Spoils of War (Tales of the Apt #1) ★★★★☆

spoilsofwar (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: Spoils of War
Series: Tales of the Apt #1
Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 278
Format: Digital Edition



A collection of 8 (I believe, I didn’t keep track) short stories taking place in the world of the Shadows of the Apt. However, these stories all take place before the first book, Empire in Black and Gold begins. Definitely meant for fans who have already read the entire decalogy and want more.


My Thoughts:

I am a fan of collections of short stories by a single author. You get lots of ideas and little bits and bobs without having to commit a huge amount of time. This book was under 300 pages, so each story was something I could sit down with and read in a sitting and not feel like I had started something that I needed a week to commit to. It was perfect for lunch breaks and an hour or whatever in the evening.

The stories themselves I enjoyed but none of them really stood out to me. However, that is how I usually am with collections like this so it isn’t a slur on the book, but a reflection on me. While I do review every book I read, I have never felt like I needed to review every story in a collection like this. I don’t like writing THAT much 🙂

Tchaikovsky also gave a little note after each story with an anecdote of how it came to be or how a character tied into the Shadows series. It was enjoyable but also made me realize that even side characters who I’d completely forgotten about played a big part in the author’s mind when he was writing. Good for him, I guess?

Most of the stories dealt with the 12 Year War between the Empire and the entity ruled by the dragonfly, the Commonweal perhaps? I can’t remember. Thoroughly enjoyable but I’m not sure I’d recommend this for someone who hasn’t read the Shadows series first. A lot is assumed here in terms of understanding the Kinden. That kind of thing is explained in the Shadows series so it’s not a stumbling block coming into this, but if you were just starting out with this, I can see it being very confusing.

Final verdict is that I enjoyed the bejabs out of this and highly recommend it for anyone who has read and enjoyed the main Shadows series.



bookstooge (Custom)


17 thoughts on “Spoils of War (Tales of the Apt #1) ★★★★☆

  1. piotrek says:

    Ola also loved the short stories… I should finally read them one day, once I get over the non-perfect ending of the saga, perhaps 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s nice to hear how this was complementary to the series. Even better that it’s collected in one place too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      I’ve never been a big fan of authors releasing short stories willy-nilly and expecting their readers to track them all down. So it has been nice to see these all collected into volumes. That’s the way it should be…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. savageddt says:

    Would it be better to read this before diving into his work for a start?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Ola G says:

    Yeah!! Fist-pump in the air 😀 I loved how the stories expanded the already-established world. Some of them were indeed better than others, Brass Mantis and Ironclads especially 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      See, I’ve never thought about individual short stories, because then I’d have to review each one and when I read someone’s review who does that, my eyes glaze and I just skip to the end where I hope they summarize how they felt about the book as a whole 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ola G says:

        Yeah, I get it. Though for me the main reason to review a collection of short stories as a whole is sloth 😉 I just don’t feel like spending all that time on analysing particular stories when they’re all a stylistically and logically coherent expansion of an already established universe 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  5. None of them stood out for you, yet 4 stars. I’m surprised. I’m somewhat curious how I’d react not having read the series. But I’m too much buried under other reads at the moment. Glad you enjoyed them!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      While I like the short story collection format, I’m an all or nothing kind of guy, so if I started to review ONE short story in the collection, they ALL would get reviewed. And I’m not writing 10 reviews for one book 😀

      Glad you’re disciplined enough so you’re not just adding any book/series to your tbr. People really need to learn their limits and be more realistic about the number of books they’ll ever get to.

      Most people really shouldn’t have a tbr greater than 100. Things get lost once the numbers get that big (unless they’re super organized, like *someone* I know 😉 )

      Liked by 1 person

  6. If I love a series I can be quite keen to hoover up any short stories in that world that the author did. Hit and miss of course! My book review tends to be a few lines for each story if there are a lot of them as I’m not for doing multiple separate reviews either!

    Liked by 1 person

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