Adrian Tchaikovsky

Adrian Tchaikovsky

Shadows of the Apt 

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This is where it all began! Recently reprinted with new covers and released in audio form, Shadows is my grand fantasy series about the Insect-kinden, humans who tap into the powers of insects et al, fighting over the future of their world. The Wasp Empire is on the march. 

Find Adrian as @Aptshadow on Bluesky and Threads 

Can Stenwold, Cheerwell, Tisamon and their fellows stop or even slow them? 

Shadows of the Apt Covers Original
Shadows of the Apt Pan Mac 2008 covers

Empire in Black and Gold Special Collector’s Edition with a complete set hoped to follow.

Empire in Black and Gold Broken Binding Front Cover image

The Broken Binding are producing a special collector’s edition of Adrian’s very first book, Empire in Black and Gold. 

Specs: Royal hardback, block sprayed edges, signed, foil on board, ribbon

The intention is to follow on with a complete set of the Shadows of the Apt series in the same edition, and the books will be available to subscribers of their Dragon’s Hoard collection, and also available by a separate mini-subscription just for the series.

Empire in Black and Gold Broken Binding back cover image
Empire in Black and Gold cover

The days of peace are over . . .

The Lowlands’ city states have lived in peace for decades, hailed as bastions of civilization. 

Yet that peace is about to end. A distant empire has been conquering neighbours with highly trained soldiers and sophisticated combat techniques. And the city states are its desirable new prize.

Only the ageing Stenwold Maker – spymaster, artificer and statesman – foresees the threat, as the empires’ armies march ever closer. So it falls upon his shoulders to open the eyes of the cities’ leaders. He sees that war will sweep through their lands, destroying everything in its path.

But to warn his people, he must stay alive.


Empire in Black and Gold is also available in the following languages: German, Polish, Bulgarian, Czech and Russian

Every hero must be tested . . .

The Wasp Empire’s armies are on the move – and the city of Tark will be first to feel their might. 

Salma and Totho prepare for battle, alongside their Ant-kinden brethren. And within Tark’s walls, they’ll face a force greater than any Lowlander has ever seen. Stenwold Maker predicted this threat, and the Empire's secret service now deems him too dangerous to live. So he’s to be eliminated, and his beloved city of Collegium destroyed. For if this centre of learning is lost, it will crush Lowland resistance.

As the Empire's troops continue their relentless advance, their young Emperor pursues another, even darker goal. And his success would trigger a reign of blood lasting a thousand years.

Dragonfly Falling is also available in the following languages: German, Polish, Bulgarian, and Czech.

Dragonfly falling cover
Blood of the Mantis cover

Blood of the Mantis is also available in the following languages: German, Polish, Bulgarian, and Czech.

A dread ritual casts a deadly shadow. Achaeos the seer has finally tracked down the stolen Shadow Box. 

But he has only days before this magical artefact will be lost to him forever. Meanwhile, the Empire's dread forces are mustering for their next great offensive. Stenwold and his followers have only a short time to gather allies, before the enemy's soldiers march again – to conquer everything in their path. If Stenwold cannot hold them back, the hated black and gold flag will fly over every city in the Lowlands before the year's end.

Yet a more insidious threat awaits. Should the Shadow Box fall into the hands of the power-mad Emperor, nothing will save the world from his relentless ambition.


All must face the end of days . . .

The mighty Wasp armies are on the march. 

And with war imminent, spymaster Stenwold must finally separate allies from false friends. He knows the Empire won’t stop until its flag hangs over Collegium, Stenwold's home city. Tisamon the Weaponsmaster favours a more direct strategy – facing the Wasp Emperor himself, with a blade in his hand. He’d be abandoning both friends and family to do so. Yet is he driven by honour, or being manipulated by something far more sinister?

With the Shadow Box in his possession at last, Uctebri can begin his dark ritual. The Wasp-kinden’s Emperor believes this will grant him immortality. However, Uctebri has his own plans – for the Emperor and the Empire.

Salute the Dark is also available in the following languages: Polish, Bulgarian, and Czech.

Salute the Dark cover
Scarab path cover

Ancient powers are waking . . .

The war with the Wasp Empire has ended in a bitter stalemate, and Collegium has nothing to show for it but wounded veterans.

‍ Cheerwell Maker finds herself crippled in ways no doctor can mend, haunted by ghosts of the past that she cannot appease.

The Empress Seda is regaining control over those imperial cities that refused to bow the knee to her, but she draws her power from something more sinister than mere armies and war machines.

Only her consort, the former spymaster Thalric, knows the truth, and now the assassins are coming and he finds his life and his loyalties under threat once again. Then out beyond the desert of the Nem, the ancient city of Khanaphes awaits them both, with a terrible secret entombed beneath its stones.


The Scarab Path is also available in the following languages: Polish, and Czech.

Danger lurks beneath dark waters . . .

A shadow is falling over Collegium.

Despite the tenuous peace, Stenwold Maker knows that the Empire will return for his city. Even as he tries to prepare for the resurgence of the black and gold army, a hidden threat is working against his people. Ships that sail from Collegium's harbour are being attacked, sunk by pirates. Some just go missing . . .

Lulled by the spread of lies and false promises, Stenwold's allies are falling away. He faces betrayal on every side, and the Empire is just waiting for the first sign of weakness to strike. But they are not the only power that has its eyes on Collegium. And even with all their military strength and technology, they may not be powerful enough to stave off the forces massing in the darkness.

The Sea Watch is also available in the following languages: Polish, and Czech.

The Sea Watch cover
Heirs of the Blade cover

The greatest foe is the enemy within . . .

Tynisa is on the run, 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 Empire seeks to conquer the city of Khanaphes, the fallen jewel of the ancient world. Whilst Empress Seda's soldiers seek only conquest and prestige, she sees herself as the heir to all the old powers of history, and has her eyes on a far greater prize.

Heirs of the Blade is also available in Polish


An empress demands her birthright…

All is in turmoil as the world moves towards war. 

In Solarno, the spies watch each other and ready their knives, while Myna sees the troops muster at its border and emotions run high as it vows never to be enslaved again. In Collegium, the students argue politics, too late to turn the tide.

In the heart of the Empire, new pilots have completed their secretive training, generals are being recalled to service and armies are ready to march. Their Empress, the heir to two worlds, intends to claim her birthright. And nothing - either within the Empire or beyond it - will stand in her way.

A conflict is coming, the like of which the insect-kinden have never seen.

The Air War is also available in Polish

The Air War cover

Shortlist: David Gemmell Legend Award 2014. 

War Master's Gate cover

A city makes its last stand…

Relentlessly advancing towards Collegium, the Empire is again seeking to break down the city's walls. 

War Master’s Gate is also available in Polish

The mighty imperial armies have learnt from their failures, and Empress Seda will brook no weakness in her soldiers. After all, Stenwold Maker has earned his title, and the War Master has strategies to save his city. His aviators rule the skies - but the Wasp Kinden Empire has developed a terrifying new aerial weapon.

Yet the campaign may be decided far from marching armies and the noise of battle. In an ancient forest, where Mantis clans pursue their own civil war, the Empress Seda is seeking a lost power of the old world. Cheerwell Maker must stop her, at any cost, but will their rivalry awaken something far deadlier? Something that could make even their clash of nations pale into insignificance . . .


An ancient enemy stirs once more . . .

The Empire has vanquished its enemies at last, but at a terrible price.

With her chief rival cast into the abyss, Empress Seda must face the truth of what she’s unleashed in her hunger for power. Now the Seal has been shattered, the ancient Worm stirs towards the light for the first time in a thousand years. Already it is striking at the surface, consuming everything in its voracious path. Unchecked, it will ravage the world.

As her victory seems hollow indeed, Seda knows that only the most extreme solution can lock the Worm in the dark once more. But if she’ll go to such horrific lengths to save them all from the Worm, who’ll save the world from her?

Seal of the Worm is also available in Polish

Seal of the Worm cover

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