In this episode we talk about Chapters 3 & 4.
Lots of information put forth in these two chapters. They are not info dumps, not exactly and the information itself seems important. We are learning more about why Breq has come to the wold Nilt and more about both her own past and that of Seivarden. The delivery of this information cuts back and forth quite a bit and I found myself looking back (and listening back) to make sure I knew which character was which. The ancillaries, which I think I can safely say are dead people or nearly dead people made part of a single entity, an AI, also make things a bit confusing at times. However, confusions aside the story itself is interesting and I am enjoying Breq’s point of view. I also am a fan of deliberate pacing and the pacing in Ancillary Justice continues to be very deliberate.
A final overall thought. The Radch language seems to lack certain basic concepts, which are too convenient to be coincidence. It will be interesting to see if this is addressed.
In chapter 3 the focus is mostly on Breq and Seivarden trying to find someone. We learn that this doctor (Strigan) is a collector and was assigned to the station of Dras Annia before up and leaving. Breq is pursuing Strigan for some reason that has yet to be revealed. During this pursuit, Breq runs afoul of the locals yet again and this time we see how ruthless and efficient an ancillary can be. Breq dispatches the flyer merchant and her three companions with relative ease and then takes their flyer. We have yet to see if that will cause issues down the line. Eventually Breq and Seivarden come to Strigan’s cabin but find that Strigan has fled ahead of Breq.
Chapter four reveals more about the Radch and its brutal uses of force. This is mostly a flashback chapter, telling the story of Breq in her earlier life as an ancillary. We learn something about the religious beliefs of the Radch, who are polytheists, and the relationship between two groups of people on Shis’urna. The Tanmind and Orsinians have an uneasy (at best) relationship. There appears to be a great deal of resentment by both groups and Lt. Awn seems to favor the Orsinians, the lower class. An interesting tension is developing, with the being that will be Breq just watching dispassionately.
- Why is Breq pursuing Strigan?
- Will we learn where Sievarden has been for the last thousand years?
- How will the tension between the Tanmind and Orsinians affect the Radch occupation.