cover image Ancillary Sword

Ancillary Sword

Ann Leckie. Orbit, $16 (400p) ISBN 978-0-316-24665-1

Leckie's powerful sequel to Ancillary Justice is a touch less ambitious in structure, but every bit as incisive. As news that open civil war has broken out slowly percolates through the crumbling networks of Radchaai space, Fleet Captain Breq Mianaai arrives at Athoek. Subjugated by the aggressively expansionist empire six centuries before, Athoek should be an exemplary world of peace, wealth, and concord, but what Breq finds is a world where the Radch precepts of "justice, propriety, and benefit" have been twisted to justify negligence, outright exploitation, and willful ignorance by those charged with enforcing the law. As Breq methodically analyzes the intertwined networks of privilege, incompetence, corruption and spiteful cruelty, she learns that not all outrages can be punished and justice is often denied to those who most deserve it. Breq's struggle for meaningful justice in a society designed to favor the strong is as engaging as ever. Readers new to the author will be enthralled, and those familiar with the first book will find that the faith it inspired has not been misplaced. Agent: Seth Fishman, Gernert Company. (Oct.)