Dragonfly Falling by Adrian Tchaikovsky
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.
The second book in the Shadows of the Apt series tells of the continuing adventures of Stenwold, Che, Tisamon, Tybisa, Salma, Totho and a host of others, and their battles against the Wasp Empire. Salma and Totho embark on a spying mission to Tark to witness the menacing Wasp army as they wage war against the ant-kinden colony. Meanwhile, disgraced Major Thalric is also on a mission to eliminate Stenwold Maker and bring about the destruction of Collegium and The Lowlands. As the Empire closes in on The Lowlands the Emperor’s thoughts are on other matters...
I was eager to read this novel, having thoroughly enjoyed the preceding book ‘Empire in Black and Gold’. It does not disappoint. It continues where Empire leaves off and I don’t mean Return of the Jedi. In Tchaikovsky’s second book in this exciting series the writing is more assured and the world building is taking shape nicely. The world of the insect-kinden, and their many different attributes, is both fascinating and has provided the first two books with a new flavour in the world of fantasy. The second book concentrates more on characterisation and the telling of the beginning of the war between the Wasp Empire and the Lowlands. The characters are all there from the previous book, although Cheerwell Maker takes a secondary role in this story, while more focus is placed upon Salma and Totho’s adventures. We delve more into the role of the Artificer and this is an interesting addition to the story. An artificer is basically an inventor, repairer and maintenance man in the world of weaponry and machinery.
The story is action packed and Tchaikovsky’s handling of the fight scenes is thrilling. The characters are continuing to grow and we learn more of their motivations. We are also introduced to new characters such as Drephos the Imperial auxiliary-artificer, and Uctebri a sort of vampire-kinden. Although the book is close to seven hundred pages long it never feels it, as the pace and action drive the story ever on. The world is greatly expanded and we learn more of the various insects and their ways. We are also introduced to the Emperor, and a side story is told. Thalric continues in the rich vein that we saw him develop in the first book and brings an occasional humour to the proceedings. Every book needs a baddie and Thalric is a great character.
So there we are, Dragonfly Falling is a more assured book than Empire and continues to deliver the goods. Adrian Tchaikovsky has continued to grow as a writer and the Shadows of the Apt looks set to have a good future if Tchaikovsky can keep up this standard. My only minor criticism would be for a touch more humour and more future telling of Achaeos, a moth-kinden magician, and Che’s adventures. I for one am looking forward to reading ‘The Blood of the Mantis’ and the remaining books in the series and I would recommend these books to someone on the lookout for something a little bit different.
This Dragonfly Falling book review was written by Allan Fisher
All reviews for: Shadows of the Apt
Empire in Black and Gold
Shadows of the Apt: Book 1
Seventeen years ago Stenwold witnessed the Wasp Empire storming the city of Myna in a brutal war of conquest. Since then he has preached vainly against this threat in his h...
Shadows of the Apt: Book 2
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....
Have you read Dragonfly Falling?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Dragonfly Falling reader reviews
Esther from Indonesia
I have read the series upto book 7, and impatiently waiting for book 8. Highly recommended, pls read.
9.6/10 from 2 reviews
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear while the Lord Ruler reigned with absolute power ...
Half a King
Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea itself. And he must do it al...
The Faithful and The Fallen
Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will...
The Farseer Trilogy
In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma. Born on the wrong side of the sheets,...
The World Tree rises up out of the seething clouds like a green mountain, lifting its children up to the light. All creation nestles in its gigantic branches: all take shel...
Hope and Red
In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two people find a common cause. Hope, the lone survivor of a village massacred by the emperor's forces, is secretly tr...
The Banished Lands are engulfed in war and chaos. The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures...
In the cramped west end of Sharakhai, the Amber Jewel of the Desert, Çeda fights in the pits to scrape a living. She, like so many in the city, pray for the downfall...
The Black God's War
Moses Siregar III
Against the backdrop of epic warfare and the powers of ten mysterious gods, Lucia struggles to understand The Black One. Her father-king wants war. Her messianic brother wa...
Wall of Night
The violence of an age-old war casts a long shadow. It falls on a world where mercy is weakness and conflict is a way of life. Young Malian is being trained to rule. Her pe...
Long ago, the evil God Torak fought a war to obtain an object of immense power - the Orb of Aldur. But Torak was defeated and the Orb reclaimed by Belgarath, the sorcerer. ...
The Emperor's Soul
Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skilful magic. Condemned to death after trying to steal the emper...
Hunt for Valamon
When Crown Prince Valamon is impossibly taken from the heart of Algaris Castle, the only clue as to motive or culprit is the use of unknown sorcery. Reclusive cleric Seris ...
Four millennia have passed since the gods came to Myrillia, creating the nine lands of peace as a haven from the nightmarish, accursed Hinterlands. In all this time nothing...
A Trial of Blood and Steel
Spurning her royal heritage to be raised by the great warrior, Kessligh, her exquisite swordplay astonishes all who witness it. But Sasha is still young, untested in battle...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages:
- Recommended high fantasy books/series
- Recommended books/series featuring royalty, monarchy and empire
Best of 2016
Hope and Red
In a fracturing empire spread across savage seas, two people find a common cause. Hope, the lone survivor of a village massacred by the emperor's forces, is secretly train...
The Star Touched Queen
Maya is cursed. With a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, she has earned only the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more ...
The Pagan Night
Ruling with an iron hand, the Church has eliminated the ancient pagan ways. Yet demonic gheists terrorize the land, hunted by the Inquisition, while age-old hatreds rage betwe...
Books of the Month
A selection of books - old and new alike - that were a joy to read.
A corrupted city. A dark dream of power. Luke is a prisoner, condemned for a murder he didn’t commit. Abi is a fugitive, desperate to free him before magic breaks his mind. But as the Jardines tighten their grip on a turbulent Britain, brother and sister face a fight greater than their own. New alliances and old feuds will remake the natio...
The Fifth Empire of Man
Rob J Hayes
The Pirate Isles are united under Drake Morrass’ flag, but the war has only just begun. There’s still a long way to go before he’s able to call himself Ki...
Ian C Esslemont
After the disappointments of Li Heng, Dancer and Kellanved wash up on a small insignificant island named Malaz. Immediately, of course, Kellanved plans to take it over. To ...
Age of Swords
Michael J Sullivan
Raithe, the God Killer, may have started the rebellion by killing a Fhrey, but long-standing enmities dividing the Rhunes make it all but impossible to unite against the co...
A Time of Dread
The Ben-Elim, a race of warrior angels, once vanquished a mighty demon horde. Now they rule the Banished lands. But their dominion is brutally enforced and their ancient en...
The Last Dog on Earth
Adrian J Walker
Every dog has its day... And for Lineker, a happy go lucky mongrel from Peckham, the day the world ends is his: finally a chance to prove to his owner just how loyal he can...
The Shadow Crucible
Taking humanity back to their primordial beliefs and fears, Estella confronts Mikhail’s faith by revealing the true horror of the lucrative trade in human souls. All ...