A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers (Monk & Robot #2)
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?
CONTRIBUTOR(S): Em Grosland (Narrator)
PUBLISHER: Macmillan Audio
LENGTH: 152 pages (3 hours 53 minutes)
GENRE: Science Fiction
Queer Rep Summary: Genderqueer/Nonbinary Main Character(s).
As the second book in the series, A PRAYER FOR THE CROWN SHY continues the journey of Mosscap and Sibling Dex, this time meeting people rather than staying in the wilderness. It kind of wraps up things left hanging from the previous book, because Mosscap wanted to meet humans, and so it needed help to meet more humans than just Sibling Dex. The monk had been trying to figure out their life, what to do on a daily basis, and also in terms of a bigger trajectory, if they were no longer going to serve tea.
This is satisfying in a way that means I'm not sure whether there will be more books in the series. It's a story of two entities trying to figure out their lives as individuals and in the context of their communities, as well as exploring what those communities are. The first book was in the wilderness, but this time around there are other people to talk to. There's a mix of opening up new relationships, and reacquainting Sibling Dex with people they already know.
This is a bit calmer than I usually like my stories, but I love books full of dialogue, and most of this is a series of conversations. Finally arriving in civilization, the monk and the robot travel from settlement to settlement while Mosscap asks what people need. It’s a very meditative and philosophical book, with much of the story consisting of the discussion between the main characters (sometimes involving other people). A PRAYER FOR THE CROWN-SHY would mostly make sense to someone who started here without reading the first one, but it has resolutions to questions implied in A PSALM FOR THE WILD-BUILT, and both books are very short. I definitely recommend reading them in order.
Moderate CW for cursing, animal death.
Minor CW for excrement, sexual content.