The final instalment in Ada Palmer's award-winning, critically acclaimed Terra Ignota series.
The year is 2454
The leaders of the Hive – nations without fixed locations, now the default arrangement of humanity on Earth – clandestinely committed terrible deeds in order to maintain an outward semblance of utopian stability. But the facade could last only so long. The comforts of effortless global travel and worldwide abundance may have tempered humanity's darkest inclinations, but conflict remains deeply rooted in the human psyche. All that was needed was a catalyst, in the form of a special little boy, to ignite half a millennium of repressed chaos.
Now, war spreads across the globe, splintering old alliances and awakening sleeping enmities. All transportation systems are in danger. The return of the tyranny of distance fractures a long-united world and threatens to obliterate everything the Hive system built.
With the archcriminal Mycroft Canner nowhere to be found, his successor, the Ninth Anonymous, must not only chronicle the discord of war but also attempt to restore order in a world spiralling closer to irreparable ruin.
The fate of a broken society hangs in the balance. Is the key to salvation to remain Earth-bound or, perhaps, to continue aiming for the stars?
'Incredibly ambitious and groundbreaking ... Palmer writes gloriously lush prose stuffed with asides, allusions and nods to the reader' Guardian
'More intricate, more plausible, more significant than any debut I can recall' Cory Doctorow.
'Provocative, erudite, inventive, resplendent' Ken Liu.
'The kind of science fiction that makes me excited all over again about what science fiction can do' Jo Walton.
'Incredibly ambitious and groundbreaking ... Palmer writes gloriously lush prose stuffed with asides, allusions and nods to the reader' Guardian.
'Part novel, part series of nested essays, part project, The Will to Battle is much greater than the whole; an exercise in both narrative flexibility and philosophy ... It's a powerful expression of what the genre can do' Starburst