Dragonfly Falling (Shadows of the Apt #2)My rating: Fantasy
by Adrian Tchaikovsky
This follow-up to Empire in Black and Gold really picks up where the first book left off, and runs with it. Fast. Without pausing for breath. The political posturing and machinations continue, of course, but there's also a lot more outright war in this installment, and the plot unfolds at a staggering pace. Compared to Empire, there's a lot more magic and mysticism in Dragonfly Falling, and I have the sense that this aspect will only become more important as the series progresses. But at the same time, the artificers are rapidly pushing technological progress forward.
One of my favourite things about this series is that the 'bad guys' are really not completely bad. The narrative doesn't shy away from the horrors of war, but even those committing the worst atrocities are still given personalities. Thalric and Drephos might not be the nicest characters, but they're amongst the most interesting. The varying perspectives also give a lot of depth to the story, as we see the same events unfold from different viewpoints.