Rating: 5 out of 5
This was Mr Tchaikovsky at his best. It’s not a few weeks since I finished this book, but the scenes where the industrious beetles did their best in fighting for their city are still vivid. Not only was there considerable technical advance, though the author mostly skipped over showing this and went to the results, but this was incorporated into the in-universe experience very suitably.
What was more regrettable was how Stenwold’s character developed during the book. He started out a keen believer in justice in the start of the series, but by this point he’s barely more than a power-hungry magnate who cannot stand to be questioned by anyone. This was not a sequence of events I much appreciated.
The other development I did not like was how the increase in technical capacity and knowledge went alongside an increase in the mystical. I see ‘why’ the author went down this route, but this definitely lessened the impact of the series’ take on technological development, especially with regards to the machines of war.
Yet, this was, in the end, one of the best books in the series for me!