A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

The basics

Title: A Psalm for the Wild-Built


Series: Monk and Robot #1

- A Psalm for the Wild-Built (2021)
- A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (2022)

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Goodreads Summary:

Centuries before, robots of Panga gained self-awareness, laid down their tools, wandered, en masse into the wilderness, never to be seen again. They faded into myth and urban legend.

Now the life of the tea monk who tells this story is upended by the arrival of a robot, there to honor the old promise of checking in. The robot cannot go back until the question of "what do people need?" is answered. But the answer to that question depends on who you ask, and how. They will need to ask it a lot. Chambers' series asks: in a world where people have what they want, does having more matter?

Read a full summary of A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers below. If you can’t remember what happened in A Psalm for the Wild-Built and you need a refresher, then you’re in the right place.

What happened in A Psalm for the Wild-Built?

  • A long time ago, the factory robots of Panga woke up and decided they wanted to head off into the wilderness. They wanted to discover what was out there, and what their purpose was.
  • Sibling Dex is currently a monk living in Meadow Den. They decide that they need to get out of the city. They want to visit the villages and deliver tea. Their goal is to listen to people and give them tea.
  • Sister Fern gives Sibling Dex a wagon to travel in.
  • Sibling Dex sets up a table on the outskirts as sort of a practice run. A woman approaches and shares how upset she is about her cat dying, and that she and her partner have nothing in common any more. It doesn’t go well because Sibling Dex scrambles about and doesn’t have anywhere for the woman to sit.
  • Sibling Dex leaves the City and heads to Little Creek.
  • They purchase a tonne of herbs and books and settle down to study.
  • Two years later, and the tea stuff is going much better. Dex is known as the best tea monk in Panga. 
  • Dex has been waking up feeling super tired. They have some thoughts about crickets.
  • Dex decides they want to go out into the wilderness instead of travelling the human-made roads.
  • They come across a path that is blocked by a tree. Then they find a campsite.
  • They’re having a really good time, when a robot appears. Its name is Mosscap.
  • Like the mushroom.
  • Dex is a bit scared at first because this is the first time robots and humans have interacted since the robots went into the wilderness.
  • The two of them bond, though, and Mosscap wants to follow Dex on their journey.
  • A bear comes into the camp and steals food.
  • The pair go to an old factory, and Mosscap explains that its parts come from all kinds of other robots so it remembers bits and pieces of things. The robots decided not to make themselves immortal because nothing else is.
  • Sibling Dex doesn’t want to go back to any villages or cities. They’re not sure what they want to do. They have a bit of a meltdown and almost fall from a cliff and die, but Mosscap catches them.
  • Mosscap makes some truly gross tea for Dex. 
  • Dex and Mosscap decide to continue on traveling together.

That was our recap of what happened in A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Kendare Blake. Check out our recap list for more plot summaries, and if you can’t find what you need you can request a recap here!

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