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A Desolation Called Peace

(Teixcalaan #2)

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  82 ratings  ·  41 reviews
An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with it, no one can destroy it, and Fleet Captain Nine Hibiscus is running out of options.

In a desperate attempt at diplomacy with the mysterious invaders, the fleet captain has sent for a diplomatic envoy. Now Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass—still reeling from the recent upheaval in the Empi
Kindle Edition, 496 pages
Expected publication: March 2nd 2021 by Tor Books
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  82 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I am grateful that Martine's A Desolation Called Peace came my way at the end of 2020 instead of during the middle, when I had a full case of Quarantine Brain™. Some authors write books suited to QB: undemanding, fun, predictable, and about as interesting as chocolate pudding. Martine is almost the exact opposite, in the best way possible. Almost every word feels like it has weight, and it's almost impossible to predict where her starry empire will take the reader.

"'What is it made of?' Three Se
chai ♡
Dec 15, 2020 marked it as to-read
Some of you have yet to read the first book in this series, and it makes my heart weep to think of it.

If you wanna read the book version of “what if I were an ambassador who finds herself hideously lonely in the heart of an empire that’s determined to set its jaws upon itself, and you the political attaché I’m developing a hugely unfortunate crush on... and we we were both girls?” STOP BEING YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY AND READ A MEMORY CALLED EMPIRE
Sep 25, 2019 is currently reading it
An Anguish Called Waiting... for this novel.

You can read Prelude and first chapter on io9.

That's one helluva opening.
"A Desolation Called Peace" is ultimately a story about communication between alien cultures, following in the wake of Clarke's 2001 Space Odyssey, Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land and Card's Ender series. It is nevertheless a long and perilous journey to get there. What with unpronounceable civilizations like Teixicalaanli and names of characters such as Nine Hibiscus and Three Seagrass, this novel, like the first one in this series, is a difficult nut to crack. It's dense, rich, thick, an ...more
Jan 27, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: request
From an interview with NPR:

“The direct sequel (which will tell you both about the scary ring-ships and what Three Seagrass does next) is titled A Desolation Called Peace, which I thoroughly stole from Tacitus. (I was reading Tacitus in a bar in Prague, long story. But it's the best line. Rome makes a desert and calls it peace.)”

Could Arkady Martine be any cooler? I would love to hear this story. Honestly, I’d read her grocery list.

Apparently, this book involves mail fraud, kittens, unwise kissi
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi_2021
4.5 stars
A Desolation Called Peace is the follow up to A Memory Called Empire and is a very worthy successor. Filled with just as much intricate politics and intra-government backstabbing as the first, whilst also building on the characters and world, as well as having a very engaging plot throughout – I think I love this book even more than the first!

We are following Mahit and Three Seagrass again, who we meet in book 1 but I feel like it was so much easier in this book to get invested in thei
Meagan ✊🏼 Blacklivesmatter ✊🏼Blacktranslivesmatter
Ah we have a cover 🥰🥰🥰 I can't wait! This will be one of my most anticipated reads for 2021! ...more
Apr 29, 2019 marked it as to-read
Kinda can’t wait to get my grubby hands on it
Zitong Ren
Dec 13, 2020 marked it as to-read
i want this to be out now
Jan 03, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

A Desolation Called Peace is the follow up to A Memory Called Empire and is a very worthy successor. Filled with just as much intricate politics and intra-government backstabbing as the first, whilst also building on the characters and world, as well as having a very engaging plot throughout – I think I love this book even more than the first!

We are following Mahit and Three Seagrass again, who we meet in book 1 but I feel like it was so much easier in this book to get invested in thei
Peter Tillman
Just finished, at 1 AM. Boy, is it good. Space war! Incomprehensible, disgusting aliens! Here's what their language sounds like, to a human:
"A sharp, ugly noise with the intimation of a headache inside it, that ended in a scream that had taste—a foul, oilslick, tongue-coating taste that made her nauseated."

“You don’t need a translator, you need a winnowing barrage,” Captain Twelve Fusion said. “Whatever made that [noise] shouldn’t exist.”

Best novel of 2021! OK, first I've finished this New Year.
Jun 11, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: tbr-sequels
It has! a cover!!
Jonathan Strahan
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2020
I gorged on this continuation of the Teixcalaan story begun in A Memory Called Empire. And it may be because it contains the conclusion to the story, but I loved it even more than I did the first book. I will never not be in love with the relationship between the two principals, but the story as a whole is fabulous. Strongly, strongly recommended. Given this is coming out in 2021, surely a favourite for the 2022 Hugo Awards.
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It has been my reading experience that sequels to award-winning science fiction novels often do not live up to their predecessor’s reputation. A Desolation Called Peace is Arkady Martine’s 2021 sequel to her 2020 Hugo Award winning space opera, A Memory Called Empire – but defies that pattern. It’s as if she read my comments on book 1, and responded to them. We DO see an exposition of the station culture of Lsel, with its linear integration of generations of prior personalities. We DO see the th ...more
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Longer review to come closer to review. e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.
rachel ☾
#1) A Memory Called Empire ★★★★★

we have a cover!! and it's glorious

Emma Cathryne
"A loss for whom? Yskander murmured. Mahit wasn't sure, or couldn't tell him, or he already knew. (A loss for her. For the spaces of language that let a person like her imagine Texicalaan and still be a Stationer. The idea that there might be something other than Teixcalaan, when one said the word for world).

Oh, this was a glorious sucker punch of a novel. It takes the roots sunk into your brain by its predecessor and digs even deeper into the questions that the original story raised. This nove
 Reading Reindeer 2021 On Proxima Centauri
A DESOLATION OF PEACE is Book Two of Teixcalaan, the sequel to A MEMORY OF EMPIRE, a carefully-wrought Science Fiction novel starring a strong female protagonist [and the male character whom she retains in her brain stem as an imago], as she continues to navigate the byzantine culture of the Empire, a culture of politely illusory deception and danger.
Elena Linville
Stars: 5 out of 5

First, a necessary disclosure: this is book 2 of a duology, so I would strongly recommend reading book 1 (which I reviewed here) before you jump into this one. Can you read it as a stand alone? Probably... but you will miss out on a lot of context and dramatic events that brought our characters to where they are in this book.

The story picks up two months after the end of the first book. Lsel Station got what they wanted - the Teixcalaan Empire is now at war with the mysterious a
Ooooooooohhhh, I just want to fall into this book and keep reading it forever. It's a first contact story that I think fans of Arrival will greatly enjoy; it has a similar slow pacing that pulls you along inexorably despite the density. If you found the political intrigue and maneuvering of A Memory Called Empire delicious, you'll like this sequel, too. It builds on the relationships and decisions of the first book like a verse of poetry playing on the form and rhyme scheme of the previous verse ...more
Dec 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: net-galley, sci-fi, lgbtq, arc, 2020
5/5 - everything i loved about Memory but better, and one of the few books where rotating POVs never left me bored and wanting to go back. I wanted more for the ending though, it felt too abrupt.
julia ☆ [owls reads]
Jan 01, 2021 marked it as to-read
Shelves: sci-fi, arc
#1 A Memory Called Empire: ★★★★★ | 5 stars ...more
Sean E.
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance copy of A Desolation Called Peace from NetGalley, courtesy of Macmillan-Tor/Forge, in exchange for an honest review. Because the book doesn’t publish until March, I’m going to be a bit more vague than usual in this review. I should also mention that this review contains some oblique spoilers of the first book in the series.

One of the more striking things I recall from my graduate degree in English is Foucault, or at any rate someone quoting Foucault, talking about the conce
Dec 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc, read-2020
I'm delirious with how much I loved A Desolation Called Peace.
I re-read A Memory Called Empire immediately before starting it, to make sure I was keeping track of everything in my head - and this made it more clear to me that, though a continuation, this book reads quite differently to its predecessor. Firstly, space, and battlefields in space especially, are a vastly different environment than the imperial court. However, it also took me a while to get used to the multiple points of view (I'm g
Tsana Dolichva
Jan 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
review coming close to release date
Sep 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly remarkable follow up to A Memory Called Empire. The way Martine deals with the big bad from book one who I was so incredibly intrigued by is just so unexpected and refreshing. These books never fail to surprise in their depth of nuance. I love spending time in this universe and with these characters and am sad to have blown through this so quickly!
Jan 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It's always a pleasure to see a series improve (in my view, at least) as it goes on - here we have that difficult second novel after A Memory Called Empire and I'm delighted to say that the pacing issues that plagued it for me have been pretty much resolved.

We start this book with our protagonist Mahit Dzmare, ambassador to the Teixcalaan empire, back on Lsel station where she is desperately trying to make sure nobody finds out the entirety of what she's been up to in recent months. Not so
Jan 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I absolutely loved the first book of Teixcalaan, so I was very excited to a/ be able to ask for the second book on NetGalley b/ actually get an eARC for it 🙂

The story of A Desolation Called Peace starts a few months after the end of A Memory Called Empire. It is divided into several points of view: Mahit, Three Seagrass, Captain Nine Hibiscus, the Emperor, and the Emperor’s heir, as they navigate a tricky first contact situation with an alien species whose intentions seem more than belligerent.
Maddie O.
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley.

I didn’t love this book as much as I loved the first one, but that’s a common theme with me and SFF sequels. However, I definitely think it was a worthwhile read and nicely expanded upon the universe that the author created in the first book. I think one of the reasons that I liked this slightly less was that it was more of a space opera than I found the prior novel to be (and less of, though the elements are still there, a story of politics and world
Ariel (ariel_reads)
As the sequel to a Memory Called Empire, A Desolation Called Peace has a very similar feel but the story pushes along in a completely different context than the city planet from book one. The sense of wonder I felt in the first book at how cool it would be to explore the city planet transfers into the sequel as well, where I found myself so fascinated with the politics found at the edge of the Empire. Like the first book, language and poetry find meaning and context within the science-fiction wo ...more
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Other books in the series

Teixcalaan (2 books)
  • A Memory Called Empire (Teixcalaan #1)

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“I thought you hated them,” Nine Hibiscus said, dryly. “Was all of that complaining about ecosystem disruption for show, then?”
Twenty Cicada looked up at her, and dismissed most of his work holos with the hand that wasn’t petting the small void on his knee. “I do hate them,” he said, smiling. “But this one likes me, and what am I going to do with the things, space them? It’s not their fault they exist.”
She came to sit next to him, knee to knee. There always seemed to be more oxygen in one of Twenty Cicada’s garden rooms. (Not seemed: there was. Plant respiration. She’d checked the readouts once. It was a fractional difference, but real.) The Kauraanian pet lifted its head and opened yellow eyes. It made a noise like a badly tuned stringed instrument, stood, paced in a tight circle on Twenty Cicada’s lap, and settled down again. “I didn’t think you’d space them, Swarm,” she said. “But this is cuddling.”
“It yowls if I don’t,” Twenty Cicada said, perfectly bland, and Nine Hibiscus laughed.”
“On the flagship Weight of the Wheel:
“You’d have to ask medical,” said Two Foam.
“Someone ask medical,” said Mahit. “I can’t talk to anyone. I’m not a citizen.” And she smiled, terrifying and far too beautiful with all those teeth exposed, gesturing to her entire lack of cloudhook.”
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