cover image Provenance


Ann Leckie. Orbit, $26 (448p) ISBN 978-0-316-38867-2

Hugo- and Nebula-winner Leckie returns to the universe of her bestselling Imperial Radch trilogy with this standalone SF thriller styled as a space opera of manners. Ingray Aughskold is determined to outdo her conniving brother and impress their demanding mother enough to be named her heir, even if that means gambling everything Ingray has. She leaves her home planet to break a famous thief out of prison and get help in a scheme to blackmail her mother’s primary political opponent. But when the person she retrieves denies being the person she wants, her rash plan starts to fall apart. Matters are made worse by the fanatical pursuit of the distressingly odd ambassador of the alien Geck. Though full of the charm and wit characterizing Leckie’s other works, including delightful appearances by a Radch ambassador and tantalizing hints about the upcoming conclave, this novel nevertheless doesn’t quite have the depth and richness Leckie fans might expect. It’s primarily an optimistic coming-of-age story, and it stumbles on some false promises along the way. (Sept.)