An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with it, no one can destroy it, and Fleet Captain Nine Hibiscus is running out of options.
In a desperate attempt at diplomacy with the mysterious invaders, the fleet captain has sent for a diplomatic envoy. Now Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass—still reeling from the recent upheaval in the Empire—face the impossible task of trying to communicate with a hostile entity.
Whether they succeed or fail could change the fate of Teixcalaan forever.
What an amazing follow up to a memory called empire. Filled with just as much intricate politics and intra-goverment back stabbing as the first.
The book picks up right where we left it in the previous story. With a new alien threat threatening the edges of the Teixcalaan Empire.
We are introduced to Nine Hibiscus who is the newly appointed chief general for the military campaign against the new invaders. Through her we get to see what the Teixcalaan authorities reactions are to the new aliens while she looks to discover as much as possible about the forces that have been disappearing ships at the edges of their civilization.
We are given a new view of the political intricacies of running this massive empire through Eight antidote the child clone of the previous emperor and current heir who is learning who can be trusted and how he fits into this dangerous political playground.
Mahit Dzmare is back on Lsel Station. After returning at the end of the last book, knowing one of Councillors gave her faulty imago and may or may not want her dead, trying to negotiate her way back to Lsel life. In the meantime, Three Seagrass is unfulfilled with her new role at the Information Ministry and takes a chance on an assignment to make first contact with the alien threat hovering at the edge of Teixcalaan space.
This book was wonderful. It explores so much cultural identity, communication in first contact, the nature of memory and identity, what is and isn’t justifiable in wartime, and love between people of different cultures. It even manages to fit in sex, kittens and space battles.
One of the best aspects of this book as it was in the first is language. The exploration of language or what meanings can be placed behind or within them but in this follow up you also see this amazing question and puzzle of communication in a first contact situation and it had me hooked.
This is just a book that I truly recommend its full of heart, adventure and has likable but nuanced characters. I cant wait to see what Arkady Martine will bring next.
5 out of 5 Biscuits