Dragonfly Falling (Shadows of the Apt, Book Two): Adrian Tchaikovsky

This is the second of the Shadow of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky,  set in a nicely created fantasy world.


The book picks up where the first one left off, with the whole cast of characters moving on with what they where doing. While some new characters do come in, it is good to see the development of the existing characters. Here there is some solid character development – I especially like Totho’s story.

We also get to see more of the nations of the world, and see that not only are the characters well built, but the world they inhabit is as well.

The development here is good, however the book is clearly part of the series, and I think would not make as much sense if the first book in the series was not read first.


Empire in Black and Gold (Shadows of the Apt, Book One): Adrian Tchaikovsky

This is the first of the Shadow of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky, set in a nicely created fantasy world. In this world all the characters, the “humans” are related to insects, and from the type of insect their related to they inherit some of the natural abilities (called Arts) of that insect. This works well with a nice selection of insect-kin being presented (and not all of them know about).

The main plot follows Stenwold Maker and his attempts to prevent his home land falling to the Wasp Empire. In general there is both high action and cunning intrigue going on together. With a nice cast of characters who seem in the main rounded and with their own plot and background.

Another feature which I liked was that we saw things from both sides, with the author not showing a distinct favouritism to one side or the other in the narrative (though many characters do so), and thus there is no clear good and evil here, only the main shades of grey which are found when dealing with ethical questions.