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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling Raven's Shadow Trilogy was a perfect listen for "fans of broadscale epic fantasy along the lines of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and George R. R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire novels". Now Anthony Ryan begins a new saga, The Draconis Memoria....

Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Trading Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from captive or hunted Reds, Greens, Blues, and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that bestow fearsome powers on the rare men and women 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.

Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered Blood-blessed who finds himself pressed into service by the Protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted lands in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an Ironship cruiser whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.

As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war - or drown in its wake.

©2016 Anthony Ryan (P)2016 Penguin Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Joshua
  • mcleansville, NC, United States
  • 09-21-16

Decent Start to a New Series

After the strong and innovative "Raven's Shadow" trilogy, Anthony Ryan breaks into a new series revolving around dragons and an original magic system. However, parts of the book get mired down in minutiae.

The book has a strong opening, throwing us right into the action and then following up with a strong scene with a central female protagonist. However, after that I admit I got truly baffled as to what the author was doing. Switching viewpoints back and forth between her and a new protagonist (Clay), we get launched on what is essentially a quest novel to find the mythical White Dragon. The pace slows to a crawl, and doesn't really pick back up until the obligatory huge battle sequences 3/4 of the book down the road.

I like the new magic system, where users gain specific abilities based on drinking dragon's blood (of course, only certain individuals have the talent). The main characters are at least mildly interesting, although Clay is more of a stereotypical hero (albeit with a thief's background). However, I just couldn't wrap my head around the world or the geopolitical structure that is going on, so for a lot of the novel I was either confused or didn't care that much. Vast parts of the world seem to be unexplored, with dragons controlling large parts of certain continents, and there seems to be ruins left from some forgotten age that nobody seems to really know about. Then there are the "Spoiled", which I couldn't determine were zombies or actual living and intelligent beings, but there seems to be more of them than there are actual functioning members of the societies, filling up huge areas of the world that are inaccessible because they will kill you if you enter.

Anyway, at the end the novel follows a fairly predictable path with some big battles and sieges, then a final confrontation with the White that I will save the spoilers from, but suffice it to say not much new ground gets trod. I'm fairly interested to see where the series goes from here, but I didn't come away with the sense of impact that I had when I read his first novel, "Blood Song".

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Narrator does not do the story Justice

Waking Fire starts off a bit awkwardly. But after your about a third of the way through the book is very entertaining. I believe alot of the bad reviews stem from the monotone narration. Steven Brand did not do this book any favors. But he did not ruin the book, as I have seen poor narration do with other decent books. I personally am looking forward to the next book in this series.

35 of 45 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

This is overall a good story, but not the author's best work. The world is interesting, with its dragon lore and industry, but character development and detail often take a back seat to action. Last minute rescues that read like TV show cliffhangers are used liberally, eventually starting to feel cheap. Also, some characters develop in ways that aren't well supported by the narrative, such as Lizz Ann's sudden transformation from heartless spy to a den mother. In spite of these criticisms, I enjoyed the book and the characters' journies. The naval components, fantasy, and technological mishmash in a world of corporate control was definitely an interesting take on a story about dragons.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • SMAC
  • Austin, TX, United States
  • 09-02-16

Very nice storytelling.

I haven't liked Dragon stories for some time. I'm sure there are other out there, but I haven't cared to look since early Weiss & Hickman. In fact, I rarely like guns in fantasy. Just a preference. But this is nicely done, and by the end, I was primed for the next book.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Monotone

What disappointed you about The Waking Fire?

3 strikes and your out.

Blood Song was epic
Tower Lord was a good/decent read
Queen of Fire was almost terrible
the Waking Fire....not good. Boring. No discerning voices between characters. Found myself stopping the book and doing other things. Had to force myself thru chapters

After Blood song, Anthony Ryan was on my buy immediately list.
After Waking Fire, Anthony Ryan will only be purchased if on sale

72 of 97 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Poor performance

I think the narrator would be a fantastic nonfiction narrator but it is very hard to distinguish who is who in the first half of the book. I think I lost a lot due to the lack of variety in the narrators performance. Great story though. Unfortunately I may avoid Anthony Ryan in the future if he maintains this narrator

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An interesting book with slow narration

The story itself suffered from the narration. I had to use audibles speed up function I recommend 1.10 times.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Narration killed the story for me

What disappointed you about The Waking Fire?

The narration was terrible.

Has The Waking Fire turned you off from other books in this genre?

No, I will still read other books of this genre of course.

What didn’t you like about Steven Brand’s performance?

It was far too sedate and morose. He never changed his tone or pitch between characters. It was very hard to follow who was talking most of the time.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Thoroughly disappointed.

Any additional comments?

I specifically chose this author and narrator combination when looking for a new book. I had previously enjoyed the collaboration and was expecting the same here. Unfortunately I was nearly 10 minutes into the book before I realized the initial character talking was supposed to be a woman. And things like this continued throughout the 15 chapters I managed to slog through. I kept rewinding passages because I had lost the train of the conversation between individuals as there was nothing to determine it.
Even through fights and falls and numerous action scenes, murders and escapes there was little more to differentiate it beyond raising his voice. Not changing it.. just speaking a little bit louder and one occasion a little faster. I'm sure the book may be well written, but having to listen to it was almost unbearable. I am very disappointed as again, I specifically sought out this narrator and author. I'm not sure why he took a sedative prior to recording but I hope they redo it one day, perhaps then I will try again.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

awesome! can't wait for the next one!

Stephen Brand makes Anthony Ryan's books come alive. The waking fire is no different.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book when can I get the next audiobook?

Great story line that kept me interested. Lots of twists that I did not expect. I look forward to listening to the next book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful