The breathtaking conclusion to Leckie’s much-lauded Imperiald Radch trilogy (Ancillary Justice; Ancillary Sword) lives up to the promise and expectations of the earlier books. Breq, the last human body housing the consciousness of the destroyed troop carrier Justice of Toren, must prepare the Athoek space station to survive the civil war spreading through Radch space. The station is overcrowded and badly damaged, and the political situation deteriorates as it becomes clear that the station has already been corrupted by competing factions of Anaander Mianaai, the many-bodied supreme ruler of the Radchaai. Breq has no way to determine the loyalties of the other military ships in the system. Things become even more complicated when station security finds somebody who doesn’t belong there and should have died 600 years before. New readers could begin the series here, but they will miss out on the deeply satisfying culmination of early plot points and running jokes. This glorious series summit is suffused with the wit and the skillful eye for character that fans have come to expect from Leckie. Breq and her lieutenants are destined to be beloved giants in the space opera canon. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (Oct.)
"If you don't know the
Ancillary series by now, you probably should. Ann Leckie's sociopolitical space opera almost singlehandedly breathed new cool into the stereotype of spaceships trundling through far-off systems amid laser battles. ... [ Ancillary Mercy] earns the credit it's received: As a capstone to a series that shook genre expectations, as our closing installment of an immersively realized world, and as the poignant story of a ship that learned to sing."— NPR Books "This trilogy will stand as a classic of sf for the ages."— Library Journal "No science-fiction series as descriptive of our current political and cultural moment or as insistent that we open our eyes to it."— Slate "A magnificent capstone to this promising trilogy."— RT Book Reviews (4.5 stars) "Powerful."— The New York Times on Ancillary Sword "The sort of space opera audiences have been waiting for."— NPR Books on Ancillary Sword "Fans of space operas will feast on its richly textured, gorgeously rendered world-building."— Entertainment Weekly on Ancillary Sword "Breq's struggle for meaningful justice in a society designed to favor the strong is as engaging as ever. Readers new to the author will be enthralled, and those familiar with the first book will find that the faith it inspired has not been misplaced."— Publishers Weekly on Ancillary Sword "Leckie proves she's no mere flash in the pan with this follow-up to her multiple-award-winning debut space opera, Ancillary Justice."— Kirkus on Ancillary Sword "This follow-up builds on the world and characters that the author introduced in the first book and takes the story in new directions. There is much more to explore in Leckie's universe, one of the most original in SF today."— Library Journal (starred review) on Ancillary Sword "An ambitious space opera that proves that Justice was no fluke.... a book every serious reader of science fiction should pick up."— RT Book Reviews on Ancillary Sword "A gripping read, with top-notch world building and a set of rich subtexts about human rights, colonialism and (yes) hive mind sex."— io9 on Ancillary Sword "Leckie investigates what it means to be human, to be an individual and to live in a civilized society."— Scientific American on Ancillary Sword "Unexpected, compelling and very cool. Ann Leckie nails it...I've never met a heroine like Breq before. I consider this a very good thing indeed."— John Scalzi on Ancillary Justice "Superb... Sword proves that [Leckie]'s not a one-hit wonder. I look forward to the rest of Breg's tale."— St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Ancillary Sword " Ancillary Justice is the mind-blowing space opera you've been needing...This is a novel that will thrill you like the page-turner it is, but stick with you for a long time afterward."— io9 (included in 'This Fall's Must-Read Science Fiction and Fantasy Books') "It's not every day a debut novel by an author you'd never heard of before derails your entire afternoon with its brilliance. But when my review copy of Ancillary Justice arrived, that's exactly what it did. In fact, it arrowed upward to reach a pretty high position on my list of best space opera novels ever."— Liz Bourke, Tor.com "Establishes Leckie as an heir to Banks and Cherryh."— Elizabeth Bear on Ancillary Justice "A double-threaded narrative proves seductive, drawing the reader into the naive but determined protagonist's efforts to transform an unjust universe. Leckie uses...an expansionist galaxy-spinning empire [and] a protagonist on a single-minded quest for justice to transcend space-opera conventions in innovative ways. This impressive debut succeeds in making Breq a protagonist readers will invest in, and establishes Leckie as a talent to watch."— Publishers Weekly on Ancillary Justice "Using the format of SF military adventure blended with hints of space opera, Leckie explores the expanded meaning of human nature and the uneasy balance between individuality and membership in a group identity. Leckie is a newcomer to watch as she expands on the history and future of her new and exciting universe."— Library Journal on Ancillary Justice "A sharply written space opera with a richly imagined sense of detail and place, this debut novel from Ann Leckie works as both an evocative science fiction tale and an involving character study...it's also a strongly female-driven piece, tackling ideas about politics and gender in a way that's both engaging and provocative... Ancillary Justice is a gripping read that's well worth a look."— SFX (UK) on Ancillary Justice "It engages, it excites, and it challenges the way the reader views our world. Leckie may be a former Secretary of the Science Fiction Writers of America, but she's the President of this year's crop of debut novelists. Ancillary Justice might be the best science fiction novel of this very young decade."— Justin Landon, Staffer's Book Review on Ancillary Justice "The sort of book that the Clarke Award wishes it had last year ... be prepared to see Ancillary Justice bandied around a lot come awards season. (As it should be)."— Jared Shurin, Pornokitsch "Total gamechanger. Get it, read it, wish to hell you'd written it. Ann Leckie's Ancillary Justice may well be the most important book Orbit has published in ages."— Paul Graham Raven on Ancillary Justice
Fleet Captain Breq, once ancillary to the Justice of Toren and last seen in Ancillary Sword, is still on Atheok station. She's trying to improve life for the residents of the Undergarden, but the brewing conflict between rival aspects of Anaander Mianaai finally arrives on her doorstep. Breq's desire for revenge against Mianaai burns as bright as ever, but her plan to oppose the Lord of the Radch will change not only the political landscape but all human and AI relations. While not quite as compelling as the two books in Leckie's award-winning "Imperial Radach" series, this is still highly impressive sf. We not only get more time with the fascinating characters of Breq and her troubled lieutenant Seivarden, who started this journey together, but Leckie introduces a representative from the Presger empire to knock everything a little off balance. Breq is the ultimate agent of change, upsetting a status quo that stood for millennia and advocating for a revolution in determining who is considered a person in a post-AI world. VERDICT This trilogy will stand as a classic of sf for the ages, although it's difficult not to want more stories set in this captivating universe. [See Eric Norton's sf/fantasy spotlight feature, "A Genre Takes Flight," LJ 8/15.]—MM
Adjoa Andoh concludes the Imperial Radch space opera trilogy with an energetic and vivacious narration. As in the previous installment, the story features the character of Breq, a soldier who used to be a warship. In this concluding story, her quest for justice includes various plot twists and ends with mercy. Andoh’s reading is superb. She provides a clear enunciation of narrative and an expressive and spritely delivery of dialogue. She’s quite extraordinary with the alien words in the text. To fully appreciate the story, listeners should be familiar with the first two books. M.T.F. 2016 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine
FEBRUARY 2016 - AudioFile
In the conclusion to Leckie's multiaward-winning trilogy (Ancillary Justice, 2013; Ancillary Sword, 2014), Fleet Captain Breq Mianaai directly confronts Anaander Mianaai, the interstellar ruler who blew up Justice of Toren, the ship that housed Breq's consciousness.The Lord of the Radch, divided as she is across thousands of bodies, is at war with herself. The more reactionary faction is preparing to invade Athoek Station, even while the Station is experiencing civil unrest; can Breq, her crew, and whatever allies she can gather overcome overwhelming odds and establish peace and a new social order? Leckie deliberately and deliciously flouts classic space-opera tropes. Rather than epic clashes between starships, there's just one determined, embodied Artificial Intelligence with a very powerful gun, a stubborn space station, espionage, and some very persuasive talking. Leckie creates a grand backdrop to tell an intimate, cerebral story about identity and empowerment. She devotes as much attention to the characters' personal relationships and their mental and emotional difficulties as she does to the wider conflict. What Leckie is saying is that individual people matter. Personhood matters, whether that personhood is expressed by an ordinary human, a sentient space station, a human raised by aliens, the remains of a spaceship AI inhabiting a human body that once belonged to someone else, or a 17-year-old whose previous personality was evicted by a ruling hive mind. Regardless of the situation in which one finds oneself, a person's right to be herself without interference is all that matters. And a small group of people can have a gigantic impact, with the right leverage. That message could so easily be hackneyed or too painfully obvious, but Leckie's delivery is deft and meaningful. Wraps up the story arc with plenty of room to tell many more tales in this universe. Let's hope Leckie does.