The Legion of Flame is the second book in Anthony Ryan’s Draconis Memoria trilogy and in my opinion, it’s a much better book in comparison to its predecessor. The story picked up immediately after the end of the first book and almost everything about this book was much more compelling to read; probably because it felt more like it’s an epic or military fantasy in comparison to the previous book, where it was a mix of Indiana Jones, James Bond, and Pirates of the Caribbean.
I think the reason why I liked this one more is that I’m already used to the settings and characters of the world. The first book took me more than 200 pages to finally made me interested, this one I was interested almost completely. Lizanne continues to be the badass female character of the series and there are some important events and incredible action scenes happening in her POV. However, the last half of her POV was quite unnecessary in my opinion, it didn’t seem to have any major importance in the main story and it’s more like Ryan is trying to lengthen the pages of the book.
“Only amidst war and horror did I discover what it feels like to love. A life without it is a barren, wasted thing, Miss Lethridge.”
Clay’s POV received a major improvement and became my favorite POV in the book. It’s in his story that we get to see tons of new information on the world-building but most importantly, revelations on the drake’s origins and where the Blood-Blessed originally came from.
I had a lot of trouble with Hilemore’s POV and although his POV isn’t boring to read anymore—due to his story converging with other important characters—I still think that he didn’t really need a POV. For two books, his presence seems way overshadowed by all the other characters and if he didn’t exist, it won’t matter to the story at all. Maybe Ryan is preparing his character for the big conclusion in the third book but for now, I stand by my words that Hilemore is an unnecessary character.
Lastly, there’s a new POV here. I can’t mention the name because it will be spoilers but I found that his POV a super nice addition to the series as it brings more depth and complexity The Spoiled and some of the dragon’s personality and behaviors.
Overall, The Legion of Flame is a great sequel that builds upon the foundation The Waking Fire laid. Anthony Ryan can also certainly write, his prose even seems like literature’s kind of prose to me sometimes. By the end of this book, everything seems to have been prepared for the final book and I sincerely hope that Anthony Ryan will be able to nail a satisfying ending for the trilogy.