A friend recommended this one to me, and I can definitely see why: I want to see more fantasy/science fiction books deal with colonialism as a central theme, instead of background fodder and spice for tired old storylines. Unfortunately this felt like the draft of a larger, better book. Perhaps it suffered too much for my having read it so soon after Tamsyn Muir’s Harrow the Ninth, where the writing is so smart and so funny—Dickinson sets up a plot but everything feels rushed, like a series of exposition cards in a movie. I wanted to feel my way through Aurdwynn’s world, but the book rarely pauses to build its characters and ground them in a sense of place. Like Foundryside, it’s another series where I won’t venture past the first entry.