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Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch Book 2) by [Leckie, Ann]
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Ancillary Sword (Imperial Radch Book 2) Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Length: 384 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

Leckie proves she's no mere flash in the pan with this follow-up to her multiple-award-winning debut space opera, Ancillary Justice (Kirkus Reviews)

So good, and so unexpected - at once a first-rate space opera and the best science fictional exploration of gender since The Left Hand of Darkness. (Weekend Herald)

Book Description

Ancillary Sword is the hotly anticipated sequel to the science fiction debut that everybody's talking about. Ancillary Justice won every major science fiction award in 2014, making Ann Leckie the first and only writer to win all three of the genre's most prestigious awards in the same year: the Hugo, the Arthur C. Clarke and the Nebula Award. Ancillary Sword is currently shortlisted for this year's Nebula and BSFA Awards.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2504 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (7 Oct. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IA2E5VA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,850 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am very much enjoying this sequence of books. Both Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword have been well written, and full of interesting concepts - not some much on the technological front, but more about how we relate to one another. That's one of the hardest things to do, and Ann Leckie manages it brilliantly, and with a wonderfully light touch. I will definitely be looking out for the third - but sadly, I'll be doing it because I have to. So many plot threads are left hanging loose in this book that the ending feels sudden and premature; and of course, you have to have read Ancillary J for Ancillary S to make any sense at all. What happened to standalone novels? If you're thinking about getting this (and it's definitely worth reading), then be ready to buy the full trilogy - or however many books it ends up being.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
With Ancillary Justice, we got a gritty space opera, not with any big space battles or the like, but plenty of action nonetheless. It also had an interesting timeline-hopping alternating chapter structure to keep things fresh as you read, a unique distributed-AI perspective and also the focus on feminine pronouns as the default for everyone, regardless of their actual gender. All of these aspects made the first book a new and different challenge to read, and the result was very enjoyable.

Ancillary Sword is a different animal. Leckie seems to have preferred to avoid the 'more of the same' temptation and gone down a different route entirely, making this more of a detective or mystery novel than anything else. Breq is now tasked with heading to a new star system while things happen after the revelations at the end of the first instalment, but there's something not quite right about the place and the mystery must be solved.

The narrative thread in this book isn't as strong as the last. It's often not clear why Breq is in this new system, and events happen one after the other with nothing seemingly tying them together. The story wanders for a long time, and does eventually resolve itself, but not without a significant amount of head-scratch-worthy dialogue and endless tea drinking. It all makes sense in the end, but the denouement doesn't reach the high notes of the first book and is a bit of a damp squib, frankly.

So why 4 stars? Once you accept that this is a different book to the last, you can enjoy it more for what it is. It's still an enjoyable read, not completely devoid of action and the central mystery is intriguing, but with this book Leckie is taking things a little slower and developing her world and characters even more along the way. It's not as compelling as the first book, but still a good read nonetheless.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Ancillary Justice, I found the characters and concept really engaging and the story line clever and well written and was looking forward to the follow up...sadly I found Ancillary Sword slow, tedious and I came away totally disappointed. The story in this sequel goes nowhere and adds nothing to the original, I kept wondering when the story was going to erupt, it never did and frankly I struggled to finish it. There seems pages and pages of meaningless dialogue between the characters that in my opinion added nothing to them, there back or forward story or the plot (whatever that was I missed it). So great first book, really poor follow up, Ann Leckie was lauded for Ancillary Justice and likened to Banks amoungst others, not on this showing I am afraid.
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By P. G. Harris VINE VOICE on 9 Feb. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Ancilliary Sword takes up immediately where the previous novel Ancillary Justice left off. One Esk Nineteen/Breq, once the AI controlling a spaceship, now incorporated in a human body is sent out into a universal civil war by one faction of the multiple bodies and personalities of the supreme ruler of the Galaxy, Anaander Mianaai. That last sentence, I hope, makes one thing absolutely clear. This is not the place to start. If you haven't read the first book you stand absolutely no chance of making any sense of the setup here.

Having said that, once the opening is out of the way, this is a strangely self contained book. Ancilliary Justice seemed to set the stall out for a conflict on the widest possible scale, including hints of alien intervention, but this is an almost claustrophobic tale, set on a single space station and on a small area of the planet below. While there are constant references to the alien Presger and to Mianaai's galaxy spanning war with herself, this is primarily a low key mystery story, with Breq taking on the role of a sort of interstellar Jack Reacher.

Leaving the clutches of Mianaai, Breq and her new ship the Mercy of Kalr jump to the Athoek system, where they are met by the strangely hostile ship the Sword of Atagaris. The initial standoff apparently defused, Breq and her crew enter a world of seemingly civilised but deadly politics, of sexual tension and predation and of ambitious and Machiavellian merchants. As she both becomes embroiled in the labyrinth, and seeks to remain separate from it, Breq discovers that the numbers in the tradesmen's accounts don't add up and that the mysterious Ghost Gate hides more than ancient superstitions.

Ancilliary Justice drew partially on the Roman Empire as a template for a future society.
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