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Wow What a rush.As good as Waking Fire was, this is even better, which isn t a guarantee in the world of fantasy series The narrative finally comes to full fruition and the epic scale of this tale becomes clear It takes a while to get going, but once it does, it s a rollercoaster ride all the way to the end Bring on the next one 5 stars, easy. I enjoyed the first one but this was better The first book now seems like a stage setter for the world and characters which took me a while to get my head round in the first book So, I was far able to kick back and enjoy the story in this one. Anthony Ryan is, without a doubt, one of the greatest fantasy writers of our time Despite the immense efforts of the mercenary band Longrifles, the White Drake, bringer of doom and once slaver of mankind, is now released back in the world The Ironship Trading Syndicate has no other option than sending their best agent, Lizzanne Lethridge, to a suicide mission, in the hope of finding a single man who, by all accounts, should have died some hundred years ago Claydon Torcreek, on the other side of the world, found the mysterious man from his vision, Captain Corrick Hil, and together with the crew of the Longrifles and the Viable Opportunity, embark on a journey to a land that no man has ever set foot on Will they find what they re seeking for in order to destroy this new threat, or will their questions remain unansweredHe trailed off as he saw the expression on her face, wide eyed and pale, staring fixedly at something that had banished her drunkenness in an instant Fighting a sudden paralyzing dread, Sirus pulled the knife from his belt and followed her gazeThe drake sat atop a near by goods cart, head cocked at an angle as it regarded them with a curious gaze, its tail coiling idly like a somnolent snake Two very salient observations immediately sprang to Sirus s mind Firstly, the drake s size It was far smaller than any he had seen before, little bigger in fact than an average sized dog, forcing him to conclude it must be an infant Second was its colour Not Black, not Green, not Red This drake was entirely White Anthony Ryan s Blood Song was, undoubtedly, one of the strongest fantasy debuts in the last couple of decades, earning him hundreds of thousands of fans Most of those fans were then disappointed that books 2 3 weren t nearly as good as the first Some of them were even skeptical of starting The Draconis Memoria in the fear of the same kind of disappointment with the later installments I m here today to excitedly declare that this ISN T THE CASE If anything, The Legion of Flame was far better than the already amazing The Waking Fire Both Michael J Sullivan and Mark Lawrence called Ryan a master storyteller , and in The Legion of Flame Anthony proves them right From his graceful and solid prose to his exciting and engaging narration, from his complex and intricate world building to his skilfully intertwined plot points, and from his mesmerizing and multi leveled characters to his well thought out and balanced magic system, The Legion of Flame is a complete, fascinating, unparalleled, and perfect in any possible way, PIECE OF ART You can find all of my reviews over at I enjoyed The Legion of Flame It had a good mix of action, intrigue, adventure, and cool magic It also had good world building and benefits from the fact that Ryan is a good writer who knows how to write an engaging story The Draconis Memoria series ticks most of the boxes a fantasy fan could desire It has a fascinating world Two political superpowers jostle for dominance in the form of the Corvantine Empire and The IronShip Trading Syndicate The Corvantine Empire is an Imperial Empure and that IronShip Trading Syndicate is a corporate run government They have their own regions of power but have to share land on the mysterious and magic rich continent of Arradsia Arradsia is key to global economy as it is the only place where drakes are to be found The whole story is also taking place in era where steam power and guns and the like are just becoming common place It gives the book a slight steampunk vibe to it when the magic and technology combine The magic is pretty cool Mages in this world are called Blood Blessed as they gain their powers from drinking drake blood The various different colours of drakes blood grant different types of powers It is the need for this supply of blood that makes Arradsia such an important place The characters are fascinating In this instalment the POV cast expanded from three characters to four Claydon Torcreek A young tough from the mean streets of an Arradsian settlement and a blood blessed.I liked Claydon s story Clay is a likeable guy and just like the first book he had a fun story arc In an effort to stop the White drake s bid for world domination he sought out the source of his future vision in the southern pole His story retained the feel of an Indiana Jones adventure but this time managed to throw in some Wayward Pines style weirdness Lizanne Lethridge A blood blessed spy and assassin in the employ of the Ironship Trading Syndicate.I liked Lizanne and her story arc in this second instalment was as engaging and interesting as her story arc in the first book Her story felt like a cross between Prison Break and Mistborn Lizanne was tough and ruthless but not too much so that it made her unlikeable.Corrick Hile A naval officer on board an Ironship naval vessel This instalment sees Corrick take over as acting captain of his ship Sadly, just like the first book, his character did not have much of a story arc He basically just took Clay to his destination and battled a few sea drakes along the way I m sure Ryan must have a plan for Corrick but he has basically just been treading water for the first two books in this series Sirus We met him briefly in the first book He was the son of the curator of the Morsvale Imperial Museum of Antiquities who was in love with Tekela He was the least likeable of all the characters by a mile but that was not entierly his fault He had an interesting story arc even if reading it was pretty horrifying at times He was one of the unfortunates who did not escape from Arradsia and he soon finds himself captured by the Spoiled and the White Drake Anthony Ryan has an engaging writing style which makes reading this one an easy and enjoyable read He also has a talent for pacing and ending POV segments on cliffhangers that keeps the tension and excitement up throughout the story I feel like I would love this series a lot if I not already read Anthony Ryan s other series, The Raven s Shadow, first Everything in this one is good, just not quite as good as things were in the Raven s Shadow series There is also the issue of the botched series finale of Raven s Shadow I find that disaster has tainted my view of Ryan as a writer and caused me to lose trust in the way he is going to wrap up the various story arcs If I d not read Queen of Fire I could hope things would end on a high but since I have I know all these characters are heading for death or a life of misery and that leaves me wary of getting too emotionally invested in any of them All in all I did quite enjoy The Legion of Flame It was a definite improvement on Waking Fire As it stand I m looking forward to the next book so let us hope Ryan does not make such a mess of ending this series as he did with the last one Rating 4.5 stars Audio Note Steve West took over narration duties from Steven Brand This is one of those rare times when I think they change was a positive one Brand has a great voice for general narration but does not voice act That makes it difficult to differentiate between the characters during the dialogue West was a big improvement in that regard I ve not always been his biggest fan but he does seem to be getting better all the time and gave another excellent performance with this one His general narration was good and he avoided selecting any annoying regional English accents for the characters so it was a win all round He even did a good job with the female voices If you re looking for an exceptionally beautiful prose then this book should be on your list What can I say, Mr Ryan did it again His writing is really good, rich with descriptions and complex enough to provide the substance that is needed in this genre There are also many scenes filled with action and drama to keep you on the edge of your seat.And just like in Waking Fire, Lizanne is the outstanding character She is a true badass, both capable and amusing with a touch of vulnerability Clay, on the other hand, annoyed me to no end which resulted in me lowering the rating In this book he acted like a spoiled fuckboy, and I hate immature men His new love interest is than obvious so I can t help but wonder if this will turn into that kind of fantasy series in which the hero gets a new lady in every book only to have each one of them killed off I hope not, I m not interested in reading James Bond like books Can t you just develop him without turning him into a randy toy Gosh, I wanna torture him so badly.I also found the Spoiled s parts a bit boring but I actually liked Sirus He developed from a pathetic moron into someone capable or less.And wow, the White Drake is becoming tedious than Moby Dick D But I kinda find him fascinating view spoiler the crazy dragon is turning people into the Spoiled aka slaves at least those that don t seem tasty , makes them hump like rabbits each night and rapes their minds on a daily basis And he s set on conquering the world hide spoiler This is the kind of legion never seen before A legion of flame, with which our monster god will burn the world to cindersThe Legion of Flame was a very respectable sequel in Anthony Ryan s The Draconis Memoria trilogy After pondering my initial view when finishing the book, I do believe this was a solid 4 star read for me Yes, there were a couple of sections that did seem to drag a little, but overall it was well done for a middle book I ve really grown fond of these characters, and it has been fun to watch them evolve over the first 2 books Also, I must applaud Mr Ryan for adding a new POV that gives the reader a view from the evil, or villain s side of the story I haven t read a lot of books lately that do this, so it was a nice change of pace for me This was probably the most crucial difference between from book 1, and it really helped to carry the story to the next level The pace of the story is helped by the constant back and forth between POV s Ryan is constantly mixing things up Some chapters will end in a cliff hanger, and others will close out by wrapping up a scene that has you itching for that characters next chapter There is also the addition of a new POV in Sirus view spoiler He was a very minor character in the first book that, by a very unlucky happenstance, now has him fighting for the enemy forces of the White Drake hide spoiler For centuries, the vast Ironship Trading Syndicate relied on drake blood and the extraordinary powers it confers to those known as the Blood blessed to fuel and protect its empire But now, a fearsome power has arisen a drake so mighty that the world will tremble before it What No No no no That ending is killing me To say that I didn t see that coming would be an understatement And the way we leave Clay at the end of the previous chapterUgh Anthony Ryan has definitely mastered the cliffhanger chapter This time around I did resist the urge to peek ahead though After reading The Waking Fire back in December I was looking forward to reading this sequel, and happy that I wouldn t have to wait too long for it This book was everything I was hoping it would be, except maybe for that ending There is never a dull moment in these books and I enjoyed catching up with Clay and Lizanne and the rest of the characters I think the only thing I didn t like so much were the chapters from the Spoiled s point of view, but it did give us insight into the Spoiled and the drakes Out of the different story lines in the book I think I liked Clay s the most The journey he goes on was full of interesting revelations and he just continues to grow on me as a character.I m looking forward to reading the next book in the series I really need to know what happens next But unfortunately it won t be released until next year.Thanks to NetGalley and Berkley Publishing Group for giving me a copy of this book to review.Visit my blog at I genuinely loved it The world building is just impressive and this book even adds additional layers that were missing in the first one I found the book a bit slower than book 1 though yet, this is an incredible story and I cannot wait to read book 3 I will go into greater detail later but, as fantasy story lover, this is a must in your TBR If you start only one new fantasy series this year, make it Draconis Memoria by Anthony Ryan I thought The Waking Fire was one of the best books I d ever read, but Legion of Flame was even better Legion of Flame was the ultimate armchair adventure Each chapter was so good, I had a difficult time finding decent stopping points and as such, stayed up way too late on too many occasions to finish it Ryan ended each of his chapters with an aggravatingly brilliant hook that just begged you to keep reading so I did There was always an abundance of action, adventure, exploration, steampunk, and, of course, dragons Every element came together brilliantly for, I ll say it again, one of the best books I ve ever read.In both of these books, Ryan takes you on an exploration of this world and allows you to discover its breathtaking histories mysteries alongside some very memorable characters This depth of discovery, combined with a very Indiana Jones adventure feel, is truly the magic of these novels and one of my favorite elements There s such a sense of wonder with his world building stuff that will truly dazzle you I can t even begin to guess what he has in store next Both books incorporate multiple POVs and they were all equally exciting to read about Each character was perfectly placed to give us a grand picture of what s transpiring, and I triple dog dare you to pick a favorite they re all deserving of the title If forced, I d say Lizanne struck a chord with me the most because her personality has a lot of duality, making her very interesting to read about.Let s talk about dragons for a minute The dragons are incredibly well conceived in this series So far, their role has been much stronger than I d dared hope it truly is a dragon book I love the varieties, their importance to the human populations, their significance in the story, and, most predominantly, how well they re being represented Ryan manages to keep all the things that I think comprise great dragons while simultaneously amping them up with his own twists They re brilliant And if this wasn t already one of my favorite books for story, characters, and world building alone, it would be for the dragons.So because of the amazing characters, seamless blend of fantasy and steampunk, exciting adventures, page turning plot, and killer use of dragons, Legion of Flame is perfection I plan to recommend it as often as I can I d like to think Berkley Publishing Group, Anthony Ryan, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review an early copy of The Legion of Flame Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.nikihawkes.com Other books you might like `Download Book ↛ The Legion of Flame ☘ Survival Is The Only CurrencyFor Centuries, The Vast Ironship Trading Syndicate Relied On Drake Blood And The Extraordinary Powers It Confers To Those Known As The Blood Blessed To Fuel And Protect Its Empire But When The Drake Blood Lines Began To Fail, A Perilous Expedition Was Mounted To Secure ThemClaydon Torcreek Survived The Fraught Mission Through Uncharted Lands In Pursuit Of A Myth That Might Have Secured His People S Future Instead He Found A Nightmare The Legendary White Drake Was Awoken From A Millennia Long Slumber, With A Thirst To Reduce The World Of Men To Ashes, And The Power To Compel An Army Of Spoiled Slaves To Do ItSpurred On By A Vision He Desperately Hopes He Can Trust, Clay And Rebel Naval Officer Corrick Hile Hijack A Warship And Head Towards The Icy Southern Seas, Searching For An Ancient Secret That May Give Them And Their Allies A Fighting ChanceThey Are Aided On Another Front By Blood Blessed Agent Lizanne Lethridge The Spy And Assassin Will Use Her Diplomatic Status To Infiltrate Deep Into Enemy Territory On A Quest For A Device To Save Them AllAs The World Burns Around Them, And The Fires Of Revolution Are Ignited, These Few Blood Blessed Are The Last Hope For All Of Civilisation