|Submitted by Anonymous|
(Mar 27, 2000)
Fans of Miles Vorkosigan will need no introduction to this new novel from Lois McMaster Bujold.
For those that haven't followed the career of this young man, a short explaination is in order.
Set in a future far away, Barrayar is a future analog of a Russian feudal type state/economy.
More a cross between Russia and Ruritania, set in a medieval milieu.
There are other planets and empires which interact with Barrayar. One of these interactions was an assasination attempt on Miles's parents, while Miles was still embryonic. This toxic gas attack left Miles with brittle bones and stunted growth.
Cutting a long story short, Miles overcame all of these problems and more, to serve his empire in the armed forces.
This book tells the tale of how he threw all of that away, and of the second chance he was given and took.
Reading back over the above, it sounds like standard space opera. But here there are no ravening beams of energy, no fleets of spaceships.
Miles tends to have to solve his problems in a cereberal way. That is what sets this series and this book apart from the herd.
Also, Miles is no genius in the Heinlein mould. He makes mistakes and those mistakes have consequences.
The series as a whole has much to merit it. This book in particular, I have only one minor problem with. That is that I managed to guess far too easily who the culprit of the assasination mystery was.
Perhaps Bujold lay the clues a little too obviously this time.
For the rest, the book shows all of the strengths that make the whole series so readable. Pathos, Humour, good plotting, and above all believable characters.
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