The city states of the Lowlands have lived in peace for decades, bastions of civilization, prosperity and sophistication, protected by treaties, trade and a belief in the reasonable nature of their neighbours.
But meanwhile, in far-off corners, the Wasp Empire has been devouring city after city with its highly trained armies, its machines, it killing Art . . . And now its hunger for conquest and war has become insatiable.
Only the ageing Stenwold Maker, spymaster, artificer and statesman, can see that the long days of peace are over. It falls upon his shoulders to open the eyes of his people, before a black-and-gold tide sweeps down over the Lowlands and burns away everything in its path.
But first he must stop himself from becoming the Empire's latest victim.
"Tchaikovsky succeeds at creating a compelling, absorbing and unique plot populated with characters worth investing time in. Interestingly, the humans in this series could be considered the monsters in any other series, and the insect/human hybrid characters are believable and fascinating. A promising debut by a verbose and lyrical writer. Four stars: Compelling—Page-turner." —RT Book Reviews
"Tchaikovsky's first novel exhibits a vibrancy and creative spirit that commands attention. Set in a world where human tribes are identified with totem insects—e.g., messenger Fly-kinden, military-minded Ant-kinden—the story moves quickly between intensely personal interactions and scenes of large-scale battle... This original and well-told series opener belongs in most fantasy collections and deserves exposure to a wide audience."
Join the Empire
Posted by Lou Anders
For a limited time, Empire in Black and Gold, the first book in Adrian Tchaikovsky's brilliant fantasy epic, Shadows of the Apt, is available on Kindle at the reduced price of $1.99.