Winner of the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Novel.
Arkady Martine's A Memory Called Empire is one of the hottest science fiction debuts. For those who loved Ann Leckie's epic space opera Ancillary Justice, Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth and Iain M. Banks’s Culture novels.
Shortlisted for the 2020 Arthur C. Clarke Award.
Shortlisted for the 2019 Goodreads Choice Awards.
In a war of lies she seeks the truth . . .
Ambassador Mahit Dzmare travels to the Teixcalaanli Empire’s interstellar capital, eager to take up her new post. 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.
Now Mahit must navigate the capital’s enticing yet deadly halls of power, to discover dangerous truths. And while she hunts for the killer, Mahit must somehow prevent the rapacious Empire from annexing her home: a small, fiercely independent mining station.
As she sinks deeper into an alien culture that is all too seductive, 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 from annihilation.
A Memory Called Empire is followed by A Desolation Called Peace in the Teixcalaan duology.
'A Memory Called Empire perfectly balances action and intrigue with matters of empire and identity. All-round brilliant space opera, I absolutely loved it' – Ann Leckie, author of Ancillary Justice
‘Contender for debut of the year’ - SFX Magazine
Debut novelist Martine sets a careful course in this gorgeously crafted diplomatic space opera that strands its protagonist amid imperial politics and murder. Mahit Dzmare, summoned from tiny Lsel Station to replace the previous ambassador to the Teixcalaanli Empire, Yskandr, must negotiate both for Yskandr's corpse and for the safety of her home world, an object of Imperial annexation. Her fluency in Teixcalaanli language and culture ("for a barbarian") helps her decode the messages hidden in their poetry, even as it inclines her to the same starry-eyed admiration and involvement with the Imperial court that overcame her predecessor. Her secret implant of Yskandr's memories should be aiding her, but it is 15 years out of date and, apparently, sabotaged. Mahit instead relies on her need to establish an identity of her own while juggling an aging Emperor's desire for technological immortality and a threatened military uprising to his rule. The Teixcalaanli culture comes so fully to life that the glossary in the back of the book is unnecessary. Martine allows the backstory to unroll slowly, much as Mahit struggles with her intermittent memories, walking delicately upon the tightrope of intrigue and partisan battles in the streets to safely bring the tale to a poignantly true conclusion. Readers will eagerly await the planned sequels to this impressive debut.
Well worth the read
I really enjoyed this book and it is very well written.