Chris Parish

Book Review: The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan

TheWakingFireFor decades the lands of the Ironship Syndicate have been defended by the Blood-blessed – men and women able to channel the powers contained in the potent blood of wild drakes. Elite spies and assassins, their loyalty has established the Syndicate’s position as the greatest power in the known world.

Yet now a crisis looms. The drake bloodlines are weakening, and war with the Corvantine Empire seems inevitable. The Syndicate’s only hope of survival lies with the myth of a legendary drake, whose powerful blood might just turn the tide of the war – if it even exists.

The task of hunting down this fabled creature falls to Claydon Torcreek, a petty thief and unregistered Blood-blessed. He’s handled many valuable things in his time (most of them illegal) but nothing as priceless as his nation’s future.

The Waking Fire is a fantasy book set in a world split between the Empire and the Ironship Syndicate. Among the people a precious few are able to draw power from the blood of Drakes (a creature with striking similarities to Dragons, indeed the series is titled the Draconis Memoria or Dragon’s Memory)

This gives them abilities beyond the norm, such as telepathic communication, superhuman strength and speed, the ability to create fire and telekinesis. These people are called the Blood-blessed and they are the top spies, assasins and operators for the largest company group, the Ironship Syndicate.

However, they face a problem – the potency of the drake blood is reducing and drake bloodlines are getting weaker, and with war with the empire becoming inevitable they set out to find a mythical breed of drake which could well turn the tide. The story follows several arcs, the primary being the story of Claydon Torcreek, an unregistered Blood-blessed who is forced to work with the company tasked with tracking down this fabled creature.

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