Empire in Black and Gold PDF/EPUB ¶ Empire in


Empire in Black and Gold The city states of the Lowlands have lived in peace for decades, bastions of civilization, prosperity and sophistication, protected by treaties, trade and a belief in the reasonable nature of their neighbours But meanwhile, in far off corners, the Wasp Empire has been devouring city after city with its highly trained armies, its machines, its killing ArtAnd now its hunger for conquest and war has become insatiable Only the ageing Stenwold Maker, spymaster, artificer and statesman, can see that the long days of peace are over It falls upon his shoulders to open the eyes of his people, before a black and gold tide sweeps down over the Lowlands and burns away everything in its pathBut first he must stop himself becoming the Empire s latest victim


10 thoughts on “Empire in Black and Gold

  1. Joe Moley Joe Moley says:

    I m in a very small minority here as most reviewers on Goodreads andsimply 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 any 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 pro I m in a very small minority here as most reviewers on Goodreads andsimply 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 any 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 mistake to even include one in this book the world seems drastically small There is no distance scale but the cities seem right on top of each other Yet, in the story, we re expected to believe that the core of the plot revolves around the Wasp empire systematically conquering all neighboring territory in secret over a span of decades while the main city lies blissfully unaware of what s going on So there is no trade in this landscape No random travelers spreading word of impending doom No bards, no tale spinners Just one hapless escapee who rises to a position of power but no one believes Just didn t work for me at all Maybe the wasps have cast one giant jedi mind trick We re not the bugs you re looking for and this comes out later in the book Forgive me for not sticking around Additionally, while most cite the uniqueness surrounding the idea of insectoid like humans in a fantasy novel, in my opinion, the author grabbed this straight from Steven Erikson Moranth race in his Malazan, Book of the Fallen series Dialog is simple and characters are very bland None jump out and grab you I gave this book 150 or so pages but couldn t finish it However, I am keeping it around May I ll give it another chance one of these days


  2. Phrynne Phrynne says:

    Some authors do not write enough books while others write heaps Tchaikovsky is one of the latter group I feel as though I am never going to catch up with him, but starting the Shadows of the Apt series is a small step in the right direction I liked this book but did not love it, mostly because there was just too much war The author actually writes war really well but it is not my favourite subject and I admit to skimming a bit The characters were good and I had developed an attachment to, o Some authors do not write enough books while others write heaps Tchaikovsky is one of the latter group I feel as though I am never going to catch up with him, but starting the Shadows of the Apt series is a small step in the right direction I liked this book but did not love it, mostly because there was just too much war The author actually writes war really well but it is not my favourite subject and I admit to skimming a bit The characters were good and I had developed an attachment to, or at least an interest in, most of them by the end of the book thus ensuring I will move on to book 2.The best part was the world in which the book is set with insect humans and magic versus engineering I would have liked muchof that and much less war but maybe that will happen in future books I definitely plan to find out


  3. Eric Eric says:

    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 right 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 right into the action from the start but for me a great prologue that leaves me asking questions and wanting to knowis one of the best ways to get me hooked Like the prologue from the Eye of the World or the Way of Kings or the Shadow of What Was Lost, it made me immediately interested in what was happening Plus there was some really cool and unique action One of the most distinctive things about this book was the world building The races are completely different from anything I ve seen before I was a little hesitant when I read the cover blurb because I wasn t sure how I would feel about what sounded like various races of bug people, but it was executed brilliantly These people aren t just human sized insects walking around The different races, or kinden, have distinct characteristics and abilities, called their Art, that lend them specific talents For instance the Wasp kinden can summon wings to fly and shoot fiery blast, or stings Others can summon abilities like stealth, strength, or dexterity The diversity of the kinden was really interesting, and I can t wait to find outabout them There is also a heavier technology presence than I was expecting, which I usually don t love, but which I thought was handled well The author also created some really intriguing characters You have Stenwold, an aging engineer what they call an artificer , who has become a spymaster in the face of an invasion he knows is coming yet no one will believe He assembles four younger charges, each of them different in ability and temperament Salma, a Dragonfly kinden, and Tynisa, a Spider kinden, were 2 I particularly liked Special mention has to go to Tisamon as well, a Mantis kinden who is simply cool The author also managed to add depth to the conflict by presenting a character from the enemy, Captain Thalric, who is a Wasp officer working against the rest of our characters The Wasp Empire itself, with its entire male population serving as soldiers and its use of captured people as slave labor, reminded me a bit of ancient Sparta, which as someone who finds the Spartans fascinating was another positive Despite all the good, the book wasn t perfect After that great opening chapter the middle of book was a bit slow The writing itself is sometimes a bit cumbersome with at times a frustrating lack of detail Some of the dialogue and interpersonal interactions also felt a bit stilted, as there were times I wondered why a character didn t ask the obvious question or reactstrongly to a situation Still, I would definitely recommend giving the book a shot It s the first in a completed no waiting for the next book 10 book series and I ve already gotten the second book After the end to this book, I m excited to see where the story goes now


  4. Bradley Bradley says:

    War, war, and rumours of war, and yeah, war is here and war is HERE I wish I liked epic fantasy novels of warI d probably be a bitenthusiastic.The wasps are an implacable and vast, vast army, an empire made up of slaves, slaves, and yetslaves 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 War, war, and rumours of war, and yeah, war is here and war is HERE I wish I liked epic fantasy novels of warI d probably be a bitenthusiastic.The wasps are an implacable and vast, vast army, an empire made up of slaves, slaves, and yetslaves 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 the stereotypes are still in effect clever, devoted to their ideology, and you know the trope.What really makes this novel stand out are the races of humans, whether Apt or non Apt Those who use magic can t use tech at all, even latches on doors, but they can take on the aspects of the insects or arachnids that they re linked to The normal races of humans for they re all human have a thriving steampunk society and they fear the magic Of course, all types of people show up in every land, but how they deal with the types allows for a lot of diverse conflict situations.Cool and interesting world building here Too bad so much of it was placed firmly in the service of so much eye watering war Sure, a great deal of character building happens with the show, don t tell school, but my eyes glazed over with most of the time being a slave Things picked back up by the time of the rise in the ranks and the rescue comes around, and I finally began seeing the promise of the MCs.I finally got into the stride of the novel very late, and that s a shame I m now into it and I ll probably continue reading the series My only regret was the potential storytelling that didn t happen early on, revolving around the rules of the world and the exploration of any and all possible loopholes in the restrictions Hoards and hoards bore me unless we ve got some truly amazing viewpoints The amaze factor wasn t here for most of the novel, but there were some very cool moments, placing this firmly in the category of immensely serviceable epic fantasy with still good potential with a somewhat uninspiring beginning


  5. Olivia Olivia says:

    I m finally diving into Tchaikovsky s epic fantasy series after liking so many of his books If you ve not yet tried Tchaikovsky, and you re a fan of science fiction try Children of Time and Dogs of War, and if you happen to be a fantasy fan, try the excellent Guns of the Dawn.Shadows of the Apt consists of ten books Quite a commitment, but it s done, so no waiting for the last few books This is a world filled with human insect races, and no, the Wasps are not very nice The series has a steam I m finally diving into Tchaikovsky s epic fantasy series after liking so many of his books If you ve not yet tried Tchaikovsky, and you re a fan of science fiction try Children of Time and Dogs of War, and if you happen to be a fantasy fan, try the excellent Guns of the Dawn.Shadows of the Apt consists of ten books Quite a commitment, but it s done, so no waiting for the last few books This is a world filled with human insect races, and no, the Wasps are not very nice The series has a steampunk flair with lots of races using and developing technology.The prose isn t quite as smooth as in Tchaikovsky s later books, but it s already filled with his unmistakable humour.The cast of characters is varied, fleshed out, and I particularly enjoyed the amount of work the author put into his antagonists.It s a fantastic first book, and I can t wait to continue with the series


  6. SAM SAM says:

    This has been on my radar for a while but the low scores have put me off and i already have a couple of long series on the go What swayed me was the superb Cage of Souls by the same author, which is one of the better books I ve read this year.It s an interesting plot concept which brings to mind the film 300 well, my mind maybe nobody else s The Wasps play the part of the Xerxes led Persians as they sweep over the land conquering all before them aiming for their end goal of One Nation St This has been on my radar for a while but the low scores have put me off and i already have a couple of long series on the go What swayed me was the superb Cage of Souls by the same author, which is one of the better books I ve read this year.It s an interesting plot concept which brings to mind the film 300 well, my mind maybe nobody else s The Wasps play the part of the Xerxes led Persians as they sweep over the land conquering all before them aiming for their end goal of One Nation Stenwold Maker, a beetle spymaster defeated in the books opening battle at Myna, is laying low in Collegium keeping his eye on the advancing Wasps as they slowly make their way to the Lowlands His attempts at convincing the governors of Collegium to take action and prepare for the inevitable invasion are rejected due to their selfishness The idea of invasion is a joke to them so they d rather turn a blind eye and live like fat kings Fed up of Collegiums ignorance Stenwold assembles a team and departs for the Industrial city of Helleron, which seems to be the Wasps next conquest.The idea of an all devouring race slowly conquering an entire world just appeals to me and the execution is pretty good The standout sections are the political scheming and negotiations between the different insect human races dialogue is definitely the authors strongest writing skill The downside to this book is the fighting battle scenes they re such a drag I found myself zoning out every time there was a scuffle They seemed amateur compared to the rest of the book.Fight scenes aside it s a decent opener to a fantasy series but i won t be in a rush to read book 2


  7. Sherwood Smith Sherwood Smith says:

    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 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 clans, like the Ant kinden, who fight each other when not menaced by outsiders, in this story arc, the imperialistic Wasps.Tchaikovsky does what I thought a terrific job of developing his characters, young and old The old ones are weighed down by experience, but still demonstrate vitality and drive, especially Stenwold Maker, the old, fat Beetle who mentored the four young kinden central to this story When it looks like a Wasp assassin squad is coming after Stenwold and his group, he sends them ahead to safety or what he assumed would be safety, and their adventures begin.I loved all the characters, but especially Che, Cheerwell Maker , Stenwold s niece I wonder if the series is going to be centered around her, and I ll bethan fine with that if it is She s so determinedly certain she knows how the world works, but that doesn t get in the way of her natural compassion as slowly her worldview gets hammered, and she herself falls into extreme danger.The villains are as interesting as the protagonists, which is a rarity I treasure I find itdifficult these days to stick with a book in which the villains are all torture and evil all the time Unless you enjoy reading all that graphic misery, it can get tediously predictable not that torture doesn t happen in this book, but I appreciated the way it was handled, and even , I found the chief villain, Captain Thalric, interesting in his determined dedication to the empire He is aware that that makes ethical and moral decisions moot honor requires totally loyalty to the empire, even when carrying out utterly horrific orders Except that certain memories will keep coming back at him.Thalric reminds me a little of Rommel, without the Junker sense of aristocratic entitlement But similar in that conviction that the military is the only calling for a man, which means your life is necessarily organized around war, and loyalty to the government being the dividing line between savagery and honor, which can come back to haunt you when it becomes increasingly clear that the government is run by seriously flawed humans whose power guarantees that their whims affect countless thousands.Exiting chases, betrayals, battles, and moments of awe and a sense of numinous otherness filled the tale richly around characters I am excited to follow into their next adventure


  8. Bookwraiths Bookwraiths says:

    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 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 book, my time has run out Literally, norenewals allowed , so back it goes and maybe I ll try it again some other time


  9. Chris Berko Chris Berko says:

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


  10. Patremagne Patremagne says:

    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 muchI 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 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 muchI 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 several different insect kinden and each kinden has an Ancestor Art From what I gather, we have Beetles who tend to bestout than the others, but alsoresilient, with very rare encounters of flying Beetles, and even then they re bad at it The Beetles are one of the Apt races, those of whom can use technology and their Art allows them this resilience to several things Dragonflies are gold of skin and can fly and are muchdextrous and quick than other races but Inapt and have weapons called thumb claws that are explained in the book, Wasps can fly and sting , meaning their Art allows them to shoot what is essentially a ball of fire from their hands Flies are much smaller than others, Mantids are deadly warriors, the list goes on and Tchaikovsky does a great job explaining them.The action is very well written and keeps coming, and the dialogue is great I cannot comment on prose due to the fact that I m still not 100% sure how to categorize it The basic plotline is that Stenwold, a Beetle, has been preaching to everyone for 17 years of the imminent Wasp threat, but nobody has listened The Wasps continue to move and mobilize, and he is laughed at The cast has many likable characters and their development is also top notch.The electronic version finished at 86% 567 or so pages on the PaperWhite , which was strange, but included several little short stories not relevant to our cast that I ll get around to eventually There wasn t a crazy cliffhanger like GRRM has done and PVBrett has done as well, but there is definitely motivation to readMost first novels in an epic fantasy esque series tend to be set ups, and Adrian did a brilliant job setting up the series, but with some added POW.All in all this was a fantastic debut and I m very pleased that I am able to dive right into Dragonfly Falling and subsequent ones without waiting Provided that I whittle down Mount TBR a bit between books.5 5 and really looking forward to


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