Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Ancillary Sword


Ancillary Sword is the 2014 sequel to the science fiction novel Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie. I was afraid this would be a disappointment. I couldn't imagine it would be as good as the first one, and yet it was. The characters are brought to life so that you care about them. The plot draws you in and carries you steadily through to the end. The ending is satisfying, not a cliff-hanger, and yet it leaves you wanting that 3rd book to come out already. I can highly recommend this series (so far). I am loving it!

You can read the first chapter of this book online at the publisher's site here.

These books should definitely be read in publication order.

Because the action has connections with rich tea plantations, and the serving of tea is an integral part of the book, I'm linking this post to the T(ea) Tuesday gathering at Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog, where Elizabeth is looking over T Tuesday posts from the past year.

As the author explains on her website:
I’ve been asked if Radchaai “tea” is really tea, or if it’s perhaps just a convenient term for some sort of Space Caffeine. In fact, it’s tea. As in made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. We sometimes call nearly any sort of vegetable matter steeped in hot water “tea” but technically speaking, if it’s not Camellia sinensis, it’s not tea. It’s probably a tisane. Many of which are quite nice! But they’re not quite, you know, tea.
and Leckie recommends a particular tea to go with the book:
There’s a named tea in Ancillary Sword: it’s called Daughter of Fishes, and best I can tell you is, it’s something like a really good oolong. So try some Ti Kuan Yin.
Leckie suggests using loose tea and provides instructions for its preparations, but concludes, "Or, you know, not, if that’s too fussy for you. The important thing is to end up with a cup of tea that you enjoy, so whatever works." I like her attitude.

*******
from the back of the book:
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 a agree to go: to Athoek Station to protect the family of a lieutenant she once knew -a lieutenant she murdered in cold blood.
*******

NPR has a positive review. The Book Smugglers says, "I bet everybody is thinking: will the sequel be as good as the first novel? Well, the answer is a resounding HELL YES." Eyrie calls it "an amazing book," says both books are "some of the best science fiction I've read" and rates it 9 out of 10.

Staffer's Book Review says it's "a worthy follow-up to the widely praised Ancillary Justice." Kirkus Reviews opens a positive review with this: "Leckie proves she’s no mere flash in the pan with this follow-up to her multiaward-winning debut space opera, Ancillary Justice (2013)." SF Signal closes by saying, "Ann Leckie has shown herself more than capable, and I trust that she will enthrall and amaze to round out the trilogy."

Entertainment Weekly concludes, "fans of space operas will feast on its richly textured, gorgeously rendered world-building." There are many reviews at Youtube here.

19 comments:

  1. What an amazing find. I've heard of coffee plantations and sugar plantations, but never tea plantations. Somehow, I don't think of the rows and rows of tea planted on the sides of mountains in Asia as plantations. Perhaps this is the sci-fi aspect of it. This would be an exciting read, I believe and your review has piqued my interest.

    And of course, I love a good oolong tea. I agree with Leckie in that loose leaf tea is always better, but sometimes I suspect convenience is more important than taste. To me, tea bags are similar to instant coffee, where loose leaves are the equivalent of fresh beans. I'd better duck, because I'm sure someone will throw a wet tea bag at me for saying that (grin).

    Thanks for the review and for sharing this book with us for T this Tuesday. I'm sure I'll be by before then, but I'm going to wish you a very safe and enjoyable New Year's Eve and Day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do admit I like my Bigelow blends in bags ;) but you are so right that making a pot with loose leaves is the way to go.

      When I first awakened to the advantages of loose tea I did business with a company called Upton Tea Imports http://www.uptontea.com/ . They have offerings from tea plantations worldwide, and I discovered named plantations in India, Ceylon/Sri Lanka, Africa... and learned about single-estate teas. We used to love getting a new tin from a new place. Such fun :)

      Delete
  2. I'm going to see if our library has that series. The boys like a good sci-fi book. I may even try it myself...not my usual genre but every so often I find one I really like.
    Happy T day and Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This author has made quite the splash, so there's a chance your library has it. I hope y'all enjoy :)

      Delete
  3. This sounds really interesting and fun. But long. It goes on the list, though! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. long, yes, but I found it an easy read. It has a good flow.

      If your list is anything like my list lol! I think I won't live long enough to read the unread books currently on my shelf. And I got more for Christmas LOL!

      Delete
  4. Interesting read I bet. I have only seen and heard of the tea, cotton, tobacco plantations and such on tv documentaries. What hard work! Happy T day and a very happy New Year to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lots of bending. My back hurts thinking about it!

      Delete
  5. It is always a treat when you share some of your literary world with us.
    Thank you for your visit and nice comment at my Magpie's Nest.
    Happy T Day
    and
    a very Happy and Healthy New Year to you.
    oxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So many books, so little time :)

      Delete
  6. Sounds like a fascinating read, and great that you discovered the connection to tea. Enjoy your tea, happy T day, and a Happy New Year 2016, hugs, Valerie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of books have tea/coffee scenes in them, but tea is more a central part of the plot here. I was surprised to see that in a space opera.

      Delete
  7. went to my list immediately, thanks for the tip. i´m a avid bookworm.

    ReplyDelete
  8. What an interesting found!
    Happy New Year to you!
    oxo
    Susi

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes, a very interesting find for sure!! I have so many books on my "to read" list right now......just not enough time...LOL
    Happy New Year!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Sounds like a very interesting series and i"m always looking for a new author to read. Will have to see if I can find a copy around here.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for the book suggestion. I like a good sciece fiction.
    Thank you for visiting earlier,
    Wishing you and yours all the best for 2016,
    Lisca

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sounds interesting - hubby and I have just gone back to reading more so I may have to investigate! We still have a lot of unread books though! Happy T day! Chrisx

    ReplyDelete
  13. More one creative year.Let us dissolve our emotions in colors and images in magic.Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete