Published: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Ace Books
Series: The Draconis Memoria #2
Pages: 592 (Hardcover)
My Rating: 4.0/5.0
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Empires clash and a fell power stakes its claim in the second in a new series from the New York Times bestselling author of the Raven’s Shadow Trilogy.
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.
Rogue Blood-blessed Claydon Torcreek, Syndicate agent Lizanne Lethridge, and ironship captain Corrick Hilemore embark upon perilous quests to chase down clues that offer faint hopes of salvation. As the world burns around them, and the fires of revolution are ignited, these few are the last hope for the empire and for all of civilization.
First of all, Iet me just say that I liked the print version infinitely more than the audio version of this series. The audio version of The Waking Fire dampened my enthusiasm for a book that I would have otherwise enjoyed and I decided to forgo that route on this installment. I’m quite glad I did because I managed to finish The Legion of Flame in a pretty timely manner and as you can see by the page count above, it’s no small book.
The Legion of Flame picks up immediately after the events of The Waking Fire and promptly introduces readers to a new POV. Though Sirus appeared in the first book, I have no recollection of him which really says something about both my memory and the lasting impact the book had, huh? Sirus is hiding from the legions of Spoiled and drakes dominating his city but is shortly captured, transformed, and essentially enslaved to the White. The White drake of legend has decided to wrest control of the world from the humans by either burning/devouring them or transforming them into Spoiled and this POV follows that journey.
“This is a kind of legion never seen before. A legion of flame, with which our monster-god will burn the world to cinders.” – Anthony Ryan
Claydon Torcreek and the crew of the IPV Viable Opportunity are intent on journeying southward to the arctic ice based on a vision Clay had near the end of The Waking Fire. Their journey is quite perilous, though perhaps no more so than the journeys of our other characters, but the result could save the world from the White drake’s horde. Clay’s journeys have both had very classic adventure vibes, the first akin to explorations into the heart of Africa and this one reminiscent of documentaries I’ve seen on explorations of both the North and South poles with more than a dash of Indiana Jones thrown in. Stories like this make the world feel bigger!
Lizanne Lethridge remains my favorite of the characters because I’m partial to espionage. She remains as formidable as ever and surprisingly humble for one hailed as a hero and given the moniker Miss Blood for her actions at Carvenport. I actually prefer her role in this book- she contrives to infiltrate the Corvantine prison-city of Scorazin where she intends to track down the source of another of the Mad Artisan’s designs. I found myself relishing her POV chapters above the others because they were brutally fun and piqued my curiosity.
Overall, I thought the story wove together very well though there are some elements that I found irritating. I can’t explain it, but I struggle to enjoy many stories where past peoples were more advanced than those presently living. I always get a serious case of the eye-rolls when I read it particularly when it’s suddenly revealed and characters are simultaneously amazed and reduced to mere brutes intellectually. Also, I’m pretty sure they did more traveling than Bilbo Baggins and he managed to kill (or at least help kill) the dragon in only one book. Other than this, I enjoyed the story and will definitely be continuing on with at least one more installment!