Game of Thrones is arguably the best television show of all time.
I say that with a knowing that as I type, a million and one Breaking bad fans will be all like "dude, you clearly never seen Breaking Bad".
I have seen it and I love it! But where Game of Thrones takes the mantel for me is the fact that some very serious s**t will eventually go down. Yes of course, you can say the same kind of climatic setup was always due to explode in the final episodes of Breaking Bad. However, Breaking Bad for all of it's solid stories and their ridged structure, it doesn't have dragons!
It is from this longing to see these dragons kick them Lannisters back into Westeros' dark ages, that I found myself picking up the Waking Fire by Anthony Ryan, the international bestselling author of Blood Song, with "dar dar, dar dar dar.. DAR!" Ringing its way through the confines of my skull.
Before I start, let me just make one thing clear. I am a massive sucker for a good book cover, and well, yes I mean look at that..
I know, I know, I know. I am a geek and if you didn't know me any better than I imagine you're picturing my wardrobe to contain such classics as the black shirt with the fire on the sleeves. Or, that I might spend my Saturdays rolling dice and paint miniature dwarves. Well, one of those is in fact true, so yes I am a geek and any book cover with a dragon on the front going ROARR!!! and being awesome is generally going to get my attention.
The Waking Fire is a very large book. So it came with great joy that I begin to read it on a Friday evening to myself. I sat in my chair by the book case and lit a candle next to me, so that I could see the words flickering on the page. If you have never had the pleasure of reading a book in this way I suggest that you do. A good fantasy novel or history book is always perfect for the candle light, empty house, am I in the middle ages?? Setup.
From the first few chapters it's pretty clear to pin point exactly where Ryan was pulling on inspiration. Hidden powers contained in blood, a mystical group of fighters able to weld such power? To be fair, originality in published fantasy and even Sci-Fi (to a certain degree), will always carry such sellable, safe trends. Less and less publishers are willing to take a chance on a story if they feel it doesn't meet those fashionable characteristics; remember all of those ghastly vampire teen titles?!
The Waking Fire however, is as fabulous a story as the rest of her already published clones. We have of course the loveable rouge in Clayton Torcreek, tasked in finding this realm's "chosen one". He certainly isn't anyone you've not read about before, but his adventure makes for wonderful escapism. Ryan has weaved a bright and magical world for you to explore along with the wonderfully woven prose as a guide, through what is sure to be another fantasy classic.
The Waking Fire is due for release July 7th and is published by Orbit.