whoo! This was good! The wasp empire rolls over an ant city, allows another ant city to invade Collegium [which beats them off with help of allies right the end], Totho [the halfbreed in love with Cheerwell Maker] turns traitor and joins the empire, lots of fighting, lots of cool exploring the world of humans with insect characteristics without being stodgy, dry or repetitive.
Tchaikovsky can write. Very well.
The story just sucked me in and I in no way felt like I was reading 500+ pages. This is what fantasy should be. Engaging, not over the top, telling a large story but not losing sight of individuals while not getting bogged down in meaningless detail, exploring a new world [to the reader] while not being expositional.