Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky (2010)

March 22, 2012 at 2:11 pm (fantasy, negativity)

Page 143: I’m bored. I shouldn’t be bored – Tchaikovsky’s world-building is amazing, and his writing in general is excellent – but there it is. The writer loves his world so much that he spent 70-odd pages exploring one city. And the characters and the overall situation, which required them to leave that city. Now he’s already spent another 70-odd pages exploring a different city, with the four main characters handily divided up into three groups so as to expose the widest range of its huge and chaotic society.


And there are two [ETA: excuse me, SEVEN] more volumes of this series.

I mean, seriously. This is an incredibly creative fantasy world – the conceit is that in this world, humans used to be at the mercy of the giant insects that inhabited it, but instead learned to adopt specific insectoid aspects that gave them an important edge. So the Ant kinden are linked mind-to-mind, the Beetle kinden are sturdy and industrialist, the Mantis kinden are unsurpassed warriors, etc. There are physical differences between the kinden (the Fly kinden are all very short, and unreliable), and through the “Art” most people are able to do things like generate wings and fly. The aggressive Wasp kinden can apparently generate a “sting” of energy.

Fascinating. But not enough to carry on the story by itself. Intrigue and fighting in the streets and treachery and stuff are all there, but … I’m bored. It’s taking too long. Huge events are rumbling forward (evil empire versus loosely affiliated city-states). I’m not against big, sprawling novels in theory, but I just can’t get into this one.



  1. Paul Weimer (@PrinceJvstin) said,

    Boredom is the mind killer.

    I don’t remember being bored while reading this, but i do remember working quite a bit to get into the non worldbuilding aspects.

  2. Paul Weimer (@PrinceJvstin) said,

    I know you follow the posts in my game, and I wonder if you saw the reference I put to this series in the Martin thread.

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