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Blood of the Mantis (Shadows of the Apt #3)

3.90  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,289 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
Driven by the ghosts of the Darakyon, Achaeos has tracked the stolen Shadow Box to the marsh-town of Jerez, but he has only days before the magical box is lost to him forever.
Paperback, 429 pages
Published August 7th 2009 by Tor Books (first published July 1st 2009)
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The Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussWarbreaker by Brandon SandersonFire by Kristin CashoreThe Gathering Storm by Robert JordanBest Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
2009 DGLA Fantasy Book Nominees
24th out of 64 books — 113 voters
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Final Empire by Brandon SandersonThe Way of Kings by Brandon SandersonA Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
Best Epic Fantasy
62nd out of 139 books — 99 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Oct 05, 2013 Patremagne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is easily becoming one of the best series I have ever read.

In my reviews of Empire in Black and Gold and Dragonfly Falling, I wrote of how hesitant I was beginning the Shadows of the Apt series. Insects are something that had never really made a presence in fantasy. They’re (mostly) disgusting creatures and the thought of reading a series where the oprhan boy has been replaced by all of these bug-like people was a complete turn-off for me. Like I said, I gave it a shot. I couldn’t be happie
Jul 08, 2012 Daniel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is what I'm talking about: move away from the big, empire-sized plans and send your protagonists on small, covert missions to backwater locations that we have yet to visit on the map. This was Tchaikovsky's approach in the first book--which was by far the stronger of the first two--and it serves him well here.

Spoiler tags follow, as I touch up material that would ruin it for the unread.

(view spoiler)
Kevin Wei
Jan 18, 2016 Kevin Wei rated it really liked it

WARNING: one spoiler in last paragraph

After Dragonfly Falling, I was pretty excited for the next instalment in Adrian Tchaikovsky’s SHADOWS OF THE APT series — and Blood of the Mantis didn’t disappoint. In this third book, Tchaikovsky sends Cheerwell and Nero to the city of Solarno, where they meet the fly-kinden pilot Taki as they resist the Wasp Empire’s unquenchable thirst for conquest. Meanwhile, Thalric, Tynisa, Tisamon, and Achaeos are off hunting the
Mar 14, 2010 Jason rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books, read-2010
I am not happy that I feel that 3 stars for book 3 might actually be too much. I gave the first 2 books of this ambitious series 5 stars each, and loved every bit of them. This, the 3rd in the series basically stops doing what the other 2 did best, and that is character development. This series is strong because of the amazingly diverse cast of characters, coupled with the thought provoking race that is the insect kinden. I feel that Tchaikovsky focused this book on a few plot twists and action ...more
Jul 26, 2014 D.w. rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, reviewed
As many rating this book will note, Tchaikovsky's unique world is suffering. What started well has bogged down. Mr. T has created a General who in turn has trusted his lieutenants to become Generals and thus fragment the story by causing it to loose focus.

We had a world realizing that it was about to be conquered by a race that had lied about its friendliness. And so our General was about to rally the forces to resist, when now the tale is all over the place and his trusted aides have gone to v
Jun 14, 2011 Christina rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, series, 2011
In this the third volume in Adrian Tchaikovsky's fantasy series The Shadow of the Apt, we dive even deeper into several sub-stories of the overall storyline. Once again, Stenwold Maker sends his allies, his friends, family and students, out in the world to find out what the wasp Empire is up to.
We follow Cheerwell on a mission to the skater city of Solarno to try and tell them what's going on, we follow Stenwold himself on a journey to the ant city of Sarn to try and create a unity against the w
Jul 16, 2010 Elliotwoodward rated it really liked it
This was the first book I have read on my Kindle app, and I would say I enjoyed the experience. I recommend it.
On the topic of this book, I have little to say. It keeps(and improves on) the expected character development and world-building that Adrian has showed us in the first two books. This book immediately opens up many new plots, an keeps doing so throughout the book. This can make it harsh reading at times, but Adrian seems to do well with it anyway. He chooses suitable cliffhangers, so t
Jul 23, 2011 Ruth rated it really liked it
Shelves: spec-fic
P2009. Absolutely brilliant. The plot and characters remain strong and I am even getting to like poor old Thalric. I am hoping against hope that Mr Tchaikovsky is not going to be long in writing the next one which I am terrified that I will miss out on for some reason. This really is a well written series of books and I can not recommend highly enough. Sci Fi Now said "A new universe populated by unique characters" which is really an understatement. "Fear is the greatest motivator, fear can make ...more
Apr 25, 2016 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very nice addition to the series. This one is full of intrigue and a great cast of characters.
May 21, 2014 Rechan rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I've given Blood of the Mantis 3 stars, but the quality hasn't dropped. The writing style, the characterization, it's the same good stuff carrying on from the previous two books.

The problem comes from little being accomplished. This book is about building things up - more pieces falling into place, more characters introduced, more complexity being added, more world building showcased - so it has no real strong narrative rise and fall, no ending where something great was done, and nothing satisfy
Oct 09, 2012 S.Speakman rated it it was amazing
A fantastic series. This and Game of Thrones have gotten me back into reading after quite a respite from reading. Just brilliant.
Andy Angel
Feb 25, 2015 Andy Angel rated it it was amazing
So, here we are at book 3 in Adrian Tchaikovsky's epic Shadows of the Apt series.

There is a lull in the fighting/Wasp Empire invasion of The Lowlands due, mainly, to the onset of Winter and also to the military events in book 2 and this gives the author and the reader chance to visit more of the world only partially revealed so far. This actually turned out to be a bit of a relief as the first two books had seen a lot of fighting/warfare and this was a welcome change of pace.

As before there are
Jan 29, 2011 Reader73 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
Very very good, will start on the next part today.
Apr 21, 2011 Tadhg rated it it was amazing
Wow, did not see THAT coming! I loved it :)
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
Apr 28, 2015 Cody rated it liked it
I'm leaving this one at 3 stars, post re-read, mostly because it feels like the plot is a bit jumpy and threatening to jump off the rails (which is doesn't do, thank goodness).

Blood of the Mantis is a bit of a pivot point in which the old powers start becoming clearer while the Lowlands deals with internal strife amidst their alliance as well as some Wasp subterfuge. The 'jumpiness' I mention is because there are three very separate plotlines going on and the only attempts at bridging them(via
Mar 28, 2015 Andrea rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, steampunk
I am a bit behind on my reviewing, but here we go.

Blood of the Mantis is the 3rd book in the Shadow of the Apt series. What started as a typical 'fellowship of the ring' style story in the first book, with a group of young students setting out to fight the evil Wasp Empire, turned into something like a world war novel in the second book. In the 3rd book, we go back to something more similar to the first book. We have three different groups of protagonists in different locations, all with differ
Matt Braymiller
Oct 11, 2015 Matt Braymiller rated it really liked it
Shelves: reading-to-lynn
This volume of the Shadows of the Apt series could be subtitled "The Empire Strikes Back," but there would probably be some legal recriminations.

Some time back I read a fantasy novel by one of my then favorite authors. In it, the protagonist and his merry band were nearly god-like both in their foreknowledge of the enemy's plans, and in their ability to thwart said plans, all the while cracking one-liners. It felt like the Three Stooges doing high fantasy, and I did not like it at all because th
Jared Millet
Tchaikovsky's "Shadows of the Apt" rolls along, and is just as entertaining as ever. Coming to volume 3, Blood of the Mantis feels less like a novel than simply the next chapter in an ongoing saga. Whereas the previous book focused on all-out war and invasion, in this volume the carnage takes a backseat to spycraft and back-alley deals while the armies regroup.

The story divides into two major threads: one a McGuffin Hunt to a sleazy smuggler town on the edge of the Wasp Empire, the other a diplo
Бранимир Събев
May 01, 2014 Бранимир Събев rated it really liked it
След дълга пауза реших отново да се върна на чудесната фентъзи поредица на Ейдриън Чайковски - "Сянката на Умелите". По-точно - с третата книга, "Кръвта на богомолката". Предните две бяха съответно "Империя в черно и златно" и "Разединени равнини".

Тласкан от призраците на легендарния Даракион, молецородния Ахеос е по следите на Кутията на сенките, най-могъщия и страховит артефакт. Не е сам - с него са оръжемайсторите Тисамон и дъщеря му Тиниса, както и две оси-ренегати. Градът, в който се е озов
Rob Oakes
Feb 23, 2011 Rob Oakes rated it really liked it
As Tchaikovsky’s fantasy universe in the “Shadows of the Apt” series continues, it becomes increasingly difficult to classify it. It certainly contains elements of high fantasy (sweeping scope, magical races, a race against time to save the world), but it also contains elements that aren’t so easy to identify.

For all the trappings of High Fantasy, though, there are also other goodies to be found here. At times, Shadows of the Apt borrows components of spy thrillers, murder mysteries, and even St
Nick Reys
Oct 04, 2011 Nick Reys rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadow Of The Apt is quickly becoming one of those series where every new book is highly anticipated. With anticipation, however, comes expectation and when one starts skyrocketing, the other usually does as well. The laws of reading do state, however, that the higher expectation, the more likely becomes disappointment. It’s up to the writer to make sure that anticipation and thus expectation is high where disappointment is avoided at all cost. Guess which series was able to ...more
May 26, 2013 sologdin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: speculative
Like peeling an onion, this series. In first volume, we are presented with the sequellae of a revolution that dethroned race-monarchists. In second volume, it is revealed that race-monarchists hunted mosquitos to near extinction and banished centipedes imperfectly to the underworld. This volume reveals that the assassin bugs were also hunted down by the moths (177), and that all kindsa weirdos and nasty business occurs under water in the setting (143-44).

No idea what it all means, except that t
Jun 20, 2011 Mark rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The third book of this series is a setup book and the shortest of the three so far. It feels like it. A lot of the action takes place in far-flung locales and to me it seemed like there wasn't as smooth a transition from the second to third book as there was from first to second. I think I would have liked more time spent on the attempt to hold together the coalition in Sarn and trying to recover the shadow box than whatever was going on at the far end of the Spiderlands, but so it goes.

It's pro
May 03, 2012 Forrest rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cbr4
Despite the fact that all but the 7th book in the Shadows of the Apt series were written before I started reading the first one, I can’t help but feel that Adrian Tchaikovsky somehow channeled my review of Dragonfly Falling when he was writing Blood of the Mantis. It is far more likely that Tchaikovsky saw for himself where his story was going off the rails and acted to correct the problem, but the reviewer in me is a little smug about being right, even if it was 3 years after the fact.

Mantis ad
Jan 08, 2012 Alytha rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 01, 2010 Justin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Things begin to slow down some in Blood of the Mantis. The third book in the Shadows of the Apt series is the smallest, and yet took the longest for me to read. Adrian Tchaikovsky maintains the same level of writing established in the first two, but seems to be struggling a bit with middle-book syndrome. The events in book 3 are too important to completely leave out of the story, it’s too long to be split between other books, and feels a little wanting after the first two books’ onslaught of awe ...more
Apr 10, 2013 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christopher Hernandez
Feb 07, 2013 Christopher Hernandez rated it really liked it
This third book in the Shadows of the Apt series seems to slow the pace of the storyline's war, and focus more on the political intrigue (particularly in the previously unexplored Spiderlands), changes to the war landscape with the introduction of new deadly weapons ( the snap bow), and a storyline arc involving the Darakyon Shadow Box.

The pacing of "Blood of then Mantis" felt painfully slow in parts, but it was good to see the split perspective storyline's from the plot characters which was us
Apr 12, 2015 Scycer rated it really liked it
Nicely paced book with an introduction to a number of new characters and plots. There is a revealing that the evil in the books to come might not be the villain who has been shown since the beginning of this series.

I am surprised that this series is not more well known, compared to the fact that 10 books have been published and the writing is very good.

A definite pick up if you are into binge reading and completing series. The only downer is that it is best to complete the series in one go rat
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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)
  • Dragonfly Falling (Shadows of the Apt, #2)
  • 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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