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A Bitter Draft

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The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard #3)
Scott Lynch
Blood of the Mantis (Shadows of the Apt, #3) - Adrian Tchaikovsky This is easily becoming one of the best series I have ever read.In my reviews of Empire in Black and Gold and Dragonfly Falling, I wrote of how hesitant I was beginning the Shadows of the Apt series. Insects are something that had never really made a presence in fantasy. They’re (mostly) disgusting creatures and the thought of reading a series where the oprhan boy has been replaced by all of these bug-like people was a complete turn-off for me. Like I said, I gave it a shot. I couldn’t be happier that I did, especially after Blood of the Mantis. The series is quickly becoming one of the best I have ever read, sitting right next to the Malazan series. What makes me have even more drive to read Apt rather than Malazan is the fact that the latter books are tomes. They’re huge. Tchaikovsky keeps his books at a more feasible length for the most part.By now, if you’ve read the series at all or my reviews, you know the deal with the different kinden and how they’re all humans with insectoid traits – as well as their Apt and Inapt abilities. The plot from Dragonfly Falling continues, with Achaeos, Tisamon, Tynisa, Thalric, and Gaved tracking the deadly Shadow Box to a remote town in the Wasp Empire called Jerez. Jerez is home to another fantastically unique race, the Skater-kinden. The kinden, like the bugs themselves, have very long limbs and can literally skate across the water. The town is full of these kinden as well as other shady thugs and mercenaries looking to do business in the black market. Nero and Che have traveled all the way to Solarno, a city on the Exalsee that remains free from the grip of the Empire. Solarno distinctly reminded me of Renaissance Italy, with many different factions vying for control over the council that rules the city as well as the way they address eachother, Bella for a woman and Sieur for a man. Stenwold travels to Sarn for the conference he hopes will cement the alliance of the various peoples opposed to the Wasps and Uctebri has his own sinister plans involving the royal family in the capital of the Empire.Read the rest here: http://abitterdraft.com/2013/08/blood-of-the-mantis-by-adrian-tchaikovsky.html