cover image The Waking Fire: Draconis Memoria, Book 1

The Waking Fire: Draconis Memoria, Book 1

Anthony Ryan. Ace, $28 (592p) ISBN 978-1-101-98785-8

Ryan’s steampunk-driven and magic-laden Draconis Memoria series opener features Pirates of the Caribbean–esque swashbuckling adventure against a fantasy backdrop that resembles India at the end of the British Raj. Only one in a thousand per generation is born Blood-blessed, able to consume the blood, or “product,” of the four distinct types of Arradsian dragons—blue, red, green, and black—without burning. Those who quaff the product receive near-superhuman powers. Representatives of the Ironship Trading Syndicate face off against the Corvantine Empire’s agents, each vying for access to the dwindling supply of dragons on the Araddsian continent. As the conflict between the two nations grows, a group of intrepid explorers heads out in search of a mythical white drake. Ryan handily juggles draconic fantasy, espionage, and steampunk naval fiction with realism and effortless skill. Agent: Paul Lucas, Janklow & Nesbit. (July)