Imperial Radch Trilogy – Book 2: Ancillary Sword – Ann Leckie

Hey Jared,

I’m chipping away at my giant reading list. Mostly focusing on series I’ve only partially read so I don’t forget too much and then move on. This being one such book.

I have to say I love the cover art on this series. The abstract/painted look combined with the very Sci-fi theme just speaks to me on a visceral level.

ancillaryswordTitle: Ancillary Sword
Series: Imperial Radch Trilogy; Book 2
Author: Ann Leckie
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Adult
ROTS Setting: CU, Distant Future, AI, FTL
Synopsis: Breq is a soldier who used to be a warship. Once a weapon of conquest controlling thousands of minds, now she has only a single body and serves the emperor. With a new ship and a troublesome crew, Breq is ordered to go to the only place in the galaxy she would agree to go: to Athoek Station to protect the family of a lieutenant she once knew – a lieutenant she murdered in cold blood.
Recommendation: Still could have been in the YA section. The style may not be for everyone, it’s basically a gender-less society so a persons sex or sexual preference/orientation are completely ignored. This came across more strongly than the previous book but it didn’t feel like one of the main themes so I still enjoyed it.

Just going to come out and say it. This wasn’t as good as the first one. It’s the middle of a trilogy and they rarely if ever are as good as the book on either side. I can even pinpoint the one reason it didn’t measure up……but you’ll have to wait for that.

Breq has come a long way from the very bitter and emotionally broken ancillary we were introduced to at the beginning of the first book. She’s uncovered and unraveled several major events, been wrapped up in a twice treasonous rebellion, and made great strides in her own plots for revenge.

Oh, she is still pissed and busting faces, but with much of her primary goals accomplished she moves on to a secondary but emotionally tenuous goal. To protect the sister of person she most loved and murdered. This aligns with other forces who are all to happy to capitalize on this and send Breq off as the Captain her own ship. In the course of events she’s brought to the very brink……obviously she survives, but the manner and style are entirely Breq.

There really aren’t any other characters specifically worth mentioning. The plot is very much entirely on Breq’s shoulders, and while she’s a great character it limited the story.

Ok, so the one thing that made this book not as good as its’ predecessor is the plot. It’s very slow and fairly sedentary. Not much happens and the things that do happen involve lots of sitting and meetings. There is some action but only a tiny portion compared to the first and it wasn’t action packed either. Really, I wish that the main plot was secondary and some other more engaging plot had taken front stage.

Again, it’s not a bad book. It just lacked that bit of spice to match the first one.




Imperial Radch Trilogy – Book 2: Ancillary Sword – Ann Leckie

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