The Empire of Ashes (The Draconis Memoria, #3)
For hundreds of years, the Ironship Trading Syndicate was fuelled by drake blood–and protected by the Blood-blessed, those few who could drink it and wield fearsome powers. But now the very thing that sustained the corporate world threatens to destroy it.A drake of unimaginable power has risen, and it commands an army of both beasts and men. Rogue Blood-blessed Claydon Torcreek, Syndicate agent Lizanne Lethridge, and Ironship captain Corrick Hilemore, spread to disparate corners of the world, must rely upon the new powers and knowledge they have gained at great price to halt its forces–or face the end of all they know.

The Empire of Ashes (The Draconis Memoria, #3) Details

TitleThe Empire of Ashes (The Draconis Memoria, #3)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJul 5th, 2018
PublisherOrbit
ISBN-139780356506449
Rating
GenreFantasy, Dragons, Science Fiction, Steampunk

The Empire of Ashes (The Draconis Memoria, #3) Review

  • Petrik
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by the author and the publisher—Ace—in exchange for an honest review.A decent conclusion for the Draconis Memoria trilogy, although it admittedly fell a bit short of my expectations.The Empire of Ashes is the last book in the Draconis Memoria trilogy. I will let you know immediately that I really wanted to love this more than I did; I liked it but I didn’t love it. Please note that even though I had some problems reading through this trilogy, that doesn’t mean you will feel the same ARC provided by the author and the publisher—Ace—in exchange for an honest review.A decent conclusion for the Draconis Memoria trilogy, although it admittedly fell a bit short of my expectations.The Empire of Ashes is the last book in the Draconis Memoria trilogy. I will let you know immediately that I really wanted to love this more than I did; I liked it but I didn’t love it. Please note that even though I had some problems reading through this trilogy, that doesn’t mean you will feel the same when you’re reading through it.Without spoiling anything for the trilogy, the story continues immediately after the cliffhanger ending of The Legion of Flame. The beginning of this book was fantastic; Ryan is really good at showing the perspectives of the protagonists and antagonists, especially the POV from the antagonist’s side. If you have read the series up to here, you’ll notice that Ryan has been preparing for the final confrontation—which is the last 15% of the book—ever since the middle section of book one, and the final battle consists of a great large-scale action sequence. By this, I mean a horde of dragons, machinery, nautical warfare, and Ryan’s magic system are all incorporated into the last battle and some of the action scenes were really good. In this last installment, I also ended up thinking that my favorite character of the trilogy is the POV from the antagonist’s side who first appeared in Legion of Flame.However, the preparation to reach the final battle ended up being too long for me and I felt the pacing dragged. The complex politics went on for a bit too long and Hilemore himself said the squabbling and minor politics didn’t matter. In a way, this goes to show just how selfish humans can be that even on the brink of disaster, all they’re thinking about is themselves but all the politics made me think "get to the war already, it's been too long". Eventually when the time comes, I also felt the final battle against the White Dragon ended too easily after all the buildup.Personally, there was two aspects that I didn’t like about this trilogy. First, there was too much utilizing of the Blue Magic, which is the trance or the memory dive that is used to unfold the story, background, and world-building. Once or a few times is okay but after a while, it felt really distracting to me when a person is here and in the next sentence he’s immediately transported to the past for a long time. My second issue is that I failed to connect with the characters. I really tried loving/caring about them but other than Clay and the antagonist’s POV, I really didn’t care about the rest of the characters, and there are a LOT of them. Maybe my criticisms all came from my high expectations. I haven’t read the rest of Raven’s Shadow but Blood Song was one of the best reading experiences I’ve ever had; Vaelin Al Sorna is a character that I’ll always remember. There weren’t any too memorable characters in this trilogy since it felt more like a plot/action-driven book rather than character-driven (which is my favorite kind of story).Overall though, this was a decent conclusion and everything has been wrapped up. Although this trilogy isn’t really suited for me, I had a good time with it and will be looking forward to Ryan’s next series. If you have enjoyed the trilogy up to here, there’s a huge chance that you’re going to love this one too. I recommend this trilogy to anyone who loves steampunk epic fantasy filled with large-scale dragons, battles, and machinery usage. Series review: The Waking Fire: 3.5/5 stars The Legion of Flame: 4/5 stars The Empire of Ashes: 3/5 stars The Draconis Memoria trilogy: 10.5/15 stars Official release date: July 3rd, 2018 (US) and July 5th, 2018 (UK).You can pre-order the book HERE!You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest
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  • Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
    January 1, 1970
    [4.5/5 stars!] Empire of Ashes solidified Draconius Memoria as one of the best series I’ve ever read!For me this book started out with a bang and didn’t let up until the whirlwind finale. So much action and conflicts coming to a head that I wouldn’t recommend venturing into the last 25% if you have to get up early the next morning. This isn’t the kind of book easily set aside.My favorite part was the convergence of storylines. This multiple POV series is unique for me because I feel equally draw [4.5/5 stars!] Empire of Ashes solidified Draconius Memoria as one of the best series I’ve ever read!For me this book started out with a bang and didn’t let up until the whirlwind finale. So much action and conflicts coming to a head that I wouldn’t recommend venturing into the last 25% if you have to get up early the next morning. This isn’t the kind of book easily set aside.My favorite part was the convergence of storylines. This multiple POV series is unique for me because I feel equally drawn to all of the characters. It made for an amazing read because no matter which perspective had the stage, I was enjoying the ride immensely. Seeing how each person’s tale ended was particularly satisfying, as was the conclusion. I was really nervous this final book was going to be a letdown after how hard I’ve been fangirling for the series. It had a lot to live up to, and I’m so happy to report that it delivered.As you would assume, this final book focuses more on action and conflict than exploration. The discovery of so many breathtaking places in the first two volumes is what helped solidify this series as a favorite. However in Empire of Ashes exploration is set aside in favor of action, conflict, and momentum. I missed that component a little, but at some point I guess it had to end (maybe I’m most upset that it ended at all – I want more!!). The story also contained quite a few answers to some burning questions I’ve had throughout the series. I find that the more I know, the more I want to discover. I’ll just throw it out there that this world is screaming for a prequel trilogy – there’s so much cool stuff packed into the histories that I feel we’ve only just scraped the surface thus far (Anthony Ryan, please write more!). :)Let’s talk a minute about the dragons (or drakes, if you want to get picky). I absolutely love how well this series portrays dragons. Every aspect of their existence on this world and how it’s in conflict/harmony with humanity was in line with my favorite types of dragon stories. They’re not magical or ethereal, but their raw bestial attributes makes them feel magical, but still like the type of beings that could exist in our world. It might be funny to call them “realistic” dragons, but that’s how my dragon-obsessed mind thinks about them and why I loved them so much. Add to all of that practical uses for their blood (in the same vein that metals are useful to humans in Sanderson’s Mistborn series), and consider me sold.Overall, Empire of Ashes had a lot of expectations to hold up to, and I’m thrilled it met all of mine. I’m still kind of reeling from the ending, but I’m certain that these gorgeous hardcovers will have a place of honor on my favorites shelf from here on out.Recommendations: this series has quickly become my #1 recommend for fantasy readers, especially those who love dragons. It’s a cool flintlock fantasy that promises adventure, excitement, and intrigue at every turn. It is among my personal favorites and has the Obsessive Bookseller’s official stamp of endorsement. ;)I’d like to thank Berkley Publishing Group, Anthony Ryan, and NetGalley for the chance to read and review an early copy of Empire of Ashes. It was my most anticipated release of 2018, and you seriously made my year! :)Via The Obsessive Bookseller at www.NikiHawkes.com Other books you might like:
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  • Suzanne
    January 1, 1970
    This was a solid ending to a good trilogy. I liked the magic system, and I've always loved dragons. The action scenes were well done, and the characters were many and varied.My personal preference is for not quite so many point of views - I think the multiple outlooks kept me from getting emotionally involved to an extent. However, I think they were justified, because there was a lot to wrap up, and I don't know that it could have been done without seeing what was happening in so many places.
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  • Jon Adams
    January 1, 1970
    He did it. He finished the trilogy as well as he started it. The ending did seem a bit abrupt though.
  • Sotiris Karaiskos
    January 1, 1970
    In the final part of this trilogy, the army of the white dragon army continues its horrific campaign by destroying one city after another and killing or enslave their inhabitants. At the same time, revolutions that break out divide people into political camps, making it impossible for them to understand that they must unite to deal with the threat that threatens the whole of mankind. Our heroes try to stop the destruction in every way by risking their lives but above all using their minds to fin In the final part of this trilogy, the army of the white dragon army continues its horrific campaign by destroying one city after another and killing or enslave their inhabitants. At the same time, revolutions that break out divide people into political camps, making it impossible for them to understand that they must unite to deal with the threat that threatens the whole of mankind. Our heroes try to stop the destruction in every way by risking their lives but above all using their minds to find solutions and to be always one step ahead of the enemy. Somehow they do it, but in the end it is obvious that everything will be judged in a great final battle where they must strike the evil at its root.The continuation of the story is interesting but I feel that this last book did not fully justify my expectations. For most of the book we are watching on the one hand the preparation for the great battle, with the training of the soldiers and discovery of new war technologies, and on the other the journey to find answers that will help. The first does not have enough interest as it is limited to various negotiations and descriptions of innovations, without the writer going further into the psychological parameter of preparation for dealing with such a terrible danger. This relative resting state was a very good opportunity for the writer to get deeper into the characters and their relationships, but he prefers not to do so. In the second we have essentially a smaller recurrence of the exploration story that we encounter in the second book, a story that is of course adventurous but does not offer anything new although surely the revelations encountered by the heroes put the reader in some thought. Of course there is some interest in all of this but the author does not manage to make the reader emotionally involved. An example of this lack is that while we closely follow the course of the white dragon army and its atrocities, their description is completely dry and thus has no emotional impact.With all of this, we are on the way to the final battle, and things there are greatly improving till the epic finale. There, the author does a very good job describing the battles in a very exciting way that me at least swept me away. The nice thing is that in these battles, beyond the description of the events, we enter into the psychology of our heroes and so with the action there is enough emotion. This is magnified by the fact that the final battle takes place both at the level of the action of the troops and at the level of the emotional battle which is equally important. In other words, the author finally managed to compensate me, greatly reversing most of the negative impressions. At this end, even ending his reference to political systems, indirectly speaking of the infinite possibilities of compromise and linking it to the rest of history, it becomes clearer that the main issue is freedom and that the struggle in the end is about it.Στο τελευταίο μέρος αυτής της τριλογίας ο στρατός του λευκού δράκου συνεχίζει την φρικιαστική εκστρατεία του καταστρέφοντας τη μία πόλη μετά την άλλη, σκοτώνοντας ή σκλαβώνοντας τους κατοίκους τους. Την ίδια ώρα οι επαναστάσεις που ξεσπούν χωρίζουν τους ανθρώπους σε πολιτικά στρατόπεδα κάνοντας τους ανίκανους να καταλάβουν ότι πρέπει να ενωθούν για την αντιμετώπιση το κίνδυνο που απειλεί ολόκληρη την ανθρωπότητα. Οι ήρωες μας προσπαθούν σταματήσουν την καταστροφή με κάθε τρόπο ρισκάροντας τις ζωές τους αλλά πάνω από όλα χρησιμοποιώντας το μυαλό τους για να βρουν λύσεις και να είναι πάντα ένα βήμα μπροστά από τον εχθρό. Κάπως τα καταφέρνουν αλλά στο τέλος είναι φανερό ότι όλα θα κριθούν σε μία μεγάλη τελική μάχη όπου θα πρέπει να χτυπήσουν το κακό στη ρίζα του.Ενδιαφέρουσα η συνέχεια της ιστορίας αλλά νιώθω ότι αυτό το τελευταίο βιβλίο δεν δικαίωσε εντελώς τις προσδοκίες μου. Στο μεγαλύτερο μέρος του βιβλίου παρακολουθούμε από τη μία την προετοιμασία για τη μεγάλη μάχη, με την εκπαίδευση των στρατιωτών και την εύρεση πολεμικών τεχνολογιών και από την άλλη το ταξίδι για την αναζήτηση απαντήσεων που θα βοηθήσουν σε αυτή. Τον πρώτο δεν έχει αρκετό ενδιαφέρον καθώς περιορίζεται σε διάφορες διαπραγματεύσεις και περιγραφές καινοτομιών, χωρίς ο συγγραφέας να εμβαθύνει περισσότερο στην ψυχολογική παράμετρο της προετοιμασίας για την αντιμετώπιση ενός τόσο τρομερού κινδύνου. Αυτή η κατάσταση σχετικής ηρεμίας ήταν πολύ καλή ευκαιρία για τον συγγραφέα να εμβαθύνει περισσότερο στους χαρακτήρες και στις μεταξύ τους σχέσεις αλλά προτιμά να μην το κάνει. Στο δεύτερο έχουμε ουσιαστικά μία επανάληψη σε μικρότερη κλίμακα της ιστορίας εξερεύνησης που συναντάμε στο δεύτερο βιβλίο, μία ιστορία που είναι φυσικά περιπετειώδης αλλά δεν προσφέρει κάτι καινούργιο αν και σίγουρα οι αποκαλύψεις που συναντάμε οι ήρωες μας βάζουν τον αναγνώστη σε κάποια σκέψη. Φυσικά υπάρχει κάποιο ενδιαφέρον ακόμα και σε όλα αυτά αλλά ο συγγραφέας δεν καταφέρνει να κάνει τον αναγνώστη να εμπλακεί συναισθηματικά. Ένα παράδειγμα αυτής της έλλειψης είναι ότι ενώ παρακολουθούμε στενά την πορεία του στρατού του λευκού δράκου και τις βαρβαρότητες που κάνει, η περιγραφή τους είναι εντελώς ξερή και έτσι δεν έχει συναισθηματικό αντίκτυπο.Με όλα αυτά φτάνουμε στην πορεία για την τελική μάχη και εκεί τα πράγματα βελτιώνουν σημαντικά μέχρι το πραγματικά επικό φινάλε. Εκεί ο συγγραφέας κάνει πολύ καλή δουλειά περιγράφοντας τις μάχες με έναν πολύ συναρπαστικό τρόπο που εμένα τουλάχιστον με παρέσυρε. Το ωραίο είναι ότι μέσα σε αυτές τις μάχες πέρα από την περιγραφή των γεγονότων μπαίνουμε και στην ψυχολογία των ηρώων μας και έτσι μαζί με τη δράση υπάρχει και αρκετό συναίσθημα. Αυτό μεγεθύνεται και από το γεγονός ότι η τελική μάχη γίνεται τόσο στο επίπεδο της δράσης των στρατευμάτων, όσο και στο επίπεδο της συναισθηματικής μάχης μου είναι εξίσου σημαντική. Με άλλα λόγια ο συγγραφέας στο τέλος κατάφερε να με αποζημιώσει, ανατρέποντας σε μεγάλο βαθμό τις αρνητικές εντυπώσεις. Σε αυτό το τέλος μάλιστα τελειώνει και η αναφορά του στα πολιτικά συστήματα, μιλώντας έμμεσα για τις άπειρες δυνατότητες που δίνει ο συμβιβασμός και συνδέοντας αυτό με την υπόλοιπη ιστορία γίνεται πιο ξεκάθαρο ότι το κύριο θέμα είναι η ελευθερία και ότι ο αγώνας στο τέλος αφορά αυτήν.
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  • Liviu
    January 1, 1970
    very good ending to the trilogy - while a bit too pat on occasion, the book kept me interested and entertained till the end and it's definitely worth reading
  • Bee
    January 1, 1970
    As it's been a while since I've read the previous 2 books it took me a while to get into this one and remember everything that has happened in those 2. But the memory easily came back while reading. I'm not very much into Pirates and all the description of the machinery sometimes confused me more than it helped (also in book 1 and 2). But I really enjoyed reading this book. Of course my two favourite characters are Lizanne and Clay but I also grew fond of Tekela and the Sirus too. The world Anth As it's been a while since I've read the previous 2 books it took me a while to get into this one and remember everything that has happened in those 2. But the memory easily came back while reading. I'm not very much into Pirates and all the description of the machinery sometimes confused me more than it helped (also in book 1 and 2). But I really enjoyed reading this book. Of course my two favourite characters are Lizanne and Clay but I also grew fond of Tekela and the Sirus too. The world Anthony Ryan invented for this story is a pretty interesting one. With his other series I had the problem that I absolutely enjoyed book 1 (Blood song) but thought the other two grew worse. That didn't happen in this series. It was a great read through all three books and I'll read them again in some time. Only thing I thought sad was that (spoiler allert) all the "good" dragons died. But that didn't ruin the story for me :)
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  • Trevor Sherman
    January 1, 1970
    Review to come, but a pretty damn good ending
  • Mark
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed ready this book, I really enjoyed how the author wrapped up the ending with a really fast paced and enjoyable ending with also leaving a possible return to this excellent world for more books.From the start Anthony has written and created very strong female characters throughout the series who really came alive and grew as the book ended.A excellant highly recommend book and series.
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  • Sherwood Smith
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this was a stand-alone when I accepted it from NetGalley, but discovered it was book three in a long, complicated series.The story throws the reader right in where the previous ones must have ended. So most of this book, until the last fifth, was preparation for an amazingly complex final battle.I found it difficult to engage with the characters, partly because third book, but also the characters kept taking a magical drug that propelled them into the past. So it seemed as soon as the I thought this was a stand-alone when I accepted it from NetGalley, but discovered it was book three in a long, complicated series.The story throws the reader right in where the previous ones must have ended. So most of this book, until the last fifth, was preparation for an amazingly complex final battle.I found it difficult to engage with the characters, partly because third book, but also the characters kept taking a magical drug that propelled them into the past. So it seemed as soon as the pacing would begin to pick up, wham, another long flashback. Mind, these flashbacks might mean a lot more to a reader of the previous volumes.There was also what I considered way too much from the villains point of view. I get it, these are villains. I didn’t need yet another scene of killing hapless innocents in gross ways to get the idea across that these are all connected to the Big Bad, a White Dragon.On the plus side, the world-building was complex and intriguing, with machinery, dragons, psi powers and magical drugs all mixed up. There was also quite a bit of petty politics, which again might have had more impact if I’d known the characters before. But a lot of them were so short-sighted and selfish I don’t know that I would have wanted to follow them for three long books.It’s a strongly plot-driven book, with plenty of action and an interesting world, that comes to a gigantic smashup of a climax.Strongly suggest potential readers begin with book one!Copy provided by NetGalley
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  • Simone
    January 1, 1970
    There is a UK cover!
  • Michael Mclendon
    January 1, 1970
    Video review on Booknest.EUI enjoyed this final entry in the series though I admittedly didn’t enjoy it as much as the first two.The good:The Steampunk vs Dragons War comes to a head in a very big way.The story gets an ending that ties all the important bits up.There are moments that resonate throughout the book.The not so good:It feels poorly paced and a little tedious at times as the pieces are moved into place for the big finish.Some of the fun is stripped away in the name of telling a war st Video review on Booknest.EUI enjoyed this final entry in the series though I admittedly didn’t enjoy it as much as the first two.The good:The Steampunk vs Dragons War comes to a head in a very big way.The story gets an ending that ties all the important bits up.There are moments that resonate throughout the book.The not so good:It feels poorly paced and a little tedious at times as the pieces are moved into place for the big finish.Some of the fun is stripped away in the name of telling a war story.
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  • Ceki
    January 1, 1970
    Look at that amazing cover! Can't wait for it!
  • Kristobelle
    January 1, 1970
    I'm going to second Petrik's review pretty much to the word.I think that it just started the race to the end too early, and so it had to be stretched out a little too much to keep everything tight and interesting.Plus, I'm really about character driven story lines, which this definitely wasn't - so I spent a lot of the time underwhelmed. For those that like plot at the forefront, this will be more for you.
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  • Maja
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating 4,5 starsThis trilogy has been a great fun to read. Filled with action and dragons and from the beginning I took a real liking to Clay and Lizanne. I had the fortune to read the two first books before reading Ryan's Raven's Shadow books which turned out to be a let down. Had I read that trilogy before this one I probably would never had bothered with it. But this one is SO MUCH BETTER on every part. Great characters. Great plot. And did I mention dragons? So if you didn't find Rave Actual rating 4,5 starsThis trilogy has been a great fun to read. Filled with action and dragons and from the beginning I took a real liking to Clay and Lizanne. I had the fortune to read the two first books before reading Ryan's Raven's Shadow books which turned out to be a let down. Had I read that trilogy before this one I probably would never had bothered with it. But this one is SO MUCH BETTER on every part. Great characters. Great plot. And did I mention dragons? So if you didn't find Raven's Shadow your cup of tea, there may still be a chance you will like this one.
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  • K.V. Johansen
    January 1, 1970
    A stirring conclusion to the trilogy. Ryan does a great job keeping all the plot threads in play. The complex corporate political dance continues even as the world is overrun with horrors, while Clay, Lizanne, Hilemore and the rest struggle to find a way to defeat the White drake and salvage something from the ruins. The battles are thrilling and the complex politics and character relationships continue to be convincing. I ended up reading it in one sitting, actually. Masterfully done.
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  • Andrew
    January 1, 1970
    Full review at The Quill to Live: https://thequilltolive.com/2018/05/24...I find myself sadly wrapping up a number of series this month, leaving me feeling like I am saying goodbye to a number of dear friends. Today’s book is the finale in the Draconis Memoria, Anthony Ryan’s newest trilogy. The final book is called The Empire of Ashes, and I will tell you right off the bat that it sticks the landing. If you liked The Waking Fire or The Legion of Flame, I have no doubt that the final book will g Full review at The Quill to Live: https://thequilltolive.com/2018/05/24...I find myself sadly wrapping up a number of series this month, leaving me feeling like I am saying goodbye to a number of dear friends. Today’s book is the finale in the Draconis Memoria, Anthony Ryan’s newest trilogy. The final book is called The Empire of Ashes, and I will tell you right off the bat that it sticks the landing. If you liked The Waking Fire or The Legion of Flame, I have no doubt that the final book will give you everything you want. I am going to direct this review to those who have read the first, or first two, book(s), but if you are unfamiliar with the series you can find my sell on The Waking Fire here. It would be easy to say “it’s just as good as the others” and leave the review at that, but Empire does a great job distilling and promoting my favorite elements of The Draconis Memoria – and as we close out the series, this seems like a good time to talk about them.The Plot – Empire brings it all together. The plot of Draconis has been steller from the start: ragtag group of individuals banding together in a industrial world to stop a dragon menace with guns and magic. As the series has progressed it has been one twist after another, with the plot pulling you along at a breakneck pace. While Empire still has the same level of engrossing story as the previous two books, where it improves the plot is how everything comes together. Anthony Ryan must have planned this story on a giant conspiracy board because every seemingly unrelated thing in the books come together in the end to form a huge picture. The level of detail and connection in the plot is astounding and I felt elated as I watched all the pieces from this series fall into place.The World – Each book in Draconis has expanded the scope of the world. Waking started on a single island, Legion expanded to the major continents/empires, and Empire shows the you full world that Ryan has crafted. I was surprised at how well Empire managed to balance fleshing out its entire world and a focused engaging story. Ryan’s ability to paint a huge sweeping picture of a living world with tons of different governments and peoples, while also losing none of the pacing and immersiveness of his plot is a step up from his past work with his last series, The Raven’s Shadow. On top of all of this, the plot of Empire sees the birth of a technological arms race to combat the White’s power that is spectacular to witness. Ryan’s talent for fight scenes comes through in spades as you read spectacular show downs of magic, machines, and dragons.The Characters – While there are many reasons I would tell you to read this series, the greatest is its characters. The cast of this book contains a number of my new favorite characters, including one that might be my #1 badass of all time. When I started The Waking Fire, I thought Clay was the coolest guy in town. While my love for Clay has in no way been diminished, I have realized that there is an even greater champion of amazingness in this series: Lizanne. I don’t normally focus so much attention on a single character, but Holy Christ do I love Lizanne. She effortlessly mixed uptight bureaucrat, fearless leader, and unstoppable badass into one incredible, and believable, person. She feels flawed enough to be real, but capable enough to be someone that would have entire history books written about her. Her reactions to everything are priceless, her fight scenes and stunts are legendary, and she is someone I really wish I could be friends with. While she eclipses the others, the entire cast of Empire has these qualities in some form, and I found I was not ready to leave this world when I was finishing the last pages.The Empire of Ashes is a phenomenal conclusion to a series that has only gotten better in each book, and started off strong. My one and only criticism of it is that there is a pretty obvious Chekhov’s Gun that is left on the table, Ryan even makes a nod to it, and it left me pretty disappointed. However, other than that Empire is everything I could have wanted it to be and I cannot wait to find out what Ryan has in store for us next.Rating:The Empire of Ashes – 9.5/10Draconis Memoria – 9.5/10-Andrew
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  • Kaelan Rhywiol
    January 1, 1970
    I’m honestly torn, writing this review. I normally want to scream from the rooftops about how much I loved Mr. Ryan’s newest book. Instead, I only liked it, and saying that makes me feel sorta icky because I do legitimately usually love his work.In fact, I adored the first two books in this series so much that I was very much looking forward to this one.Some things were off about this book for me, and I can pinpoint specifically what they were. The writing was as brilliant as anything else Mr. R I’m honestly torn, writing this review. I normally want to scream from the rooftops about how much I loved Mr. Ryan’s newest book. Instead, I only liked it, and saying that makes me feel sorta icky because I do legitimately usually love his work.In fact, I adored the first two books in this series so much that I was very much looking forward to this one.Some things were off about this book for me, and I can pinpoint specifically what they were. The writing was as brilliant as anything else Mr. Ryan has ever put forth, (meaning it’s excellent) so it’s definitely not a craft issue, nor a storytelling one. Those areas were still as good as his work usually is.My problem was twofold, one, there were far too many guns/bombs for my personal taste in this final chapter of the series. I don’t know if I was expecting anything different, given that it IS a steampunk/Victoriana type fantasy world. But the story felt like it was bogged down by too much gunplay and not enough character interaction. It’s very much a *me* problem, I love character-driven fiction vs plot centered, and this book felt more plot centered than the first two did.SPOILERS AHEAD: My other issue is a problem with fantasy in general. The older I get the less I’m willing to read stories where companion animals die. On top of not just one, but two brave companion animals dying in this story, they weren’t even honored by the human main characters and that really made the story take a down-turn in enjoyment for me. The bad dude dragon got a better send off than the hero dragons. IF they have to die, they should at least be mourned and honored for their sacrifice, not having the main characters sorta shrug it off and go about their merry way. Especially these two, they sacrificed everything, and despite that, (I mean, yes, it’s in the middle of a battle, so angst right away might have to be put off, but they need some sort of acknowledgment to make me happy. The author has already killed them off. I mean, jeez.)I’d really love it if fantasy authors, in general, would just stop killing off companion animals. I’d much rather they killed off the human characters to be completely honest, and why can’t we actually have happy endings in fantasy? Where the valiant heroes get to go home with their animal friends and their lovers and they can actually enjoy what they fought so hard to achieve? Maybe it’s unrealistic, and I’m not usually one who craves fluffier endings (realism is usually a positive for me) but when it comes to animal deaths, I’d prefer just to skip it all-together. There’s something innocent and pure about animals, and we humans always manage to harm them. I’d like there to be much less harm to critters in my fantasy, which is an escape for me.It’s just something that hurts my heart badly to read, to no good purpose that couldn’t be achieved by another method, as far as writing goes. (I’m an author and an editor, so I know the techniques that could be used instead.) I’d dearly like fantasy authors to stop doing this to me, since fantasy is my favorite genre, hands down.I do still recommend the book, it’s a well written, tight closure to an amazing fantasy world that I enjoyed spending hours within. It bothers me that I only *liked* this book, when I was hoping to love it.Lolz, but I did finish reading it, it kept me up past my bedtime and I didn’t throw it at a wall. (I have legitimately thrown books at the wall before if they’ve pissed me off. Most of the time I just DNF it.) So I liked it a lot. I just didn’t love it.
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  • Barb Lie
    January 1, 1970
    The Empire of Ashes by Anthony Ryan is the 3rd and final book in his The Draconis Memoria trilogy. This series is an epic fantasy, with an amazing amount of details and world building that includes magic, war, destruction, blood blessed and dragons. Though the dragons are a major part of the storyline, it is the blood blessed humans who drink the blood harvested from dead dragons that give them the magic to perform many amazing powerful feats. The story revolves around a war, with the Dragons (R The Empire of Ashes by Anthony Ryan is the 3rd and final book in his The Draconis Memoria trilogy. This series is an epic fantasy, with an amazing amount of details and world building that includes magic, war, destruction, blood blessed and dragons. Though the dragons are a major part of the storyline, it is the blood blessed humans who drink the blood harvested from dead dragons that give them the magic to perform many amazing powerful feats. The story revolves around a war, with the Dragons (Red, Blue, Green & Black) lead by the all mighty White Dragon, who are bent on killing all humans, with the help of “spoiled” (humans mentally converted by the White to do his bidding). As the White Dragon and those enthralled build a powerful and dangerous army to take over the world, the story line continues with the POV of the three leading characters we met in the first book…Lizanne, Clay, Hilemore. There is also a Pov in the eyes of Sirus, who is spoiled, and working under the White enthrallment. This is a dark complex world created by Ryan, with the horrors of the battles, as fight they fight for survival in a war against the Dragons onslaught. Lizanne and Clay, who continue to be the main characters, are both blood blessed, which enables them to use the effects of the powers from drinking the blood to use magic to fight against the enemy and find a way to defeat them before it’s too late. I did feel early on, the complex details and the many characters throughout dragged the story a bit, especially since this was over 600 pages. The last third of the book was thrilling as we raced to the climax. What follows is an exciting, dangerous, intense storyline filled with non-stop action. All of our heroes are on their own, with no contact; and as the tension grows, we fear for their lives, as well as losing hope that this is battle they cannot win. To tell too much more would be spoilers, as this is a difficult review to write, with so many details. I will say that I loved Lizanne, as she was some tough heroine, who refused to ever give up, and I loved Clay.Anthony Ryan does a masterful job in bringing this intense and complex story to a satisfying conclusion. If you enjoy epic fantasies, in a sort of sci-fi dystopian world, with lots of action, then you should be reading this series.BarbThe Reading Cafe
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  • Levi
    January 1, 1970
    Disclosure: I received a copy of this book via NetgalleyIn The Waking Fire and The Legion of Flame, we started a steampunk adventure where an expedition to the heart of the Arradsian continent unleashed the legendary White Drake. The White led its forces on a campaign of global destruction that has upended the old order of Corporate and Imperial dominance.In The Empire of Ashes, Clay Torcreek and his company of Longrifles must complete a mission to find a weapon that can bring down the White Dra Disclosure: I received a copy of this book via NetgalleyIn The Waking Fire and The Legion of Flame, we started a steampunk adventure where an expedition to the heart of the Arradsian continent unleashed the legendary White Drake. The White led its forces on a campaign of global destruction that has upended the old order of Corporate and Imperial dominance.In The Empire of Ashes, Clay Torcreek and his company of Longrifles must complete a mission to find a weapon that can bring down the White Drake. Meanwhile, Captain Corrick Hilemore and Lizanne Lethridge are each trying to organize groups of survivors to fight against the White's forces.Another long volume, the book devotes quite a bit of time getting all the pieces in place for the final showdown. Ryan has a fondness for switching POV's when characters are in precarious situations, leaving the reader in suspense. This trick is one of many ways he invokes the feel of the old pulp adventure novels, while updating them to 21st-century sensibilities. The whole series combines the most fun aspects of classic pulp adventure---Lost World, Hollow Earth, Spy Adventure, Political Intrigue, Naval Adventure, Pirate Adventure, Edisonade, Dragons---while simultaneously subverting the colonialism and misogyny that were mainstays of those genres.Verdict:This is an epic ending to an awesome steampunk adventure!View the complete review here at Epic Grit.
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  • Amy Braun
    January 1, 1970
    Wow. That was an ending! The third and final book in THE DRACONIS MEMORIA is definitely the most epic in the trilogy. There was barely a moment to breathe as the heroes moved through the world waging a desperate war against the drakes. Honestly, there were points where I didn't think anyone would survive! That said, I'm really satisfied with this ending. All the arcs were fulfilled for our main characters, and of everyone, I have to say that Lizanne was at her most intense. Seriously, I knew she Wow. That was an ending! The third and final book in THE DRACONIS MEMORIA is definitely the most epic in the trilogy. There was barely a moment to breathe as the heroes moved through the world waging a desperate war against the drakes. Honestly, there were points where I didn't think anyone would survive! That said, I'm really satisfied with this ending. All the arcs were fulfilled for our main characters, and of everyone, I have to say that Lizanne was at her most intense. Seriously, I knew she was hardcore, but she went into absolute BEAST MODE for this finale. There were lots of surprises, drama, and emotional character deaths, and I'm truly going to miss the few that managed to make it out alive. This was a fantastic fantasy series and I truly recommend it to anyone looking for an adventure, steampunk fantasy, or alternative dragon lore to their summer. You won't be disappointed!
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  • Darren McGowan
    January 1, 1970
    ExcellentWhat a wonderful wrap up to a fantastic story. This book, I believe, was everything one could ask for in a finale. Storylines were wrapped up while hinting at future storylines. All the characters had major parts to play and none were denied their time in the spotlight. Characters were very interesting and very relatable. I enjoyed the magic system here of being dragons blood, makes for interesting times when trying to acquire some. The vast world is richly written, while always being b ExcellentWhat a wonderful wrap up to a fantastic story. This book, I believe, was everything one could ask for in a finale. Storylines were wrapped up while hinting at future storylines. All the characters had major parts to play and none were denied their time in the spotlight. Characters were very interesting and very relatable. I enjoyed the magic system here of being dragons blood, makes for interesting times when trying to acquire some. The vast world is richly written, while always being believable. Plenty of action in this book, whether you enjoy ground battles, air or by sea. Looking forward to more stories in this world.
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  • Shorya
    January 1, 1970
    I absolutely loved this book. End of triologies are really hard, but Ryan nailed this one. The story is well thought out and is just really an amazing concept , but (perhaps foolishly and naively) I wished for more development between characters and their perspective relationships. It was a little trying at times, the switch in character perspectives at peak levels of action occasionally frustrated me, but in all it was a small price for the immersive saga. The characters themselves were pretty I absolutely loved this book. End of triologies are really hard, but Ryan nailed this one. The story is well thought out and is just really an amazing concept , but (perhaps foolishly and naively) I wished for more development between characters and their perspective relationships. It was a little trying at times, the switch in character perspectives at peak levels of action occasionally frustrated me, but in all it was a small price for the immersive saga. The characters themselves were pretty great, no complaints, and Sirus’s chapters were a refreshing change and a nice addition. Can’t wait to read whatever Ryan produces next
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  • Gregg Buford
    January 1, 1970
    I will read this one again along with the rest of the series to get really get the story. I found myself wondering how will it end and not wanting it to end. By halfway it did look like the story would be wrapped up with this book. I did enjoy this world and wouldn't mind seeing another book written later in the future. This book had all the same great pacing, action and great writing as the first two in the series. I kept wondering which characters would make it to the end and happily most of t I will read this one again along with the rest of the series to get really get the story. I found myself wondering how will it end and not wanting it to end. By halfway it did look like the story would be wrapped up with this book. I did enjoy this world and wouldn't mind seeing another book written later in the future. This book had all the same great pacing, action and great writing as the first two in the series. I kept wondering which characters would make it to the end and happily most of them did.
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  • Sara
    January 1, 1970
    Damn that was a solid ending to a fantastic series. My one complaint is that the ending feels a little rushed. We get to the final war and everything happens so quickly. I was expecting more of the book to be the climax, but it rushed by so quickly. I would also have loved a little more of the aftermath. The end of the battle was pretty much the end of the book. I want to know what happened long-term to the characters!
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  • Jesslyn
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed the ending to this trilogy and was satisfied with it from a story perspective, but I think the final battles went on a bit too long. It would have rated another star if it wasn't so much of the same battle. The excellent narration got me through them and I did enjoy the book--I wouldn't mind seeing more of this world.
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  • Milan
    January 1, 1970
    Very good and entertaining series. Really enjoyed all three books, the characters, the setting and the plot. Ending felt a little bit rushed but otherwise it was an excellent read. Looking forward to the next thing Ryan writes.
  • Tarik Ruffin
    January 1, 1970
    A very fun adventure!I truly enjoyed the story starting from Waking Fire and following into Empire of Ashes. I hope that we return to this world soon for more adventures, dragons, battles, and mysteries.
  • Nicholas Talty
    January 1, 1970
    All the stars. Kind of wishing there was a fourth book to wrap up some questions. Rushed ending.
  • Garrett Olinde
    January 1, 1970
    I liked the series very much. However this book had several plot threads that were disconnected. I hope there are several short stories cloned off of this series.
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