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The Mountains of Mourning (Vorkosigan Saga) [Kindle Edition]

Lois McMaster Bujold
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Miles Vorkosigan is sent to a small mountain village to investigate the murder of an infant, killed because she had a physical defect. Miles must deal with deep-seated prejudice against “mutants” and uncover the real killer in this novella that won both the Hugo Award and Nebula Award. ("The Mountains of Mourning" takes place three years after THE WARRIOR'S APPRENTICE in the Vorkosigan series)

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Author's Note:
The Vorkosigan Saga Reading Order Debate: The Chef Recommends
Many pixels have been expended debating the 'best' order in which to read what have come to be known as the Vorkosigan Books, the Vorkosiverse, the Miles books, and other names, since I neglected to supply the series with a label myself.  The debate now wrestles with some fourteen or so volumes and counting, and mainly revolves around publication order versus internal-chronological order.  I favor internal chronological, with a few caveats.
I have always resisted numbering my volumes; partly because, in the early days, I thought the books were distinct enough; latterly because if I ever decided to drop in a prequel somewhere (which in fact I did most lately with Captain Vorpatril's Alliance) it would upwhack the numbering system.  Nevertheless, the books and stories do have a chronological order, if not a strict one.
It was always my intention to write each book as a stand-alone so that the reader could theoretically jump in anywhere, yes, with that book that's in your hand right now, don't put it back on the shelf!  While still somewhat true, as the series developed it acquired a number of sub-arcs, closely related tales that were richer for each other.  I will list the sub-arcs, and then the books, and then the caveats.
Shards of Honor and Barrayar.  The first two books in the series proper, they detail the adventures of Cordelia Naismith of Beta Colony and Aral Vorkosigan of Barrayar.  Shards was my very first novel ever; Barrayar was actually my eighth, but continues the tale the next day after the end of Shards.  For readers who want to be sure of beginning at the beginning, or who are very spoiler-sensitive, start with these two.
The Warrior's Apprentice and The Vor Game (with, perhaps, the novella "The Mountains of Mourning" tucked in between.)  The Warrior's Apprentice introduces the character who became the series' linchpin, Miles Vorkosigan; the first book tells how he created a space mercenary fleet by accident; the second how he fixed his mistakes from the first round. Space opera and military-esque adventure (and a number of other things one can best discover for oneself), The Warrior's Apprentice makes another good place to jump into the series for readers who prefer a young male protagonist.
After that: Brothers in Arms should be read before Mirror Dance, and both, ideally, before Memory.
Komarr makes another good alternate entry point for the series, picking up Miles's second career at its start.  It should be read before A Civil Campaign.
Borders of Infinity, a collection of three of the five currently extant novellas, makes a good Miles Vorkosigan early-adventure sampler platter, I always thought, for readers who don't want to commit themselves to length.  (But it may make more sense if read after The Warrior's Apprentice.)  Take care not to confuse the collection-as-a-whole with its title story, "The Borders of Infinity".
Falling Free takes place 200 years earlier in the timeline and does not share settings or characters with the main body of the series.  Most readers recommend picking up this story later. It should likely be read before Diplomatic Immunity, however, which revisits the "quaddies", a bioengineered race of free fall dwellers, in Miles's time.
The novels in the internal-chronological list below appear in italics; the novellas (officially defined as a story between 17,500 words and 40,000 words, though mine usually run 20k - 30k words) in quote marks.
Falling Free
Shards of Honor
The Warrior's Apprentice
"The Mountains of Mourning"
The Vor Game
Ethan of Athos
Borders of Infinity
"The Borders of Infinity"
Brothers in Arms
Mirror Dance
A Civil Campaign
"Winterfair Gifts"
Diplomatic Immunity
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance  (upcoming in late 2012)
The novella "Weatherman" is an out-take from the beginning of the novel The Vor Game.  If you already have The Vor Game, you likely don't need this.
The original 'novel' Borders of Infinity was a fix-up collection containing the three novellas "The Mountains of Mourning", "Labyrinth", and "The Borders of Infinity", together with a frame story to tie the pieces together. Again, beware duplication.  The frame story does not stand alone, and generally is of interest only to completists.
The Fantasy Novels
My fantasy novels are a bit easier to order.  Easiest of all is The Spirit Ring, which is a stand-alone, or aquel, as some wag once dubbed books that for some obscure reason failed to spawn a subsequent series.  Next easiest are the four volumes of The Sharing Knife--in order, Beguilement, Legacy, Passage, and Horizon--which I broke down and actually numbered, as this was one continuous tale divided into non-wrist-breaking chunks.
What have come to be called the Chalion books, after the setting of its first two volumes, were also written, like the Vorkosigan books, to be stand-alones as part of a larger whole, and can in theory be read in any order.  (The third book actually takes place a few hundred years prior to the more closely connected first two.)  Some readers think the world-building is easier to assimilate when the books are read in publication order, and the second volume certainly contains spoilers for the first (but not the third.)  In any case, the publication order is:
The Curse of Chalion
Paladin of Souls
The Hallowed Hunt

The short story collection Proto Zoa was an e-book experiment; it contains five very early tales--three (1980s) contemporary fantasy, two science fiction--all previously published but not in this handy format. The novelette "Dreamweaver's Dilemma" may be of interest to Vorkosigan completists, as it is the first story in which that proto-universe began, mentioning Beta Colony but before Barrayar was even thought of.
My latest original e-edition is Sidelines: Talks and Essays, which is just what it says on the tin--a collection of three decades of my nonfiction writings, including convention speeches, essays, travelogues, introductions, and some less formal pieces. I hope it will prove an interesting companion piece to my fiction.
Happy reading!
-- Lois McMaster Bujold.

Product Details

  • File Size: 295 KB
  • Print Length: 83 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004O4C13W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,654 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read August 15, 2009
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This first of three connected novellas is a great read. A flashback to Miles leave directly after graduating from the Academy, the book deals with miles responsibilities as a feudal lord to dispense justice. It is set in the mountains of his family's district. Miles invetigates the murder of a baby because of a birth defect. The book explores the roots of Mile's love for his planet and how difficult it is for society to adjust to technological advances.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth every penny April 27, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
shame on the reviewer giving a single star because of pricing. this is a fantastic story probably one of bujold's best
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great story May 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An award winning short novel.

One of the great minds of speculative fiction declared her intentions with this most humanistic of short storys early in her long career.

Setting her story in a culture which finds disability untenable, our hero is notably abnormal. Poisoned before birth by political enemies of his father, he has grown up fighting for recognition and approval from his war hero grandfather. His father an even more important political figure sends him to solve a mystery. Who has murdered a disabled child in the backcountry of their lands?

For those of us who find meaning in reading this is the best kind of story. It is an early stoy in the authors career, enjoyable, well written and entertaining, but makes us meditate on what we humans are all about. Later in his fictional life this caracter will embark on many adventures, some in batlle some in peacetime. He will have adventures in many cultures and with many diverse people. He will have enemies and lovers and be forced to be a political animal like it or not. But his authors books will always have a little extra something to make us look at who we are.

My personal favorite kind of speculative fiction.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Almost Lost My Job :-) December 14, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
How the heck did I miss reading any of these in SciFi reading career? I cut my teeth on Tom Swift, first editions I bought with lawn mowing income. This is hands down the best SciFi series of books I've ever read. I bought the first one and simply couldn't stop. The Flying Spaghetti monster only knows how many hours of sleep I missed and how much work time I procrastinated to read these books. I read them in the order the author recommended and they were right on target. Don't put it off, just buy them all now, tell your wife and kids goodbye and read your heart out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Short and sweet September 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Read it after you read the Warrior's Apprentice, but before the Vor Game. A nice little thing, this. Yes indeedy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware getting hooked! July 16, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Beware! If you are not already addicted to reading each book of the Miles Vorkosigan series as soon as you can get your hands on it, reading this novella on Kindle might get you hooked. This novella won the Hogo & Nebula awards & became part of one of the early volumes of the series, Borders of Infinity. Most of the later volumes are novels & are not (yet) available on Kindle, but should be available inexpensively on paper. Only the price tells you that you are not getting a novel, but this story is well worth a re-read.

The series is space opera built around a future history in which each episode is shaped by hard science speculation. Miles, his family & allies encounter insurmountable obstacles, ... & surmount them with wry humor.
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He is simply the most charming, quirky, interesting protagonist I know of and having replaced the entire series from my dog eared and stained books to my Ipad is a delight.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great novelette May 11, 2014
By Katya A
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I got Warrior's Apprentice because i love space opera, with all its spaceships, lasers, and battles. The Mountains of Mourning has non of that - set in a 'backwaters' of his family's district, this story deals with humanistic issues like acceptance of disability and resistance to change.

Read it after you read the Warrior's Apprentice, but before the Vor Game.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great short story
Great short story... gives us insight to the world of Miles,and how he makes a difference in it by just being himself. Read more
Published 8 months ago by cindy stock
5.0 out of 5 stars interesting
Another great one. I have been reading this series and have not been disappointed yet. It keeps your attention and is well written. I would recommend it.
Published 10 months ago by Diane R. Floyd
5.0 out of 5 stars Bujold's award winning novella
If you are following the Vorkosigan saga, then this early novella chronicling Miles' maturation is essential reading. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Jon E. Marshall
5.0 out of 5 stars You will love this series!
Lois McMaster Bujold is a fantastic writer! This Vorkosigan Saga series is excellent. You should really start with The Warrior's Apprentice.
Published 16 months ago by JAG
5.0 out of 5 stars A whirlwind tour through the mind of Barrayar's most intrepid covert...
Bought it in paperback years ago. The novellas, wrapped into Miles' hospital confessions to Iylan, were intense, painful and exhilarating - classic Miles.
Published 18 months ago by Kathleen R. Parrish
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Highly Recommended
Wonderful! This was even better than some of her longer works. Very moving! Miles is a fascinating character and I much admire Bujold's willingness and great ability to wrestle... Read more
Published on April 20, 2013 by Gretchen Hummel
5.0 out of 5 stars A moving story
Bujold pulls off a very difficult combination: telling a very sad story in which the protagonist starts off without a great deal of sympathy and grows both in sensitivity and... Read more
Published on February 3, 2013 by seg
3.0 out of 5 stars Series
Short story, well it is a novella.
Necessary to read to understand how Miles thinks,sets up other books in the series.
Published on November 19, 2012 by c hall
4.0 out of 5 stars Too late, already hooked
Have read most of the books that I could get my hands on - print and digital
The Vorkosigan saga is my favorite, but I've also read/enjoed other books too
If possible,... Read more
Published on July 24, 2012 by minacel
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