Throughout the vast lands controlled by the Ironship Trading Syndicate, nothing is more prized than the blood of drakes. Harvested from captive or hunted Reds, Greens, Blues and Blacks, it can be distilled into elixirs that bestow fearsome powers on the rare men and women known as the Blood-blessed.
But not many know the truth: that the lines of drakes are weakening. If they fail, war with the neighbouring Corvantine Empire will follow swiftly. The Syndicate's last hope resides in whispers of the existence of another breed of drake, far more powerful than the rest, and the few who have been chosen by fate to seek it.
Claydon Torcreek is a petty thief and an unregistered Blood-blessed who finds himself pressed into service by the Protectorate and sent to wild, uncharted lands in search of a creature he believes is little more than legend. Lizanne Lethridge is a formidable spy and assassin facing gravest danger on an espionage mission deep into the heart of enemy territory. And Corrick Hilemore is the second lieutenant of an Ironship cruiser whose pursuit of ruthless brigands leads him to a far greater threat at the edge of the world.
As lives and empires clash and intertwine, as the unknown and the known collide, all three must fight to turn the tide of a coming war, or drown in its wake.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-06-06
- Reviewer: Staff
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)