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Authors: Adrian Tchaikovsky

Blood of the Mantis

BOOK: Blood of the Mantis
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Praise for Shadows of the Apt

‘Occasionally a fantasy author comes up with a way to break the mould of traditional genre tropes: M. John Harrison’s
Viriconium
and China Mieville’s
Perdido Street Station
are two examples that immediately spring to mind. Tchaikovsky, on this evidence, looks like a new addition to that select hall of fame . . . This looks like a series with legs: six of them’

Death Ray

‘The insectile-humans premise is inventive, shaping the world in all sorts of ways’

SFX

‘Empire’s
most singular distinction in the genre is its employment of a totally different selection of fantastical insect/human hybrids . . . This allows the author to achieve the unusual feat of creating a new universe populated by unique characters’

SciFiNow

‘Full of colourful drama and non-stop action involving mass warfare and personal combat,
Dragonfly Falling
brilliantly continues the Shadows of the Apt epic fantasy series that began in Adrian Tchaikovsky’s remarkable debut novel,
Empire in Black and Gold’

Fantasy Book Critic

 

Adrian Tchaikovsky was born in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, before heading off to Reading to study psychology and zoology. For reasons unclear even to himself he subsequently ended up in law and has worked as a legal executive in both Reading and Leeds, where he now lives. Married, he is a keen live role-player and occasional amateur actor, has trained in stage-fighting, and keeps no exotic or dangerous pets of any kind, possibly excepting his son.

Catch up with Adrian at www.shadowsoftheapt.com for further information about both himself and the insect-kinden, together with bonus material including short stories and artwork.

Blood of the Mantis
is the third novel in the Shadows of the Apt series. Have you read
Empire in Black and Gold
and
Dragonfly Falling?

 

ALSO BY ADRIAN TCHAIKOVSKY

Empire in Black and Gold

Dragonfly Falling

 

 

First published 2009 by Tor

This electronic edition published 2009 by Tor
an imprint of Pan Macmillan Ltd
Pan Macmillan, 20 New Wharf Rd, London N1 9RR
Basingstoke and Oxford
Associated companies throughout the world
www.panmacmillan.com

ISBN 978-0-230-74696-1 in Adobe Reader format
ISBN 978-0-230-74695-4 in Adobe Digital Editions format
ISBN 978-0-230-74697-8 in Mobipocket format

Copyright © Adrian Czajkowski 2009

The right of Adrian Czajkowski to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by him in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

You may not copy, store, distribute, transmit, reproduce or otherwise make available this publication (or any part of it) in any form, or by any means (electronic, digital, optical, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of the publisher. Any person who does any unauthorized act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

Visit
www.panmacmillan.com
to read more about all our books and to buy them. You will also find features, author interviews and news of any author events, and you can sign up for e-newsletters so that you’re always first to hear about our new releases.

Contents

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-One

Twenty-Two

Twenty-Three

Twenty-Four

Twenty-Five

Twenty-Six

 

For Jean-Henri Fabre

 
Acknowledgements

Once again thanks to my agent Simon, to Peter Lavery, and to Julie, Chloe and everyone at Macmillan for making this book a reality.

Also, as an author living in the north of the country has a necessarily nomadic existence, thanks to Andy and Tash, Wayne and Krissy, Helen and Joff, Ledge, Gareth and Frances for at various times providing an itinerant author with a meal and a place to rest.

 

 
Glossary

People

Stenwold Maker
– Beetle-kinden spymaster and statesman

Cheerwell ‘Che’ Maker
– his niece

Tisamon
– Mantis-kinden Weaponsmaster

Tynisa
– his halfbreed daughter, Weaponsmaster

Achaeos
– Moth-kinden magician, Che’s lover

Nero
– Fly-kinden artist

Arianna
– Spider-kinden, Stenwold’s lover, former Rekef agent

Balkus
– Ant-kinden, agent of Stenwold, renegade from Sarn

Sperra
– Fly-kinden, agent of Stenwold

Thalric
– Wasp-kinden, former Rekef major, now renegade

Teornis of the Aldanrael
– Spider-kinden Aristos

Gaved
– Wasp-kinden mercenary

Felise Mienn
– Dragonfly-kinden duellist

Destrachis
– Spider-kinden doctor and companion of Felise Mienn

Parops
– Tarkesh Ant-kinden soldier, now in exile

Salma (Prince Salme Dien)
– Dragonfly-kinden nobleman

Prized of Dragons
– formerly Grief in Chains, Salma’s Butterfly-kinden lover

Alvdan II
— the Wasp Emperor

Seda
– Alvdan’s sister and one surviving relative

Maxin
– Wasp-kinden general in the Rekef

Reiner
– Wasp-kinden general in the Rekef

Brugan
– Wasp-kinden general in the Rekef

Malkan
– Wasp-kinden, general of the Seventh Army (the ‘Winged Furies’)

Uctebri the Sarcad
– Mosquito-kinden magician, Alvdan’s slave

Gjegevey
– Woodlouse-kinden, imperial advisor

Dariandrephos (‘Drephos’)
– halfbreed artificer and imperial colonel

Totho
– halfbreed artificer in Drephos’s cadre

Kaszaat
– Bee-kinden artificer in Drephos’s cadre

Big Greyv
– Mole Cricket-kinden artificer in Drephos’s cadre

Scyla
– Spider-kinden spy, magician and thief

Lineo Thadspar
– Beetle-kinden Speaker for the Collegiate Assembly

Plius
– foreign Ant-kinden in Sarn, Stenwold’s agent

Odyssa
– Spider-kinden agent of the Rekef

Places

Capitas
– capital city of the Wasp Empire

Collegium
– Beetle-kinden city, home of the Great College

Commonweal
– the great Dragonfly state

The Darakyon
– forest, formerly a Mantis hold, now haunted and avoided by all

Felyal
– Mantis-kinden hold

Helleron
– Beetle-kinden industrial city, conquered by the Empire

Myna
– Soldier Beetle-kinden city conquered by the Empire

Sarn
– Ant-kinden city allied to Collegium

Spiderlands
– Spider-kinden cities south of the Lowlands, believed rich and endless

Szar
– Bee-kinden city conquered by the Empire

Tark
– Ant-kinden city conquered by the Empire

Tharn
– Moth-kinden hold near Helleron

Vek
– Ant-kinden city-state hostile to Collegium

Organizations and things

The Ancient League
– recent alliance of Moths and Mantids from the holds north of Sarn

Arcanum
– the Moth-kinden secret service

Assembly
– the elected ruling body of Collegium, meeting in the Amphiophos

Battle of the Rails
– recent defeat of Sarnesh troops by the imperial Seventh Army

Great College
– in Collegium, the cultural heart of the Lowlands

Mercers
– Dragonfly-kinden order of knights errant

Prowess Forum
– duelling society in Collegium

Rekef
– the Wasp imperial secret service.

Shadow Box
– a mysterious artefact stolen from Collegium by Scyla

 

The Wasp Empire has commenced its great war against the Lowlands, capturing the cities of Tark and Helleron and defeating the Ant-kinden of Sarn in a pitched field battle. Now General Malkan’s Seventh Army, the Winged Furies, waits for reinforcements before pressing on to Sarn itself. Malkan’s victory over the Sarnesh was accomplished by a new weapon, the snap bow, devised by the former Lowlander Totho, now an apprentice of the Empire’s foremost artificer.

BOOK: Blood of the Mantis
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