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The Sea Watch (Shadows of the Apt #6)

3.91 of 5 stars 3.91  ·  rating details  ·  876 ratings  ·  42 reviews
A shadow is falling over Collegium.

Despite the tenuous peace, Stenwold Maker knows that the Empire will return for his city. Even as he tries to prepare for the resurgence of the black and gold, a hidden threat is steadily working against his people. Ships that sail from Collegium's harbour are being attacked, sunk by pirates. Some just go missing...

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Paperback, 697 pages
Published February 4th 2011 by Tor (first published February 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Stenwold Maker takes centre stage in a story derived from politics, betrayal, war, and assassination in which his home Collegium is once again under threat of invasion – and it’s not just the usual suspects this time. Fighting to keep the peace, Stendwold embarks on a journey which leads him to the unexplored depths of the sea, east to the Spiderlands and north the newly formed city of Princep Salmea. All of the settings are quite unique and have a distinct feel about them; Tchaikovsky once agai ...more
After the superb Scarab Path, Mr. Tchaikovsky switches characters, setting and gears with a story that takes place partly at sea, partly in underwater scapes that read like action on the Moon or Mars, so the book has a very sf-nal feel.

It is all Stenwold and Teornis here with supporting action from a bunch of new characters as well as some known ones.

The universe expands with more Kinden, more places, more capabilities.

While there are some superb personal scenes including a restatement of one o
I just want to say right off the bat, that I love the shadows of the apt novels! While some have been better than others, none of them have disappointed, and I eagerly await each entry into the series.

This one I found to be rather different than the rest, and im figuring this book is a bridge for the events to come. But it did feel a little disjointed from the rest of the series, not to mention the mass amount of new information about new races, traditions and politics that is introduced. To be
The sixth installment in one of my favorite ongoing fantasy epics. Great story that didn't receive the highest mark like the previous books only because Stenwold is not my favorite chracter so far, and I felt the plot in this version of 20000 leagues under the sea was a tad too straightforward and predictable.
Still, the middle of the book - where we get to explore the kinden of the sea and their habitat was amazing - easily the best part of the book. Tchaikovsky somehow manages to inject fresh b
Matt Braymiller
The Shadows of the Apt series is quickly becoming my favorite fantasy series. With so many characters and so many story lines, Tchaikovsky could have tried to write POV chapters so we could follow the movements of each character in the vein of the Song of Ice and Fire books. Thankfully he didn't go down that path. The preceding novel, The Scarab Path was Che's story with several other supporting players. This novel is Stenwold's book. He takes center stage and plays out a story among an entirely ...more
Geoffrey Stokker
This, by far, has been the weakest of the series to date. Not to say that it was bad or horrible only that I preferred the other novels far more. The Sea Watch was the only one to date, that I have actually put down and read another book before coming back.

I see many of the reviews cite that it is rather slow to start. Strangely, it was not a weakness for me, I actually enjoyed the beginning. The really weak part for me was (view spoiler)
The Sea Watch is like going back to the first book in the series when it comes to inventiveness and worldbuilding. Suddenly Tchaikovsky takes us into an entirely new part of the world and the reader gets to see all sorts of new kinden and environments. I love the insect/crustacean/arachnid totems that the author has going on in this series. Like I've said before, he may not have the writing of Wolfe or Erikson, but Tchaikovsky has written a fun series.

This book is also a breath of fresh air beca
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aidan Walters
This is the sixth book in the Shadows of the Apt series, really the second novel in the current arc, as the first four novels are a complete series in its own right.

This novel is different to the other novels in that it has only one major POV character, Stenwald Maker. Every other novel has had multiple main characters carrying the novel, the first four multiple disparate strands while book 5 was more focused. This really will shape how you enjoy the novel, if you particularly liked Maker's stra
Let me start by saying that I was very disappointed with this book...for a little while anyways. That being said, Adrian Tchaikovsky has quickly become a favorite Author of mine, and I really am anxious to devour more. I was disappointed with this book because I loved the last one, The Scarab Path so much. Che and Thralic are my favorite characters in this series and they play no part in this novel. However, Tchaikovsky has made this novel all about Stenwold,and Teornis to a smaller degree. Sten ...more
Goran Zidar
Being the sixth book of a series creates certain difficulties, with each instalment it gets harder to treat the reader with something new, as by now we are familiar with the world, its people, its politics, its technology, the way the magic system works, and the characters. So it is a credit to the author that this book has managed to introduce so much that is completely new at this stage of the series.

I have enjoyed all the books of this series so far, and while this one isn’t my favourite (boo
Redemption - the one word that comes to mind after reading this book. After being extremely disappointed by The Scarab Path (book 5) i told myself The Sea Watch would be A.T's last chance to keep me reading. I'm quite happy to say he has once again grabbed hold of my interest...and like the Polypoi "Touch" art...i don't think i'll be able to wriggle free.

As one of the other reviewers stated, i didn't like this book very the beginning anyways. I definitely found the first few 100 pages
If you haven't started reading this series, and you love fantasy, then you are missing out. I thoroughly recommend these books. I don't think that this is a good place to start this sequence - start at the beginning - but it really pays off.

The action is back at Collegium with Stenwold. It starts just after the The Scarab Path as news of Che is just reaching Stenwold, and I suspect that it overlaps the next in sequence (not yet published 'Heirs of the Blade') slightly. We see more Collegium poli
Tom Lloyd
Took me a while to get going on, this one. While it's continuing the usual high standards I was jarred by the introduction of the sea kinden. As I've read in another review so am clearly not alone in thinking, after several books of slowly introducing a range of land-kinden you're suddenly slapped in the the face with a tentacle-load of new races with little time to explore them and instead you just dump them in with their equivalent land-kinden they're clearly related to. That it was so easy to ...more
Oct 17, 2012 Larou added it
Shelves: fantasy
Following after The Scarab Path (which I read a few weeks ago), The Sea Watch is the sixth novel in Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadows of the Apt series. Like the previous novel, it only focuses on a small part of the total cast and is quasi-standalone, i.e. forms a complete story arc of its own within the framework of the greater plot.

While The Scarab Path took place in a new location but was peopled with many characters familiar from previous novels, The Sea Watch reverses that pattern and begins in
“The Sea Watch” is in some ways a bit of break from the previous five books in the series. Not only is it one of the more stand-alone of the books (it is the first in the series where the threat from the Wasp Empire isn’t a major part of the story), it is also the most focused on a single character, namely academic and unlikely spymaster Stenwold Maker. It gets off to a fairly slow start, with the first couple of hundred pages being devoted to Stenwold trying to deal with political intrigue in C ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I've been conflicted on this series for a while now. For the most part, I love them. The characters are wonderful and the plots are intricate and complex, but don't leave me behind wondering what the heck is going on. But I have to say, I'm not a big fan of the world these books are set in. There are too many inconsistencies and the addition of the sea-kinden doesn't do anything to sway me. In fact, it does the opposite.

On some level, I did enjoy seeing the underwater world, but it just didn't f
In my opinion, The Sea Watch, is the best novel in the series so far. It took me a long time to procure this book (I had trouble getting a copy here in Canada for some reason), but it was definitely worth the effort. A few interesting notes. While this book is indeed one in the Apt series - it nearly stands on it's own. Oh - there are some familiar characters, but the environment and the majority of characters are new. As if the diversity and expanse of Tchaikovsky's world was not deep enough, h ...more
Tom Boshell
This author is a genius. The world is (I find) quite a refreshing concept. Humans that have the traits of insects with 2 main types of people: magic users and non-magic users (science). The one can not understand the other and we enter the world in a time where the magic users are out of fashion. The series follows the one main character as he is the only one who sees the danger with spin-offs to his friends and niece. This book is return of focus to him and the future of the beatles. I'm just w ...more
This book in the Shadows of the Apt series takes us down below the sea surface, where the evolution regarding Aptness only just has begun. After reading about all the races I can only say one thing about the author: Does the man's imagination have no end?

I really enjoyed the book, even though I took a looong time to read it. Sometimes it's a bit heavy on the intrigues, politics and the number of plotlines, and I wasn't quite sure what was what, particularly with the new terms that were introduce
This story takes you away from the main story line into another very strange world underwater. I enjoyed this story even without some of my favorite characters because of the pathos running through it and because Tchaikovsky develops his characters so that you care about them. I can't imagine that he would take the time to write about this under the sea world unless it is to play a role in the end of the story and I am still considering the ways that the alliances may benefit Collegium. Not my f ...more
I'm sorry it took so long for me to get this review out but I just bought Witcher right back.
Wow and double Wow! Loved this episode of Shadows of the Apt! Easy 4.5 stars if that were permitted.

Like The Scarab Path - this is a pretty much a standalone novel. The pace picks up again after a more sedate book 5 with pirates, submarines's, underwater cities and a whole new "kinden" (minor gripe: there are a lot of new kinden introduced and each has a number of sub - divisions so you don't get to really identify with a particualar type as they are not as cleary defined as the land kinden.
I love Adrian's world building, I seriously think someone should sit down and make an rpg out of his works, but like so many fantasy authors while his stories and world ideas are really interesting and cool, his writing style is not fantastic.
Also there are themes that repeat rather annoyingly. And he's pretty much killed off every single one the characters that i found interesting now :( But certainly an entertaining book that one can read without expending any brainpower.
Jimmit Shah
Superb work as always. One thing that I feel is lacking is the presence of a society of healers. It can be a complete kinden of healers or some sect in each society which deals with healing. Since the development of the series is very steampunk-ish, the missing developments in medicine/understanding of the human body is more obvious. Looking forward to reading Heirs of the Blade soon...
i thought this book was going to bore me since none of the usual protagonists was in the cast for this book except Stenwold himself but it turned out to be one of the most imaginative books in the series and extremely exciting. Tchaikovsky is pure genius of fantasy!! looking forward to starting the next book - heirs of the blade.
Not my favourite book of the series, but great fun meeting the new underwater races. A bit too many different types for my landkinden brain to keep up with at times. I have Heir of the Blade and will start it soon - am trying to pace myself now that Mr Tchaikovsky's books are being released more gradually.
Completely different direction to the rest of the series, introduces new characters and some very odd new Kinden. Teonis mentions the "city of bones" offhandedly but that stuck with me, is there possibly some mammal-kinden hiding out somewhere. i'd love if the author explored that more.
Jahmes Garcia
Now that's a good book if ever I have read one. One you just can't put down til you're through. Tchaikovsky sealed this series' place in the Hall of Fantasy with this sixth installment. On to the seventh then!
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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)
  • Salute the Dark (Shadows of the Apt, #4)
  • The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt, #5)
  • 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)
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) Salute the Dark (Shadows of the Apt, #4) The Scarab Path (Shadows of the Apt, #5)

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