Author: Arkady Martine
Mind-blowing, empire-unbuilding debut following the young Ambassador Mahit Dzmare as she (& a hidden other self that literally gets on her nerves) travels from her independent mining planet to the one place she's longed to go her whole life: the Teixcalaanli Empire's seductively complicated interstellar capital. It also happens to be where her predecessor has disappeared – in the sense of being very dead.
She has something the vast, sophisticated empire and its ageing emperor desperately want – and so does her home planet. But to find out what and why, Mahit has to trace the steps of her predecessor through the politely vicious maze of Imperial politics (largely conducted in spontaneously-composed intricate poetry, of course), knowing that everyone she meets might be deadly, as both civil and intergalactic war hover ever closer. But there's treachery closer to home, and it might mean that her own mind-body gets her first…
An epic, romantic spy thriller of ingenious murders, breath-taking deduction and galactic stakes – and, most enticingly, the first in a trilogy that promises to join Ann Leckie's Ancillary and NK Jemisin's Broken Earth as one of the glories of contemporary SF.