The Legion of Flame: Book Two of the Draconis Memoria by Anthony Ryan
|The Legion of Flame: Book Two of the Draconis Memoria by Anthony Ryan|
|Reviewer: Ani Johnson|
|Summary: In part 2 of the Draconis Memoria series the excitement intensifies proving yet again that Anthony Ryan is a born fantasy author and a natural tease!|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 576||Date: June 2017|
|External links: Author's website|
WARNING: There are spoilers for Book 1 from the beginning. Lizanne Lethridge, Blood-Blessed and secret agent of the Exceptional Initiatives Division has survived another mission, only to be forced to go out again. This time it entails a man-hunt in a place from which no one has emerged alive. Talking about alive, Claydon Torcreek, having escaped several types of death in the jungles now goes to the southern ice with Hilemore in their current attempt to defeat the dragons and put the world on a safe footing. What if all that waits for them is more dragons and more inventive ways to die? That's a thought that's soon banished from his mind. 'This is where we save the world' says Clay… but he's been wrong before!
Consummate and accoladed epic fantasy author again takes us to a world of edge-of-the-seat suspense and held breath. In fact my only complaint about the entire book is that the jacket blurb centres on Claydon when it's a well-constructed ensemble cast.
Lizanne's latest task ultimately takes us to a place that's part wild west/part fantasy equivalent of a paranoid Newgate Prison full of shocks, surprises and an engrossing storyline. If we consider Lizanne as a kind of female, steampunk James Bond, then this time she outshines her Fleming equivalent for both gadgetry and inventiveness. We also see why she's known as Miss Blood.
Captain Hilemore is to be pitied as he joins forces with Clay for that freezing expedition along with the ship's crew and more members of the Torcreek family. Their adventure demonstrates Anthony's ability to make things that couldn't get any worse, worsen with a verve and fear-laden panache.
A list of special moments aren't complete here without a mention of the Spoiled. Anthony allows us greater insight into the world of the dragons'/drakes' serving race. How they come into being, how they operate and what it feels like within the wretched, evilly controlled skin are all revealed with poignancy and fascination in equal measures. I defy anyone not to side with those who are (effectively) agents of humanity's destruction at least once or twice in this volume.
Meanwhile, back at the dragons/drakes, watch out for Anthony invoking a strong Captain Ahab/Moby Dick vibe when it comes to a particular Blue sea dweller.
The format is again the alternating point of view chapters that have served us and the author so well in the past. With the format comes an excitement that can foster impatience though. A couple of times I found myself finishing someone's chapter to skip ahead and resume their tale at their next telling, back tracking to what should have been the pre-skipped next adventurer afterwards. I'm not advocating this as a practice to be adopted widely, but it does seem to work for most of the story.
The joy of fantasy is that anything can happen, a facet Anthony utilises without it feeling as if he's plucking improbabilities from mid-air. The other joy of a fantasy series is that end of book cliff-hanger but Mr R goes one further, dangling us from multiple high cliffs simultaneously. Can we hang on for the whole year till Book 3 comes out? It's going to be a long wait but we can do it – some things are more than worth the dangle.
(Thank you, Orbit, for providing us with a copy for review.)
Further Reading: If you've not read the first book, The Waking Fire please do and before you read this one. If you have only just discovered this author then the treat of his Raven's Shadow series awaits. If you're already a fan and fancy something as complex and satisfying, try The Grim Company by Luke Scull.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Legion of Flame: Book Two of the Draconis Memoria by Anthony Ryan at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Legion of Flame: Book Two of the Draconis Memoria by Anthony Ryan at Amazon.com.
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