The Sea Watch (Shadows of the Apt #6) ★★★★★

seawatch (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Sea Watch
Series: Shadows of the Apt #6
Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Rating: 5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 720
Format: Digital Edition



The city of Collegium is trying to catch it’s collective breath since the cease-fire agreement with the Wasp Empire has gone into affect. Stenwold Maker continues his job as an embassador and is trying to get 2 more Ant Cities to at least become trading partners with Collegium.

Of course, the Wasp Empire has it’s own agents in the city and they are doing what they can to undermine Collegium for when the Empire resumes it war footing.

At the same time, it is revealed that the Spider Family Aldenrael, which pretty much rescued Collegium during the last war with Vek, has been preying on Collegium ships and playing pirate. When one of those “pirates” is killed and turns out to be a minor Aldenrael member, the entire Spider Nation goes on the warpath and prepares an armada to take over Collegium.

Since that’s obviously not enough, it turns out that there is an entire underwater culture of Kinden, which wants to invade and take over Collegium as well. Stenwold is kidnapped by these kinden while dealing with the other 2 issues (Wasps and Spiders) and gets sucked into another whole world. He must survive, escape and somehow broker a peace deal with these Sea Kinden. To seal the deal, he must find the lost ruler who is now a young man.

Neither the Empire nor the Spiders want peace, so treachery continues to abound and things look really bad for Collegium. Until Stenwold finds the heir, brokers a deal with the Sea Kinden, sinks a whole bunch of Spider ships and wipes out a nest of Rekef Inlanders (Wasp agents) in Collegium.

Now it’s back to business as usual with the Wasp Empire being the main threat.


My Thoughts:

My Review for This from back in 2011 still stands true as all get out.

This was the perfect way to end my reading year, on a very good note. I enjoyed this book from beginning to end and since it’s been 6 years, enough things were dulled that it wasn’t a slog. In many ways, this re-read made me appreciate Tchaikovsky’s writing skills even more. I liked this book. I begrudged my time away from it and made the most of when I was reading it. I read the final 30% this afternoon in one sitting.

To see Stenwold having almost everything taken from him (Che’s not returning from Khanaphes, Arianna’s demise, Teornis’s betrayal, Sten’s capture and imprisonment under the sea) and not have it break him? I thought Tchaikovsky did a fantastic job of creating Sten and turning him into someone I want to cheer on and hope that things work out for. He was a true Hero, even if deliberately not cast into the Warrior Knight mold.

It was also nice to simply have the focus be on one character. Stenwold is our point of view for the whole book and everything is through him and revolves around him. It made for a nice linear read. It also wasn’t a puzzle with trying to fit 5 different storylines together. Sometimes I like complexity but other times I just want something straight forward. Tchaikovsky gave me that in spades with this.

When I bought this series in trade paperback (I’m going to try to do a shelfie of just these 10 books for the last book) I almost immediately had buyers regret as I wasn’t sure I was going to like them enough to read them again. Well, this re-read has grabbed those regrets and tossed them into the Marianna Trench. These have been BETTER this second time around and I’m already looking forward to another go in 10 years or so even while I’m not finished this first Re-read!




31 thoughts on “The Sea Watch (Shadows of the Apt #6) ★★★★★

  1. I liked these too, very much, but always found the endings to be somewhat grey, as in not a defined ending. Of course, the story goes on into the next book, but not always with that character, and sometimes we never see what happens to them. Still one of my favourite of all time authors, just for the way he spins the tale and turns the world into something so very interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, he definitely wrote them as a series and not as standalone stories. Lots and lots of interweaved storylines. I was lucky enough to find out about them around book 5 or 6 so I didn’t have to wait nearly so long as those who started right at the get-go.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha. Good question Mithril.

      They are ALL people. Humanoid people like you and me. But instead of “races” they are all insect aspected. So the Wasp’s are humans but they have the gift of being able to fly and shoot “fire” from their palms. They also tend toward being short tempered, etc.
      Ant Kinden have a sort of communal hive mind and can read each others thoughts. Fly kinden are very small and can fly for quite some time.

      The “Apt” are races that have mastered technology. They displaced the “Inapt” about 500 years ago. The Inapt were magic users, seers, mythics, etc.

      So humans, but with special talents from their insect kind.

      Hope that helps!

      Liked by 3 people

            1. The reason I ask is because I also have the ebooks and would be willing to lend them to you through email on the condition you delete them once done reading.
              Let me know if that sounds like something you might be interested in.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Thank you very much! I appreciate the offer, but I think I would like to try and find it in paperback before using an ebook. Physical books are my preferred milieu – there’s something about actually turning pages which I miss when I read on a digital device. But I really appreciate the offer – thank you very much.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. And it is a completed series. And by the time you get done with that, his second series, whether a trilogy or longer, should be finished as well.
      Sounds like you’ve got some goodness in your future 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thankfully I don’t have those kinds of connections (history is about my least favorite subject and WWI & WWII my least favorite time period) so I’ve been able to go into this with a pure virgin outlook and everything is a wonderful surprise.

      After reading some of Piotrek’s thoughts/disappoints on the ending, I’m rather glad of my outlook 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Those realists… 😉 I actually liked the ending, despite my WWI and WWII knowledge. It’s idealistic, but that’s a good thing in my book – provided that the author can pull off staying on the thin line between naivety and cynicism. Czajkowski does that for me, while Piotrek still seethes over the injustice of the Wasps’ treatment 🙂 They got off lightly indeed!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It is great. Of course, it means that I’ll be doing even more re-reading and honestly I feel like I’m already doing more than I should. I need to explore NEW books, find NEW authors instead of looking to the dark and dank past.
      Ha! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve been on a roll with this author. Pretty sure the last book was almost as good as this one too. Love that these re-reads have been so successful for you. Gives me hope for when I’ll read it for the first time and for when I’ll reread books in the far future. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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