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Salute the Dark (Shadows of the Apt #4)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  2,030 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
The fourth novel in the thrilling fantasy series: Shadows of the Apt. Following on from Empire in Black and Gold, Dragonfly Falling and Blood of the Mantis. The vampiric sorcerer Uctebri has at last got his hands on the Shadow Box and can finally begin his dark ritual - a ritual that the Wasp-kinden Emperor believes will grant him immortality - but Uctebri has his own plan ...more
Paperback, 459 pages
Published February 5th 2010 by Tor UK (first published January 1st 2010)
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Perhaps the single most devastating book I have ever read...

After I finished Blood of the Mantis, I immediately sent an email to Pyr asking after the rest of the series and they obliged. I soon found out that Pyr didn’t have plans for anything after book 5, The Scarab Path, which is a shame because they format the books to be a bit taller, shortening the page count in exchange and making the books more feasible and less daunting. Not to mention having the
Jul 08, 2012 Daniel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Books 1 and 3: Four stars.

Books 2 and 4: Three stars.

What does it all mean?! It means: I liked this series. It was fun. Swords and magic were wielded, and adventures were had. Peeps fought, bled, hurt, lost, died, and triumphed. Tchaikovsky proves himself to be adept (dare I say: apt) at combining his ideas with established fantasy fiction conventions and creating a story that is worth reading for entertainment that one has never before experienced--such as entertainment of the aerial-warfare-wi
Corey Frampton
Mar 21, 2010 Corey Frampton rated it it was amazing
From the very beginning, this series has been amazing. The characters are real, three dimensional people with loves and fears and concerns. The setting is diverse and EXPANSIVE - so much so, that at times, it's difficult to keep track of where everything is.

There are men of honor, there are men with no honor, with greed, some with integrity and principles...

The fourth book brings to a conclusion a huge number of plot lines that have run throughout the first three volumes. It could, possibly, en
Milo (BOK)
Feb 24, 2016 Milo (BOK) rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, epic-fantasy
This is rapidly turning into one of my favourite fantasy series that I've read. It's not quite a full five though, more like a 4.5 - but if you haven't already read the Shadows of the Apt series then you really should be.
Nov 15, 2010 Jason rated it it was amazing
Shelves: e-books, read-2010
This might have been my favorite of the series so far. As others have said this is the 4th book that completes the first part of the story ark in a longer tale. Instead of commenting on the story itself I will speak of this series that Adrian Tchaikovsky has created. He has crafted a truly unique and fresh world, where magic, technology, ghosts, and monsters live. If you are a fantasy fan and want to read something that is fresh and new, look no further than here. If you enjoy world building, an ...more
Tom Lloyd
Nov 15, 2011 Tom Lloyd rated it it was amazing

Finishing Dance with Dragons, I'm reminded of something - just how hard it is to keep a long series going, to give the books a proper book shape and generally keep control of it all.

Tchaikovsky could teach George Martin a lesson or two, and Robert Jordan's meanderings pale hugely in comparison. Why are more people not reading this series? It baffles me. There's a focus and purpose to each novel that shows just how in control Tchaikovsky is - details worryingly absent from George Martin's books.
Seven or so major strands to the narrative, all of which steam right along. A fit conclusion to the war & numinous object storylines from the first three volumes. Generates effective pathos through key character deaths--one in particular is badass in execution, but then cheapened by an ambiguous epilogue. That said, so many others are not presented ambiguously, so one person running around mostly dead might be alright.

Love how the mosquito vision of the world is to turn back the clock to the
May 05, 2016 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very good installment in the series. For a while, this one was "more of the same" with war and war; however, we start to see a turn of events and a few surprises.
Nick Reys
Aug 09, 2010 Nick Reys rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, favorites, read-2012
I admit, I am some kind of series junkie. I like my fantasy best in doses of multiple book series and they may go as long as they want, until they jump the shark. Perhaps I could even care to read some books after the shark has been jumped, simply because I just love to be in that particular universe. The downside of this is that I have to keep my memory trained at all costs. See, not only do I like my fantasy to some in longspinning series, but I also like it varied. Thus I read multiple series ...more
Jan 08, 2012 Alytha rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Benjamin Newland
I was nervous about this book. The last one was fine (book #3, Blood of the Mantis), but too short, which left me feeling a bit uninterested. I started this one feeling the same: worried about the short length and having a hard time getting pulled into the many, many different plot strands.

Turns out, the only thing wrong with books #3 and #4 in this series is that they should have been the same book. I don't know if it was an author decision or a publisher decision or what, but from my perspecti
This was all that i expected and more; though the series is supposed to go 10 and there are at least 2 more books in the 6 month interval pipeline, this book nicely rounds a lot of the main plots threads and concludes to some extent the story started in Empire and Gold;

The title is apt (so to speak) since this book is very dark - I saw some complaints how given all the war and violence in the first 3 volumes, most main characters escape; well, up to here since this book is merciless on them; I w
Jan 16, 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.
Neil Pearson
Aug 07, 2011 Neil Pearson rated it really liked it
This is my favourite book in the series so far. This really is the culmination of many of the plots that have been introduced since book one and it's an enjoyable ride with several jaw-dropping twists and developments. I was also surprised at how much I have grown to like the characters although it was a shame I discovered this upon their deaths. This book is a bloodbath by the way and shows that no-one is safe and Tchaikovsky's world (the way i like it).

It's nice to see the story finally being
Jun 29, 2015 Arkadeb rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015, fantasy
I was very conflicted about this rating. The book has a couple of issues I found rather annoying and one issue I found baffling. On the other hand the book has an unbelievably good ending section (last 6 or so chapters) which I simply could not stop reading.

If 4 out of 5 is 80%, then I would rate this book around 87%.
Jul 04, 2010 Jesslyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adult Fantasy readers
I am really, really sorry that this book had to end. This is the best series of honest-to-goodness Fantasy that I've gotten my hands on in a long time. The series isn't over yet, from what I can gather, the author signed on for a total of 10 books, and this is just the 4th. I look forward to all the rest.
Debby Kean
Oct 08, 2010 Debby Kean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: brilliant
How amazing this book is! I am tempted to sum it up by saying "everyone dies" but that's not really true. However there are shocks and surprises. The plot is complex and the characterisation is simply awesome.
Mar 02, 2012 Terri rated it really liked it
another brilliant epsiode in this series, I can't wait to read the next book.
Adrian Dumitru
Oct 11, 2015 Adrian Dumitru rated it it was amazing
I like the book and the ending but to much death ... to many characters that i read about and considered them my friends died ...
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
Jul 11, 2012 Clawfoot rated it liked it
I didn't think I liked the books overmuch when I first started, but I'm ploughing through the fourth one in the series quickly enough (and these aren't small books) so there must be something there that's holding my attention. I've been sort of lukewarm on the series from the beginning, but I could never quite put my finger on exactly what was keeping me from liking the series as much as I like others. I think I've figured it out.

A number of years ago, I read the first trilogy in Stephen R. Dona
Jul 21, 2012 Forrest rated it liked it
Shelves: cbr4
Salute the Dark brings the first major story arc of Shadows of the Apt to a conclusion. The book is so final it could easily be confused for the end of the series. Protagonists die off left and right, and plotlines get resolved or shoved under expositional carpets. But because none of the major arcs are really resolved, there is a real sense of dissatisfaction coming from the final chapters. The Wasps are still there, stopped for the moment but far from beaten. The Emperor’s quest for immortalit ...more
Oct 15, 2009 Christina rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, series, 2011
As I'm closing the 4th volume of this series, I'm still very impressed with it. The newness and freshness of the insect kinden has faded now but in it's place are instead a great story of how people react in times of trouble and a host of characters, each more interesting than the next.
This volume brings many of the story lines of the previous 3 volumes to their appropriate conclusions and no one is left the same, not any of the characters but neither the reader who has come to care for these fl
Jul 03, 2012 Arminion rated it liked it
I'm gonna review the first four books, the first story arc of Shadows of the Apt, instead of just book four.
After reading many good reviews on the internet, I was intrigued by the world of insect kinden. It was something fresh and unique. Unfortunately, although the premise was interesing, I found the story itself pretty boring. When you struggle to pick the book up, you know there is something wrong.
First of all, if I knew that these would be military novels, focusing on large battles and vario
Jun 11, 2013 Cody rated it really liked it
Finally, the whirlwind of the first four Shadows of the Apt books re-read is finished. I've upped this one's rating to 4 stars. Things packed more of an emotional punch this time around since I was better able to appreciate what had happened and what the personal struggles of the characters meant.

Especially Tisamon's and Felise Mienn's. Their plotlines in this novel were all about their personal struggles and just happened to coincide with the greater plot.

Salute the Dark aptly wraps up the firs
Jun 23, 2011 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It's back to war in this fourth book of the series. Not quite the grinding, constant conflict of the second volume, with none of the big fights really spanning as many pages as say, the siege of Tark or Collegium, although there's still a fair amount of fighting to go around. Still a pretty fast-paced, wild ride and there are plenty of surprises to go around.

Stenwold Maker remaining such a focal character is interesting. From the first book you kind of get the vibe from him that he's the typical
Matt Braymiller
Oct 20, 2014 Matt Braymiller rated it really liked it
Wow. Adrian Tchaikovsky spends three novels revealing his characters to us, telling us their stories, their loves and losses, and making us care about them. We've seen them overcome many obstacles and have rejoiced in their triumphs and mourned their losses. There have been moments of honor, sacrifice and heroism aplenty. In the last novel, the empire pushed hard and spread itself thin. This book brings the backlash. The events that unfold bring the main story to something of a close. The main p ...more
Feb 13, 2015 Angie rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: fantasy and steampunk fans
Recommended to Angie by: my son nick
This book ended what was a four book story arc which just got better and better as the author got more into the world he's created. And what a book, I really don't know how he's going to go on from this point. I don't want to give spoilers out but the hundred page ending just had me so emotional that I had to keep putting the book down and having a break. The war with the wasps had finally come to a head, and they were fighting at so many places at once. I loved the fast pace of this book, and t ...more
Apr 05, 2010 William rated it really liked it
I enjoyed it a lot, but I do think the pacing of the series is a bit odd. I thought the third book felt a bit slow with a lot of time spent on build-up and various sub-plots, but by contrast this book (the fourth) was very fast-paced with some fairly important events dealt with very quickly. Tchaikovsky seems to have decided to wrap up all the existing plot lines in this book and seems in a hurry to do it at times, the first four books would make a fairly self-contained series on their own so I' ...more
Christopher Hernandez
Jan 07, 2014 Christopher Hernandez rated it really liked it
Book 4 in the Shadows of the Apt series continues to give me what I enjoy. It is an interesting world where it's people take on aspects and abilities of insects and arachnids. I found this an appealing deviation from traditional fantasy employed elemental magics. It is also a world of both steam-punk and sorcery. This book brings the war between wasps and other kinden to a dramatic conclusion, and closes the Shadow Box arc. The plot of this book is all about war, victory, and sacrifice. A few of ...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...

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)
  • Blood of the Mantis (Shadows of the Apt, #3)
  • 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 cannot hope to make you understand how the world is truly made,' he told her. 'Metaphor, then: the world is a weave, like threads woven into cloth.' His hand came out of his sleeve with a strip of his red ribbon.

'If you say so.'

'Everything, stone, trees, beasts, the sky, the waters, all are a weave of fabric,' he said patiently. 'But when you think, it is different. Your thinking snarls the fabric, knots it. If you were a magician, you could use the knot of your mind to pull on other threads. That is magic, and now you see how every simple it is. I wonder everyone does not become an enchanter.”
“All things die,' she told him. Such a truism, it was the trite utterance of any street-corner philosopher, but coming from Inaspe Raimm it sounded different. 'All things reach the end of their journey, be they trees, insects, people or even principalities. All things die so that others may take their place. To die is no tragedy. The tragedy is dying with a purpose unfulfilled.” 0 likes
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