The Draconis Memoria - Book 1
I loved this book! Yes, it seemed to take a while for me to read, I have no idea why, but I absolutely loved it. :)
The Waking Fire is a wonderful mix of dragon fantasy, steampunk, military and adventure and some magic thrown in for good measure. Sounds like quite the jumble, but it works spectacularly well, IMO.
The three main characters, whose POVs we follow throughout the book, are very different - a small-time street criminal, a lady spy and and upright, honourable Navy man - but they all have one thing in common that I'm not sure I can describe well enough. But it's got to do with conscience, honour, selflessness (this is a maybe)... I don't know bit they all have this 'it' factor. And they're all likable while having recognisable flaws, which I find very, very important.
The world that Ryan has created is familiar yet different. There is some incredible world-building here and it's fascinating - even though there were a few parts when I found the descriptive passages a tad tedious. That's probably what kept this from a 5 star read for me.
A word about the dragons. They're different from most of the dragons we read about in fantasy and I feel like we've only scratched the surface in this book one of the series. I don't know how many books it's projected to be, but let me tell you, I can't wait to get my hands on the second book when it gets down to a reasonable price! Definitely one of my favourite reads of the year. :)