Author: Ann Leckie
Was it interesting? Yes.
Well-written? It was.
Would I read it again? I might.
Would I read a sequel/further adventures/etc? There are no more adventured of Brekke. Sadly.
In the last Ancillary Installment Brekke is still puttering around the tea planet as intrigue get intriguigier (New word!). With the help of the Emporer influenced Lieutenant, Brekke's ship is stripped of its controlling programming to become its own entity. The Lieutenant also does this for the station. Inevitably the wrong emperor shows up and Brekke high-tails it out to Between space (or whatever they call the space between places ships can travel). She has made contact with the ship that is hovering outside the ghost gate and there is a struggle between the different parties. Eventually the autonomous AIs come up with an interesting solution.
It's been a while since I finished this but I remember I liked it better than Ancillary Sword but not as much as Ancillary Justice. It was an excellent wrap-up to the series though and I'm sad that there will be no more Brekke novels.
Author: Naomi Novik
Was it interesting? Yes!.
Well-written? It was.
Would I read it again? Maybe I would after all the books have been read.
Would I read a sequel/further adventures/etc? Oh absolutely except this was a contained story that is probably a one shot.
I do not have the book in front of me so I am not going to get the names exactly right. Sorry. Anyhow. In a small village at the outer reaches of the...duchy? Kingdom? Parcel of land held by the king there is a young girl names Agnieszka. The surrounding villages pay tithe to the Wizard to keep their villages safe from The Woods (which is kinda homicidal). Every 10 years, the Wizard (known as The Dragon) takes a young girl into his tower. After 10 years of service, they young lady usually lites out for other parts, usually the capital or other places less rural. The book takes place in a picking year and everyone is certain the wonderful, pretty, talented Kasia is going to be picked. She almost is, except Agnieszka has a certain something about her: She can control magic (sorta). The Dragon takes Agnieszka and begins to try to teach her how to work magic. It goes poorly because Agnieszka has a different way of thinking about magic and can't effectively work The Dragons spells.
Meanwhile The Woods goes off on a nut. The Dragon is called away to deal with a Woodsy Critter and not much later Agnieszka's home village is besieged by cows that The Woods has caused to go mad. Agnieszka escapes the tower and goes to help her village and her best friend Kasia who was spirited off by a Woods Monster. Agnieszka finds her fried but she has been tainted by The Wood (as all people taken from the villages by The Wood are). Agnieszka and The Dragon discover that they can work their magic together to make a much more powerful spell so they do this with a cleansing spell on Kaisa.
The Prince hears of this and demands they find and free his mother, who was taken by The Woods some 20 years ago. They do and then the two Woods rescued women are taken to the capital to be tried for taint. Agnieszka comes along to become a wizard and save her friend. What she finds is that The Woods has been playing the long game and has sewed seeds of corruption even in the capital. Agnieszka and The Dragon must confront The Woods and defeat it once and for all.
This was a neat little pastiche on fairy tale elements. I liked this story quite a lot, even though The Dragon kinda remains a dick throughout and Agnieszka becomes more tied to the land than she had been (kind of a village witch sort of figure). Not that it's a bad thing because there are fairy tales in which the person of power is granted their power by some aspect of an area but I was a little disappointed in that ending. Don't know why.
2016 Hugo Finalists in order of awesome
1. Fifth Season
3. Ancillary Mercy
**The Hugos were announced this past Saturday and I finished all but Seveneves so I'll rate them how I read them.