The Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Throughout the vast
lands controlled by the Ironship Syndicate, nothing is more prized than
the blood of drakes. Harvested from the veins of captive or hunted Reds,
Green, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that give
fearsome powers to the rare men and women who have the ability harness
them—known as the blood-blessed.
But not many know the truth:
that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the
neighboring 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.
The Waking Fire is the first book I've read by Anthony Ryan and I must say that I really enjoyed it. The world building was good and the magic system was interesting. It reminded me a bit of Mistborn with the whole ingesting a substance to gain the magical ability thing. I liked the combination of magic and steam with guns thrown in as well, and of course the dragons. It kind of had an old west feel to it at times.
The book is broken down into three different character points of view, and it alternated between them with each chapter. One thing I really liked were the cliff hangers at the end of a lot of them. It really kept me reading. There were a couple of times that I just had to skip ahead to see what happened next!
I found most of the characters interesting with Clay being my favorite. Lizanne and Hilemore were also both likable, but Lizanne had to grow on me at first. And although I enjoyed reading about Hilemore's adventures just as much as Clay's and Lizanne's, we didn't get as much of him and it wasn't clear until well into the book what sort of role he would play in the grand scheme of things.
[ I didn't find the explanation for what she did and why she did it to be very clear. She was chosen by the White because she was special just doesn't cut it for me. We needed more development there. (hide spoiler)]I would say the only draw backs were the book lagged in parts and also lacked a bit in character development. I still don't really feel like I know most of the characters as well as I would like to. I'm interested in finding out what happens next so I will be looking forward to reading more books in the series.
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