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Publisher's Summary

In the White Drake's war, the price of freedom is paid in blood and fire....

For hundreds of years, the Ironship Trading Syndicate was fueled by drake blood - and protected by the Blood-blessed, those few who could drink it and wield fearsome powers. But now the very thing that sustained the corporate world threatens to destroy it. A drake of unimaginable power has risen, and it commands an army of both beasts and men. 

Rogue Blood-blessed Claydon Torcreek, Syndicate agent Lizanne Lethridge, and Ironship captain Corrick Hilemore have been spread to disparate corners of the world, but they are united in their desire to defeat the White Drake and the Spoiled who follow it.

Humanity itself is at stake, but with the aid of ancient knowledge, revolutionary technology, and unexpected allies, all hope is not lost. Saving the world will require sacrifice, as Clay, Lizanne, and Hilemore will see all they know either consumed by flames or reborn from the ashes. 

©2018 Anthony Ryan (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“Ryan skillfully navigates multiple narrators to unveil a world steeped in magic and on the brink of destruction. Both the characters and the setting are irresistible right through to the end.” (Publishers Weekly)

"The series is action packed, full of intrigue, and just plain fun. Ryan deftly writes something for fans of dragons, steampunk, or gutsy characters (or all three). Readers of epic adventure fantasies like Game of Thrones should check this series out." (Booklist

What listeners say about The Empire of Ashes

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Doesn’t make any sense

The author explains that the bad guys are limited to a set number of bad guys and then they are killed. Now that there are no more he kills them again... and again... and again.

2 people found this helpful

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Good work!

The story is well written and there are no ex machina like events. Narrator has shown considerable improvement on the quality of the narration. I did not regret the purchase.

For me personally Anthony Ryan is one of the great authors of my time. I haven’t been so completely riveted to an epic since JRR Tolkien, and Ryan’s writing style is much more succinct than Tolkien’s anyway.


2 people found this helpful

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Gather Your Notes Beforehand

While the reader is excellent, you’ll nonetheless want to assemble a printed list of the characters, and all relevant maps to really appreciate, nay, FOLLOW, the action. These books should bring particular pleasure to those who love both fantasy and military history.

2 people found this helpful

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Fantastic conclusion to a wonderful book series!

I cannot say enough good things about this book series. It is everything a Flintlock fantasy / steampunk / dieselpunk enthusiast could ever ask for. I love every minute of this audiobook and love the story arcs converging into an incredible climax. I would gladly revisit this setting with a prequel or sequel series of follow-on literature. Bravo.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Less than the first two

Still good, but not up to the first two. Less character development; more battle scenes. Also less serious flow motivation. Too predictable.

2 people found this helpful

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Lots of battle, little plot or character dev

This could have been 5 hours shorter and been way more satisfying. The battle detail, while well-written, became depressing and tedious. The pacing was choppy. It didn't make the characters or situations more interesting or gripping. I FF-ed. The first two books were better.

1 person found this helpful

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Cringe-inducingly Terrible American Accents

For some reason, I'm not much of a fan of dragon motifs in fantasy, but Ryan is good at what he does and the story is worth reading. However, I just cannot get past the gratingly awful American accents the narrator uses. Dude makes Kevin Costner's Robin of Locksly look like Meryl Streep's Margaret Thatcher. I bet he's actually trolling. I made it through the first volumes, but it's so distracting I just can't finish this one.

1 person found this helpful

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A bit too much war detail

I found the amount of fighting and war description kind of made the book drag on for me but the book is well-written for sure, so if you like that sort of thing, you may enjoy it. I much prefer Anthony Ryan's more adventurous writing and think I would have enjoyed the book more without so many battle scenes thrown in. The performance is great!

1 person found this helpful

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Alright, but the Blood Song trilogy was better

the narrator does a decent job. I found that the story itself, while possessing some decent characters and devices, lacked the cohesion of the Blood Song trilogy.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Conclusion

A great way to end a very interesting epic in a great world. Anthony Ryan deserves more credit in this day and age. When it comes to world building, he's right up there with the best today.

3 people found this helpful