A Prayer for the Crown-Shy

, #2

Hardcover, 160 pages

English language

Published July 11, 2022 by Doherty Associates, LLC, Tom.

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5 stars (15 reviews)

After touring the rural areas of Panga, Sibling Dex (a Tea Monk of some renown) and Mosscap (a robot sent on a quest to determine what humanity really needs) turn their attention to the villages and cities of the little moon they call home.

They hope to find the answers they seek, while making new friends, learning new concepts, and experiencing the entropic nature of the universe.

Becky Chambers's new series continues to ask: in a world where people have what they want, does having more even matter?

3 editions

The best hopepunk I have read to date

5 stars

Definitely the light comfort read I was looking for, and like the first in its series it has just enough moments of emotional tension and and philosophical debate to never get twee or boring. But more than its predecessor, the world this is set in is the most convincing, appealing hopepunk I have yet to read. It's clear that it had gone through some very hard times in the past, but the equilibrium that the books are set in feels plausible and inviting. I can think of many other books whose worlds I'd like to visit, but these are among the few I wish I could move to.

yes and more

5 stars

i liked how the storytelling shifted and adapted with the story change that we have between the two groups. the discovery of the different human settlements and their societies is fascinating, thought-provoking and poetic all at once. i loved the ending, even if i had to read it multiple times to be sure. i will miss Dex and Mosscap. :(((

reviewed A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers (Monk & Robot, #2)

The road trip continues

4 stars

I started this right after I finished the first one. It deals with Mosscap's tour of Panga to learn what humans need. It gets a lot of different answers. We get to experience the different areas of the world and the different ways people choose to live there in a sustainable fashion. No spoilers but Mosscap is presented with an ineresting philosophical question and it turns out Dex still hasn't really found what they're looking for. The ending is quite open and I'm looking forward to find out where the two are heading next.

Beautiful book. I am amazed at Becky Chamber's magic abilities.

5 stars

Content warning General spoilers

Searching for meaning in the spaces between us

5 stars

What does it mean to be, to exist? How do we find satisfaction in simply being? Or does satisfaction come from contributing something back to others while having our own needs met by them? What do we need as people? As individuals? As a society? As a shared planet?

Chambers explores big questions, maybe even bigger ones in our second journey with Dex and Mosscap as when we first met them.

I left the first book wanting a friend to serve me tea. In leaving this one wanting to give and to be given to. For in that is life and meaning and contentment. Thriving and leaving space for others around me to thrive, too.

Five stars.

An enjoyable and thoughtful read as we discover, along with the robot, what humans may need.

4 stars

An enjoyable and thoughtful read about the continuing journeys of a tea monk and a robot who wants to know what humans need. Plot-wise, there isn't much; but in terms of musing over the condition of humans, nature and one robot, there is plenty.

Both the monk and the robot have returned to human civilization, with the robot eager to visit and discover more about the human area and various human communities (with one exception) eager to learn more about the robot.

Through their interactions, the robot (and us readers) learn more about the human society that rose after the robots achieve sentience and left the factories, and about how they now live in a more ecological sustainable manner while maintaining some technology.

But would it be enough to answer the question the robot first asked about what humans need and how it can help them?

Like a soothing cup of tea

5 stars

Another sweet and generous tale, so full of heart and the doubts that can fill one. I found myself moved to think about the world differently and literally reconsidered my career choices at one point while reading. The way the author teases out ideas about identity and self-perception really landed for me.

On a less positive note, this book got me trouble when I laughed out loud in bed and woke up my wife who had just nodded off. Thanks Becky!


5 stars

At first I was low-key disappointed: Mosscap's candid questions slightly annoyed me, and I was dreading the answer. The moment where the story would answer its central question: when all your basic needs are met, what else do you need?

In other stories about the meaning of life (or adjacent themes), I could always relate to the part with the questions, and end up disappointed by the answer that the characters find, because the answer specifically works for them, and not for me. It's probably impossible to answer this kind of question in a way that will satisfy every reader, so why even try in the first place?

And... well, I like the direction that the book took, especially in its last chapter. It made me think of How to do nothing, except that Jenny Odell explains you what Becky Chambers makes you experience.

Also, I just …

Review of 'Prayer for the Crown-Shy' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Astonishing, again.
From my review of the first novella.
"On a human settled moon, one day, the robots woke up and walked off. The humans learned to exist better with their environment without their mechanical indentured labour.
This is a story set some time after that event. It is about a tea monk whose restlessness leads him to a friendship with one of the robots. And that's it. "
This is a continuation of their journey. With an ending that is basically, "hey we don't want this to end, let's keep going". There are little moments of tension along the way, problems to be solved, people to meet. That is the drive of the story and I find it totally enthralling. There is no violence, no battles, no large set pieces and it is refreshing not to have them.
This kind of thing will either be your bag, or it …

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