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Ancillary Mercy

(Imperial Radch #3)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  26,087 ratings  ·  2,333 reviews
The conclusion to the trilogy that began with Ancillary Justice.

For a moment, things seemed to be under control for Breq, the soldier who used to be a warship. Then a search of Athoek Station's slums turns up someone who shouldn't exist, and a messenger from the mysterious Presger empire arrives, as does Breq's enemy, the divided and quite possibly insane Anaander Mianaai
Paperback, 330 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Orbit
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Antonomasia This is a commonly asked question in Feedback:

The users are most likely just expressing their enthusiasm, or…more
This is a commonly asked question in Feedback:

The users are most likely just expressing their enthusiasm, or using stars to prioritise their to-read list. If it were nearer the release date, more of the ratings would be from people who received review copies or who work in the book trade.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  26,087 ratings  ·  2,333 reviews

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Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've never read a series that made me want to immediately go back and re-read the entire thing before this one. It is perfect.

It balances the dramatic and the domestic in a way that I find lacking in so much science fiction. The mundane and the every day are elevated to as prominent and valued a station as the combative and the political. Soldiers make tea, soldiers sew clothes, soldiers clean floors, they also train with weapons of war - these things combined create a world that feels more rea
Daniel Frincu
Oct 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Ancillary. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Ancillary. Edge in her voice. Tea. Tea. Ancillary. Ancillary. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Ancillary. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Ancillary. Edge in her voice. Tea. Tea. Ancillary. Ancillary. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Ancillary. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Ancillary. Edge in her voice. Tea. Tea. Ancillary. Ancillary. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Ancillary. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Tea. Ancillary. Edge in her voice. Tea. Tea. Ancillary. Ancillary. Tea. Tea ...more
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, space-opera
I have to say this book puts the previous one in an entirely new and better light. I was left with Ancillary Sword being somehow a lot *less* than Ancillary Justice, but that's only because I had missed it's true purpose and eventual outcome, which, thankfully, became extremely pleasant in this third novel.

You know how it is, the curse of the middle novel. Less action, more buildup, slower and more subtle. Okay, maybe the themes weren't very subtle at all, revolving as it had upon the hinges of
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was ok
Still too much tea.

Book I was so strong and splendid. It opened up into a world that promised galactic intrigue and epic space opera. Book II narrowed the story's focus down to a single star system and the intricacies of drinking tea. The bizarrely-immature feelings of officers aboard a single warship. And proper manners within the Radch.

I had high hopes that this book, the conclusion to the trilogy, would open back up to the larger universe originally promised, but no. Instead half the book wa
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am dumfounded by how good Ancillary Mercy is, how perfectly it fits within the wider context of the series and how well it works as a trilogy-ender. I don’t know why I expected anything different given how much I loved, admired, and adored the first two books in the trilogy. But here we are and I can say in all honesty: this is a brilliant piece of fiction that is uplifting, complex, clever, heart-warming and fun.

I imagine every author has a crossroads moment: for Ann Leckie I would like to th

Such a WONDERFUL ending. :D

More thoughts:
Oh, man. This series. This book!!!! WHAT.

Ancillary Mercy is probably my favorite of the series so far. The first book might overtake it on re-read, just because I'm a sucker for finely structured stories, and Breq's revenge journey cum search for identity alternated with flashbacks to her time as Justice of Toren was very, very satisfying (you know, once you figured out what the hell was going on). The second book was Breq beginning to come into her own, win people over to her side, by basicall
Jul 28, 2016 rated it did not like it
So... I *really* liked Ancillary Justice.

That book hit so many high notes. Its main character, basically, suffered from Schizoid Personality Disorder. The main villain, Anaander Miaani, suffered from disassociative identity disorder. I thought, then, we’d be exploring how mental illness can lead to either greatness or to misery. Furthermore, Ancillary Justice touched upon the fascinating topic of how we treat the intelligent objects we create. I like to imagine what future AI and robots will thi
Althea Ann
Jan 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Well, it looks like I'm in the minority here with my 3-star review. I guess that's going to take some justifying, but I truly feel that this is objectively not as good a book as the first two in the series.

Let me first say that I absolutely loved 'Ancillary Justice.' ( ) It fully deserved all the awards it received. The book was strikingly original, offering an alien view of gender identity - or, rather, lack of gender identity - in a social context that
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Jan 20, 2015 rated it really liked it
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Breq used to be part of a whole, one of the many connected ancillaries linked up with the artificial intelligence aboard the Justice of Toren. But when the great starship was destroyed, Breq suddenly became one. All alone. The last fragment of the AI still living on in a human body. Ever since then, she has been trying to get revenge on the one responsible: Anaander Mianaai, Lord of the Radch and supreme leader of the Radc
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I wondered how Ann Leckie was going to finish this wonderful series in just one last book but she did it in spades! I think I enjoyed this volume the most out of the three partly because of the character development and partly because of the lightness of the authors touch and the way she handles relationships and emotions. The introduction of a new Presger representative is a master stroke and the humour she generates is just superb. Breq is one of the best science fiction characters I have ever ...more
Apr 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Caro the Helmet Lady
I am sincerely glad that there are readers who are happy with books two and three, giving it 5 star reviews and re-reads. I'm not one of them and I feel like someone looking at translator Dlique who's about to swallow yet another live goldfish.

It took me whole month to get to this review. First of all, I was too busy and second of all, I wanted to distance myself from the book a little bit. I thought it would help to maybe get some more, hm, let's say objectivity and settle down the huge disappo
Feb 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Ancillary Mercy: Incessant tea-drinking and endless talk sink this ship - no resolution to this "trilogy"
Originally posted at Fantasy Literature
Ancillary Justice swept the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke, BSFA, and Locus awards in 2013. It was an excellent book, filled with fascinating ideas, unique characters (including distributed AI and human minds), elaborate world-building, a baroque galactic empire, and an exciting two-timeline plot. After building expectations sky-high, in Ancillary Sword
Nov 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Well, at least I have a better handle on what the trilogy was trying to do. Though frankly, establishing an evil, multi-bodied, all-knowing antagonist and then solving that problem by isolating one young piece in front of the conveniently befriended translator - well, it's too convenient.

There are more conveniences, and they're all revealed after the fact: instances where Breq once again knows something and doesn't reveal that knowledge - or that she knows something - until after whatever she's
Oct 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
“I can’t feel my face when I read you…but I love it.”
-The Weekend’s review of Ancillary Mercy

We have come to the end of an amazing trilogy, and it is bittersweet. If you have followed my reading over the last year, you know my love for these books. The Ancillary trilogy is my first real dive into science fiction, and I don’t want to ever come up for air. Breq continues her journey to take down the Radch leader, Anaander Mianaai, while continuing to keep Atheok System and its inhabitants safe. I
Aug 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'll admit, after Ancillary Sword, I wasn't sure Leckie could wrap up the story in just one remaining volume. But, man, what a treat Ancillary Mercy is. It's satisfying and clever, full of laughs and real, tangible tension. A terrific conclusion to the trilogy, and easily one of the year's best books.
This is more of the same explorations of artificial intelligence and distributed consciousness in a space opera plot of resistance of a colony against machinations of an all-powerful interstellar emperor. Our hero of the first two installment, Breq, has a human body but the lingering mindset of the AI she was integrated with as a slave “ancillary” for over 1,000 years by implants making her one of many co-conscious crew members on a military ship. When the many-cloned emperor Rausch undergoes a ...more
Tudor Ciocarlie
Apr 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-my-best-of
Finishing this wonderful trilogy alongside a great cup of oolong tea was one of the most perfect reading experiences of my life. This third book was everything I've expected, but Leckie still managed to surprise me with a marvelous low key ending. I don't think I've read a science-fiction novel like this, that puts galactic empires, artificial intelligence or alien civilizations completely in the orbit around the individual being.
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“Every ending is an arbitrary one. Every ending is, from another angle, not really an ending.”

The narrative follows on directly from the events of the second book. More of the same, but what a 'same'! Compelling characters, with a couple of new ones who are beyond colourful and totally entertaining, and fascinating settings, especially on the socio-political level, are once more expertly offered to us. There are action scenes, some breathtaking, but ultimately it is the psychological that is
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Fantasy Review Barn

Amazing, if you think about it, how quickly the new and strange can be adjusted to. Ancillary Justice came out and took the genre by storm; I personally called it a glorious mindfuck for the way it played around with language and perception. This was a book that was lauded for many things: a great story, a unique take on immortality, and the ancillaries of a single mind in constant communication. Yet the conversation quickly narrowed in on one aspect of Leckie’s writing; the u
Jul 12, 2018 rated it liked it
The Good:
I don’t have anything to add that I haven’t already said in reviews of the previous two books in this series. The overwhelming impression of this book is one of thoughtfulness. There are big ideas done well, the setting and the story are plausible, and the characters are interesting. The book is easy to read, with some decent action and comic relief on the side.

The Bad:
Not that the ending was disappointing, but it was an extremely gentle landing. This slow burn was a teensy bit too slow
Executive Summary: A nice conclusion to the trilogy, albeit a long way from what I expected after Ancillary Justice.

Full Review
I really enjoyed Ancillary Justice. It was very different from most sci-fi I've read. I should note though, that I'm not nearly as well read in science fiction as I am in fantasy.

I liked Ancillary Sword too, but not nearly as much. The larger galactic issues presented in Justice seemed to take a backseat to smaller issues of a single space station.

This book was a bit o
Oct 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
For a while, I wasn’t sure how this book would or could wrap everything up, given the scale of the struggle that we began to see in Ancillary Justice. But I think, in the end, that comes down to the fact that the story isn’t actually about that struggle; this isn’t a never-ending epic struggle, it’s about one person — one fragment of a person, even, slowly becoming a person. It’s about Justice of Toren, and Breq, and then also about the people she interacts with: Seivarden, Ekalu, Ship, Station, ...more
Oct 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An excellent ending to a superb series.

This book picks up almost immediately after Ancillary Sword with Breq recovering from the events of the that book. She is still masterful at dealing with the politics of her position on Athoek Station and still as self-deprecating as ever despite the way everyone else sees her. Fairly quickly she has to deal with what is beyond the Ghost Gate, a new Presger Translator and the imminent arrival of Anaander Mianaai. Thia is the version of Anaander that she is
Cathy (cathepsut)
Lovely. I am sad that this is the end for the Imperial Radch. But then...

“Every ending is an arbitrary one. Every ending is, from another angle, not really an ending.”

Direct continuation of Ancillary Sword. A nice and fitting conclusion to the trilogy.

The humour and tongue-in-check of the dialogues was great and right down my alley. And Translator Zeiat made this novel, what a great character!

Loved Breq and how human she became in the last book. And not.

Loved the development of her relationsh
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Every ending is an arbitrary one. Every ending is, from another angle, not really an ending."

I satisfying "end" to a very unique series.
Loved, loved, loved this book and this series. I loved how Breq dealt with problem after problem, and how the relationships progressed with Breq, Mercy, Station, Sphene, and the Swords. There were numerous funny interactions with Zeiat, which I enjoyed for their strangeness. My favourite parts, though, of this book were the conversations about autonomy and consent. I liked how the AIs approached their responsibilities, and how they dealt with threats, and their feelings about duty and about bein ...more
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Noooo, why is this story over? I want more Breq! I want more Zeiat and Sphene! And even more "darling child" Tisarwat and stuck-up Seivarden! And I want tea!
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ebooks
Entertainments nearly always end with triumph or disaster—happiness achieved, or total, tragic defeat precluding any hope of it. But there is always more after the ending—always the next morning and the next, always changes, losses and gains. Always one step after the other. Until the one true ending that none of us can escape. But even that ending is only a small one, large as it looms for us. There is still the next morning for everyone else. For the vast majority of the rest of the universe, ...more
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Other books in the series

Imperial Radch (4 books)
  • Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch, #1)
  • Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch, #2)
  • Provenance
“There is always more after the ending. Always the next morning, and the next. Always changes, losses and gains. Always one step after the other. Until the one true ending that none of us can escape. But even that ending is only a small one, larges as it looms for us. There is still the next morning for everyone else. For the vast majority of the rest of the universe that ending might as well not ever have happened. Every ending is an arbitrary one. Everything ending is from another angle, not really an ending.” 32 likes
“In the end it’s only ever been one step, and then the next.” 19 likes
More quotes…