Upcoming: THE BEAR AND THE SERPENT by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor)


A few days ago, Adrian Tchaikovsky revealed the cover for his next fantasy novel, The Bear and the Serpent, due to be published in the UK by Tor Books, on February 9th, 2017. It’s the second novel in the author’s Echoes of the Fall series. Here’s the synopsis:

Maniye, child of Wolf and Tiger, has a new soul and a new shape. But as Champion of the Crown of the World, does she represent an opportunity for the North — or a threat? Travelling as a bodyguard to the Southern prince, with her warband of outcasts, she hopes to finally discover her true place in the world.

But if only it was that simple. Tensions rise, and new allies face up to old enemies as civil war threatens to tear the South apart. Royal twins can’t share a throne, so one must be chosen. And whoever rules the southern Sun River Nation will hold the fate of the world in their hands. As the protector of one potential heir, Maniye soon finds herself at the eye of a political storm. Yet all the while, an enemy from the most ancient of times prepares for conquest, and could destroy everything in their path…

It is the sequel to The Tiger and the Wolf, which was also published by Tor in the UK (and is out now). Tchaikovsky is also the author of the critically-acclaimed Shadows of the Apt series, Guns of the Dawn, Children of Time and the upcoming Spiderlight.

Also on CR: Interview with Adrian Tchaikovsky (2012); Guest Posts on “Nine Books, Six Years, One Stenwold Maker”“The Art of Gunsmithing — Writing Guns of the Dawn”“Looking for God in Melnibone Places: Fantasy & Religion” and “Eye of the Spider”; Excerpt from Guns of the Dawn; Reviews of Empire in Black & Gold and Guns of the Dawn

Guest Post: “Looking for God in Melnibone Places : Fantasy and Religion” by Adrian Tchaikovsky

TchaikovskyA-AuthorPicI ran a workshop at a convention last year on world building. It would be accurate to say that it was a section of a world building workshop I’ve been running for several years, because whenever I set out a bunch of topics, I generally manage about a third of them before we get hung up on something, and the rest never gets touched.

This time round, I dived into social conventions: governments, class systems, and then we hit the brick wall of religion and that is where the discussion firmly stayed.

This recurred to me while editing The Tiger and the Wolf because one of the main ways this series differs from Shadows of the Apt is the spiritual dimension. The insect-kinden of Shadows are aware of the concept of gods but have no truck with the idea. Their attitude to the numinous (those who can even conceive of it) is as something to master and control, not appease or worship. For Tiger I wanted to explore a culture that lived in constant dialogue with the spiritual. The various tribes’ ability to shapeshift is the cornerstone of a religion that, though it finds different expressions in different tribes, links them all together with a common cosmology. Continue reading



Adrian Tchaikovsky‘s Shadows of the Apt series is fantastic — so many fellow reviewers and SFF fans have waxed lyrical about his prose, his world-building and stories. Certainly, I thoroughly enjoyed the first novel in the series. I started it after the first four or five had been published, and while I was thoroughly taken with the series and characters, I think at the time I looked at the sheer number of pages involved in getting caught up and came over all read-shy… Shameful, really. As a result, despite picking up the whole series (some as ARCs, others I purchased to fill gaps), I have never finished reading it. I hesitate to set that for a personal goal, as I’m terrible at completing reading goals.

Anyway, back to the purpose of this post. As you can see at the top, there, Tor UK has re-jacketed the novels (actually for the second time). I found them on Amazon UK. They seem to only appear for the Kindle editions, so it’s possible this is an eBook-only set of new covers.

If you’ve never read Tchaikovsky’s work before, I strongly urge you to do so. Start with Empire in Black and Gold. Here’s the synopsis:


The city states of the Lowlands have lived in peace and prosperity for decades: bastions of civilization and sophistication. That peace is about to end.

In far-off corners, an ancient Empire has been conquering city after city with its highly trained armies and sophisticated warming… And now it’s set its sights on a new prize.

Only the ageing Stenwold Maker, spymaster, artificer and statesman, can see the threat. It falls upon his shoulders to open the eyes of his people — as soon a tide will sweep down over the Lowlands and burn away everything in its path.

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

The Shadows of the Apt series includes: Empire in Black and Gold, Dragonfly Falling, Blood of the Mantis, Salute the Dark, The Scarab Path, The Sea Watch, Heirs to the Blade, The Air War, War Master’s Gate, Seal of the Worm

Adrian Tchaikovsky is also the author of three stand-alone novels: Guns of the DawnChildren of Time, and the upcoming The Tiger and the Wolf. I think I’ll be reading Guns of the Dawn very soon — I feel like reading something substantial, but not committing to a big (new) series at the moment. That novel looks like it will certainly do the trick.

Also on CR: Interview with Adrian Tchaikovsky (2012); Guest Posts on “Nine Books, Six Years, One Stenwold Maker” and “The Art of Gunsmithing — Writing Guns of the Dawn; Excerpt from Guns of the Dawn


Upcoming: THE TIGER AND THE WOLF by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor)


This post could just as easily be titled “Yay! More Tchaikovsky!” The Tiger and the Wolf is Adrian Tchaikovsky‘s next stand-alone fantasy novel, and it not only has a striking, gorgeous cover (by Neil Lang), but it also sounds pretty interesting:

In the bleak northern crown of the world, war is coming

Maniye’s father is the Wolf clan’s chieftain, but she’s an outcast. Her mother was queen of the Tiger and these tribes have been enemies for generations. Maniye also hides a deadly secret. All can shift into their clan’s animal form, but Maniye can take on tiger and wolf shapes. She can’t disown half her soul, so escapes – with the killer Broken Axe in pursuit.

Maniye’s father plots to rule the north, and controlling his daughter is crucial to his schemes. However, other tribes also prepare for strife. It’s a season for omens as priests foresee danger, a time of testing and broken laws. Some say a great war is coming, overshadowing even Wolf ambitions. But what spark will set the world ablaze?

The Tiger and the Wolf is due to be published in the UK on February 11th, 2016. I’m really looking forward to it.

Tchaikovsky’s two most recent novels are Gun of the Dawn and Children of Time, both of which are published in the UK by Tor Books. Both of which, also, I need to get caught up on! I think they will be perfect for the imminent, very-damned-cold Canadian winter…


Upcoming: GUNS OF THE DAWN by Adrian Tchaikovsky (Tor UK)

TchaikovskyA-GunsOfTheDawnThis is easily one of my most anticipated novels of 2015 — I am a big fan of Adrian Tchaikovsky‘s writing, despite being woefully behind on his truly epic Shadows of the Apt fantasy series. I mentioned this novel before on the blog, but Tor unveiled the final cover artwork, so I get to share it again. Guns of the Dawn is a stand-alone fantasy, and it sounds really interesting:

Denland and Lascanne have been allies for generations, but now the Denlanders have assassinated their king, overthrown the monarchy and marched on their northern neighbour. At the border, the war rages; Lascanne’s brave redcoats against the revolutionaries of Denland.

Emily Marshwic has watched the war take her brother-in-law and now her young brother. Then comes the call for more soldiers, to a land already drained of husbands, fathers and sons. Every household must give up one woman to the army and Emily has no choice but to join the ranks of young women marching to the front. 

In the midst of warfare, with just enough training to hold a musket, Emily comes face to face with the reality: the senseless slaughter; the weary cynicism of the Survivor’s Club; the swamp’s own natives hiding from the conflict. 

As the war worsens, and Emily begins to have doubts about the justice of Lascanne’s cause, she finds herself in a position where her choices will make or destroy both her own future and that of her nation.

Guns of the Dawn is published in the UK by Tor Books, on February 12th, 2015. I can’t wait to get my mitts on it.

In the same post (linked above), Tor shared information about Adrian’s other two 2015 releases, Children of Time and The Tiger and the Wolf. Here’s what they had to say about the novels: Children of Time (publication date unconfirmed at the moment) is

“Adrian’s first science fiction novel – and it’s epic. The last remnants of humanity left a dying earth behind, desperate to find a new home. Then when they finally find it, terror is waiting. Think Battlestar Galactica meets Alien – dramatic, stirring and a story with big themes. People seeking a sense of wonder will find everything they need here.”

The Tiger and the Wolf (due to be published November 19th, 2015) is the start of a new epic fantasy series:

“[T]he story of a young girl who is able to shift into the two forms – that of a wolf of her own clan – but also that of their mortal enemies – the tiger. It’s a coming-of-age story about the choices she has to make to decide where she belongs set against a backdrop of warfare and politics. Fantastically-written and a rip roaring read.”

So yeah: 2015 could become the Year of Adrian Tchaikovsky…