The Legion of Flame picks up directly after the events of The Waking Fire (review), as our adventurers must contend with the White drake menace that they’ve unleashed on the world.
I love the sandbox that author Anthony Ryan has created — a Victorian-era world filled with steampunk gadgets and a politically complex society. Unfortunately, a cool setting is not enough to overcome a thin plot that struggles to carry the novel.
That being said, the first few hundred pages were outstanding. The pacing was much better than the first book as there was less reliance on action sequences to drive the narrative forward. It’s these quieter moments (the scheming, the politics, etc.) where Ryan’s writing is most engaging. I find his action sequences to be difficult to follow and repetitive. There are only so many times a chapter can end with impending danger at the unexpected sight of a dragon.
Eventually, much like the first book, things descend into a dizzying action bonanza. This, coupled with an ending with little resolution, makes my commitment to finishing this series up in the air.
★★¾ out of 5