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Mirror Dance (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures) Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1995

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Editorial Reviews Review

Miles Vorkosigan faces more than his share of troubles as the protagonist in Mirror Dance. Not only is he deformed and undersized but he has a cloned brother who gets into a jam in the free enterprise plague spot known as Jackson's Whole. Miles tries to help his brother but ends up injured, placed on cryogenic suspension and then lost in intergalactic limbo. And that's just in the first 100 pages. The following 300 pages add a wealth more to this fantastic tale that's both humorous and finely written. Mirror Dance won the 1995 Hugo Award for Science Fiction.

From Publishers Weekly

Honor and his sense of self place the fetally damaged, dwarf-like and brilliant Miles Vorkosigan in grave danger as he attempts to save his disturbed, younger clone Mark from the consequences of folly in this intricate and rousing new installment of the Vorkosigan adventures (after Barrayar ), the series' first appearance in trade hardcover. Passing himself off as Admiral Miles Naismith, Miles's secret identity, Mark commandeers one of the Dendarii Free Mercenary vessels to liberate clones being raised as brain-transplant hosts on the outlaw planet Jackson's Whole. When the plan goes awry, Miles is killed. He is preserved for resuscitation, however, in a cryo-chamber, which disappears in the confusion of evacuation. As the Dendarii search feverishly for their leader, the terrified Mark is sent to Barrayar to Miles's parents, Count Aral and Countess Cordelia Vorkosigan. The couple welcome him as a son and begin his training as their heir in case Miles is never found. The competitive and confused Mark, who had been created as a tool to assassinate his father and was brutalized by a madman in his youth, begins to find himself. His (and Miles's) penetrating intelligence flowers, and he plans a return to Jackson's Whole to find Miles and redeem himself. Hugo award-winner Bujold creates a tapestry of variegated human societies dispersed throughout a colorful galaxy. She peoples it with introspective but genuine heroes who seize the reader's imagination and intellect.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Series: Miles Vorkosigan Adventures
  • Mass Market Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671876465
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671876463
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #543,542 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By A. Ryan on November 15, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I put off writing this review for two years because Mirror Dance is just that caliber of excellence that I was afraid to even try to do it justice. I wish I could get away with simply gushing and raving. This masterpiece, however, deserves much more than a "This book rocks! Run, don't walk!" and the other usual cliche's.
Once again, instead of a play-by-play plot synopsis I will direct the reader's attention to the true merits of Mirror Dance (not that the plot is lacking in any way, trust me!). First, this is a poignant look into the minds and souls of two men who happen to be genetically identitical, but whose lives have taken jarringly disparate paths. Many have wondered before if Bujold has a degree in Psychology or some other such head-shrinking, she does such a superb and realistic job of getting inside characters' heads. But far from a tour of Psych and Neuroses 101, Mirror Dance participates; we are speared with their hopes and heartaches, dragged into their whirlwind view of the action around them. The moment of truth came for me when I realized that I could actually empathize with a man who was raised by terrorists to become a sociopath, and his painful struggle to rise above his upbringing to be psychologically reborn as a human.
Next, Bujold accomplishes here a rare coup: this is a carefully thought out universe, with laws, advanced technologies, cultures, wars, and moral dilemmas aplenty -- but without overwhelming attention to the logistics and alienness of this future.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Hunter on April 28, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Never having been a fan of Sci-Fi novels, I was persuaded to read the first novels in the Vorkosigan Series, by someone who claimed they are not hard-core Sci-Fi, but Space Opera novels.
How true.
Bujold writes about her characters first and foremost and plotline a close second. Mirror Dance had me reading non-stop from the very beginning. Usually, I am not one for sitting down to read all day, but I just had to with this novel, for the character development and plot arcs were just amazing and so unbelievably intriguing.
This was the first book I've read, which caught me re-reading the end of a chapter, over and over and over again, for fear of going on to the next page. Why was I afraid? I didn't want those soul-shattering, heart-breaking words to be true...the plot turns in this novel are so crucial to the series and so amazingly unexpected, I am left feeling dazed and have nowhere else to go, but to read on.
Fantastic work on Bujold's part here. No other author compares, especially given the intricate plot and all the wonderfully crafted characters' development throughout this novel and the whole series. If you want to read a story filled with action, space combat missions, honor, human error, the fiercest type of love there is, AND be taken on a self-discovery journey with the characters, it doesn't get any better than this.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Marcy L. Thompson VINE VOICE on August 4, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I knew this was a great book when I got to the end and found myself turning back to the front of the book to reread it immediately.
It's hard to talk about specific things I liked without giving the plot away, but the general, I loved the quality of the writing. It was fluent, graceful and filled with moments of aching beauty. The characters are all well-drawn and completely believable. (For example, in a community of clones, the author manages to make individual stand out without letting the reader forget that this is a community of clones -- and without being obtrusive about either point.)
And then there is the plot. In many ways, this is the critical book in Miles' story, as it sets him up for the struggles and epiphanies of _Memory_. Here, Mark moves from being a foil for Miles, and becomes a character in his own right. In writing from Mark's point of view through much of the book, Bujold humanizes him. As his horrific experiences alter his way of being in the world, he becomes steadily more sympathetic. While all this is going on, the action never lets up: battles and mysteries and escapes; amnesia and botched missions and mothers reuniting with sons they didn't know they had. The action is exceedingly well-paced, and is never heavy-handed. Bujold foreshadows beautifully, and all the surprises work on two levels: they surprise and yet once they occur, you know that it could not have been any other way.
I can't say whether the book would have had as great an effect on me had I not read the previous books in the Vorkosigan saga. Reading when I did, I was fascinated by Mark, by Miles, by the actual, painful changes that they each went through.
In sum: beautiful writing, deep characterizatons, astonishing mental interiors, and an action-filled plot. This is not mind candy: this is literature.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Barb Caffrey VINE VOICE on August 1, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
. . . and I've read 'em all. :)
"Mirror Dance" is a great book. It's intensely psychological, a fast moving space opera drama that gets everything right -- everything.
The story is as follows. Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, galactic mercenery and reluctant Vor lord, had tried in "Brothers in Arms" to give his clone brother Mark a start in life. But Mark couldn't get free of Miles, no matter how he tried; this was because of psychological damage and because of intense psychosocial programming by renegade terrorists (who had ordered Mark cloned to make him substitute for Miles). Before Miles showed up, Mark had no identity -- his whole purpose was to take over Miles' life. But Miles changed that. Somewhat.
The start of "Mirror Dance" has Mark back; he has found out about some clones about to be killed in clone brain transplants. He's extremely sensitive to this, and wants to stop it. However, because of his damage, he doesn't believe that anyone will help him -- not Miles, not his family (who he doesn't realize would care), not anyone.
So, he steals one of Miles' mercenary ships, and goes hunting. He frees most of the clones, but ends up killing Miles (who goes down to rescue Mark -- again).
The first time I read this (all in the first hundred pages, so this isn't a spoiler), I threw the book across the room. I didn't care for Mark, and I wanted Miles to live.
However, in the next three hundred pages, I came to care desperately for Mark. He meets Cordelia, his mother -- a formidable ex-ship's captain. And he meets Aral, his father -- a formidable Prime Minister, ex-ship's captain, and Admiral of Barrayar.
His father has a health crisis, while everyone tries to find Miles.
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