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After a serious turn over the last few books of the series (Memory, Komarr), this book returns to the lighter fare and faster pace of some of the earlier novels of the series. Built like a Restoration comedy crossed with a modern sitcom, it features spurned lovers, switched genders, slapstick, and politics done with Bujold's deft touch. Expect less brooding and more action, although it is all political and romantic this time - no gunfights or spacebattles in this adventure.
If you have followed the Miles series from the beginning this is an hugely entertaining novel, and it goes by incredibly fast. If you haven't read the previous series in order: the Vor Game, Cetaganda, Brothers in Arms, Mirror Dance, Memory, and Komarr (or at least Mirror Dance, Memory, and Komarr), you might want to start the series from an earlier point, as I imagine that the evolution in the characters that creates much of the comedy will be entirely lost.
19 of 19 people found this review helpful
The dinner party alone is worth reading the whole book. Vorkosigan helpless and inept in the throes of passion. All the wit and plotting brilliance we have come to expect of Bujold but this time in the service of comedy of manners. Bravo! And, as a bonus, an homage to tribbles.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful
My favourite novel in my favourite series. Miles has set his heart on Ekaterin Vorsoisson but finds serious obstacles in his path to matrimonial bliss, not least his own tendency to try to orchestrate the lives of others.
In some ways it's rather a change of pace from earlier Vorkosigan novels: the cast has broadened out considerably, the perspective from which the story is told changes regularly, and the emphasis is more social and less military. But Bujold still combines gripping plot development with light comedy, while also writing very movingly at points. It's the kind of audiobook that gets me funny looks on the bus as I alternately snort with laughter and look pained and concerned.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I listened to this book because of the glowing reviews. I'm not normally a sci-fi fan and I have to admit I gave up after the first hour. About a week later I came back to it and then I couldn't stop listening! The characters, particularly the hero, Miles, really come across well, the story isn't a space opera and it's all done with a lightness of touch that is spiked with moments of real tension. I will now be downloading the others in the series and am delighted there are so many!
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
The amazing Lois McMaster Bujold does it again. This is part of her long-running Miles Vorkosigan series. I can't say too much or I would spoil it, but I think this book is a masterpiece. The politics and treacheries of her richly imagined world comes together in this book where Miles fumbles his way around romance. This book has the funniest dinner party scene that I have ever read. Thanks Lois!