Blog Archives

#CBR4 Maneuver #25 – Salute the Dark

Target: Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Salute the Dark (Shadows of the Apt #4)

Profile: Alternative Fantasy, Steampunk, Epic Fantasy

Summary: From the back cover, “The vampiric sorcerer Uctebri has at last got his hands on the Shadow Box and can finally begin his dark ritual – a ritual that the Wasp-kinden Emperor believes will grant him immortality – but Uctebri has his own plans for both the Emperor and for the Empire.

The massed Wasp armies are on the march, and the spymaster Stenwold must see which of his allies will stand now that the war has finally arrived.  This time the Empire will not stop until a black and gold flag waves over Stenwold’s own home city of Collegium.

Tisamon the Weaponsmaster is faced with a terrible [future]: a path that could lead him to abandon his friends and his daughter, to face degradation and loss, and probably bring him before the Wasp Emperor with a blade in his hand – but is he being driven by Mantis-kinden honor, or manipulated by something more sinister?”

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#CBR4 Maneuver #15 – Blood of the Mantis

Target: Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Blood of the Mantis (Shadows of the Apt #3) 

Profile: Alternative Fantasy, Steampunk, Epic Fantasy

Summary: From the Back Cover, “Driven by the ghosts of the Darakyon, Achaeos has tracked the stolen Shadow Box to the marsh town of Jerez, but he has only days before the magical box is lost him forever.  Meanwhile, the forces of the Empire are mustering over winter for their great offensive, gathering their soldiers and perfecting their new weapons.  Stenwold and his followers have only a short time to gather what allies they can before the Wasp armies march again, conquering everything in their path.  If they cannot throw back the Wasps this spring, then the imperial black-and-gold flag will fly over every city in the Lowlands before the year’s end.  In Jerez there begins a fierce struggle over the Shadow Box, as lake creatures, secret police, and renegade magicians compete to take possession.  If it falls into the hands of the Wasp Emperor, however, no amount of fighting will suffice to save the world from his relentless ambition.”

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#CBR4 Maneuver #7 – Dragonfly Falling

Target: Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Dragonfly Falling (Shadows of the Apt #2)

Profile: Alternative Fantasy, Steampunk, Military Fiction

Summary: From the Back Cover, “The armies of the Wasp Empire are on the march, and first to feel their might will be the city of Tark, which is even now preparing for siege.  Within its walls, Salma and Totho must weather the storm, as the Ant-kinden take a stand, against numbers and weaponry such as the Lowlands have never seen.

After his earlier victory against them, the Empire’s secret service has decided that veteran artificer Stenwold Maker is too dangerous to live.  So disgraced Major Thalric is dispatched on a desperate mission, not only to eliminate Stenwold himself, but to bring about the destruction of his beloved city of Collegium, and thus end all hope of intelligent resistance to remorseless imperial advance.

While the Empire’s troops are laying waste to all in their way, the young Emperor himself is treading a different path.  His thoughts are on darker things than a mere conquest, however, and if he attains his goal he will precipitate a reign of blood that will last a thousand years.” Read the rest of this entry

CBRIII Maneuver #21 – Empire in Black and Gold

Target: Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Empire in Black and Gold

Profile: Fantasy, Steampunk, Something else…

Summary: From the back of the book, “The city-states of theLowlandshave lived in peace fore decades, bastions of civilization, prosperity, and sophistication, protected by treaties, trade, and a belief in the reasonable nature of their neighbors.

But meanwhile, in far-off corners, the Wasp Empire has been devouring city after city wit hits highly trained armies, its machines, its killing Art… And now its hunger for conquest and war has become insatiable.

Only the aging Stenwold Maker, spymaster, artificer, and statesman, can see that the long days of peace are over.  It falls upon the shoulder to open the eyes of his people, before a black-and-gold tide sweeps down over theLowlandsand burns away everything in its path.” Read the rest of this entry