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Blood of the Mantis

(Shadows of the Apt #3)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  3,318 ratings  ·  116 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. Meanwhile, the forces of the Empire are mustering over winter for their great offensive, gathering their soldiers and perfecting their new weapons. Stenwold and his followers have only a short time t ...more
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Pyr
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Average rating 3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,318 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Apr 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is the third book in the Shadows of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky.

He’s one of my favourite authors. If you're reluctant to dive into a long series without first getting to know an author, I've got a few recommendations. Fantasy: Guns of the Dawn (Austen's Elizabeth Bennet goes to war); Sci-Fi: Children of Time and Dogs of War.

The premise of the Shadows of the Apt series (which spans ten books) is simple: every species in this fantasy series is an insect-kinden, and has got the manner
May 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
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 They’re (mostly) disgusting creatures and the thought of reading a series where the oprhan boy has been replaced by all of these bug-like people was a complete turn-off for me.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
Chris Berko
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me begin this review with a five minute standing ovation...

Okay, wow. That was fantastic. The story remains huge, and I mean really big, but this book felt more personal and intimate. Amazing multiple story lines with tons of hot, wet, dripping imagination stuff running around. I mean seriously, c'mon if you've made it this far in the series you know what I'm talking about. Highly original and boatloads of awesomeness, definitely a series to invest in. You truly get to appreciate the scale
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars

Rounding up to 4 stars. Blood of the Mantis was a solid addition to the Shadows of the Apt series that didn’t quite live up to the first 2 books. In some ways it felt like a bridge book setting up future events.

The book opens with Stenwold and his allies sorting through the aftermath of the attack on Collegium. There is a reunion between Stenwold and Che but it doesn’t last long as events force our little group apart once again. Achaeos leads a group north to recover the stolen Shadow
Maggie K
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading part 2 of this series, I was hesitant to get into this book, and now that I have finally read it, Im sorry I waited so long!

The various principals are all in their places, and the storyline progresses as their progress moves both forward and backward. Fabulous story!
Jul 08, 2012 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)
Mar 08, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010, e-books
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
Highness Atharva
Shadows of The Apt Book 3
*Blood of the Mantis* by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Chapter Analysis

1.A wonderful start with an unexpected beginning. Some secondary new characters are introduced. Taki, saves a Lowlander ship from pirates on which Che is travelling to Solarno, a miniature Spider City. Taki and Che have a good dialogue but Che�s motive to travel to Solarno is not yet revealed. A wonderful beginning.
2.The story shifts two months back as we see the reunion of Salma and Che with the Collegium membe
Will R
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Here we get a lift in the action. Characters are coming into their own and the stakes are revealing themselves, as our perspective on the Wasp Empire and the lands beyond its borders widens. The Skater-kinden are a particularly inspired race of untrustworthy water dancers. Tchaikovsky doesn't seem to be driving towards any particular thematic depths, but the action is well-written and the cultures continue to be interesting. ...more
Sep 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, fiction, series, fantasy
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
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuing to enjoy the series. This installment had some interesting developments, and I enjoyed the addition of Taki to the cast.
Jul 26, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, fiction
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
Jul 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Tadhg Mahon
Apr 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, did not see THAT coming! I loved it :)
Sep 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic series. This and Game of Thrones have gotten me back into reading after quite a respite from reading. Just brilliant.
Aug 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
Very very good, will start on the next part today.
Apr 23, 2016 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.
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
Adam Whitehead
With the Wasp armies' advance stalled by the arrival of winter, Stenwold Maker takes advantage in the lull to send his agents on dangerous missions. Achaeos, Tisamon and Tynisa are dispatched to Jerez, a marsh-town on the edges of the Empire, in pursuit of the stolen Shadow Box, which holds an evil that cannot be unleashed back onto the world. Elsewhere, Che and Nero are sent to Solarno, a city on the distant Exalsee, which is also under threat from the Empire's expansion. However, the feuding p ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another corking book from Adrian Tchaikovsky. I wish I had the freedom to plough through Shadows of the Apt one after the other, as it is all effectively one epic story, but my teetering BookStack still threatens to crush me with guilt. And the sheer weight of the books, obvs.

On its own, Blood of the Mantis is a pea and cup game, a Maltese Falcon if you like, wherein it seems all of the Kinden (humanoid races with insect-like abilities) seek the Shadow Box - an ancient weapon of vastly destructi
Sean Bester
This one was a real mixed bag.

On the one hand, Tchaikovsky's writing was much better than the previous two outings, and way more consistent. Certain passages even had me stopping to re-read in awe of how insightful and well constructed they were. Dude still needs an editor though, because the errors and types are still all over the place.

I liked that the story went back to basics, with the main cast somewhat split up as they were in the first book. However, not a lot of much significance actuall
Sep 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Koit by: Claus Appel
The third volume was weaker than the second one. While the sub-plot involving the magic box started off interesting, it quickly lost its impetus and stalled. The knife-and-dagger action in Jerez was nevertheless the best part of this book, with Stenwold’s story weaker than ever before and Solarno leaving me unimpressed.

The problems, as encountered, are that while the Jerez adventure creates a wonderful sub-plot to compete with the primary war story, the characters don’t hold up their end of it.
Nov 28, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the wider world beyond the lowlands. And with the introduction of more types of insect kinden, I immediately start thinking of what other insects there are out there which could show up and I cannot wait for the next book.

The non stop action continues. Character development is a little cliched but not overly so. The industrialisation of war seems to be a major theme.

And the layers of intrigue have also multiplied considerably. What exactly does the representative of the Spiderlands want
Nia Sinjorina
Jul 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Characters continue to develop, with several deepening as events force them to make choices and mature, not in a binary way but in considered and believable directions that mark the author out as a writer rather than a scribbler.

Political machinations now begin to weave their way through an expanding world, opening up new lands and introducing new intrigues. I love the way Tchaikovsky slowly builds his worlds, painting them with different architectures, culture, and characters  where a weaker wr
Nov 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Siegfried Hofman
Aug 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Keeping pace

The writer succeeded in bringing new twist to the storyline after finishing the main plots from part one. Hand in hand with the story the characters continue to evolve, sometimes in ways one did not expect. The overall feeling of uneasiness spreads to a degree where one simply can not refrain oneself from continuing in the series. More than a good job.
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The evil magic users who survived centuries in the shadows have made their play for an object of great and dark magic. The builders of machines who are engage in a world war are blind to it but a few of the older races feel and fear its draw.
LJ Waguespack
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Finished the first three books of a very promising series. I continue to be blown away by the totality of this authors writing, Thank you Adrian Tchaikovsky! Again, I look forward to continually reading this engaging, well written, always surprising series.
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Blood of the Mantis [April 2019] 15 30 Nov 24, 2019 08:15PM  

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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.

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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