Ahoy there mateys! I absolutely adore this author’s work and love, love, love her Imperial Radch books. The first book of the trilogy is one of me favourite books of all time. To say I was excited about this newest book was an understatement. And it delivered.
Now to be fair, I think readers are going to have a harder time with this book due to the fact it is written in second person and meanders quite a bit. But I trusted that Leckie’s journey would lead to satisfaction in the end. And it sooo worked for me. Perfect ending.
The odd part of this story is that it be told from the perspective of a rock. Now this rock has a god living in it. So the story goes back and forth between the god’s history and the present. In addition, there are brief philosophical questions and discussions about humanity’s evolution, how the world works, and the other gods’ actions interspirsed through the narrative. I was absolutely captivated.
The god’s focus in telling his story revolves around Eolo, the aide to the leader-in-waiting. She is the “you” that the god is directing his story to. The other major player is Mawat who was set to become the leader of his city only to discover that his uncle has usurped his place. Eolo and Mawat are trying to discover what happened to his father who went missing. The death of the father is tied into the politics of both man and gods. How this question is answered and what happens after were part of the brilliance of the writing.
The story kept me focus through the whole novel and then at the 75% mark blazed to the end. I loved the interplay of between the gods and how the system worked. I loved watching Eolo. I loved the ending. I think those willing to stick with this book will end up loving it as much as I did. At this point I will read whatever Ann Leckie writes. Arrrr!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
For centuries, the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by the god known as the Raven. He watches over his territory from atop a tower in the powerful port of Vastai. His will is enacted through the Raven’s Lease, a human ruler chosen by the god himself. His magic is sustained via the blood sacrifice that every Lease must offer. And under the Raven’s watch, the city flourishes.
But the power of the Raven is weakening. A usurper has claimed the throne. The kingdom borders are tested by invaders who long for the prosperity that Vastai boasts. And they have made their own alliances with other gods.
It is into this unrest that the warrior Eolo–aide to Mawat, the true Lease–arrives. And in seeking to help Mawat reclaim his city, Eolo discovers that the Raven’s Tower holds a secret. Its foundations conceal a dark history that has been waiting to reveal itself…and to set in motion a chain of events that could destroy Iraden forever.
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provenance (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)