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Dragonfly Falling (Shadows of the Apt #2)

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,232 Ratings  ·  111 Reviews
In a colourful drama involving mass warfare and personal combat, a small group of heroes must stand up against what seems like an unstoppable force. This volume continues the story that unfolded in 'Empire in Black and Gold' - and the action is still non-stop.
Paperback, 673 pages
Published February 6th 2009 by Tor Books (first published 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 25, 2016 Brad rated it liked it
The good? Non-stop action. It's war and it's really war, with all the grand deaths you could ever hope, and for me, the world-building of all these insect-ish humans helps drag me *out* of feeling emotionally invested, so I could get through so much death and destruction without falling into a stupor of sadness.

Drephos really stands out as mr. mad scientist and I did really enjoy the hell out of him. The artificers in general got me going pretty good and some of the reversals were rather enjoyab
Jun 18, 2011 Mark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
"Have you any idea how many bolts we've loosed in the last few seconds? Let Malkan spend his men instead, because they are more easily replaced."

I expected more of the same from the first book of this series, and when I read Dragonfly Falling, I was very surprised, because where the first book is at most a story of duels and skirmishes and guerrilla battles in the streets, this one drops you into a war. And I don't mean that there is a whole book worth of setup and then the war is the climax. Th
Beaulah Pragg
Apr 19, 2012 Beaulah Pragg rated it really liked it
With his series, Shadows of the Apt, Adrian Tchaikovsky has created a vast, detailed world, peopled with a wide variety of races that each have their own, unique looks and skills. Inside this place, there is a war coming... a war that will change the face of the 'lowlands' forever.

The interesting thing about this series, which I must admit put me off a little at the beginning, is the way that everyone is associated with different forms of insects - from beetles through to dragonflies, wasps, spi
Jul 08, 2012 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Book the first grabbed me with its adventurous plot and a handful of character relationships that offered interesting drama. In the sequel, Tchaikovsky picks up these two threads and then adds a bunch of political machinations and warmongering. We meet some royal and military personages and we dally in map rooms and throne rooms and other places where big decisions get made by the big bad asses in the story.

All of this maneuvering: not interesting.

BAD GUYS: Let's push this army over here.

Kevin Wei
Jan 17, 2016 Kevin Wei rated it really liked it

Dragonfly Falling is Adrian Tchaikovsky’s exciting sequel to his debut Empire in Black and Gold, and is book two of the SHADOWS OF THE APT series. While the principal narrative is that the Wasp Empire has now fully commenced its war on the Lowlands in its endless quest for power, I agree wholeheartedly with Terry when she notes that the war itself isn’t the most engaging part of this novel. Rather, it’s all espionage and politics, which is all the more comp
Luke Taylor
Jan 25, 2016 Luke Taylor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Whilst carrying a deceptive title more psychological than physical in meaning, Adrian Tchaikovsky’s second brick in the enormous architectural structure of his epic Shadows of The Apt series slides a few new characters into place and provides those we’ve grown attached to with their own moments to stretch and grow and ultimately shine in the tangled web of spycraft and the spear-toothed gears of multi-ethnic war. As with Empire In Black And Gold, this novel feels long and tremendously detailed, ...more
Benjamin Newland
You know what’s cool?




So, clearly, a fantasy story with bugs would be awesome. This is the second book in the “Shadows of the Apt” series. I enjoyed the first more than well enough to partake of the second. Fortunately, the same neighbor who had the first loaned me the second.

Much of what I said about the first novel applies again, though I felt like this one was even better. The plot was more fluid, the characters better defined, and the emotion clear and poignant. Part of this
May 19, 2013 sologdin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: speculative
Nutshell: survivor of genocide uses general belligerence involving all prior protagonists as cover to retrieve numinous object.

The number and variety of perspectives increases beyond the point of easy management in this volume. Narrative twists and turns like a twisty turny thing as the plot assimilates added perspectives and kills off plenty of folks.

Volume opens with what is a standard ruling class perspective, the emperor of the wasp empire; this type of narration is fast becoming my bete noi
Apr 18, 2009 William rated it it was amazing
An enjoyable second volume in the "Shadows of the Apt" trilogy. The novel is fast-paced and the quality of the writing seems improved from the first novel. The world-building is still one of the most notable aspects of the book, it is very original and imaginative and despite being alien in many ways Tchaikovsky does make the world sound fairly plausible and well thought-out. The plot was compelling, and I like the way the focus is gradually moving away from the Wasp Empire invasion that initial ...more
Apr 22, 2010 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Dragonfly Falling is the amazing follow-up to Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Empire in Black and Gold. The story directly follows the events of book 1. The wasps have increased their hold on the lowlands, and the position of our heroes is much more precarious. The empire has begun its assault and the blood is flowing. Tchaikovsky’s battle descriptions are nothing short of epic, bloody, and gritty, with nail-biting sequences that seem to run for pages. Empire in Black and Gold introduced you to the players ...more
Mar 08, 2010 Jason rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books, read-2010
This is really such a great novel, that it is hard to believe that is the second book of a series. This is an extremely fast paced, relentless, and unforgiving story that puts all our heroes in death's way. This novel is filled with plot twists and character development all the while it is a novel about war. I really have grown to love the insect kinden take on race and think that it makes for great fantasy. I will definately pick up the 3rd book now and recommend all fantasy readers to jump int ...more
Илиян Маринов
Mar 31, 2015 Илиян Маринов rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Добро продължение на поредицата "Сянката на Умелите". Първата книга от поредицата, беше нещо като въведение в историята, света, героите и взаимоотношенията между всички раси, което прави първата книга по-лека. Втората книга ни впуска в самата война и няма страница, на която да ѝ липсва напрежение. Книгата е сложно написана и самият факт, че сюжетът се развива бързо и е написана възможно най-детайлно, доказва колко добър е авторът и как добре развива и намества историята си в жанра. Единствените ...more
Maggie K
Apr 20, 2016 Maggie K rated it liked it
Shelves: series-challenge
Wow this had a LOT of battles. War battles, fighting between characters, ambushes. Im not one to read all the details of a fight, so I found this a hard slog. When things happened, though, they were important, just a lot of wading through for me.
Madhurabharatula Pranav Rohit Kasinath
This is a review of the entire series - there are NO spoilers.

When I look back at the Shadows of the Apt, what strikes me at first might seem incongruous to most.

There are no unnecessary descriptions of food.

None at all.

10 books, each of them 400 to 700 pages in length - covering battles, history and multiple points of view - and not a single one of them had any descriptions of food.

Or sex, clothing, family crests, whores or incest.

And I loved it.

Not a single wasted line.

There may be many
Бранимир Събев
Oct 15, 2013 Бранимир Събев rated it it was amazing
Империята на осите продължава да се разраства, но така е с големите империи - трябва постоянно да растат, да обсебват нови територии и ресурси, защото в противен случай просто ще загният и ще се разпаднат. Следващата цел са основните, важни градове в Равнините - Тарк, крепост на мравкородни, всеизвестният с фабриките и престъпността си Хелерон и... космополитния Колегиум, средището на Академията, философията, занаятите и родно място на нашите герои.

Докато обаче войните текат по куп фронтове, Имп

Superb continuation to Empire in Black in Gold. Smoother than the original and packed with action and sense of wonder.

The invasion of the Lowlands starts with the siege of Tark. The Collegium is not be suborned by Thalric and his agents, and finally listens to Stenwold so Thalric carries plan 2, sealing an alliance of the Empire with the rogue ant city of Vek which is happy to try and take revenge on the Collegium knowing that the only force that can stop them, the rival ant city of Sarn will
May 22, 2013 Patremagne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites

In Dragonfly Falling, second novel of Shadows of the Apt, the plot that began in Empire in Black and Gold continues at a breakneck pace. We meet new characters, find new motives in old characters, and are shown a multitude of twists that come completely unexpected.

Dragonfly Falling is about war. The entirety of the novel takes us from siege to siege, battle to battle, and duel to duel. We live through the sieges, from frontline infantry to generals in comm
Jared Millet
I’m really enjoying this series, more than any other fantasy novels I’m currently plowing through other than, possibly, A Song of Ice and Fire. And in this volume, with all his world-building out of the way, Tchaikovsky definitely sets out for GRR Martin territory. Like Martin, he balances dozens of characters and plotlines, each with their own motivations and impact on the thrust of the novel as a whole. And also like Martin, he avoids painting anyone as completely good or completely evil (with ...more
Jun 14, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, series, 2011
I really liked the first volume in this series - but what I liked the most, was the newness of the insect-kinden that made this book so very interesting. But the question of course was, if these kinden would hold up so that volume 2 would be up to the standards of the first volume. And the good news are - volume 2 is even better than volume 1.
So with how volume 1 ended, I expected that this one would focus on the Wasps military advances. And it did, to some extent, but more, the focus was on so
Petr Čapek
Oct 14, 2013 Petr Čapek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pád vážky jenom potvrzuje fakt, že Tchaikovsky patří mezi nejlepší vypravěče fantasy a rozhodně si své místo zaslouží. V cyklu Stíny vědoucích nalezneme vše, co by si pravověrný fanoušek fantasy přál. Očekávejme hrdinské činy, intriky, velké lásky i náznaky, že Impérium Vos není vše, co nás v této sérii čeká. Všem, které Tchaikovskyho cyklus zaujal nezbývá než doufat, že se nad námi Zoner smiluje a vydá i další knihy z tohoto cyklu.
Mar 22, 2015 Lila rated it liked it
Shelves: fast-paced, fantasy
3,5 stars

I have this feeling I just gobbled through ungodly amount of text and bunch of action scenes, but I can sum it up in one sentence:
Lowlands are in war with Wasps.

And that's it- if first book was setting the world and introducing the characters, this one was all about progressing the plot.
Empire changed their strategy of fake diplomacy and trying to take Lowlands on surprise all at once and reverted to their well known and trained way of conquering city by city. First stop, Ant-Kinden c
Malcolm Logscribe
Nov 29, 2014 Malcolm Logscribe rated it it was ok
Fun. The idea is fun and it reads well enough. Villains are complex and/or interesting (some are a bit one dimensional, but never dull).

Annoying. The author really, really wanted to see one character face off against his love interest, so he pushed and prodded until that was the only possible outcome. He also wanted one of the villains to be important enough to kill but not actually get killed. I was Invested in this character, and wanted to see him killed well (he is vile, but interesting and c
Oct 21, 2014 John rated it liked it
i didn't like this installment in the series.
i was quite fond of the first book, but ii felt like this one lacked both character development, and plot development. both were there, but felt mediocre. i really feel like the first two books could have been one novel, as reading them both in one sitting basically feels like one stretched out novel.
theres also an aspect of character development in this book that makes me want to facepalm whenever a certain character makes life choices. it just feels
Andy Angel
Feb 13, 2015 Andy Angel rated it it was amazing
The army of the Wasp Empire is still carrying on with their invasion of The Lowlands and The Lowlands are fighting back as best they can. And that is the main crux of this volume - Warfare. There are several major battles (no spoilers but if you've read Empire in Black and Gold you'll not be surprised to find one of them is the battle for Tark) and these are graphic battles. War is not a pleasant experience and Mr Tchaikovsky makes a great job of making the scenes quite brutal at times. Unlike i ...more
Sean Bester
Aug 01, 2016 Sean Bester rated it liked it
The second book of the Apt series is full of large-scale battle sequences as well as small-scale action scenes. Not only does the novel move at a fast pace, but we're given a followup that feels like a true sequel with its own plot rather than simply the next piece or episode. The story is a logical next step from the previous entry's, but it isn't just a small step forward, it's a large one where things actually happen.

So why is it that I didn't enjoy the novel as much as the first one? For the
Jan 14, 2012 Tyson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review here.
Jen Williams
Dec 19, 2013 Jen Williams rated it it was amazing
Tremendous piece of epic fantasy! Loved it even more than the first book.
Nov 21, 2013 Adria rated it it was amazing
A great addition to the series, can't wait to read the rest.
Jan 29, 2014 Jason rated it really liked it
This one was excellent and a perfect follow-up to the first book in the series. I did begin to see some of the author's influences in this one. There is definitely some "LOTR" influence with the concept of a broken fellowship and the reliance on unexpected allies. Obviously, the presence of an ever-expanding "Empire" evokes thoughts of the Star Wars movies. I also like how the author continues to slowly introduce other "kinden" who haven't been introduced previously. This adds variety and keeps ...more
Apr 28, 2015 Cody rated it really liked it
After this re-read, I'm upping my rating of this one to 4 stars, as well.

Similar problems exist with Dragonfly Falling just as with Empire in Black and Gold, but the kinden idea is just so neat, to me, that I can forgive the sometimes sloppy writing and character interactions. I just want to know more and more about what different abilities each kinden has at their command. Not to mention that older, forgotten kinden races being name-dropped and I really want to know what these ancient kinden we
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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 Miéville, Mary Gently, Steven Erikson, Naomi Novak, Scott Lynch and Alan Campbell.
More about Adrian Tchaikovsky...

Other Books in the Series

Shadows of the Apt (10 books)
  • Empire in Black and Gold (Shadows of the Apt, #1)
  • Blood of the Mantis (Shadows of the Apt, #3)
  • Salute the Dark (Shadows of the Apt, #4)
  • The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt, #5)
  • The Sea Watch (Shadows of the Apt, #6)
  • Heirs of the Blade (Shadows of the Apt, #7)
  • The Air War (Shadows of the Apt, #8)
  • War Master's Gate (Shadows of the Apt, #9)
  • Seal of the Worm (Shadows of the Apt, #10)

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I was young at Myna, that first time. When had the change come? He had retreated to here, to Collegium, to spin his awkward webs of intrigue and to lecture at the College. Then, years on, the call had come for action. He had gone to that chest in which he stored his youth and found that, like some armour long unworn, it had rusted away.

He tried to tell himself that this was not like the grumbling of any other man who finds the prime of his life behind him. I need my youth and strength now, as never before. A shame that one could no husband time until one needed it. All his thoughts rang hollow. He was past his best and that was the thorn that would not be plucked from his side. He was no different from any tradesman or scholar who, during a life of indolence, pauses partway up the stairs to think, This was not so hard, yesterday.
“Ah, but it is an interesting thing, that these things can so seldom be proved. If I were to perform some piece of, hrmf, magic for you, here in this room, you would claim a thousand ways it could have been done. Indeed, those ways might be exceedingly unlikely, but you would cling to them rather than accept the, mmn, the chance that magic, the eternal inexplicable, might be the true agent, and if you were strong enough in yourself, unafraid, unthreatened, here in your own chambers, well perhaps there would be no magic worked at all. It is a subjective force, you see, whereas the physical laws of the artificers are objective. A gear-train will turn without faith, but magic may not. And so, when your people demand, mmn, proof, there is none, but when you have forgotten and dismissed it, then magic creeps back into the gaps where you do not look for it.” 2 likes
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