Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie. ★★★★
I found Ancillary Sword to be an enjoyable sequel to Ancillary Justice. I think this is a series that needs to be read in order – there’s too much you’ll miss otherwise. If you’re looking for an entertaining but thoughtful space opera, I would give Ancillary Justice and Ancillary Sword a go.
In Ancillary Sword, Breq has been sent to the planet Athoek, where Lieutenant Awn’s sister lives. Breq has orders to keep the planet safe and peaceful, but she soon stumbles into a plethora of problems and injustices that have gone unrecognized by the planet’s rulers.
For me, one of the ongoing threads of interest of Ancillary Sword was that practically no one Breq encountered knew she was an ancillary. Breq’s past as an AI controlling a spaceship and ancillaries gives her a different perspective from the characters she encounters. There’s also the knowledge that other Radchaai don’t consider ancillaries even worth thinking about. Obviously an AI can’t have an thoughts or feelings worth bothering with, right?
“For my part,” I replied, “I find forgiveness overrated. There are times and places when it’s appropriate. But not when the demand that you forgive is used to keep you in your place.”
Ancillary Sword has all the twists, intrigue and character development that made me love Ancillary Justice. At it’s heart it’s a story about power, justice, and atonement. Is it possible for Breq to ever find atonement for the death of Awen? Is there any such thing as perfect justice?
“And it’s so easy to just go along. So easy not to see what’s happening. And the longer you don’t see it, the harder it becomes to see it, because then you have to admit that you ignored it all that time.”
I would highly recommend Ancillary Sword to anyone who enjoyed Ancillary Justice. It is everything I hoped for as a sequel.