EMPIRE IN BLACK AND GOLD
Tchaikovsky succeeds at creating a compelling, absorbing and unique
plot populated with characters worth investing time in. Interestingly, the humans in this series could be considered the monsters in any other series, and the insect/human hybrid characters are believable and fascinating.
A promising debut by a verbose and lyrical writer.
The city-states of the Low-lands have lived in peace for decades. Unbeknownst to them, the lands beyond their borders stewed a new empire, one bent on conquest and subjugation. As the empire advances through neighboring territories, the city-states of the Lowlands must decide whether they're willing to band together to resist, or remain independent -- and vulnerable -- regions. Stenwold Maker has attempted to warn his city and others of the dangers of the massing empire for years, yet it may fall to only himself and his small band of spies to protect the Lowlands. (PYR, Mar., 612 pp., $16.00)