A Memory Called Empire

400 pages

English language

Published July 30, 2020

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4 stars (6 reviews)

Won the 2020 Hugo for Best Novel. Ambassador Mahit Dzmare is posted far from her mining station home, to the Empire's glorious capital. Yet when she arrives, she discovers her predecessor was murdered. But no-one will admit his death wasn't accidental - and she might be next. Mahit must navigate the capital's deadly halls of power, while hunting the killer. She must also somehow stop the Empire from annexing her fiercely independent colony. As she sinks deeper into this seductive yet unfamiliar culture, Mahit engages in intrigues of her own. For she's hiding an extraordinary technological secret, one which might destroy her station and its way of life.Or it might save them all from annihilation.

2 editions

Empire and poetry

4 stars

This was a very unique and original story. The author did some really cool things with language that I really appreciated.

I love books that are critical of empire, and this book certainly falls into that camp.

I think perhaps the reason I'm giving it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I'm an empathic reader and tend to absorb the mindset of the main characters of the book...Mahit (aka the main character in this book) spends a significant majority of this book feeling stranded, confused, and totally in the dark about what's actually going on. I think that was reflected also in my experience of the book. Perhaps that should be counted as a positive for the book rather than a negative, but...

Review of 'A Memory Called Empire' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

On of the best sci-fi novels I've read in some time. Accomplishes the stellar feat of making a story which takes part almost entirely within a single city feel like it has galaxy spanning consequences. Reads as much like medieval court intrigue as it does full on space opera, and is all the better for it.

The last big space opera I read was Saga of the Seven Suns, and while that is a huge story full of fantastic imagination, I enjoyed the writing style of this novel so much more.

Can't wait to read the followup, and hopefully many more to come. Bravo.

Review of 'A Memory Called Empire' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

3.5 stars, really. I wrote this long review and then managed to overwrite it, meh.

In any case, very interesting premise, if you like sci-fi with a bit of whodunnit mixed into it. It's a fascinating look at an old empire from an outsider, and all its intrigues. The sequel should mix things up a bit.

I didn't care for the poetry angles, but overall, would recommend.

avatar for joachim

rated it

5 stars
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rated it

4 stars
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rated it

4 stars