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Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Review: Ancillary Sword

Ancillary Sword (Ancillary Justice) - Ann Leckie

I’m not sure how this review is going to go. It may just turn into incoherent rambling and sobbing.


Ancillary Justice introduces a vast empire through the life of a spaceship now contained to a single person and bent on an impossible revenge. Ancillary Sword, rather than up the stakes, deepens them by introducing the reader to the poorest, least protected Citizens of the empire.


In some ways, these situations are underwhelming in content. Clearly the conditions of the downtrodden are wrong to the reader, even if the society they live in doesn’t seem to realize it. Clearly, the options that are possible might help one or a few, but won’t address the root problems. But in terms of context? In terms of tone? This is amazing. Refreshing.


And then there is the last few chapters, where the petty politics come to a head in the inevitable action scene that’s been telegraphed for most of the book. But in the aftermath of that, there is this gigantic emotional wallop and the rest of the book is all payoff for that punch. I so rarely cry while reading. I had to put down this book a few pages from the end because I couldn’t see through my tears.


This book. This series. I am so excited for the final volume this year.