Ancillary Mercy

Ann Leckie
Ancillary Mercy Cover

Ancillary Mercy


Ann Leckie's Imperial Radch trilogy seems very much like a three part novel, of which Ancillary Mercy is the conclusion. The situation of the protagonist is established in the first book, Ancillary Justice. In the second, Ancillary Sword, Leckie continues to build, in a murder mystery type of story, the intricate culture, having a formal etiquette akin to what I imagine 19th century Japan might have been like, but with space ships. In this, the third book, the protagonist, Breq, has her decisive confrontation with Anaander Minaai, the Lord of the Radch. I was actually a little disappointed in the climax. I had been expecting a nail-biting battle to the death, but Breq used cunning, legalistic gotcha, and the threat of force to accomplish her objective - at least with this particular embodiment of Anaander - without killing her

I read the first two books but I heard the audiobook version of Ancillary Mercy. I learned to pronounce the names in the Radchaai language. There are lots of double a's - aa. They are pronounced as if there were a hyphen or a space between them. In Radcha ai, It's pronounced Ana ander Mina ai. The audiobook is read by Adjoa Andoh, a British actress of Ghanaian descent. She read the second and third books of the trilogy, but not the first one. Her performance is good, with different voices for different characters, British voices. One character spoke British English with a slight African accent.

By the third book, the gender thing -for which this trilogy is known- has become normal so that one doesn't even notice it. After finishing Ancillary Mercy, I read a short story by Leckie, Night's Slow Poison, in which Anaander Minaai is referred to with masculine pronouns: he, him. It was slightly jarring after having read the trilogy, but Night's Slow Poison was written before the trilogy.