Review: The Red Scholar’s Wake by Aliette de Bodard

Title: The Red Scholar’s Wake

Author: Aliette de Bodard

Xích Si: bot maker, data analyst, mother, scavenger. But those days are over now-her ship has just been captured by the Red Banner pirate fleet, famous for their double-dealing and cruelty. Xích Si expects to be tortured to death-only for the pirates’ enigmatic leader, Rice Fish, to arrive with a different and shocking proposition: an arranged marriage between Xích Si and herself.

Rice Fish: sentient ship, leader of the infamous Red Banner pirate fleet, wife of the Red Scholar. Or at least, she was the latter before her wife died under suspicious circumstances. Now isolated and alone, Rice Fish wants Xích Si’s help to find out who struck against them and why. Marrying Xích Si means Rice Fish can offer Xích Si protection, in exchange for Xích Si’s technical fluency: a business arrangement with nothing more to it.

But as the investigation goes on, Rice Fish and Xích Si find themselves falling for each other. As the interstellar war against piracy intensifies and the five fleets start fighting each other, they will have to make a stand-and to decide what kind of future they have together…

The premise of this book was absolutely intriguing – a sapphic space opera!

Xich Si finds herself kidnapped by a ship, Rice Fish, and they come to a bargain. Rice Fish’s wife has just passed away and she needs another so offers marriage for protection and to help her find information.

This was a story full of pirates, suspense and romance (which was quite cute!)

It did feel like it dragged though, there was just too much in there that I felt didn’t need be there. It was one of those books for me that I couldn’t read in 1, 2 or even 3 sittings, it was small sprints all the way.

I am a bit gutted though because I wanted to love this story more than I did.

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