28 Jan 2015
Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie
With Ancillary Sword Leckie has demonstrated that she is not a single-track, one-formula, fifteen-minutes-of-fame SF author destined to either disappear from the scene as quickly as she appeared or to continue to crank out remixes. In contrast with Ancillary Justice, Ancillary Sword is relatively stationary in time and place and more conservative with regard to action and adventure. Instead the changing political, cultural, social and economic relationships between a handful of diverse characters are the forefront of the action. Leckie’s unique cast of distributed artificial intelligences again play leading roles, but several new characters and situations allow the reader to explore the properties and ramifications of multi-bodied AIs in even more depth. Do ships have feelings? To what extent do Stations respect abstract human concepts such as justice and love? Would an ancillary return to their original self if their implants were removed? Tisarwat was able to recover her identity after a brief union with Anaander, but Breq remained a fragment of Jusitce of Torren even after the ship’s destruction.
I would recommend brushing up on the events of Ancillary Justice before diving into Ancillary Sword. It took me two thirds of the book before I finally recalled certain events. Here is the best summary I could dig up, but a more detailed one would be preferred.
I can’t wait to see what Leckie has in mind for the forthcoming Ancillary
Mercy! Ancillary Sword was lacking in resolutions and instead only
exposed new questions and plot threads.
Also checkout this AMA with Ann Leckie