Gary's Reviews > Ancillary Sword

Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
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really liked it

Ancillary Sword takes a little longer to shift into second gear than it's predecessor, in part because of Leckie's confidence that her readers are invested in her characters and her world, but also because it's a different kind of story altogether. Ancillary Justice was a tale of revenge, and revenge stories hook an audience faster than pretty much any other kind of story. Ancillary Sword is a social drama first and a sci-fi adventure second, though it manages to be both without one slighting the other.
Breq returns as the hero of this story, newly appointed fleet captain in command of the warship Mercy of Kalr, and still at odds with both halves of the conflicted Emperor of the Radch, Anaander Mianaai. She is sent to the Athoek System, and finds a station and a planet nearly boiling over with repressed class conflicts, and another Radch warship taking great pains to hide its illicit activities from her. Most of the story deals with conflicts between the elite and the underclass on Athoek Station, as well as on the tea plantation on the planet below. For a huge chunk of the story it feels as if Breq has flown her ship into an E.M. Forster novel, which is fine if (like me) you are a fan of British Modernism. The result is a book that digs deeper into one of the main thematic strands of the first book - that is, the damaging effects of imperialism on both the powerful and the oppressed - in a way that is no less intriguing and satisfying, even if the action is a little sparser.
Ancillary Sword is not quite the mind-blowing experience Ancillary Justice was, but it doesn't really need to be. It manages to be the best kind of middle book in a trilogy: one that effortlessly flows from the first book, while standing on its own as a complete story AND setting up for what promises to be an explosive final act.
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Reading Progress

November 8, 2014 – Shelved
November 8, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
April 5, 2015 – Started Reading
April 5, 2015 –
page 39
10.96%
April 16, 2015 –
page 36
10.11%
April 16, 2015 –
page 56
15.73%
April 16, 2015 –
page 73
20.51%
April 16, 2015 –
page 90
25.28%
April 16, 2015 –
page 102
28.65%
April 20, 2015 –
page 110
30.9%
April 22, 2015 –
page 125
35.11%
April 22, 2015 –
page 141
39.61%
April 22, 2015 –
page 157
44.1%
April 22, 2015 –
page 178
50.0%
April 25, 2015 –
page 208
58.43%
April 25, 2015 –
page 224
62.92%
April 27, 2015 –
page 239
67.13%
April 30, 2015 –
page 259
72.75%
April 30, 2015 –
page 260
73.03%
May 3, 2015 –
page 309
86.8%
May 6, 2015 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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William I love how Leckie shifted the genre to a more personal, political setting. To see Breq work this situation just as brilliantly as space or a conquered world was amazing. Leckie truly is a writer of the first order.

Thank you for the review!


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