A Time for Grief (Tales of the Apt #2) ★★★☆½

atimeforgrief (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: A Time for Grief
Series: Tales of the Apt #2
Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 350
Format: Digital Edition



A collection of short stories about the Apt world that ranged between the opening chapters of The Empire in Black in Gold all the way to after the Seal of the Worm.

Many minor characters from the series are given more prominent roles and several characters from the first book in this series of Tales of the Apt make a return.


My Thoughts:

I did not enjoy this as much as the previous book. It felt like Tchaikovsky was simply letting all the story telling out that he wasn’t able to fit into the Shadows series. Characters and situations that were important to him as the author were allowed out on the page, whereas I the reader couldn’t have cared less about them all.

That doesn’t mean the stories weren’t interesting or were poorly written, but they simply didn’t grab my attention the same the previous collection did. I think part of it was just how depressing it all was, even the authors little afterwards about the history of each story. More of these stories ended happy than not but even still Tchaikovsky just seemed to revel in writing, in the afterwards, about how depressing everything in the story is. He doesn’t seem like a depressed man, but just someone who likes to tell depressing stories.

I think this is typified in the story about a fly boy. He and his parents are workers in the city of Helleron and they can barely afford to even live in the poor section of town. Then the street they live on changes hands to another gang and said gang raises the rates, hence forcing everyone to move. The fly boy tries to hire someone to fight a battle with whoever the gang chooses but being so poor, no one will even give him the time of day. Until he runs across Tisaman, who wants to die. So Tisaman takes up his cause and kills the fighter the other gang hired and so the street goes back to the original gang. The kicker? The fighter the other gang hired was a man who lived in the same building as the fly boy and who the fly boy looked up to as a hero. Every story has some depressing angle like that.

It isn’t nihilism, but it is more subtle and insidious and it wore me down. There are 2 more books in the series and I’m really hoping they trend more towards the action of the first than the mentally depressing of the second.



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12 thoughts on “A Time for Grief (Tales of the Apt #2) ★★★☆½

  1. Ha! Seems like I enjoyed this one a bit more than you, though not by much 😉 However, one of my favourite stories in this volume was the one you singled out as the most depressing – The Fallen Heroes. The Western feel and the tragedy of Tisamon – what more could you want? 😄 It was depressing, though – on that we fully agree! Still, Czajkowski is able to evoke moods with absolute mastery.

    As for the other two collections, beware – one of them is written not by Czajkowski at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You definitely don’t seem to be as affected by the depressing side of stories as much as I am, which probably makes reading that stuff easier and more enjoyable 🙂

      I’d read Fallen Heroes before, as it was included in one of the Shadows of the Apt ebooks. I am really glad I’d read it before so I knew what was coming. It really gut punched me the first time, whereas this time I tightened my emotional abdominal muscles and just rode it out.

      I was vaguely aware that one of the other books was Tchaikovsky inviting others to play in his sandbox. I’m actually really interested to see what people do with it, just like I really liked when Larry Correia let others play in his Monster Hunter International sandbox.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. You definitely should. And the nice thing is, he has several standalone books so you can try his style and see if it works for you. Then you can read the really good stuff in his big decalogy 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too. I’ve only read 1 book by Tchaikovsky that really let me down. I’ve read a couple that weren’t up to snuff, in my opinion, so I’m hoping this series doesn’t fall into either of those categories *fingers crossed*


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