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Shadows of the Apt

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Anyone else read this series? It's currently at 8 books, with books 9 and 10 coming this year and next year. There's also a ton of extra material (including short stories and world history) over on the author's blog at http://shadowsoftheapt.com.


It's a somewhat different take on typical fantasy tropes. All the characters are human, but of different 'kinden'. The basic idea is that in this world's history, giant insects rose to dominance and weren't overtaken by the rise of vertebrate life; in response early humans allied themselves with different 'totem' insects, becoming, if you will, 'tribes' of the Ant, Beetle, Spider, etc (ok, so they're not all insects... different invertebrates then).


These early humans achieved a kind of communion with their totems, called the Art of Speech, which allowed them to speak mind-to-mind with their patron insects and live alongside them. Over time they also learned more Art, which manifests in various forms (such as natural weaponry or armour, or the ability to form ephemeral wings and take flight).


There's a further distinction however, from where the series takes its name, which is that some races are considered 'Apt', others 'Inapt'. Inapt races are literally incapable of understanding even moderately complex technology - their minds simply cannot process the cause-and-effect of (for example) depressing a trigger, which releases a catch, which looses the tension of a loaded crossbow, to the bolt being projected. Conversely, Apt races cannot fathom the world of magic, and most simply believe it to be a hoax perpetrated against the credulous. This divide forms one of the core themes of the whole series.


I'm personally a massive fan, and I'm currently re-reading the main series after gobbling up all the extra content on the website. I'm also working on a FATE rpg adaptation for the series, with a little help from the author himself who was kind enough to give me a list of the different Kinden's various Arts :D

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