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Cover art forPerhaps the Stars

Perhaps the Stars

Ada Palmer

Started Reading
Sep 11, 2023
Finished Reading
Sep 24, 2023

Ada Palmer wraps up her Terra Ignota series with this volume. I finished The Will to Battle almost a year ago, so it took me a while to remember all of the characters, even with the handy list of characters at the front of the book.

I found it interesting how Palmer’s formal setup—this is all a history narrated by two writers—results in a distance from the immediacy of the war conflict. Instead the tension here occurs in a smaller scale—negotiations between warring Hive leaders, philosophical conversations between god (or alien) and man, slow-motion betrayals uncovered not through direct confrontation but through their ripple effect through connected systems. Greek myth bleeds into the future, and characters contemplate their (in)ability to write a different fate than the story would dictate. I am now very much looking forward to Emily Wilson’s new translation of The Iliad.

Palmer’s acknowledgments make explicit a feeling I had about the conclusion of the book—it really felt at times like a prayer for our own society to heed its better angels and work towards a future of healing.