Review of “Empire in Black and Gold” – Book One of “Shadows of the Apt” by Adrian Tchaikovsky


I posted this review back in 2010 – and given the subsequent popularity of the series, thought you might like to read it, again…


Enjoy smoothly told High Fantasy? Let’s see – there has to be a cast of well-fleshed characters fighting against an evil Empire and a satisfyingly complex villain, which you almost feel sorry for – until you empireofblack&golddiscover exactly what he’s done… And the third person POV needs to move slickly between the characters with none of that jolting irritation because you’ve become too strongly attached to one of character’s storylines over the rest… Oh – and the battle scenes have to be packed with plenty of high octane action, clearly told and gripping because you really care what happens to the main protagonists.
Have I left anything out? Hm… Well, there has to be some new fresh angle on this oft-trod path – otherwise you might as well reread one of your very well-thumbed favourite books. What if this tale is set in a world where various human tribes take…

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4 responses »

  1. I quite enjoyed the first book, but the second one started to drag for me and in the end, after finishing it, I read the back cover descriptions on the rest of the series and gave it all away.

    • lol… And THAT’S the joy of reading! Wouldn’t it be a dull old world if we all liked the same books? Thank you for taking the time to comment, anyway. Who are your favourite authors, Melfka?

      • Indeed. I think I was disappointed because the first book promised me good (and long, seeing the size of the series) entertainment, and the second turned out to be a let down to me.
        My favourite authors? A bunch of Polish ones, plus Dan Simmons, Catherynne Valente, Peter Watts… But they are not really the “pure entertainment” shelf like Tchaikovski.

      • I haven’t read Catherynne Valente or Peter Watts – I do like Simmons, though – in moderation. His work verges on the savage. Have you tried ‘God’s War’ by Kameron Hurley?

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