Ancillary Sword

Ancillary Sword2015 If it s possible, this book is BETTER than the first one This is just a great Sci Fi book, wonderful worldbuilding, that focuses on CHARACTERS rather than every planet and ship and technical science thing in the world Some of that stuff, while interesting, make big sci fi for me a bit less compelling
While I enjoyed Ann Leckie s Ancillary Sword the 2nd book in the Imperial Radch Series, I don t think it measured up to the complexity and sheer scope of the first book in the series, Ancillary Justice Leckie s attention to details in ritual and language continue in this book and maybe was thoroughly explored It might be difficult to convincingly say, in a space opera, that you enjoyed the intricacies of tea ceremonies along with the choice of accompanying dishes, but it is compelling as it relates to both cultural identity and the Radch annexation of planets That said, the plot lacked a clear direction And the complexity of competing storylines seen in book 1 was absent I still like the protagonist, Breq and her perspective having been the AI for the spaceship Justice of Toren as well as ancillaries of this self I m still thinking about what happened and didn t happen in t
Ancillary Justice was a spectacular debut, but its successor is a lot less sure footed Leckie s attempt to marry Space Opera with domestic tragedy feels a bit too much like Sense and Sensibility and Spaceships.It s clear by now that Leckie is keen on promoting a particular political sentiment, and Ancillary Sword is all about the confluence of the personal and political Unfortunately the domesticity becomes a little tedious, and the cooking lacks any flavour.Anaander Mianaai s Radchaai imperium is, not surprisingly, rotten to the core Esk Nineteen now Fleet Captain Breq Mianaai is sent to secure a neighbouring system by the slightly less odious part of Minaai s fractured self, and discovers a rat s nest of corruption and abuse The reader may be puzzled by the early focus on the quality of the Fleet Captain s china, and regard it as some sort of interlude Don t The book never really rises above this level of tedium If you don t regard such domestic trivialities as important, you ll miss the important clue that the quality of one s tea service provides later in the book Yes, it s laid on with a trowel.Leckie s politics
Downton Abbeyin SPAAAAAACE No, it really is The novel is filled with tea, and fine china There s polite meetings in polite society There s blushing in abundance at the smallest of social faux pas There s tears from the young uns when their jobs are just a bit too overwhelming There s snooty as hell top of society landowners with brat children to match There s tea There s gossip amongst the servants, and resentment amongst the slaves There are gardens And tea And dressing expectations And a funeral with a proper and lengthy period of mourning and doing nothing And because everyone is bored with life, there are accepted and expected trysts galore Also tea 95% of the action in the book falls somewhere between a snore and a boring college professor s lecture There is, to be fair, a bomb And there is a murder But everything, and I mean everything, is dealt with such straight faces and such inhuman emotional reactions and I do understand we re working with ancillaries here as to make the producers over at the BBC stand up and wildly applaud though quietly and politely, and certainly without smiling, unless it is wryly And tea.In other words, it s Downton Abbeyin SPAAAAAACE A few other notes Note As others have pointed
Warning spoilers for Ancillary Justice If you haven t read the first book yet OMG WHY NOT , avert your eyes right now.Ana s Take It s probably not an exaggeration to say that all SFF eyes are on this book right now Given the immense success of Ancillary Justice it won all the major awards and yes, this includes a rare Book Smugglers Double Ten Review I bet everybody is thinking will the sequel be as good as the first novel Well, the answer is a resounding HELL YES.From a plotting perspective, Ancillary Sword is at first glance, a rather straightforward affair The story picks up where we left off at the end of Ancillary Justice with The Lord of the Radch still at war with herself and Breq as a newly minted ship captain on her way to Athoek Station, where Lieutenant Awn s sister lives At the station, Breq gets involved with the station s day to day management and with the petty and not so petty relationships between its different sections At the end of the day though, Breq is there to make amends to atone for what she did to her beloved Lieutenant Awn.The first thing to note about Ancillary Sword is how it has a largely linear narrative and a very limited point of view One of the most important aspects of
Ancillary Sword fell just a bit short of the brilliance of the fantastic Ancillary Justice but still proved to be a very good and thoroughly enjoyable story in its own right I think Ann Leckie gets the balance between thought provoking concepts and the story perfect Leckie gets you thinking but also keep you thoroughly entertained With the start of civil conflict within the Radch leadership one of the Anaander segments sends Breq, and her new ship Mercy of Kalr, to the only place she knows Breq will actually agree to go That is the system that Awn s sibling resides in Breq is determined to see her safe in the coming conflict Upon arriving in the system Breq finds social issues that need dealing with and also has to be on the lookout for of Anaander s plots in the region There is also hints that the Presgar might have taken an interest of their own in the system The story was quite entertaining This instalment lacked the mystery of Breq s true nature and the originality of Radchaai culture, as we familiarized ourselves with both over the course of the first book, but did have plenty of interesting mystery and intrigue Breq herself remains a fascinating and easy to root for lead character Theme wise we were back to dealing w
In Which Breq is sent to a somewhat remote part of the Radch am I the only one who keeps wanting to pronounce that Radish Empire In pursuit of closure regarding a personal matter, Breq encounters Grave Social Injustice, and tries to make things better Obstacles are Encountered, and Action and Intrigue happenIf you haven t already read Ancillary Justice, some aspects of the setting might feel a bit bewildering to a new reader However, the story itself works pretty well on its own it feels like an episode If you ve already read the first book, this one might not feel as startlingly original However, I wholeheartedly loved it This is superlative sci fi adventure that should appeal to
Executive Summary Probably not as good interesting as the first book, but I still enjoyed it 3.5 Stars Full Review Ancillary Justice is one of those books that has become severely over hyped I read it early on as the hype was starting to build and before it won every award under the sun I enjoyed it, and I m not surprised it won so much, but I would have been equally unsurprised if it didn t It s definitely one of those books that many people will read and scratch their heads at.So now we come to the sequel to what is arguably the most successful or at least the most decorated book of last year Will Ms Leckie continue on her success or fall into the dreaded sopho slump For me the answer is closer to the former, than the latter The first book gets a lot of discussion about the lack of gender Everyone is a she If I m perfectly honest, I don t notice or care most of the time I m not sure if that s the point To me it just feels like a gimmick though But it really doesn t matter to me one way or the other Someone much smarter and literary than I am can debate the implications or try to determine the gender from the context, I ll be busy reading another book One of the other gimmicky things about the first book I did really like however was the way Br
One of my sci fi writer heroes, Gene Wolfe, once said that a story works by engendering expectations and then satisfying them That, then, are the two primary means by which a story can fail Either it neglects to setup expectations or it sets them up but doesn t satisfy them Of the two, the first is by far the worse I recently reviewed Radiance and gave it one star because its post modern, author indulgent structure failed to ever setup any sort of expectations or stakes It didn t teach me how to interface with it and was, as a result, a chore to read On the other hand, I recently gave Philip K Dick s Flow My Tears three stars because it setup expectations for an ontological puzzle but failed rather spectacularly in that regard and instead delivered a intimate, human, almost autobiographical story It was fun to read, if not satisfying in the way that it promised to be Ancillary Sword falls into this latter, less egregious category.So Ancillary Justice which I really liked ended by inciting an empire spanning conflict b
I m sure I m not alone in my judgment, but I m torn about this book The ending was very good It reversed a lot of my disappointment as I read this novel, but only because it changed my perceptions about what this novel was trying to accomplish.Don t expect fast pacing or a civil war Don t expect a return to Breq s heyday as a multiple body starship AI.Once I got over my desires to see him her rise and become the right hand man woman of his her leige wielding a large weapon, be it any kind of metaphorical sword, political engine, or at least an army of ancillaries, I started to relax into the tale that Ann Leckie was really telling.We have a tale about an AI s personal redemption This is still the same tale that was being told in the first novel, but now we ve got a very limited 3rd person perspective that doesn t allow us into Breq s thoughts, either All we have is the pursuit of social justice on a station he she once served a thousand years prior, the attempt to draw in his her ancillary s relatives into her heart as atonement, and, almost as a side note, the ostensible and official reason Breq had for going there in the first place You know trying to flush out his her leige s multiple personalty antagonist.The novel