Here's SCI-FI-LONDON Literary Editor Robert Grant's review of book 4 in Adrian Tchaikovsky's Shadows of the Apt series, the brilliant SALUTE THE DARK. We'll be publishing book 8 in August, entitled THE AIR WAR. Keep up, this man is one prolific heroic fantasy scriber!
Failure to capture the Shadow Box prompts Stenwold's closest friends to disband and fight their own battles. Tisamon’s path leads him to abandon friends and family but might bring him before the Wasp Emperor with a blade in his hand, but Tynisa following her father to the Wasp capital. Uctebri, meanwhile, plans the dark ritual that the Wasp Emperor believes will grant him immortality, though Uctebri's plans actually favour of his own kinden. At Collegium Stenwold waits to see if his allies will stand now that the massed Wasp armies have finally arrived at the city’s doorstep.
Once again Adrian Tchaikovsky has wrought a magnificent tale, multi-layered, rich in texture and full of reward for the reader. I've waxed lyrical on several occasions about his talent for characterisation and flair for plot, and all of these qualities are in abundance here along with pitched battles, aerial dogfights and vaguely steampunk technology topped off with a tiny dash of mysticism. Really, I couldn’t have been happier if he’d tucked me up in bed and read it to me personally!
Interestingly, at this point all major plot threads end, character arcs are brought to a close in mostly satisfactory ways (although some sorrow is inevitable in the aftermath of war) and in many ways it's hard to see what could happen next. But stick with me my friends, much anticipation heralds the next instalment THE SCARAB PATH.
Read the recaps of EMPIRE IN BLACK AND GOLD, DRAGONFLY FALLING and BLOOD OF THE MANTIS Catch up with Adrian on his blog, ShadowsOfTheApt.com For more news and reviews from Robert Grant, go to the SCI-FI-LONDON website