Book Review: “The Waking Fire” by Anthony Ryan
Series: The Draconis Memoria No. 1 Genre: Fantasy
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.
Want more book reviews? Check out my website at nikihawkes.com.