One of the most intriguing elements of Empire in Black and Gold and Tchaikovsky's world building is, without a doubt, the use of kinden. Bugs! I hate bugs... The way these kinden closely resemble the traits of their counterparts is extraordinarily creative.
Thus, I believe these kinden deserve their own topic!
I think that, so far, we have seen Beetle, Moth, Spider, Mantis, Dragonfly, Fly, Wasp, Ant, Scorpion, Woodlouse, Butterfly, Thorn Bug, Locust, and Slug at least be mentioned. Did I miss any? Ashik also mentioned bees, but I don't think I've seen them. Where were those, Ashik?
Which of these kinden do you guys like most so far? What traits are most interesting? Which would you like to see (more of)? Scarabs, Crickets, Hornets, and Bees... Perhaps Ladybugs?
Let's discuss the entire book here, but put anything that's a spoiler for the story between spoilertags.
Bees have not been mentioned in book, but he wrote a blog post that said that they exist. He details many of them at http://shadowsoftheapt.com/category/world, while I haven't read the posts, I do know that they exist.
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Beetle seems the most boring and mundane. They're basically just geeky engineers in our world, although they do have a somewhat interesting dichotomy. On one hand they're tech-brainiacs, yet on the other they're known for their strength, endurance, and bulk. That is obviously different than the norm of engineers in our world, except for maybe being fatties.
Mantis is utterly epic. Who doesn't like the ultimate warrior race? Races like Aiel from WoT are almost always loved, if they're done well. I love how the Mantis are done. They even have plenty of flaws, which is great. If the perfect warrior race are too perfect then they get pretty boring. I think Mantis are my favorite.
Spider is another great one. Master manipulators, unearthly beauty, what's not to like? It's pretty cool that they're the one real Inapt race that still has power, because they can play all the Apts off of each other.
I'm starting to find Moth very interesting, but won't say more because I'd have to use spoilers.
The big bad Waspies are pretty darn cool, but because they're the bad guys, we mostly only see them as faceless minions, beyond the one real character we learn a lot about. He's mostly cool because he isn't the norm for Wasps. Well, and because he's s3kr3t police. They're pretty neat.
Basically the Inapt kinded are way more interesting in detail. The Apt races mostly are only cool when viewed by societal details, or their achievements in contrast with the Inapt. Things like how their Aptiness can change the world as it stood, and will change it in the future.
Aahh! We've encountered Grasshoppers now. Totally wish to see more of those!
Somehow, I have a thing for the Beetles. They are such unlikely people, all bulky and useless but brilliant. It's cute, really. I want to see them take up arms, I think they can be really fierce once provoked. It's just very hard to provoke them.
I'm with you on the Mantis, Spiders, Moths and Wasps. They are all very interesting in their own way. As I mentioned in the 1-29 thread, the inapt are much more interesting to me, because they are more fantasy-ish and mysterious. And Wasps, because they are such loyal, warlike people. So many levels of intrigue there!