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A Psalm for the Wild-Built (Monk & Robot, #1)
by Becky Chambers


This book follows Sibling Dex, a tea monk who, after nine years of tending the rooftop garden at Meadow Den Monastery, feels an overwhelming need to leave the City and experience life in the villages.

Dex sets out on a journey in a specially-built wagon, offering tea services in various villages. They initially struggle to find their footing as a tea monk, but eventually develop a reputation for their kindness and expertly-brewed teas.

However, Dex begins to feel restless, missing something they can't define. This leads them to a chance encounter with a robot named Splendid Speckled Mosscap, who is on a mission to understand humans after centuries of self-imposed exile in the wilderness.

Mosscap, unlike the robots portrayed in children's stories, is not a cold, calculating machine. It's curious, empathetic, and even a little quirky, having developed a deep interest in the natural world. It's also very different from other robots, as it was built from recycled parts of factory robots, leaving it with remnants of their past experiences and a lingering sense of unease about human-made structures.

Dex and Mosscap's interactions lead them both on a journey of self-discovery. Dex questions their purpose and struggles with a feeling of emptiness despite their fulfilling life. Meanwhile, Mosscap learns about human culture and society, encountering both its beauty and its flaws.

Together, they journey into the untamed wilderness, facing challenges and confronting their own fears. Along the way, they learn to rely on each other, blurring the lines between robot and human, object and animal. The story ends with Dex and Mosscap forming an unlikely friendship, leaving the reader pondering the meaning of purpose and the importance of connection in a world that's constantly changing.