cover image The Will to Battle

The Will to Battle

Ada Palmer. Tor, $26.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-7653-7804-0

The third installment in Palmer’s Terra Ignota political science fiction epic builds upon the complexities introduced in Too Like the Lightning and Seven Surrenders. Criminal mastermind Mycroft Canner recounts the slow decline of a 25th-century utopia where class, language, and family are rendered obsolete, and war is virtually unknown. The fate of this seemingly progressive world hangs upon old alliances and friendships. As Mycroft plays with allegiance to several different masters, readers are further plunged into the intrigue. Palmer’s writing is decidedly difficult; upon a second and third reading, however, one appreciates the wry humor and the ingenious depth of her worldbuilding. The interplay between reader and narrator is especially enjoyable, calling into question reliability and truth. Growing accustomed to this future world and Mycroft’s description of it takes time, but the payoff is rewarding. (Dec.)