Empire in Black and Gold

Empire in Black and Gold 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 home city of Collegium but no

  • Title: Empire in Black and Gold
  • Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
  • ISBN: 9780230704138
  • Page: 422
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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 home city of Collegium, but now the Empire is on the march, with its spies and its armies everywhere, and the Lowlands lie directly in its path All the while, Stenwold has been training youthful agents tSeventeen 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 home city of Collegium, but now the Empire is on the march, with its spies and its armies everywhere, and the Lowlands lie directly in its path All the while, Stenwold has been training youthful agents to fight the Wasp advance, and the latest recruits include his niece, Che, and his mysterious ward, Tynisa When his home is violently attacked, he is forced to send them ahead of him and, hotly pursued, they fly by airship to Helleron, the first city in line for the latest Wasp invasion.Stenwold and Che are Beetle kinden, one of many human races that take their powers and inspiration each from a totem insect, but he also has allies of many breeds Mantis, Spider, Ant, with their own particular skills Foremost is the deadly Mantis kinden warrior, Tisamon, but other very unlikely allies also join the cause As things go from bad to worse amid escalating dangers, Stenwold learns that the Wasps intend to use the newly completed railroad between Helleron and Collegium to launch a lightning strike into the heart of the Lowlands Then he gathers all of his agents to force a final showdown in the engine yard

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    About "Adrian Tchaikovsky"

    1. Adrian Tchaikovsky

      ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY was born in Lincolnshire and studied zoology and psychology at Reading, before practising law in Leeds He is a keen live role player and occasional amateur actor and is trained in stage fighting His literary influences include Gene Wolfe, Mervyn Peake, China Mi ville, Mary Gently, Steven Erikson, Naomi Novak, Scott Lynch and Alan Campbell.

    942 thoughts on “Empire in Black and Gold”

    1. I'm in a very small minority here as most reviewers on and simply love this book. While it may not be a 1 star book, I'm stuck without an applicable rating to give it. There really needs to a be a "can't finish it" rating. I tried to like this book but about of a third into it, I realized what I just couldn't stand anymore. There is simply no description of ANYTHING. You really have no idea what the cities are like nor what the world scape consists of. If you look at the map provided (almost a [...]


    2. War, war, and rumours of war, and yeah, war is here and war is HERE!I wish I liked epic fantasy novels of war more. I'd probably be a bit more enthusiastic.The wasps are an implacable and vast, vast army, an empire made up of slaves, slaves, and yet more slaves. This is a foe that makes me feel a knee-jerk reaction. Hell, most of the arguments made up of those still living in the lands that haven't been taken over make it sound like the ramblings of ignorant peeps in the face of the Chinese. All [...]


    3. I hadn't even known about this epic fantasy series, until a friend outside the USA mentioned it. The good thing about that is: all ten books in the series are out (though one or two are not published here yet), which means not having to wait, if the succeeding volumes entranced me as much as this first one did.It has a zillion reviews, most of which give a general outline of the plot, and hint at the world building: basically a world of human-insect races, called kinden. Within some of these are [...]


    4. 4 StarsAn Empire in Black and Gold was a really enjoyable start to a fantasy series, with distinct characters, cool action, and some unique world building. Set against a backdrop of a looming invasion no one wants to believe will actually happen, the book follows a reluctant spy and his young helpers as they try to find out what the menacing Wasp army is going to do and stop them before it’s too late. To start with, that first chapter was great. I know some people don’t like being dropped ri [...]


    5. Perhaps it was the phase of the moon or the change of the seasons or my attention to other matters, but whatever the reason, this book and I never hit it off. I thought the prologue was great: combat, intrigue, deaths, and a hopeless fight against a powerful enemy, but then the actual book began with two hundred pages of world building and four new main characters who I never cared one thing about. Perhaps if I kept reading I could finally get to the exciting parts, but since this is a library b [...]


    6. Started strong then the final third kinda dragged. Overall I found it very enjoyable and will continue the series.


    7. I'm sure every reader knows the feeling of starting a book you're skeptical about and being pleasantly surprised. Empire in Black and Gold was that and so much more. I had continually pushed it down on my TBR list because the whole insect idea just didn't click with me. Eventually I caved thinking that what if it ended up being a gem? Tchaikovsky writes pretty damn fast for a new-ish (I know '08 isn't that new but still) author whom not a ton of people know about.The human race is divided into s [...]


    8. It was a very fine book with an original idea and well executed too. Solid world building, even pacing and impeccable characterization, plenty of action as well. But I've been reading exceptionally great books in the recent past with Paul Kearney, Steven Erikson, and K.J Parker's books so it fell a prey to involuntary comparisons, although I did try very hard to not let that happen and enjoy this book on its own merits which are considerable.One thing I missed was epic battles which I am rather [...]


    9. Oh, darling how I wanted to love you, with your slick cover, interesting bug people and rave reviews, but you let me down. Maybe if I wasn't expecting so much, I would have loved you more. Bug people, well sorta bug people. Sounds awesome, right? People who share the aspects of bugs is a pretty cool concept and one that I haven't seen done before on this scale. This was cool and done really well. I was actually expecting just a couple of different types of kinden (bug people, which are as far as [...]


    10. Excellent debut fantasy set in a quite unusual world of various human races that have some specific insect adaptation and are called insect-kinden, e.g. beetle-kinden squat, mechanically inclined, mantis-kinden fast deadly warriors, spider-kinden masters of intrigue in whose society women dominate, moth-kindeb mystical former rulers until the mechanically inclined kinden, beetle, ants and flies overthrew them and built an early industrial society of city states - Lowlands - loosely allied and ha [...]


    11. Empire in Black and Gold is the first volume of the fantasy series Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky.My impressions:There is a wise man, a threat, a "party", a travel, betrayal, fights. Hmmh, sounds familiar. But there are no elves, dwarfs, hobbits or trolls. Instead we find steampunk elements and most unsual: insect-kinden.Insect-kinden? There are several human races who long ago adapted to prehistoric insects. Examples: mantis-kinden are warriors, beetle-kinden like mechanics, wasp-kind [...]


    12. So, initially, I thought it was going to be The Lord of the Rings, but with Bug-People. We read that Gandalf sends four young hobbits from the Shire to Bree, where they are to meet Strider. Strider is scary. They are attacked by the roving agents of the Enemy. Some escape, and some don't. The captured ones are taken deep into Enemy territory. They are rescued, with the aid of new allies, and the rescue even involves tangentially a haunted forest. It's all set in the context of an invasion by an [...]



    13. As other reviewers have mentioned, this series is premised on a completely original world building idea, in which the different races ("kinden") are based on different types of insect, with appropriate powers. I started the first book reluctantly because it sounded campy, but soon found I couldn't put it down.


    14. Začneme něčím jednodušším, abych měla čas si srovnat myšlenky. Česká obálka je dechberoucí. Roman Kýbus je nadaný grafik a jeho nádherné ilustrace doprovází i celý děj knihy. Málo, malinko jich je, a přesto jsou nádherné. x))A k samotné knize: WOW! Ráda bych řekla, že jsem se už dlouho nesetkala s tak skvěle propracovaným příběhem, bohužel jsem ale ani ne před měsícem četla Sandersonovu trilogii Mistborn. Ale kdyby nebylo tohoto skvělého dílka, řekla [...]


    15. It's an audacious idea that you might laugh at if I describe it in print. Here goes.On a parallel world, giant insects grew to enormous size, threatening mammals, reptiles, and primitive humans in the process. In order to adapt to this threat, tribes of humans form mystical alliances with these giant insects, taking on their traits and abilities even while remaining human. Thus is Shadows of the Apt, the start of a new series by Adrian Tchaikovsky.This world is moving slowly into an age of scien [...]


    16. When I began reading this book, I was unsure of whether I was going to enjoy it. The first few chapters seemed a little slow and the characters took some warming up. I did find the central premise of different races based upon insects intriguing however and this kept me going. Perhaps a quarter of the way through, it began to grow on me. The main character, Stenwald, stopped being a bit of a whingy git and, along with the others, simply developed into a more rounded, real person. At the same tim [...]


    17. The wasps are coming! This series is set in a world where people are 'kin' to various different bugs and have the traits of those bugs. For example: beetle kin are generally on the tubby side and amazing with machines, spider kin are devious and love their webs of intrigue. The wasp kin are militant and have their eye fixed on taking over the entire world town by town. Only a few people see the danger in this and try their best to raise a revolution and make a stand against them.This is my third [...]


    18. I really enjoyed this debut novel from Tchaikovsky. The unusual races of insect kinden give this novel a very unique and intriguing feel. The story is the typical bad guy's empire is taking over the world and many people/countries still do not believe it. The characters are interesting and the writing style is quite detailed. His action scenes are depicted in the vain of RA Salvatore where you often are told where each step, flip, and swing of the sword is. This novel reminded me of Star Wars a [...]


    19. Months after reading through Steph Swainston's excellent Castle series, I gradually developed the urge to return to the fantasy genre. So when I read a positive review of the seventh Apt book, by Tchaikovsky, I considered giving the series a shot (for, in fact, the umpteenth time--really, I should probably spend more time actually reading, as opposed to looking up things that I might like to read). A subsequent search revealed that the first three books were on sale for six smacks a piece; cons [...]


    20. Adrian Tchaikovsky's Empire in Black and Gold has been praised a lot, but for it me it was a very mixed bag. On the other hand, it had some very glaring and irritating problems, on the other hand, once I got past those, it was a very enjoyable read.The main strengths of the book are its characters and writing. An unusually varied - although at times somewhat stereotypical - cast with surprisingly complex relationships and motivations do a good work carrying the somewhat run-of-the-mill story, ma [...]


    21. This was an amazing debut, and I in no way expected to enjoy it as much as I did. It was certainly the most fun fantasy novel I've read in a long time. It's a comparison not many will make, but this book made me feel the same as when I first read Weis & Hickman's DragonLance novels back in the 80s, before elves, dwarves, and D&D character classes became worn out cliches. The world of Shadows of the Apt does have the feel of a gaming universe, complete with its own races and classes, but [...]


    22. Abandoned at 20%This just isn't something I'm going to like and it's too long to continue just so I can "finish" it.The good is it's unique. If you're tired of clichés and fantasy tropes maybe you should give this a whirl.It's about a nation of bug people, beetles, spiders, ants, and others, and a new type of invading bug men that are wasps. This was a part of my problem. Are they men with the attributes of these bugs? Are they men with some of the features of these bugs? Or are they bugs with [...]


    23. This book was lent to me so I had no idea what it was going to be like - I find heavily military fantasy can be a bit of a hit and miss, but I found that I really enjoyed this one!It's got fantasy, magic, steampunk and a fascinating insect ancestry origins of which are hinted at but not fully explained (at least in this book). Each race has its pros and cons which is interesting to see as well as how each race views each other, the histories and prejudices they have.This book doesn't mess around [...]


    24. rantingdragon/empire-iEmpire in Black and Gold is the first book of the Shadows of the Apt series by Adrian Czajkowski (he has it spelled Tchaikovsky on his books to make his name easier to pronounce for his American and English readers). It is currently eight books long, with the promise of ten books in all.The kindenIn Tchaikovsky’s world, instead of races or nationalities, we see a people somehow descended from/connected to/inspired by insects. These people are known as kinden; we’ve seen [...]


    25. (A Bald Mage Review)“You're not like other Wasps.""Aren't I?" Aagen smiled, but it was a painful smile. "No doubt you've killed my kinsmen by the score.""A few," Salma allowed.Empire in Black and Gold is set in a universe populated by different “kinden”. Each kinden is a race of humans, named after (and having certain characteristics of) an insect.Kinden are divided into two categories: “Apt” and “Inapt”. The Apt do not have magical abilities, but are able to understand, use and de [...]


    26. Short summary:The population of the world is divided into kinden, which each carry the name of, and display some characteristics of certain insects or arachnids, like flies, wasps, mantises, beetles, scorpions etc. (I wonder if there are Ladybird kinden?)In the east, there lies the Wasp Empire, threatening to engulf the Lowland citystates.In the City of Collegium, the centre of learning in the Lowlands, a quartet of friends, students and aspiring duellists, get recruited as spies by Stenwold Mak [...]


    27. There is nothing incredibly unique about the plot of this book. There is a bad empire, and one man knows about them. No one will believe that man, so it's a "one man against the world" type thing. He has his lovable sidekicks which start out ignorant and age throughout the novel because they endured some horrible events and fights and all that.You don't read this book for the plot. You read it because Tchaikovsky has succeeded in creating one of the most unique worlds I've ever read. Ever.There [...]


    28. ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT FANTASYLITERATUREACTUAL RATING: 3.5 starsHaving just ended a period of forced fantasy abstinence due to other factors, I found Adrian Tchaikovsky’s debut novel a refreshing change from the sword-and-sorcery I usually find myself reading. Not to say that Empire in Black and Gold couldn’t be construed as sword-and-sorcery, but it’s definitely highly original. Robert’s review really resounds with me on this point — this novel is delightfully unique, and both the wo [...]


    29. I want to shout on the rooftops "I love Shadows of the Apt!", but, alas I cannot. The lack of description in this book makes it hard to get into. I understand that some books take longer than others to pull the reader in, but this book didn't give you much to work with, only vague descriptions that left you wondering, such as, "spines coming out of their forearms" That is the only description I found describing the Mantis-kinden. There is so much more I want to know!! Maybe I was spoiled by "A S [...]


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