Salute the Dark by Adrian Tchaikovsky Shadows of the Apt #4

The war has come to the Lowlands and the wasp empire will stop at nothing to conqueror the free cities. Our heroes are sitting on the edge of defeat among the death, sacrifices, and betrayals of their loved ones. All of the lingering plot lines of the past 3 books will come to a head in Salute the Dark in one of the most dramatic climaxes’ you will ever read. This series keeps getting better with each and every book and you will want to hope on this train while you still can. This will be a spoiler free review, but I will be touching upon events of the previous books.

The best way I can describe the Shadows of the Apt series as a whole, is a tale of two halves. Books 1 through 4 are essentially the first half of the series while books 5 thru 10 complete the second half of the series. With that being said, Salute the Dark ends with a bang and it sets up beautifully the events to come! The shadow box has fallen into the hands of the empire, with the mosquito kinden Uctebri having all the power he needs to complete his ritual. The emperor’s sister Seda is looked upon as just a pawn in this political game of chess, but little does anybody else know she has plans of her own. Achaeos is bed ridden after being stabbed by Tynisa when trying to recover the shadow box, but Tynisa was under the control of Uctebri. Che does everything in her power to comfort and heal Achaeos, but they both realize that he needs the healing of his moth kinden. Tynisa is inconsolable for the acts she has committed even if she was being controlled. Tynisa decides to seek her vengeance on Uctebri even if she has to do it herself. Tisamon starts to have feelings for the dragonfly kinden Felise and due to his mantis kinden pride and honor, feels he has betrayed Atryssa (the spider kinden mother of Tynisa). Tisamon decides that his life is forfeit and will go an a mission into the heart of the empire to kill the emperor.

As you can tell from my summary, all of the plot lines that have been building up over the previous 3 books all converge and produce one of the best books you will read in any series. The pain multiple characters have gone through, the planning and strategies each character has to make to accomplish their goals, the sacrifices needed in times of great peril will leave you in awe and emotionally drained by the end. Salute the Dark shows us the dark side of war and power while describing the lengths our characters will go to keep the power or destroy it. This is also a story about political maneuvering and who is playing the long game with the fate of the empire. Each chapter builds of the next until you are struggling to be let up for air in this overwhelming series.

Shadows of the Apt will exceed every expectation you will set for it and then some. Just like getting a warm slice of apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top as a extra treat. Salute the Dark has the very definition of epic conclusions and you will want to get your hands on this series especially the audio books as they get released throughout the 2021. Adrian Tchaikovsky may be more known for his sci-fi books but Shadows of the Apt is where it all started and bringing it to the hands of other readers is my mission to mars!



  1. I started out REALLY liking Tisamon but as the series went on and Tchaikovsky really began showing him for who he was (a mantis as proud as any other), I really began to dislike him. But not in a bad way, if that makes sense. His whole culture was flawed and it would have taken someone with more fortitude than him to buck that. I look at Tisamon as a doomed hero until he’s not a hero anymore. What happens to him in later books was a really tough pill to take….


      1. For me, while I also disliked it, it took the whole “war” machinery to a very personal level. From the macro of the armies and their new techs to the micro with one spirit.


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