Translation State

432 pages

English language

Published Oct. 12, 2023

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5 stars (6 reviews)

Qven was created to be a Presger translator. The pride of their Clade, they always had a clear path before them: learn human ways, and eventually, make a match and serve as an intermediary between the dangerous alien Presger and the human worlds. The realization that they might want something else isn't "optimal behavior". I's the type of behavior that results in elimination.

But Qven rebels. And in doing so, their path collides with those of two others. Enae, a reluctant diplomat whose dead grandmaman has left hir an impossible task as an inheritance: hunting down a fugitive who has been missing for over 200 years. And Reet, an adopted mechanic who is increasingly desperate to learn about his genetic roots—or anything that might explain why he operates so differently from those around him.

As a Conclave of the various species approaches—and the long-standing treaty between the humans and the …

1 edition

reviewed Translation State by Ann Leckie

Translation State

4 stars

I think the part of this book that I enjoyed the most was the worldbuilding dive into Presger Translators, as this is the first character with this POV. In previous books, Dlique and Zeiat both are wild characters who felt like comic relief foils compared to the over-serious Radchaai. So much of all of their nonsense along with various other mysteries get some partial explanation here. It's delightful to go back and rethink parts of previous books and have at least a slightly better understanding of what's going on. I'm not even sure that I need to know anything about the Presger at this point; I think I enjoy enough all of the wrangling in their ominous shadows.

It is definitely a wild narrative turn to have this POV though. There is a lot of body horror and casual violence going on that is treated very normally by all of …

reviewed Translation State by Ann Leckie

Another wonderful entry in the Radch++ universe.

5 stars

Leckie continues to build worlds and cultures that turn a lens back onto contemporary struggles around identity and sovereignty. It is helpful, but not necessary, to have read her other Radch books as they do build on some earlier stories and a few characters turn up again. There is also a deeper dive into the Presgers (or at least the Presger Translators), but the author does a great job keeping terrible mysteries mysterious.

Finally, a slight spoiler, in this installment Leckie fixes the greatest flaw in her universe: the lack of coffee. I applaud her courage in bringing this beverage into a heretofore tea-centric narrative.

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5 stars