cover image Salute the Dark

Salute the Dark

Adrian Tchaikovsky, Pyr, $16 paper (324p) ISBN 978-1-61614-239-1

Tchaikovsky's fourth Shadows of the Apt installment is that rarest of gems in series fantasy: an intermediate book in which genuinely decisive events occur. Despite the best efforts of resistance leader Stenwald and his allies, the Wasp Empire seems fated to conquer the entire known world, forcibly assimilating the other insect-themed kinden into their brutal society. The empire faces its own doom in the form of vampiric sorcerer Uctebri, whose possession of the Shadow Box allows him to covertly dominate the empire's ruler. Vast armies clash, but in the end the conflicts are determined by individual choices. Tchaikovsky tests all his characters in the full knowledge that many will fail, some heroically and others in despair. Readers who like their military fantasy to come with real consequences will be completely enthralled. (Sept.)