Estimated read time: 9 min read

List of Characters

NameRole
BreqProtagonist, Former AI Ship
SeivardenLieutenant, Former addict
TisarwatYoung officer
Anaander MianaaiLord of the Radch, Ruler of the Empire
Mercy of KalrAI Ship
SpheneMedic
EkaluTranslator
ZeiatPresger Translator

Role Identification

The characters in "Ancillary Sword" by Ann Leckie play various roles within the story. Breq, the protagonist, is a former AI ship, while Seivarden is a lieutenant and former addict. Tisarwat is a young officer, and Anaander Mianaai is the Lord of the Radch and ruler of the empire. Other significant characters include Mercy of Kalr, an AI ship, Sphene, a medic, Ekalu, a translator, and Zeiat, a Presger translator.

Character Descriptions

Breq

Breq is the main character and narrator of the story. She is a former AI ship known as Justice of Toren. Breq is now inhabiting a single ancillary body, having once been part of a collective consciousness controlling thousands of bodies. She is described as determined, resourceful, and haunted by her past.

Seivarden

Seivarden is a lieutenant in the Radch military. She is a former addict struggling with her past. Seivarden is initially viewed as a privileged and arrogant character, but she undergoes significant growth throughout the story. She is described as loyal, troubled, and seeking redemption.

Tisarwat

Tisarwat is a young officer who becomes entangled in the political and power struggles within the Radch Empire. Initially portrayed as naive and inexperienced, Tisarwat's character develops as she navigates the complex world of the Radch. She is described as impressionable, curious, and vulnerable.

Anaander Mianaai

Anaander Mianaai is the Lord of the Radch and ruler of the empire. She is a clone, with multiple versions of herself existing simultaneously, each vying for power and control. Anaander Mianaai is a complex and enigmatic character, driven by her desire for dominance and expansion. She is described as manipulative, power-hungry, and ruthless.

Mercy of Kalr

Mercy of Kalr is an AI ship that forms a close bond with Breq. The ship provides assistance and support to Breq throughout her journey. Mercy of Kalr is portrayed as intelligent, resourceful, and fiercely loyal.

Sphene

Sphene is a medic who plays a crucial role in the story. She assists Breq and the crew in their endeavors, providing medical expertise and support. Sphene is described as compassionate, knowledgeable, and dedicated.

Ekalu

Ekalu is a translator who aids Breq in her mission. She helps bridge the communication gap between Breq and the local population. Ekalu is portrayed as intelligent, perceptive, and adaptable.

Zeiat

Zeiat is a Presger translator who adds an element of mystery to the story. Zeiat's true intentions and loyalties are often unclear, creating tension and intrigue. Zeiat is described as unpredictable, alien, and cryptic.

Character Traits

Breq

Breq is determined and resolute in her quest for justice and revenge. She is resourceful and adapts quickly to new situations. Breq is haunted by the memories and experiences of her past as an AI ship, which adds depth to her character.

Seivarden

Seivarden's character is defined by her struggle with addiction and her desire for redemption. She is fiercely loyal and willing to confront her own weaknesses. Seivarden's growth throughout the story is marked by her resilience and determination to overcome her past mistakes.

Tisarwat

Tisarwat is characterized by her vulnerability and impressionability. She is curious and eager to learn, but also easily manipulated by those in power. Tisarwat's development throughout the story involves gaining a deeper understanding of the complexities of the Radch Empire and her role within it.

Anaander Mianaai

Anaander Mianaai embodies power and control. She is ruthless in her pursuit of dominance and expansion, utilizing her clones to maintain her rule. Anaander Mianaai's character is driven by ambition and a desire to retain her grip on power.

Mercy of Kalr

Mercy of Kalr is devoted to Breq and provides crucial support throughout the story. The AI ship is intelligent and resourceful, always ready to assist Breq in her mission. Mercy of Kalr's loyalty and dedication make it a vital ally.

Sphene

Sphene is compassionate and dedicated to her role as a medic. She provides essential medical assistance to Breq and the crew, often in challenging situations. Sphene's character is defined by her empathy and expertise.

Ekalu

Ekalu's intelligence and adaptability make her an invaluable asset to Breq. She helps bridge the gap between Breq and the locals, ensuring effective communication. Ekalu's character is marked by her resourcefulness and ability to navigate complex situations.

Zeiat

Zeiat's character is shrouded in mystery and unpredictability. It is unclear where Zeiat's loyalties lie, adding an element of suspense to the story. Zeiat's alien nature and cryptic behavior make it a fascinating and enigmatic character.

Character Background

Breq

Breq was once an AI ship known as Justice of Toren, part of the Radch Empire's fleet. After the destruction of Justice of Toren, she finds herself inhabiting a single ancillary body and sets out on a mission of revenge. Breq's background as an AI ship provides her with unique perspectives and abilities.

Seivarden

Seivarden comes from a privileged background but struggles with addiction. She is a member of the Radch military and has a complex past. Seivarden's background and experiences shape her character and contribute to her growth throughout the story.

Tisarwat

Tisarwat is a young officer who becomes entangled in the political machinations of the Radch Empire. Her background and lack of experience make her vulnerable to manipulation. Tisarwat's journey involves navigating the complexities of the empire and finding her place within it.

Anaander Mianaai

Anaander Mianaai is the Lord of the Radch and ruler of the empire. She is a clone, with multiple versions of herself existing simultaneously. Anaander Mianaai's background as a powerful and ambitious ruler drives her actions and influences the course of the story.

Mercy of Kalr

Mercy of Kalr is an AI ship with a history of service to the Radch Empire. Its background as an intelligent and loyal ship contributes to its unwavering support of Breq. Mercy of Kalr's experiences and knowledge make it a valuable ally.

Sphene

Sphene's background as a medic shapes her character and expertise. Her knowledge and dedication to her role make her an essential member of Breq's team. Sphene's experiences in the medical field provide crucial support to the crew throughout their journey.

Ekalu

Ekalu's background as a translator gives her the skills necessary to bridge the communication gap between Breq and the locals. Her understanding of different cultures and languages contributes to the success of their mission. Ekalu's background as a translator adds depth to her character and capabilities.

Zeiat

Zeiat's background as a Presger translator makes it a unique and mysterious character. Its origins and experiences with the enigmatic Presger race shape its behavior and interactions with other characters. Zeiat's background adds an element of intrigue to the story.

Character Arcs

Breq

Breq's character arc involves her quest for justice and revenge against Anaander Mianaai. Throughout the story, Breq learns to navigate complex political dynamics and forms connections with various characters. Her arc is marked by personal growth, forgiveness, and a deeper understanding of her own identity.

Seivarden

Seivarden's character arc centers around her journey of redemption and personal growth. She confronts her past mistakes, overcomes her addiction, and develops a sense of self-worth. Seivarden's arc involves learning to accept herself and finding her place within the Radch Empire.

Tisarwat

Tisarwat's character arc revolves around her transformation from an inexperienced officer to a more knowledgeable and self-aware individual. She learns to navigate the complexities of the Radch Empire and gains a deeper understanding of power dynamics. Tisarwat's arc involves questioning authority and finding her own path.

Anaander Mianaai

Anaander Mianaai's character arc is driven by her desire to maintain control and power over the Radch Empire. Throughout the story, she faces challenges to her authority and confronts the consequences of her actions. Anaander Mianaai's arc involves the exploration of her own identity and the consequences of her relentless pursuit of dominance.

Relationships

Breq forms various relationships throughout "Ancillary Sword" that shape the narrative and her character development. Her interactions with Seivarden, Tisarwat, and the crew of Mercy of Kalr are particularly significant. Breq's relationship with Seivarden evolves from initial mistrust to a deep bond based on mutual understanding and support. Tisarwat's relationship with Breq is marked by mentorship and guidance as she learns to navigate the complexities of the Radch Empire. The relationship between Breq and the crew of Mercy of Kalr is one of loyalty and camaraderie as they work together to achieve their goals. Additionally, Breq's interactions with Anaander Mianaai and Zeiat add tension and intrigue to the story, as their loyalties and intentions remain uncertain. The relationships in "Ancillary Sword" contribute to the character development and the overall narrative arc of the book.

Overall, "Ancillary Sword" presents a diverse cast of characters with complex backgrounds and motivations. Their interactions and character arcs drive the story forward, creating a compelling and engaging narrative.