Stop. Go buy this space opera, (yet not). This story of empire and political intrigue (but more). This complicated beast of a book that manages to engage the reader from page one and doesn’t let up. At all. It shouldn’t work. At all. It’s too big. Twenty points of view. Parallel story. Flashbacks. A world as complex as the Culture (a comparison not lightly made) with some similarities – the ideas here take background to the human, or ancillary, story. Like Banks, Leckie builds a world in which we can examine ourselves in the mirror, and question. Top craft. Top marks.