Ann Leckie's acclaimed debut novel, Ancillary Justice, won the Hugo, Nebula and Arthur C. Clarke awards. Ancillary Sword and Ancillary Mercy follow it for an expansive, far-future space opera about a sentient warship whose consciousness becomes trapped in a single ambulatory unit called an ancillary. Leckie's fourth novel, Provenance, is a standalone that takes place in the same universe as the Imperial Radch trilogy, though in an area far removed from Radchaai space.

Ingray Aughskold is the foster child of a powerful politician on planet Hwae. In a desperate, perhaps ill-convinced bid to outwit her conniving brother in their constant battle for their mother's favor, Ingray spends all her money (and some that doesn't belong to her) to free a fellow Hwaean aristocrat from a supposedly inescapable prison. When Ingray's plan goes awry, she and her new companion find themselves in the middle of a local interstellar conspiracy and wider galactic turmoil loosely related to events in Leckie's previous books.

The most audacious prose ploy in Provenance is similar to the universal female pronoun used by the Radchaai in the Imperial Radch trilogy: the Hwaeans and their neighbors, though human, have a third gender, nemen, for whom Leckie invents the pronouns "e, eir and em." It takes some getting used to, and is likely to find a mixed reception among readers. Other than that, Provenance is a stunning work of imagination, with intriguing alien cultures, well-crafted characters and an engaging mystery. --Tobias Mutter, freelance reviewer

Powered by: Xtenit