The Waking Fire : Draconis Memoria

  • by Anthony Ryan
  • Narrated by Steven Brand
  • Series: Draconis Memoria
  • 22 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The new star of British fantasy returns with The Waking Fire, book one of the Draconis Memoria series, a thrilling new epic fantasy of exploration and adventure, spies and assassins, explosive magic and the battle for empire.
For 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.

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What the Critics Say

"A major new talent." (Buzzfeed)
"Anthony Ryan is a master storyteller." (Mark Lawrence)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Everything but the Kitchen Sink!

Oh my, every so often you come across a story where the author has literally thrown everything bar the kitchen sink at it. This is one of those, a steampunk world “blessed” with super heroes powered by dragon blood and of course the dragons themselves. Lots and lots of dragons! It’s a heady mix set in a world of rich detail and history which also manages to squeeze in contemporary “evils” such as corporate greed and in a sense globalisation.

The story is told through the three leading characters:-

A super spy; hints of a fantasy born of Ian Fleming’s works with a highly trained agent / assassin complete with gadgets and a “Q” figure to boot.

A rogue born of a rough background, someone used to living in the shadows who in fine fantasy tradition is lifted up to go on an almost Indian Jones like quest.

A fine, upstanding sea officer who is our conduit to the book’s naval parts and shipborne adventures.

Through these three varied leads Ryan sweeps us through the bright and varied world he has created with espionage, sea battles, land battles, pirates and of course lots and lots of dragon combat. I think it’s fair to use the work “epic” here.

Is it perfect? Well no, I think that would be pushing it. Stephen Brand would not be my first choice of narrator. He does a good enough job but for a book with this variety of pace, character and scene I think he is a bit one-dimensional compared to some of the very best. I do admire anyone that can narrate through so much material to be fair but someone with a wider variety of character voices and greater ability to change pace would have been welcome. Also, as a story there are some fairly contrived rescues for characters. This is nothing unusual but it did seem to stand out a couple of times for me.

So, this isn’t say as gritty and doesn’t have the “real” feel of say a Brandon Sanderson but it is great fun, varied and full of action. Especially in the second half. There are a good set of characters to get to know and a detailed world to discover. I was very happy with it and I think it is set up to continue in the same vein. The question to ask at this point is can the author keep it up in the follow-up books having thrown quite so much into this one?

I hope so and I will be finding out!
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- Simon "A man with a child in his ears - @shutterspin."

A good story, well written and narrated.

fun story, likeable, believable characters. good narrator. if you enjoyed Ryan's Blood Song series you will enjoy this. looking forward to book 2.
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- Sam Barker

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-07-2016
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK