A Memory Called Empire

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine

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My rating: 3 of 5 stars


The ambassador of a small space station nation is sent to the capital of a powerful interstellar empire. There, she attempts to 1) discover how and why her predecessor was killed and who killed him, and 2) keep her little space based city state independent. It’s a well written space saga, and the work that went into writing it is obvious, but….

There were two things that kept me from loving this. The first is common with much of science fiction and fantasy, the effort to make it seem otherworldly by using unpronounceable names and titles. I can appreciate the extra effort authors go through to do this, but, quite honestly, I don’t think it adds much to the stories. In fact, I think it detracts. I doubt I’m the only reader who, when they come across a name like Teixcalaan (the aforementioned empire), they just read it as something like “Tex-whatever,” and keep going.


The second thing that made it a less than a fully enjoyable read for me was that it is loaded with politics. That can be interesting, and, again, a lot of work to create, but, quite frankly, I am so weary of politics in the real world at this point that I have little interest in putting any effort into trying to understand the politics of someplace imaginary. That said, I’ll probably read the next in the series because there’s a rather large loose end left dangling at the end of this one.



View all my reviews

About Dave

A reader and writer of speculative fiction. See my website for more information on me and my writing. https://dlmorrese.wordpress.com/

Posted on May 6, 2021, in Speculative Fiction. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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