1. 10 & 9 Star Rating Book Review

The Empire of Ashes – Anthony Ryan

Draconis Memoria – Book 3

“Time in war is not given….it’s bought, with blood.”

So what’s the book about?

Freedom will be paid for with much blood and fire in the war against the White Dragon. Everything is at stake and the sacrifices to be made are very high. The white dragon has risen and his army of beasts, dragons and spoiled are fighting the humans. Their survival is at stake. Former thief and unregistered Blood Blessed Claydon Torcreek, Lizanne Lethridge the agent, and Captain Corrick Hilemore are in very different places on Earth. But as the world goes up in flames, they confront the deadly force. But there is a glimmer of hope, and it lies in ancient forgotten knowledge that could make it possible to save the future. Secrets from ancient days must be uncovered to ensure victory against the reign of the white dragon.

These aspects attracted me the most while reading.

  • This book follows on directly from volume 2, after a diary entry by Lewella Tythencroft. So the suspense is back in full force right from the start. It gets even bloodier and crueller, but also very exciting again. There are many battles and also many victims. The action is not neglected here, as you learned a lot about the characters in the previous volumes, here the focus is more on the big showdown at the end, which will bring the decision. This part is clearly more battle-heavy and there are numerous descriptions of various strategies as the battle of superlatives is prepared. This time there are plenty of losses on the side of the defenders and we also have to say goodbye to beloved characters.
  • Variety is brought by the corrupt Sirus, who has recently joined the army of the White Dragon and describes things from his very special point of view. This gave the book strong recognition value and also insight into both opposing sides. Sirus is portrayed in an incredibly deep brokenness. This character’s emotions and interaction with Catheline are, for me, the strongest and most human scenes in the book – where he is actually suppressing humanity and she is insane. He presents the perfect commander, who it seems also wants the same goal like the white dragon. But already in the second volume you could see that he actually doesn’t want to support the whole thing and wants to destroy the white dragon’s rule. Sirus’ feelings were always torn back and forth and I had to suffer with him. His whole story is just riddled with madness and sadness and unfortunately this character doesn’t even experience anything of joy and happiness.
  • Lizanne goes down in history as Miss Blood. Her many adventures and exploits over the last two volumes are now paying off as she is known everywhere, even by the pirates. She has become a heroine in her own right, even though all she really wants to do is her job. As always, she also gets involved in politics – against her principles. She is one of the few female main characters I really like, because although she is a strong woman, she acts irrationally in many things, such as her relationship with Tekela. Actually, Lizanne is a tough personality who doesn’t allow room for love and affection, but Tekela transforms Lizanne. And Tekela’s development is also beautiful to watch, as the one annoying and spoilt brat becomes more and more her mentor. Just a great duo, I would love to read more of these two women.
  • In this book you also realise that dragons are not evil per se, but are also only victims of their circumstances. They are forced to fight, although they do not necessarily want to. They are intelligent beings who are tortured and hunted by humans and therefore have to defend themselves. Otherwise, they are normal beings who also have feelings and therefore take revenge on family members. This complex construct makes the dragons highly interesting and very exciting to read about.

Let the fight begin: Previous Books vs Final Book.

Volume three seamlessly follows the story of the first two volumes and a diary entry provides a very successful introduction to the third volume. I think the first two volumes differ in some points from the third volume, as the third volume focuses more on the battle, which of course was predictable. The first two volumes had given me more of a sense of an adventure journey like Indiana Jones and I had liked that kind of story better as a big battle. But that doesn’t make the third volume worse, it’s just different from the previous volumes. The characters are still exciting to read about, you know what makes each one tick and that’s why it’s very exciting to read despite the change of direction. If I had to decide which part I liked best, it would definitely be the middle volume – although there is often the middle book syndrome. The story in the prison town was my absolute highlight in this series.

So what are my final thoughts about it?

A world living on the magic of dragon blood undergoes slow industrialisation and is shaped according to the needs of a burgeoning capitalism. The war that suddenly breaks out demands efficient action. He tells the story with his usual rich imagery in a completely gripping writing style that draws the reader into the new world in such a way that it becomes increasingly difficult to put the book down. He strikes a brilliant blow here and, as befits a high-fantasy epic, everything culminates in a great battle. Ryan is again convincing with his creative style and so the 600 pages, which seem extensive at the beginning, are unfortunately quickly history. The end of this unbelievably great series was satisfying, but in my opinion the path of each individual could have been described in a little more detail. In the end, I liked this series very much and it is one of my favourites from now on!

My Rating

Rating: 9 out of 10.

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10 comments on “The Empire of Ashes – Anthony Ryan

  1. Currently reading the pilgrimage of swords by him. Great book. Gonna check out this series after that, thanks to your reviews 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: The Legion of Flame – Anthony Ryan – The Reading Stray

  3. Pingback: The Waking Fire – Anthony Ryan – The Reading Stray

  4. Those covers are amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great Review! I’m reading the book myself right now and I find it amazing so far. Keep doing these reviews, always waiting for the next one 🙂 and thanks for some of your book recommendations :)) i loved we ride the storm 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much ! 🙂 Hopefully you’ll also like the ending of the book 🙂 I’m so happy that you like my recommendations, especially for we ride the storm :))


  6. Thanks for these 3 great reviews! And thank you for reviewing a whole Trilogie! And not just the first book.


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