The Scarab Path

Shadows of the Apt 5

Adrian Tchaikovsky

505 pp • ISBN: 978-1-61614-361-9
Trade Paperback • $17
April 2011
Cover Illustration: ©Jon Sullivan

The war with the Wasp Empire has ended in a bitter stalemate, and Collegium has nothing to show for it but wounded veterans. Cheerwell Maker finds herself crippled in ways no doctor can mend, haunted by ghosts of the past that she cannot appease, seeking for meaning in a city that no longer seems like home.

The Empress Seda is regaining control over those imperial cities that refused to bow the knee to her, but she draws her power from something more sinister than mere armies and war machines. Only her consort, the former spymaster Thalric, knows the truth, and now the assassins are coming and he finds his life and his loyalties under threat yet again.

Out past the desert of the Nem the ancient city of Khanaphes awaits them both, with a terrible secret entombed beneath its stones...

This is the fifth novel in the Shadows of the Apt series following Empire in Black and Gold, Dragonfly Falling, Blood of the Mantis, and Salute the Dark.


"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 andBlood 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)