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Provenance by Ann Leckie
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Provenance

by Ann Leckie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Imperial Radch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5423727,321 (3.83)68
  1. 20
    The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold (Arifel)
    Arifel: For young protagonists with big, largely self-imposed parental obligations, trying to operate on a much larger political scale than they are really ready for.
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» See also 68 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
I started off really enjoying this novel set in the Ancillary universe that Leckie wrote about so well in her Imperial Radch Trilogy. The main character, Ingray Aughskold, is a woman on a mission to bring back an imprisoned man to help her find stolen artifacts to earn political points with her powerful adoptive mother. Ingray puts together a great team made up of a criminal whom she, at first, pushes around in a trunk full of goo until she is forced to release him, and a pilot on the run from aliens in his stolen starship. I thought it was going to be a brainy Raiders of the Lost Ark. But it appears I only read the first paragraph of the book blurb. Instead the novel becomes a comedy of manners without the comedy. The book gets bogged down when they return to her home planet and everyone sits around eating sherbert and talking— a lot. Parts of the novel are quite tedious, and I felt there was something detached about her writing here that I didn't feel in the Radch Trilogy. Then when the high stakes stuff happens, it feels like very low stakes.
But there are things that I really liked about the novel. She used her own made-up pronouns for masculine ones. This was quite a brazen thing to do, and I enjoyed it just as I enjoyed her use of feminine pronouns as the default in the Radch trilogy. She also casually made several characters queer, including Ingray, but it was handled like it was normal, which is a good way to do it. I also really glommed onto the Hwa society’s use of cultural artifacts, called vestiges in the novel, as status symbols with high monetary and cultural value. This reminded me of my own culture in the American South where genealogies and documents such as a land grants from the king or from an ancestor’s service in the American Revolution were real status symbols that gave certain families’ claim to power in their society a perceived legitimacy over blacks or poor whites. And many of these artifacts and genealogies were fake as is also shown in the novel (I was a local history and genealogy librarian for a few years in NC and your great great grandad didn’t live to be 110 years old, you’re skipping someone you didn’t like). Likewise, the main character, Ingray, is painted as a normal person that does some extraordinary things which makes her more relatable than the protagonists in many novels who act like some sort of uber-human without much grounding. So maybe the tediousness of parts of the novel was just re-enacting the tediousness of daily life. But I read novels to escape tedium. ( )
  earlbot88 | Jan 20, 2019 |
This book was nominated for Hugo Award in 2018, which was the chief reason I’ve read it.
The novel starts where the previous trilogy (ending with ancillary mercy) ended: the Radch is in turmoil, self-aware AIs may be recognized as a separate species, new meeting with powerful Presger aliens is planned. At the same time, story takes us out of Rarchi empire, to other human settlements. To a large extent the author repeats herself: still there are powerful families and ossified hierarchies, obsession with old stuff (instead of tea utensils, there we see vestiges – old documents or memorabilia linked to someone important), many different cultures and languages (unlike usual SF cliché one world one culture), favorite drinks consumed in copious amounts (now serbat instead of tea) and strange incomprehensible aliens for comic relief (now Gecks instead of translators to Presger). Instead of genderless Radchaai we now get local non-binary gender again w/o any good explanation of why it is so.
A young offspring of a powerful political family arranges extraction of a person from a prison and takes him home, meeting alien ambassadors and murder mysteries on their way. Solid space opera but nothing exceptional.
( )
  Oleksandr_Zholud | Jan 9, 2019 |
charming, but slight compared to the trilogy it follows. ( )
  macha | Dec 31, 2018 |
4.5 stars. I was a bit nervous to pick this up - how do you follow up the Radch Trilogy? - but after a few chapters, I was quite sucked in. Same universe as the trilogy, but different planets/culture/people. The story moved quickly, the setting was both familiar and new, the characters were interesting and I cared about what happened to them.

Two things I especially loved in the cultures as written: recognition of more than two genders, and that people of all genders have all roles in life. I'm so tired of speculative fiction that casts women as mothers, hookers, princesses and not much more. This is not that book and that is part of why I really enjoyed it. ( )
  chavala | Dec 29, 2018 |
When Ann Leckie’s first novel, Ancillary Justice, was published I acquired it on the strength of the enthusiastic reviews I kept reading online, but despite its brilliant premise and intriguing approach I could not bring myself to finish it because I failed to connect with both the story and the characters. For this reason I had not paid great attention to the announcements about the coming issue of Provenance, at least until a teaser for it was appended at the end of James S.A. Corey’s latest Expanse novella, Strange Dogs.

That brief glimpse of what promised to be an exciting story, with a main character trying to smuggle off-planet a stasis box containing a body, was enough to draw my attention and I was very eager to see where that premise would take me [...]

Read the full review here: SPACE and SORCERY BLOG ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 37 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ann Leckieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Harris, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Panepinto, LaurenCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 031638867X, Hardcover)

Following her record-breaking debut trilogy, Ann Leckie, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke and Locus Awards, returns with an enthralling new novel of power, theft, privilege and birthright.
A power-driven young woman has just one chance to secure the status she craves and regain priceless lost artifacts prized by her people. She must free their thief from a prison planet from which no one has ever returned.
Ingray and her charge will return to her home world to find their planet in political turmoil, at the heart of an escalating intergalactic conflict. Together, they must make a new plan to salvage Ingray's future, her family, and her world, before they are lost to her for good.

For more from Ann Leckie, check out:

Imperial Radch
Ancillary Justice
Ancillary Sword
Ancillary Mercy

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 27 Mar 2017 14:41:44 -0400)

"Following her record-breaking debut trilogy, Ann Leckie, winner of the Hugo, Nebula, Arthur C. Clarke and Locus Awards, returns with an enthralling new novel of power, theft, privilege and birthright. A power-driven young woman has just one chance to secure the status she craves and regain priceless lost artifacts prized by her people. She must free their thief from a prison planet from which no one has ever returned. Ingray and her charge will return to her home world to find their planet in political turmoil, at the heart of an escalating intergalactic conflict. Together, they must make a new plan to salvage Ingray's future, her family, and her world, before they are lost to her for good"--… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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