Second Reflections – ancillary sword & ancillary mercy (Ann Leckie) – It’s Sci-Fi Month!

Ahoy there me mateys!  While drawin’ up me lists of 2016 for me log, I realized a curious thing – out of 134 books read, not a single one was a re-read.  In me enthusiasm of discovery and taking suggestions from me crew, I did not revisit a single old port for plunder!  And part of what I love about readin’ is re-visitin’ old friends.  So I decided to remedy that and thus created this category where I take a second look at a previously enjoyed novel and give me crew me second reflections, as it were, upon visitin’ it again . . .

It’s Sci-Fi Month!!  I enjoyed me reread of ancillary justice so much that I didn’t read anything on me actual ports for plunder list but immediately hopped right into revisiting the Imperial Radch and reading the other two books of the trilogy back to back.  Minor spoilers may abound so read at yer own peril.  Basically Matey Nikki summed up this series well when she said:

Every time, it surprises me how quiet these books are really — most of it is not civilisations crashing into each other, or high octane combat: it’s Breq drinking tea, talking to people, managing relationships. There is an action-filled climactic scene . . . but this isn’t sensawonder space battles, and it’s even less so than the first book. Which is a thing I enjoy, but is possibly another reason some people don’t get along with these books. You expect something earthshaking, but Breq’s not going to bring down the Radch alone, and doesn’t even want to try. She’s lit the fuse, but now she’s off in another system protecting those important to her and letting what will happen go on without her.

Book two has Breq going with a new ship and new commands to Athoek Station.  Her stated purpose is to secure the system.  Of course Breq has ideas about how to accomplish this.  What I was reminded of in book two is how much narrower the scope is.  There be one time frame and basically Breq’s single perspective.  Now this perspective is still influenced by Breq’s connectivity with the ship and her implants so the feel of Breq being an ancillary is still going strong.  On me first read the advancement of the plot was such that I thought it was more of a character study.  However it only seems that way because, though subtle, the threads are very much being set up for the next book.  On this read, I particularly loved the alien translator and Lieutenant Tisarwat.  Following Tisarwat in the beginning especially had some great foreshadowing as to consequences of the overall conflict.  Plus many of their sections made me laugh.  I had forgotten how little Seivarden appears in the book and I missed them.  I think of this book as a larger exploration of the Radchaai society’s culture as a whole and as such a commentary on the viewpoints of superiority and greater good.

Book three continues to deal with Athoek Station and the many prior complications lingering effects.  Those missing Anaander Mianaai get to see them and the consequences of their actions.  The fun element of the novel on this read was how badly Breq seemed overwhelmed and likely to fail despite their ancillary background.  Before it seemed that Breq was always a step or two ahead or at least able to problem solve on the fly.  But Breq is a mess and plots are failing everywhere by everyone.  I loved the messiness of the situation and how the liabilities of the characters get involved.  I adored the alien translator in this read.  I adored the addition of Sphene.  I still loved the ending for both how it resolved some things and created new problems.  I love Breq and the rest of the found family.

Now I just need to read the two novellas and reread the standalone book set in the same universe.  I love this series so much.  Arrrr!

Side note: Sci-Fi Month is hosted by Matey Lisa of Dear Geek Place and Matey Imyril of One More.  Check out their blog links for more info and join the fun!

Goodreads has this to say about book two (shortened because of spoilers):

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 agree to go: to Athoek Station to protect the family of a lieutenant she once knew –

To visit the author’s website go to:

Ann Leckie – Author

To buy the novels please visit:

ancillary sword – Book

ancillary mercy – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

Broadside No. 16

ancillary justice – book 1 (Second Reflections – Sci-Fi)

provenance – book 4 (Captain’s Log – Sci-Fi)

raven tower (Captain’s Log – Fantasy)

12 thoughts on “Second Reflections – ancillary sword & ancillary mercy (Ann Leckie) – It’s Sci-Fi Month!

    1. Always happy to get someone to try this series since I adore it so. I normally be okay with the crew not liking the same books as me. But I have to admit when they don’t like this series I do get sad. Arrrrr!
      x The Captain


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