“Pots of tea so caffeinated you could practically see through time.”
Great fun. Another enjoyable romp through the world(s) with those who charged with keeping the narratives on track. Builds on the first book, but still accessible without having read it. All the sly cultural and SF memes and allusions we expect from this series.
“A lot of diplomacy is the managing of public image.”
Fast paced and fun. Our protagonist has a backstory, but most of her life is immersed in her job. And what a job it is.
“That’s the problem with pessimism. When I’m right, I still hate the result.”
My main quibble is the story itself: kidnapped ambassadors on the eve of diplomatic breakthroughs is a mainstay opening for space operas. How can that be a narrative breach? Doesn’t make the story any less enjoyable; just not the punch of the first tale, in which the standard denouement to the standard western plot misfired.
“Dawn smiles on the prudent.” “… like a Lao Tzu MBA course.”