A Memory Called Empire

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine is a two book long series including the sequel A Desolation Called Peace.

A Memory Called Empire is a 2019 science fiction novel, the first book ever published by Arkady Martine. This book is based on the Teixcalaanli Empire and it’s neighbor Lsel Station.

The book follows the main character Mahit Dzmare, just 26 years old, and named ambassador to the mighty Teixcalaanli Empire. Mahit grew up on Lsel Station, (an artificial metal planetoid), next to a Teixcalaanli jump gate, allowing them to travel throughout the galaxy with ease. This book is found in the far future where Humans have expanded throughout the Milky Way and have grown different traits and looks. For example the people of Lsel Station are taller than the people of the Teixcalaanli Empire.

The people of Lsel Station have adapted a new way of conserving memory throughout the generations called a Imago machine. This gave young Mahit Dzmare access to her predecessor’s (Yskander Aghvan) memory. It would also allow her to use the decades of information gathered by her predecessors, creating long lines of knowledge. Allow though this tech would be incredibly useful to the Teixcalaanli Empire, they banned the use of neurological enhancements.

Into the story, we find out the Mahit only has the imago machine of her predecessor’s that was 15 years out of date, as well as learning that Yskander has mysteriously died. This would be followed be thrilling espionage, murder, and interstellar war to find out what happened to her predecessor had done in his 20 years in the Teixcalaanli Empire.

What I found interesting in this novel was how Martine had skillfully taken a dull topic and made into addicting action filled Young Adult book.

A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine is available to checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download for free from Libby.

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