I opened A Prayer for the Crown-Shy, read the first sentence and felt my shoulders lower and my jaw unclench. This is a difficult book to review because my response to it is a blend of intellectual and emotional that’s hard to capture. It’s easy to describe one or the other and harder to get communicate “I’m thinking deep thoughts and feeling feelings all over the place!” So just assume that all the thoughts and responses are happening at once. And if I were the type of person to join a cult, I’d probably join Becky Chamber’s Tea Monk cult, which sadly does not exist.
In the sheer delight category, Mosscap meets a dog. It is perfect.
With Mosscap and Sibling Dex so engaged in human society, A Prayer for the Crown Shy has a very different rhythm than A Psalm for the Wild Built. They travel from community to community on their way to the City. The human communities that Mosscap and Sibling Dex visit are like crown shy trees in a forest – inter-connected, interdependent, but not touching. The humans within those communities can also be like crown shy trees – interdependent, but not touching.
Yes!” Mosscap said, as if remembering where it was and why. The robot spread it’s arms before the crowd. “My question is: what do you need?”
This is the central question, what do you need? The answers are simple and complex, satisfactory and unsatisfactory. Sibling Dex’s internal conflicts make an interesting backdrop to Mosscap’s mission to understand how humanity is doing a few centuries after the robots woke up and decided to leave.
I initially thought the journey is more important than the destination, but it’s more accurate to say the emotional destination is more important than the physical destination.
I received an advance reader copy from Tordotcom via NetGalley. My opinions are my own.