Ancillary Sword was an exceedingly worthy successor to Ancillary Justice. We get a deeper look into the culture of the Radch and (most importantly) the characters we got to know in the first book. Understanding how all of them felt, especially Breq, even while they were navigating treachery, improper (!) annexations, war, and crisis, was a treat. This exploration of characters comes at the cost of action and pace, but the slower pace is made up by the frequent and fast changes of scenery. The book is more linear than the first one, but at the same time the consistent multi-focus storytelling is a different (and great) challenge altogether.