If You Like Fantasy, or Love Language, You Should Read The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

Don’t take my word for it. Read Jana’s review.

I’ll be adding my thoughts to hers in the next few days, but I wanted to leave a note about the book here because it is so beguiling and good.

The first thing of Leckie’s that I read was Ancillary Justice. I was caught up in the strange mindset of the unusual main character, intrigued by the world she inhabited, and challenged by the pronouns Leckie used. Leckie gave us an empire; the imperial language was gendered, with only one gender specified, the female one. If you don’t understand how this could work, remember back to when people in school told you that in English, words like “he,” or “man” or “mankind” were considered inclusive of women and were in effect gender neutral. Now, imagine a language where words like “she” or “daughter” encompassed both genders. Not confusing at all, right? Proves conclusively that the whole “‘he’ is gender-neutral” thing is true, right? Think again.

The Raven Tower does not have a conquering empire imposing its language on the colonized, but language, at least in the minds of the gods — and there are gods — can change reality, and gods speak with caution, and convolutions.

And that’s only part of the story. The two storylines, one in first person, one in second person, one covering millennia, one covering weeks, converge in an ending that is satisfying, startling and perfectly developed over the course of the book.

The biggest draw, of course, is not necessarily the elliptical language of the gods or the patient, careful plotting of the narrator, but the characters, and the intriguing nation– and world — Leckie creates.

Check out Jana’s review, and then go check out the book.

This entry was posted in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *