by Ann Leckie
Imperial Radch, Book 3
Published by Orbit on October 6, 2015
Two of my favorite books from last year were Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword from Ann Leckie’s brilliant Imperial Radch trilogy. Ancillary Mercy is the third and final installment in the series and boy is it a good one. Mercy once again follows Breq, formerly known as the massive ship Justice of Toren. Breq’s mission is to protect the citizens of Athoek station from the opposing versions of Radch emperor Anaander Mianaai. To try and describe the plot beyond this would not only ruin the book, but would almost certainly do an injustice to Leckie’s writing, which is spot-on as always.
In Mercy, Breq is supported by a range of spectacular characters, from the nonsensical Presgar Translator Zeiat to sarcastic Sphene, from the ever-faithful Seivarden to surprisingly lovable Station. There’s lots of subtle humor to be found along with the drama of Mercy. Leckie uses Breq’s ability to view multiple perspectives to hop around from scene to scene, all while keeping with Breq’s narration. The result is cinematic and suspenseful. Breq is intelligent, but she’s also blinded by her own experiences as a ship’s AI.
The characters make Mercy a much more enjoyable ride than Sword was, and while the book doesn’t quite live up to the magnitude of Ancillary Justice, the story’s ending is as exciting and satisfying as I had hoped. My only wish now is that there is some sort of spin off involving Presgar Translator Zeiat and Sphene in the works.
Also, how cool is it that all the book covers together make up one complete image? I love this sort of detail on a book series! If you’re up for a challenge, and haven’t read Ancillary Justice yet, I’d highly recommend you give the book a try. If, like me, you loved Justice, but aren’t as big a fan of Sword, you’ll be happy to hear that Mercy is a much better sequel and book than Sword. If you’ve read Ancillary Mercy, I’d love to hear your thoughts about the book below!