Review: A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine

45154547._sy475_I really enjoyed A Memory Called Empire quite a lot, and so when this one came to my attention on NetGalley, I couldn’t help myself.

So thanks to the author, as well as Tor via NetGalley for the review copy!

An alien armada lurks on the edges of Teixcalaanli space. No one can communicate with it, no one can destroy it, and Fleet Captain Nine Hibiscus is running out of options.

In a desperate attempt at diplomacy with the mysterious invaders, the fleet captain has sent for a diplomatic envoy. Now Mahit Dzmare and Three Seagrass—still reeling from the recent upheaval in the Empire—face the impossible task of trying to communicate with a hostile entity.

Whether they succeed or fail could change the fate of Teixcalaan forever.

A sensation of sorrow, from very far off: not even a thought, but an emotional echo. How she herself wanted to cry, and didn’t want to want to, and felt also that Yskandr was—sorry, wished that there was an otherwise life for them, where this wasn’t happening—

<You’re projecting, Mahit. Also wallowing.>

This is the continuing story of the Empire of Teixcalaan, and the Lsel Space station which is in their space. In the first book, we met the Lsel Ambassador Mahit Dzmare and her Teixcalaanli handler (more or less) Three Seagrass. In this sequel, we see the story from both of their point of view, but also that of Nine Hibiscus, who is the commander of the Teixcalaanli Fleet, and Eight Antidote, who is the ninety-percent clone of Six Direction, the (former) Emperor of all Teixcalaan.

A strange alien armada has arrived on the edge of Teixcalaanli space, and started attacking planets, and so Three Seagrass, a skilled diplomat, and Mahit Dzmare, who is a linguist in a way, have travelled to the fleet in order to attempt to communicate with them.

And there are many shenanigans.

This book was fantastically written, as was the book before it! The prose is quite lovely. Teixcalaan’s culture is very rooted in poetry and diction, and this is definitely noticeable in the writing. The bits of information that precede the chapters are sometimes poetry, sometimes notes from one character to another, and sometimes just advertisements on a subway wall, but they all show this wonderful style of writing that I have come to enjoy very much.

I will have to admit that I forgot a lot of what had happened in A Memory Called Empire, outside of the important points, and so I found myself every so slightly lost at the very beginning of this one, but it did absolutely come back to me before long. By the middle of the book, I was absolutely hooked! I really liked Mahit and Three Seagrass in book one, and the relationship between them that is friendly-but-maybe-more-than-friendly, and that continues into this one as well, and I loved it! Three Seagrass is snarkier than I remembered, and I was all the way here for it.

All told, if you liked A Memory Called Empire, you are almost certain to like A Desolation Called Peace as well. It had the same space-political-maneuvering that book one had, while adding this thrilling terrifying-alien-negotiation aspect that I really enjoyed a lot. I can’t wait to see where this goes from here! 4/5 stars!~


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: