Finally cracked open Arkady Martine's A Memory Called Empire and wolfed down five chapters. The dedication makes it plain that the author's sympathies do not necessarily lie with the Teixcalaanli Empire or its elite, but with those struggling to preserve their own culture and their own independence by playing the game according to the aggressor's rules.
It's most likely a losing battle, especially when protagonist Mahit Dzmare is enamored of the very culture threatening her own, that of the Lsel Stations.
There's also a crunchy little mystery; Mahit was sent at the request of the Teixcalaanli government after her predecessor Yskandr dropped dead (officially of anaphalactic shock, but both Mahit and a couple of Yskandr's friends in the imperial bureaucracy have their doubts.)
And there's been a bombing. Nobody knows who did it or why yet. I'm about a quarter of the way through according to my Kindle, but there's plenty of time for shit to get even worse.
Incidentally, it turns out that Ms. Martine is married to Vivian Shaw, author of the Greta Van Helsing novels that Catherine had been listening to a few months back. It seems an interesting parallel: my spouse reads books by one author, and I'm reading that author's spouse.