What a great end to a fantastic trilogy Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie turned out to be! Since this is the third book I can’t really tell you much about it that will make sense to you if you haven’t already read the first three. And if you have read the first ones but not gotten to this one yet, I don’t want to spoil anything because, wow! are there some great surprises!
There are some general observations I can make though. Fleet Captain Breq, who is also the last remaining piece of the ship Justice of Torren, is as fantastic as ever. She has some wonderful character developing moments that made me love her even more.
Also, did I miss it in the first two books? But there is a lot of great understated humor in this book. Much of it happens in interactions between ships/AIs, humans and an alien ambassador who thinks drinking a cup of fish sauce is the most delicious thing ever. Also there is a hilarious bit that involves a deep space version of the beloved road trip song, 99 Bottles of Beer.
The plotting is tight. The writing is great. The political maneuverings between all the involved parties is delightful. That’s the thing that really does it for me with a good space opera. I’m not into the shoot ‘em up kinds of planet conquering space opera stories. What I love most are the kind with intricate politics and secrets and relationships and trying to figure out who is on whose side, who will be dependable when it comes down to the wire and who is going to be the traitor. The Ancillary books tick off all my happy check boxes.
It was a truly satisfying conclusion and a reader can’t ask for more than that.
If you like science fiction and have not read Leckie’s Imperial Radch Trilogy, I can’t recommend it enough.