Dragonfly Falling (Shadows of the Apt, #2)
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Dragonfly Falling (Shadows of the Apt #2)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  2,312 ratings  ·  75 reviews
Two young companions, Totho and Salma, arrive at Tark to spy on the menacing Wasp army, but are there mistakenly apprehended as enemy agents. By the time they are freed, the city is already under siege. Over in the imperial capital the young emperor, Alvdan, is becoming captivated by a remarkable slave, the vampiric Uctebri, who claims he knows of magic that can grant eter...more
Paperback, 673 pages
Published February 6th 2009 by Tor Books (first published 2009)
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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.

BAD EMP...more
Beaulah Pragg
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...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...more
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...more
"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...more
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
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

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...more

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...more
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
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...more
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
Petr Čapek
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.

Jen Williams
Tremendous piece of epic fantasy! Loved it even more than the first book.
A great addition to the series, can't wait to read the rest.
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
This is a Fantasy series that is worth reading.


It has its problems. First, in book two, I can see that the author has several other books for something that should be a trilogy.

Second, and by far the biggest problem I have encountered, is that there are too many central characters whose heads we are continuously getting in. Thus to tell what happen in a day, we have to see it from 7 or 8 viewpoints spread across an entire continent. Keeping this down to three on the side of good, would hav...more
Бранимир Събев
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...more
Adrian Tchaikovsky’s debut novel, Empire In Black And Gold, really took me by surprise. While it wasn’t the perfect book, everything really clicked into place for me and I was so engrossed in the story that I was able to overlook the writing that was sometimes difficult to get into. I was very much anticipating another great book with the follow-up Dragonfly Falling and did I get it?!

Whereas Empire In Black And Gold took a good while to get started, this book kicks off with a blast and actually...more
Pád vážky je jedna z těch úžasných knih, kde není ústředním motivem žádný hloupý milostný trojúhelník, kde se nepitvají jenom vztahy, kde je děj pořádně nabitý akcí a plný zvratů a... prostě je to jedna z těch skvělých knih, nad kterými tak strašně ráda trávím čas. x)) Plus ilustrace Romana Kýbuse. Ne vždy byly přesné, přesto některé obrázky v knížce neuvěřitelně věrně zachycovaly atmosféru okamžiku a byly prostě trefné.

Pád vážky navazuje na první díl, Impérium černé a zlaté. V minulém díle jsme...more
Dragonfly Falling (2.75/5)

I liked the first book well enough as the -kinden idea was something novel and the story line was interesting. The first book was good (although not stellar). Unfortunately, I think the writing went downhill a little bit in the second book.

The book started to get more interesting towards the end of it. I may or may not read the next one...

Most of my problems with the book stem from not particularly being interested in the characters:

- Tortho makes some pretty significan...more
It’s been almost 10 months since I’ve touched Tchaikovsky’s Shadows of the Apt, and in the intervening time, I’ve read a lot of mediocre books. So I was pleased to come back to this surprising series that really got me thinking last time around. Tchaikovsky doesn’t disappoint, providing a worthy successor to Empire in Black and Gold and a solid second book in what promises to be an expansive series. There are still flaws to be addressed and the characterization is still depressingly weak, but th...more
R.A. Smith
I have a bookmark still lodged in this page, many months after reading this for the first time. This takes me to a fight scene which sticks in the mind as a classic. It starts on P228 on my edition, for reference. It seems to have sprang more or less from nowhere at the time, but as you go on, the more you realise how life-changing this turns out to be for Tisamon, hard-as-nails even for a Mantis-Kinden. When you talk about someone meeting their match, this is it, right here, in more senses than...more
Marija S.
In the second book the plot thickens and breaks up in many strands, perhaps too many to follow with a clear overview. The writing is still awkwardly clumsy at times, but as the pace quickens in the sequel, these glitches are more easily overlooked.

What I really resent is the way the author blatantly and for no apparent reason continually forces women into traditionally male roles (e.g. tactician, warrior, artificer, elder), but then strips them of feminine characteristics. If he has done that ju...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ben Jackson
Crux: The characters do not drive the plot as much as the first book, and an abundance of deus ex machina plot devices cause the plot threads to not feel very satisfying.

The one good plot thread, involving the young inventor, does not involve likable characters and helps this book break what I felt was the promise of the first one; if you are expecting the plucky free-thinkers of Collegium[spelling] to thwart the wasp empire through ingenuity and intrigue, then this book will not deliver on that...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Втората книга от мащабната поредица на Чайковски за насекомосродените раси е директно продължение на първата и не става за самостоятелно четиво, макар да притежава вътрешен завършек.

Равнините на умелите раси са подложени на атака от Империята на осите от няколко различни страни. За любителите на мащабни битки това е книгата с главно „К”. Чайковски има логично мислене и способността да описва бойни действия в големи и малки мащаби. Имаме няколко значими обсади, битки на открито поле и преди всичк...more
Christopher Hernandez
I came across the Shadow of the Apt series by accident, and I am glad I did. As an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy, I had my share of magical worlds driven by elemental forces. Shadows of the Apt introduced me to a world where humanity derives special abilities from insects. The strength of an ant? The fighting prowess of a mantis? It definitely got my attention.

Having grown familiar with the world, the war, and a series of well developed characters, I was eager to follow along in the...more
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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...
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)

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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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