Adrian Tchaikovsky: ‘Empire in Black and Gold’

Ny britisk fantasy fra TOR
Adrian Tchaikovsky er en britisk fantasyforfatter, som debuterede i 2008 efter forgæves at have rendt panden mod forlagsmuren i 15 år. Jeg kender det lidt fra mig selv, idet jeg også skrev i mange år, før mine skriblerier fandt nåde for forlæggerverdenens øjne, så jeg har STOR respekt for den slags tålmodighed. Det kræver sin mand at bevare troen. Da Adrian Tchaikovsky endelig slap gennem nåleøjet var det hos TOR, hvis udgivelser ofte er kendetegnet ved en næsten magnetisk læseværdighed. Jeg har altså høje forventninger til Empire in Black and Gold, som jeg just har indkøbt og går igang med, så snart jeg er færdig med A Dance with Dragons af George R. R. Martin.

Empire in Black and Gold er første bind i Adrian Tchaikovskys serie med det dystert klingende navn, Shadows of the Apt. På Wikipedia kan man finde følgende beskrive af Shadows of the Apt:

The series is set in a hypothetical universe populated by different kinden. Each kinden is a humanoid race, named after (and having the characteristics of) an insect. Kinden are typically divided into two categories : Apt and Inapt. The Apt do not have magical abilities, but are able to understand, use and design mechanical devices. The Inapt have varying amounts of magical abilities, but cannot use mechanical devices, even those as simple as latches. The series focuses on the attempted conquest of the lowlands by the Wasp-kinden empire.

Originalt klingende ide
Det lyder som en forholdsvis original ide i mine ører. Simpel nok til at den hurtig at formidle og kompleks nok til, at man kan brygge adskillige digre bind på den. Det kræver bare, at håndværket (læs: skrivefærdighederne) er i orden. Bagsideteksten på første bind i Shadows of the Apt (Empire in Black and Gold) vækker håb om, at det er tilfældet. Den lyder som følger:

The City States of the Lowlands have lived in peace for decades, bastions of civilization, prosperity and sophistication, protected by treaties, trade and a belief in the reasonable nature of their neighbours.

But meanwhile, in far-off corners, the Wasp Empire have been devouring city after city with its highly trained armies, its machines, its killing Art … And now its hunger for conquest and war has become insatiable.

Only the ageing Stenwold Maker, spymaster, atificer and statesman, can see that the long days of peace are over. It falls upon his shoulders to open the eyes of his people, before a black-and-gold tide sweeps down over the Lowlands and burns away everything in its path.

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

Jow jow, tænker jeg. Det kan da godt gå hen at blive godt. Anmeldelse følger, når jeg har vendt den sidste side i denne potentielt spændende fantasy bog. Her en oversigt over fantasy bøgerne i Shadows of the Apt-serien (Adrian Tchaikovsky ser ud til at være en produktiv herre):

Empire in Black and Gold (2008)
Dragonfly Falling (2009)
Blood of the Mantis (2009)
Salute the Dark (2010)
The Scarab Path (2010)
The Sea Watch (2011)
Heirs of the Blade (2012)
The Air War (2013)

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