A Prayer for the Crown-Shy by Becky Chambers

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?


I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts are my own.

Check out my 5* review of book one, A Psalm for the Wild-Built


I’m not sure what it is about my timing and reading these books, but every damn time I end up unexpectedly crying. I write this review several months after having read it, but reader, the moment I finished this book I bought plane tickets to go home and see my family. These books are so unafraid to call you out and say, hey, you know that existential life question you’re not ready to tackle? Let’s address it head-on.

In Crown-Shy, Sibling Dex and Mosscap have returned from their foray into lands untouched by mankind for centuries, heading back into town as Dex returns to their role of tea monk and Mosscap ponders what humanity needs. We enter various villages, each with its own quirks and specializations, and start exploring the countryside of this post-post-industrial solarpunk world. Because we’ve now return to human settlements, this book really shows off Chambers’ creativity in developing this society. I loved seeing the different innovations that villages used, inspired by their locations, to make homes that respected the environment around them.

At its core, this story is about learning to understand, what do people want? What do people value and why do things have meaning? For Dex, the struggle is with burnout. The struggle of forcing oneself to keep producing when that act no longer gives satisfaction. I found this so relatable to my own experiences at the time of reading. Through Dex, Chambers emphasizes the idea of allowing oneself comfort. That comfort isn’t something to be won or achieved, but a simple need for a satisfying existence.

Overall, I rate this book a 5/5. This series is existential comfort at its finest. Chambers so perfectly combines a whimsical, gentle story of a human and robot living life with thought-provoking, tear-inducing, philosophical questions that leave the reader with both comfort and insight.

r/Fantasy 2022-23 Bingo Squares:

  • Published in 2022
  • Non-Human Protagonist
  • Features Mental Health (hard mode)
  • Features Biological Family Ties

Publication Date: 12 July 2022
Publisher: Tordotcom
Format: eBook, ARC
Pages: 160
Word Count: ~32,000
ISBN: 1250236231
Buy It Here: Amazon | Google Books | Barnes and Nobles | Goodreads

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