as he searches for an elusive variety of drake so potent, its capture would mean unrivalled riches; the second in command of a blood-burning ironclad ship; and a young woman in a lifelong contract to a trading syndicate, whose espionage mission places her on the front lines of a newly declared war. As empires clash and arcane mysteries reveal themselves, these characters are tested again and again and soon discover that the fate of the world rests on their shoulders. -Goodreads

The Review: 

Have you ever read a book that felt like it was written just for you? That’s how The Waking Fire made me feel. It had everything I love in fantasy novels and then some. And it was also one of the best dragon books I’ve ever read – nice!

The Waking Fire was a cool merge of dragon-centric high fantasy and 1920s era steampunk. It was filled with an abundance of exotic settings – everything from the high seas to ancient ruins deep in the jungle. It took a while before dragons really became the champions of the story, but they were definitely integral to the plot from the very beginning. The entire novel revolves around dragon blood and how each type can provide magical properties to a handful of gifted humans. It read very much like Sanderson’s Mistborn saga (where metals provide these properties rather than dragon blood), which is why I think fans of that series would most definitely enjoyed this one (and vice versa).

The Waking Fire is a multiple POV story, and I’d have a hard time telling you which perspective I enjoyed the most – they were all good! One thing I’ve always appreciated about Ryan’s work is that his female characters are always strong harbingers of change equal to his male characters. I wouldn’t say I found any of the women in The Waking Fire particularly relatable, but they were all equally kickass and interesting.

This book is one amazing armchair adventure that will give you one surprise after another. There were many passages I reread because the content was so dang cool, especially near the end. This book will punch you in the gut the entire way through and make you love every moment.

Overall, with the combination of dragons, exotic settings, amazing characters, great writing, and surprising plot, The Waking Fire is officially one of my new favorite books. I highly recommend it to fantasy fans, especially if you loved Blood Song – the first book in Ryan’s Raven’s Shadow Trilogy.

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by Niki Hawkes


15 comments on “Book Review: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

  1. That sounds like Sanderson & the Rain Wilds in one :) I will definitely put it on my list. I liked ‘Blood Song’ but didn’t want to continue as the main character’s story was over for me^^ I didn’t even know that the author already started a new series,

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is exactly how it read – can it get any better than that LOL? Even though I mostly enjoyed the last two Ravens Shadow books, I have a hard time encouraging people to continue on because it definitely goes off in a different direction. That said, I don’t believe we’ll have the same issues with this series – I liked the first book even more than blood song. :-)

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Yuss, it’s so great to find a book “written for you”! And this one does sound pretty cool. I’m a sucker for exotic settings, especially if they involve ruins…something to do with all the Indiana Jones in my childhood, haha. Wow, I see that it’s almost 600 pages! It might be a while before I can pick this one up, but you totally sold me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It is way cool – one of my favorites I’ve read in the last five years. And you will definitely get at least a couple Indiana Jones feels ha ha. I can’t wait for you to read it eventually – I think you’ll love it!

      Liked by 2 people

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