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Publisher's Summary

Lord Miles Vorkosigan has a problem that all his new power can't solve: unrequited love for the beautiful Vor widow Ekaterin Vorsoisson. Ekaterin is violently allergic to marriage as a result of her first exposure. But, as Miles learned from his late career in galactic covert ops, if a frontal assault won't do, go to subterfuge. Miles has a cunning plan, which, of course, has to be worked out in between District succession scandals and plans for the emperor's wedding. And if no battle plan survives first contact with the enemy, just imagine what all Miles' friends and relatives can do to his romantic strategy.
©1999 Lois McMaster Bujold; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"The latest Miles Vorkosigan adventure has him campaigning in four plots....Bujold weaves all four actions into a seamless whole that her faithful readers may rank among the best books in an outstanding series." (Booklist)
"Bujold successfully mixes quirky humor with just enough action, a dab of feminist social commentary, and her usual superb character development in a sprightly SF romance that her many fans will find enormously satisfying." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Ethan M. on 10-04-07

Comedy and a Romp with Characters You Love

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.

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19 of 19 people found this review helpful


By David on 10-16-09

Bujold does Jane Austen--nicely

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.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Jane on 12-06-07

Just the best

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.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By LilyRose on 10-24-12

Totally Converted

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!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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By Suzanna on 05-31-16

A delightful space opera social comedy! Read this

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!

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