Hexarchate Stories

By Yoon Ha Lee

Rating: 4 stars

Upon opening this collection, I was surprised by how long the table of contents was, for such a slim volume. The was explained once I got into it by the number of short and flash pieces that there are. Starting the volume, a few years since I last read the Machineries of Empire trilogy, I did have to do some googling to remind myself of the big outline of the story and of the threads that stories here touch on.

There’s a handful of stories here not related to the cast of Machineries of Empire, including one set before the formation of the Heptarchate, but mostly this is the Shuos Jedao show, with special guest star Kel Cheris. The big draw here, is Glass Cannon, which is, by the far, the longest piece in the book, taking up nearly a third of the page count. This is set a couple of years after Revenant Gun and features the second Jedao coming in search of Cheris, in the hope that he can get his (or rather, his original’s) memories back. It’s a great story and disrupts the fragile equilibrium that has settled over the Hexarchate in interesting (and spoilerific) ways.

There’s a lot to enjoy here. The shorter pieces are character studies, or historical fragments, or fluff, but they still fill in the world of the H*archate, and the author’s notes that follow each story provide more context. To be honest, the collection is worth it for Glass Cannon alone, but the others definitely complement it. Recommended for fans of the series (definitely not one to read before Machineries of Empire, as there are many spoilers for the series).

Book details

ISBN: 9781781085646
Publisher: Solaris
Year of publication: 2019

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