Empire in Black and Gold

The Days of Peace are Over Shadows of the Apt #1

Paperback, 624 pages

English language

Published May 31, 2021 by Tor.

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4 stars (8 reviews)

The city states of the Lowlands have lived in peace for decades, bastions of civilization, prosperity and sophistication, protected by treaties, trade and a belief in the reasonable nature of their neighbours.

But meanwhile, in far-off corners, the Wasp Empire has been devouring city after city with its highly trained armies, its machines, its killing Art...And now its hunger for conquest and war has become insatiable.

Only the ageing Stenwold Maker, spymaster, artificer and statesman, can see that the long days of peace are over. It falls upon his shoulders to open the eyes of his people, before a black-and-gold tide sweeps down over the Lowlands and burns away everything in its path.

But first he must stop himself becoming the Empire's latest victim.

3 editions

A review from Goodreads

4 stars

After I understood that the bug people were actually humanoid and not animal like, everything made more sense. But they are men and women belonging to different groups like: ants, beetles, wasps, butterflies, mantis, dragonflies, etc... Each of these groups has different abilities and characteristics. It's exceptional world building with excellent characters. I couldn't put this book down. It's very engaging and I cared about all the characters, even the evil ones. Strong female characters, cool fight scenes, perfect rhythm. I loved it! I will continue reading the series.

Review of 'Empire in Black and Gold' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

Amazing how this author can make subjects I find boring interesting. There's a lot of fight scenes in this one, and even though I didn't start finding them riveting or anything, at least I could follow them and see the point of them to some extent.
Otherwise it seems like a lovely fantasy / steampunk world, with magic (love that there's "the art" and "magic", I am curious how comes they're so separate in this world, and are they really that different), and cool races (based on bugs not Tolkien, much more interesting).
Basically, it's the cool races that sell this book.
No real ending, as it's first in a series.

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