Review: Heirs of the Blade

This post will include my review of the book Heirs of the Blade by Adrian Tchaikovsky. The seventh book in the Shadows of the Apt Series, and was released in October 2011. The text below is taken from the blurb on the back of the book.

She remembered how it felt to lose Salma, first to the wiles of the Butterfly-kinden girl, then to hear the news of his death, abandoned and alone in the midst of the enemy.
She remembered how it felt to see her father hacked to death before her eyes.
But of her murder of Achaeos, of the bite of her blade into his unsuspecting flesh, the wound that had sapped him and ruined him until he died, she remembered nothing, felt nothing. In such a vacuum, how could she possibly atone?
Tynisa is running, but she cannot escape the demons of her own mind. Amidst the fragmenting provinces of the Dragonfly Commonweal her past will at last catch up with her. Her father’s ghost is hunting her down.
At the same time, the Wasp Empress, Seda, is on the move, her eyes on the city of Khanaphes, the fallen jewel of the ancient world. Whilst her soldiers seek only conquest, she sees herself as the heir to all the old powers of history, and has her eyes on a far greater prize.

What a contrast. In my review for the previous book The Sea Watch I said that it felt rushed and tried to tell too big a story in just one book. Well this book is completely different. Heirs of the Blade is just beautiful in the way it tells the story. The characters, the language, the action, the settings, all of it is just fantastic. This is easily my favourite book of the series and it is book seven.
The story is set largely in the Commonweal, which has certainly featured in previous books but has never served as the main location for the story, and tells the story of Tynisa (one of my favourite characters) as she battles with the demons (or should I say ghosts) of her past.
It was quite a melancholy tale really, with emotional yet tragic outcomes throughout. I really thought that her descent into darkness was handled well as was Che’s acceptance of her new found responsibilities as she sought to help her foster sister. In the end nobody wins per se but that type of outcome was very fitting for the story being told. Put simply I loved it and am looking forward to my next visit to the world of the insect kinden.


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