Tchaikovsky’s fifth delving into his complex, vibrant Shadow of the Apt series takes the reader on an exhilarating journey rich with the engaging dialogue and scenery fans have come to expect. This offering invigorates the series, and if you have not yet read the other four books, The Scarab Path is why you should. It’s the perfect series to enjoy as the spring season, rich with humming, buzzing insects, begins.

As a tenuous peace settles among the Wasp Empire and the free-cities of the Lowlands, the need to strengthen old alliances and build new ones grips Collegium. Cheerwell Maker, haunted by the ghost of her beloved, struggles with her growing inability to understand or manipulate technological mechanisms. Meanwhile, the Wasp Empire works to regain control over rebel imperial cities led by Empress Seda and her consort and former Rekef officer Thalric. If there’s one thing decades of service has taught Thalric, it’s that nothing breeds assassination attempts like a peace agreement. (PYR, May, 480 pp., $16.00)

Reviewed by: 
Victoria Frerichs