As with other Ailette de Bodard stories I have read, this is a largely character-focused story with unfamiliar signposts.

In this case, we have three different stories going on at the same time, but they’re all focused on the same thing: the titular station, which disappeared thirty years ago.

It was a place of beauty and science, of wonders the likes of which have not been seen since.

Of a daughter of the Empress, who was driven to flee to the far bounds of space and time rather than fight her mother, who had become too worried over what this place could become.

Thirty years later, the disappearance of the Citadel of Weeping Pearls is still such a turning point that it attracts the attention of the three plot lines mentioned before. This gives the book a mix of mystery, time travel, and court intrigue. All three are well done, but I do find the structure a bit bare for my tastes.

However, the atmosphere and tone of the book are extremely well done. Again, that’s less to my tastes, but I do recommend it because it’s that well done. I’d recommend The Tea Master and the Detective as my favorite of the Xuya stories so far, but there is no reason to avoid this one at all.