A Desolation Called Peace

Tor. (Teixcalaan, Bk. 2). Mar. 2021. 496p. ISBN 9781250186461. $26.99. SF
Mahit Dzmare has returned to Lsel Station after her time on Teixcalaan, stepping up as ambassador after the untimely death of the previous one, Yskandr Aghavn. Now trying to protect the two Imagos of Aghavn hosted in her brain, she is once again reunited with Three Seagrass, the Teixcalaanli liaison she grew fond of. Both have been brought to the edge of a jumpgate to try to negotiate with the terrifying aliens on the other side. However, factions on both Lsel Station and Teixcalaan believe that fighting is better, and Mahit and Three Seagrass must navigate the tumultuous negotiation and stave off war. Multiple points of view give a full view of the issues including fear of what is different, and the ease of cultural violence and assimilation when one believes they are better. Three Seagrass and Mahit continue to delight in their interactions with each other.
VERDICT This follow-up to Martine’s debut, A Memory Called Empire, contains beautiful prose and complex worldbuilding that will immerse readers in a dazzling story of alien contact and colonization.
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