Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie --- 356 pages

The second in a projected trilogy, Ancillary Sword clearly demonstrates Ann Leckie is no one shot author but a force to be reckoned with in science fiction. In the sequel to Leckie's debut novel Ancillary Justice (which won just about every major award in science fiction last year), she takes a closer look at one space station and planetary society in Radchaai space; moving from a macrocosm to a microcosm approach.

Breq, the ancillary (corpse soldier) was once the AI of the warship Justice of Toren, inhabiting the bodies of thousands of ancillaries and serving the will of the supreme ruler Anaander Mianaai. When her commanding officer, Lieutenant Awn, stumbled onto a secret about the supreme ruler, Anaander Mianaai ordered Breq to execute Awn and Breq was compelled by her programming to obey. Afterward, to cover up this crime, Anaander Mianaai organized the annihilation of Justice of Toren and all its human officers and ancillaries --- but Breq escaped. Stripped of all her resources, Breq begins her quest: justice for Lieutenant Awn, and healing for herself.

In the climax of Ancillary Justice, Breq confronts the tyrant Anaander Mianaai. But Anaander confounds Breq by taking her into her confidence, giving her a new identity, Fleet Commander of Mercy of Kalr, and a new assignment, to protect the inhabitants of Atheok Station and the planet Atheok as the struggle between opposing factions of Anaander Mianaai multiple selves threatens to destroy the three-thousand-year-old Imperium.

And Breq, angry and unwilling, accepts the assignment --- because Lieutenant Awn's younger sister is an inhabitant of Atheok Station, the one person who could, if she would, absolve Breq of some of the burden of grief and guilt she carries.

Ann Leckie is a St. Louis author and one of the most original and intelligent writers of speculative fiction around.  High recommended! Volume 3, Ancillary Mercy, is due out in 2015.

Click HERE to read an inteview with Ann Leckie from Library Journal.

Click HERE and HERE and HERE for reviews of Ancillary Sword.

Find Ann Leckie's web site HERE.

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