Alytha's Reviews > Heirs of the Blade

Heirs of the Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky
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Feb 08, 12

Read from February 04 to 07, 2012

Finished volume 7 of Shadows of the Apt by Adrian Tchaikovsky; Heirs of the Blade.

(slightly spoilery!)

In terms of plot, the first part of the book follows Tynisa, who fled Collegium after Achaeos' death, and is now wandering through the Commonweal, hunting some idealistic spark of an ideal society that she caught from her friend Salma.

Later, Che and Thalric are trying to find her. And there's a violent peasant uprising that they all end up right in the middle of.

So, looking at the general summary, there's not all that much happening in terms of plot, but there's quite a lot of good character stuff. Tynisa finally gets her day in the limelight. Poor thing...child of two warring kinden, raised by a third, in a city of Apt, where, on the one hand, she is cut off from a lot of aspects of life in Collegium, being Inapt, and, double whammy, also from the Inapt magic stuff of her parent kindens. No wonder she doesn't feel she fits in. Through Salma, she gets an idea of the Commonweal being an ideal place, happy peasants governed by benevolent nobles. She decides to go there, to find Salma's family, and maybe also find a place where she belongs.

Unfortunately, she not only finds out that everything isn't quite as nice in the Commonweal, and that Salma's mother is a bitch, but she also gets caught by her father's errant ghost, who uses her crush on Salma's brother (as replacement for Salma himself) as a hook to turn her into an emotionless killing machine, and guide her towards a Mantis-typical bloody and heroic end.

Fortunately, Che and Thalric and a magician they picked up on the way arrive in time to help her cast out the ghost. Unfortunately, that's not the end of Tisamon...

I didn't really like the peasant rebels when they were introduced. Maybe they weren't really supposed to be likeable, as they're not very Robin-Hood-like, at least not in the beginning. They do become slightly more endearing though. And they do have a certain reasin to be, as they've been abandoned by their nobles after the end of the war.

I quite liked the changing focus onto the Inapt kinden and their magic. I wonder how far Che will be going in that regard. I guess she'll have to face off against Seda at some point. After The Sea Watch, which was a bit of a sideline, despite being very interesting, we've moved furter back into the main action now. Or rather, it's been set up to hit the fan sometime soon.

Interesting things in this one:

I bet nobody else ever noticed either that there's almost no birds in Kinden-world? The insects probably ate them in revenge when they started growing into gigantism...Tynisa clearly has never seen one before.
I see bad things coming...the Empire declares the Provinces as protectorate, is setting its sights back on Collegium, has an agreement with the Iron Glove. Oh, and rock oil. And undead Tisamon (in a bad mood). Good times are coming...
Varmen's blaze of glory... :(
We finally find out that Salma isn't actually his first name, but his family name. Barbarian lowlanders...
I really wonder how the Mantids have managed to survive as a kinden so far, seeing their overblown ideas about honour and dying in battle and things like that. Definetely the most mentally screwed-up of all kinden...or maybe Tisamon was an extreme example of the kinden.


And now, I've really caught up with the writer...I hope the next one will be out soon.
(Although, dear Mr Tchakovsky, could you please stop flogging the dead Mantis? just let him rest in whatever amount of peace he can, poor sod...)

In short, really really liked this one.
9/10
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