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Publisher's Summary

An ambitious young woman has just one chance to secure her future and reclaim her family's priceless lost artifacts in this standalone novel set in the world of Ann Leckie's groundbreaking, New York Times best-selling Imperial Radch trilogy, which won the Hugo and Nebula awards.

Though she knows her brother holds her mother's favor, Ingrid is determined to at least be considered as heir to the family name. She hatches an audacious plan - free a thief from a prison planet from which no one has ever returned, and use them to help steal back a priceless artifact.

But Ingray and her charge return to her home to find their planet in political turmoil, at the heart of an escalating interstellar conflict. Together, they must make a new plan to salvage Ingray's future and her world, before they are lost to her for good. 

©2017 Ann Leckie (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What the critics say

"If you don't know the Ancillary series by now, you probably should. Ann Leckie's sociopolitical space opera almost singlehandedly breathed new cool into the stereotype of spaceships trundling through far-off systems amid laser battles... [Ancillary Mercy] earns the credit it's received: As a capstone to a series that shook genre expectations, as our closing installment of an immersively realized world, and as the poignant story of a ship that learned to sing." (NPR Books on Ancillary Mercy)

"The trappings of widescreen sci-fi, and the attention to character, to the small moments, to the inner lives of those living through outsized events...Just read it." (B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog) 

"The trademarks of Leckie's talent are on display, with even more worlds for readers to discover and some teasing overlap with her previous series. But what makes this book is watching Ingray overcome her poor self-esteem and discover who she actually wants to be, demonstrating again the genre's capacity to tell compelling, human stories." (RT Book Reviews) 

What listeners say about Provenance

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A must read for any sci-fi lover.

Ann Leckie continues to write amazing stories. I have read all of her work and I can't get enough of it. I can't wait for her next book...when ever that may be :)

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

All those accents!

The narrator ‘s lush voice gives a lot of texture to a marvellous “stepping in to one’s light” story that has the interwoven plots of interspecies power struggles and questions about the veracity of history. Lush voice for a lush story. Unfortunately, the narrator chooses to highlight each character with an accent that is readily identifiable from today’s planet. I’m not sure why or how all these people would come to have these particular accents. There’s no rationale for it in the book. She’s very good at it but it becomes downright annoying and distracting. Better direction needed.

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  • Jeff G
  • 2018-07-02

Insipid lead character

The lead character cried so much in the last quarter of the story that my iPhone started to leak. She became a very annoying person. I actually liked the other main characters and the reader was superb. But the story itself was weak and basically uninteresting. I thought the same of the lead.

63 people found this helpful

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  • Ian Thomas Healy
  • 2018-08-06

Dense and political

This book has some of the similar political qualities of Dune. That's not a negative-Leckie has written them well. It's not necessarily what I wanted, though. I found the middle act to be especially ponderous. The story picks up again in the third act and wraps up nicely.

Andoh is an exceptional narrator. It's nice to hear a non-white, non-male voice narrating science fiction. She has a variety of voices and accents so I was never confused who was speaking at any given moment. She tends a bit toward creakiness, which could grate on some listeners (it didn't for me).

27 people found this helpful

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  • RRR
  • 2018-09-21

Forever to get anywhere - then doesn't go far

First, I've not read any of Anne Leckie's other books and understand there is a series that connects with this stand-alone book. Ok, but even so... this book takes FOREVER to get started, then when it does get rolling it doesn't roll very far. I bought it for Adjoa Andoh's narration because she's WONDERFUL. And she's wonderful in this performance as well. I always have such a good time listening to her. The characters here are fun (for the most part) and you do get to know them. But so much of this book is about traditions and breaking out of traditions and you feel like it should be harder for the main character, but in reality she does very well by just going w/ the flow. For Sci-Fi, there's very little action. Nothing is ever very surprising and nothing really ever gets done except at the very end (and it's nothing like a "battle" or climatic experience). So, yeah. Meh.

46 people found this helpful

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  • Erin t
  • 2017-11-07

Worth it as an audiobook

Adjoa Andoh's narration is unbelievable, among the best I've ever heard. I loved Ancillary Justice (as a printed book, have not heard the audio version), but all the followups were only okay. The story here is also only okay, kind of repetitive and political, meaning it makes a whole lot out of very small actions and events. But it's a very interesting, original universe.

I did find the monologue from the Geck ambassador very moving. I'm not sure whether or not I would have in print. I'm still thinking about it days later.

57 people found this helpful

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  • TandR
  • 2017-10-02

Excellent voice acting and great standalone novel

This is an awesome story and a great first entry into Ann Leckie's books, if anyone is intimidated by their Ancillary Trilogy. Set in the same universe, this book does a great job bringing the galaxy together without feeling like it retreads old ground.

Adjoa Andoh makes an amazing voice presence and breathes life into a world that is familiar and not. I was a little worried I'd struggle with their transition into a different character but their voice work doesn't allow for much confusion, with what feels like a full cast of characters all together.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Jim Conyngham
  • 2019-07-24

Expected better from a Hugo & Nebula award winner

I hadn't read or heard any of Ms Leckie's other books, but I was impressed that she had won both the Hugo and Nebula awards for science fiction, so I had high expectations and was disappointed.

The basic story feels like a "Young Adult" novel, and is mostly not really science fiction. Yes, it's set in some distant future and has aliens an multiple human cultures, but those aliens and cultures aren't made plausible. The heroine checks some sort of implant for her messages and news instead of checking her cell phone. IMHO that sort of simple translation doesn't make a story SF. All of the plot conflicts are resolved by a deus ex machina friendly alien. There are long, long, long sections of exposition reviewing what character A must have thought that character B thought that character C knew about ....

As for the performance, all of the dialog by aliens or "mechs" are done in a high squeeky voice that is hard to understand, and they all sound alike.

10 people found this helpful

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  • protoculture
  • 2018-03-22

A lackluster followup

The first chapter drags. It doesn't get any better from there on out. The story is thin and the characters unmemorable. I would like to see something more from the author of the Imperial Radcht trilogy.

28 people found this helpful

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  • Vincent Jeffries
  • 2018-05-30

Good addition to the Ancillary universe

I enjoyed this story about political intrigue in among a small human system of planets and stations in the wider universe described in the author’s ancillary trilogy.

Instead of the AI, gender and galactic power plays explored in the Trilogy, this book has a smaller more personal scope without quite as many big ideas. The book’s protagonist is very sympathetic and uncomplicated. Her adventure is a small, personal one in many ways by sci-fi standards and she encounters some interesting human characters and some aliens that are an interesting testimony to the author’s imagination.

Leckie in one of the better new voices in the genre and Provenance continues her streak of well-written, imaginative books. I didn’t enjoy this as much as her other novels but appreciated the well-drawn characters, subtle humor attention to detail and strong writing that I’ve come to expect from Leckie.

The narration is also quite good.

I recommend this book for fans of Le Quin style SF that favors the exploration human social constructs and interpersonal relationships more than action, technology and galactic conflict.

8 people found this helpful

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  • E Wagner
  • 2018-02-03

Loved the protagonist!

Often, I find female-hero-protagonists right now to all be in the "Katniss" tough-as-nails kick-ass mold. Which is fine. But Ingray, with her foibles and her sweetness and her more subtle brilliance is a very refreshing heroine. I found her and the other characters around her to be extremely likable and fascinating. I was glad I read the Ancillary books first because it gave me good context for where to place the story, but I would be interested to hear from someone who read this without having that context... I see that Adjoa Andoh has received mixed reviews for her narration, but I found her wide variety of accents and voices to add depth that I think reflects the diversity of the setting-- all these different types of humans and non-humans from different worlds jumbled up together. It works really well.

33 people found this helpful

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  • David T. Noll
  • 2018-06-02

Very creative

I haven’t read the Ancillary series yet, so had few expectations. I thought the novel was very creative, with interesting characters and a plot that drew me in. The narrator was very good at creating characterization through voice and dialect. She even managed to create “otherness” through her use of those tools. My only complaint was that some of her dialects were so heavy that they were difficult for this old (and somewhat deaf) ear to understand. Replaying a section usually worked. Overall, a very enjoyable experience. Now I want to read the Ancillary series!

6 people found this helpful