For a moment, things seemed to be under control for Breq, the soldier who used to be a warship. Then a search of Athoek Station’s slums turns up someone who shouldn’t exist, and a messenger from the mysterious Presger empire arrives, as does Breq’s enemy, the divided and quite possibly insane Anaander Mianaai – ruler of an empire at war with itself.
Breq refuses to flee with her ship and crew, because that would leave the people of Athoek in terrible danger. The odds aren’t good, but that’s never stopped her before.
“You don’t need to know the odds. You need to know how to do the thing you’re trying to do. And then you need to do it.”
I rated Ancillary Mercy high because it is a good book to read. But I cannot think of much to say about it that I didn’t say about the previous two books in the series. Breq is an awesome person in a shitty situation. The society is absolutely terrible. And most importantly: it wasn’t what I expected when I started this series.
Ancillary Mercy is the end to the story that started in Ancillary Sword, and not the story started in Ancillary Justice. Which means that this was not exactly the story I started this book to read. It was a good, solid read. It just didn’t do what I wanted it to do. I wanted to see the war, I wanted to see the entire Empire of the Radch burn to pieces. I got a lot of Breq, and I got a lot of drinking tea, and I got a lot of trying to work within a fucked up society.
It wasn’t bad. It was pretty good. I enjoyed it in the moment.
Breq finalises the journey she started in Ancillary Justice. In Justice, she became more than just a ship, she got a purpose. In Ancillary Sword, she became a person. In Ancillary Mercy, Breq learned what it meant for her to be a person. What that personage means to others. Her quite spiritual journey to this realisation of what it meant to be a person is at times heartbreaking, but mostly made this series. If ever I were to reread this series, it would be for this alone.
The ending to the book was good. The ending the series was less so. I can’t help this feeling like there is more to be told. Things end, but not necessarily satisfactorily. At least for me. The danger area has passed, but there is so much more work to be done. There is so much more of Breq’s story that I feel needs to be told. It is like the series ended at the most interesting part of the story! I just want more of Breq, I guess.
To read more reviews for this series, check out the Imperial Radch series page!