Shadows of the Apt is a series of fantasy novels by English author Adrian Tchaikovsky. In this series, the universe is made up different races of humans that are named after insects, and each race (“kinden”) bears some characteristics of the insect they are named after. Kinden are categorized as “Apt” or “Inapt,” meaning they either have magical powers and are good with mechanical devices or they use magic, but can’t use anything mechanical (even a simple latch). The series focuses on the attempted conquest of the Lowlands by the Wasp-kinden empire.

Adrian Tchaikovsky began his Shadows of the Apt series in 2008 with his debut novel, Empire in Black and Gold. The series lasted ten novels and ran until 2014’s Seal of the Worm. Below is a list of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Shadows of the Apt books in order of when they were originally published (which is the same as their chronological order):

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Publication Order of Shadows of the Apt Books

Empire in Black and Gold(2008)Description / Buy at
Dragonfly Falling(2009)Description / Buy at
Blood of the Mantis(2009)Description / Buy at
Salute the Dark(2010)Description / Buy at
The Scarab Path(2010)Description / Buy at
The Sea Watch(2011)Description / Buy at
Heirs of the Blade(2011)Description / Buy at
The Air War(2012)Description / Buy at
War Master's Gate(2013)Description / Buy at
Seal of the Worm(2014)Description / Buy at

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Shadows of the Apt Synopsis: Empire in Black and Gold is the first book in the Shadows of the Apt series by Adrian Tchaikovsky. Seventeen years ago Stenwold witnessed the Wasp Empire storming the city of Myna in a brutal war of conquest. Since then he has preached vainly against this threat in his home city of Collegium, but now the Empire is on the march, with its spies and its armies everywhere, and the Lowlands lie directly in its path. All the while, Stenwold has been training youthful agents to fight the Wasp advance, and the latest recruits include his niece, Che, and his mysterious ward, Tynisa. When his home is violently attacked, he is forced to send them ahead of him and, hotly pursued, they fly by airship to Helleron, the first city in line for the latest Wasp invasion. Stenwold and Che are Beetle-kinden, one of many human races that take their powers and inspiration each from a totem insect, but he also has allies of many breeds: Mantis, Spider, Ant, with their own particular skills. Foremost is the deadly Mantis-kinden warrior, Tisamon, but other very unlikely allies also join the cause. As things go from bad to worse amid escalating dangers, Stenwold learns that the Wasps intend to use the newly completed railroad between Helleron and Collegium to launch a lightning strike into the heart of the Lowlands. Then he gathers all of his agents to force a final showdown in the engine yard…

Order of Books » Characters » Order of Shadows Of The Apt Books

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