Blood of the Mantis

Shadows of the Apt 3

Adrian Tchaikovsky

544 pp • ISBN: 978-1-61614-199-8
Trade Paperback • $17
May 2010
Cover Illustration: ©Jon Sullivan

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 to gather what allies they can before the Wasp armies march again, conquering everything in their path. If they cannot throw back the Wasps this spring then the imperial black-and-gold flag will fly over every city in the Lowlands before the year's end. In Jerez begins a fierce struggle over the Shadow Box, as lake creatures, secret police and renegade magicians compete to take possession. If it falls into the hands of the Wasp Emperor, however, then no amount of fighting will suffice to save the world from his relentless ambition.


"I was hooked right up until the blood chilling finale."
—Graeme's Fantasy Book Review

"There is magic and engineering, epic fantasy story lines and steampunk
ones love stories, betrayals, and intrigue, mysterious and powerful artifacts
and deadly mass produced weapons, flying people and flying machines....
Highly, highly recommended."
—Fantasy Book Critic

Praise for the series:

"Adrian Tchaikovsky makes a good and enjoyable mix between a
medieval looking world and the presence of technology"

"Full of colourful drama and non-stop action involving mass
warfare and personal combat."
—Fantasy Book Critic

"Empire in Black and Gold is a very strong debut. It is a fast-paced and
action-driven novel that nonetheless leaves plenty of room for character-development. Its primary strength is, however, the highly imaginative world that Tchaikovsky's has created.... A remarkably strong fantasy debut and I for one am eagerly anticipating the sequels Dragonfly Falling and Blood of the Mantis."
—Book Spot Central

"Empire in Black and Gold has enough going for it to make it one of
the most enjoyable books that I've read so far this year. I want more and
there's nothing I can do but sit it out and wait..."
—Graeme's Fantasy Book Review (nine and a quarter out of ten)