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VINE VOICEon August 3, 2002
This isn't the first book. Have you read the first book? If not, you should immediately drop everything and order it. Now. Immediately. Right away. Read the whole series.
Ok, ok. Here's the series:
Shards of Honor
Barayar
(these two books are also combined into "Cordelia's Honor")
The Warrior's Apprentice
Short Story: The Mountains of Mourning
(all short stories are contained in "Borders of Infinity")
The Vor Game
Cetaganda
Ethan of Athos
Short Story: Labyrinth
Short Story: The Borders of Infinity
Brothers in Arms
The Borders of Infinity
Mirror Dance
Memory
Komarr
A Civil Campaign
Diplomatic Immunity
Now, go start this series at the begining and read it through to the end. No Excuses!
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on August 23, 2000
In The Vor Game, Miles has graduated from the Imperial Academy, and has been rewarded with a choice posting indeed. Well, okay, it's one of the worst postings on record. He wanted ship duty. He's been sent to Kyril Island, lovingly called Camp Permafrost, to predict the weather. From almost his first moments on the island, he's on a collision course with the commanding officer, which leads to a snowy showdown that Miles both wins and loses.
Back at home (well, at least his hometown), Miles is recruited into Imperial Security - the infamous ImpSec - and sent off on a mission involving Admiral Naismith. Unfortunately, things go wrong, and soon he's wrapped up in an Imperial problem, flying by the seat of his pants and breaking rules and orders with practiced elan. (Well, after all, this is a familiar position for him.)
The Vor Game is one of my favorite of the Vorkosigan series; it is, really, the last book of Miles' youth. It is an award-winner, and deservingly so; the characters continue to develop, which is quite the challenge in the fourth book of a series, and the plot is fun. Bujold writes SF with a light hand, and interjects a great deal of humor. It's rare to find an SF writer who knows how to make us laugh.
Read the Warrior's Apprentice, at minimum, before you read this - but read it.
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on July 19, 2000
*grin* i can't seem to stop praising Ms bujold because the vorkosigan series is truly one of the best series on earth!
the vor game is the second major tale in the miles vorkosigan series following the warrior's apprentice and the short story mountains of mourning.
again, we have a really funny miles novel. after graduating from the academy, he is sent to kyril island (cold hell on barrayar!) as a weatheman for the military base. again he gets into trouble (this is afterall, miles *grin*) and then we slip into the more substantial part of the book where he begins his impsec career and saves the day (and the emperor) with the dendarii. yes, miles is reunited with the dendarii in this book!
great book, wicked humour, smart plot, engaging chracters. do try the vorkosigan series if you have never before. start with shards of honour (about miles' parents) or jump right in with miles in the warrior's aprpentice or young miles(a collection encompassing the vor game). get it!
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on November 19, 2005
Lois McMaster Bujold obviously has a great deal of respect and admiration in the science fiction community. She has won an unprecedented number of major awards (Hugos and Nebulas) for best novel, this book being one of the recipients of a Hugo. That this book is part of a series makes it all the sweeter for the publishers and readers alike. Other reviews have summarised the series order - certainly they are correct that if you haven't read "Warrior's Apprentice," you will find you are missing a significant chunk of the backstory. However, I have not read the previous novel and had no trouble following the storyline - one of the triumphs of Bujold is to make this story accessible to first-timers as well as satisfying (according to the other reviews) to series regulars.

The story focusses on Lord Miles of the ruling house of a small empire. As is historically the case for such family members, he seeks a commission in the military as a career. Unfortunately, as he is unused to following orders, he runs afoul of his first commanding officer. This starts a long and exciting adventure that takes Miles through three systems, suffering imprisonment, near execution, and other sundry dangers. Along the way, he uncovers a plot to.... well, that would be giving away too much. Suffice it to say that it is of galactic importance and no one but Miles (along with his trusty sidekick, who happens to be the Emporer Himself) can save the day.

The book has humour, great action, and a suitably galactic scale. If some of the villians are 2-dimensional scenery-chewers, most of the main characters are well-developed and interesting. Bujold effortlessly conveys the historical, military, and social details of her universe organically, without needing recourse to dry exposition. It's easy to see why writers would admire her work - it's clean, clear, and easy to read.

However, from a science fiction perspective, I would have to term these works as science fiction lite. There just isn't the depth and interest of Herbert's Dune worlds or Brin's Earthclan (Uplift) worlds, for example. It's closer in feel to Star Trek or Star Wars - the fact that the adventure takes place in space is almost incidental, and pays only passing attention to the limitations of space-time. It's almost "retro," recapturing the fun and loosy-goosy scientific attitude of the original series Treks, or of Heinlein's breezier works (e.g. Glory Road or The Door Into Summer). This makes it, to me, curious indeed that the series has won three major awards (so far) from people that make science fiction writing their professional specialty. Perhaps with all the heavier, scientifically accurate fiction out there, they are happy to find such a fun book that would be readable by anyone of any age.

Oddly, for an award winner and because it is so readable, there are few people who have actually read these books. The number of reviews on this website, and the difficulty in finding these books (I have never seen one on a bookstore shelf), clearly points to a failure of the publisher to correctly market the book. Just look at the cover - it looks like a kid's book, suitable for a 12-year-old! It's a good thing we have Amazon to keep us supplied.
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on December 27, 2005
Although the Vor Game is second in the Miles series, it was originally written as two seperate stories. One for Analog, (weatherman) and the other to tie it into the series (gregors escape)Yes, it is lite reading(or listening) in that you don't have to think too much, but the days of hurting your brain ala Asimov have morphed into a sub-genre known as hard sci-fi. If you read hard sci-fi you won't like this book. It is character driven. If you like a good story, well told, with characters that linger to the point they've become a nerd category (like people who can quote the Princess Bride) read this. You'll like it. All Bujolds books are part of a story arc. ALL of them. (except the Chalion books and the spirit ring) You might not like it at first but you'll find yourself going back to it again and again because like a real person, Miles grows up, learns and gets better. And no. It's not a kiddie book. It's got no swearing and sex and gratuitous violence, but that doesn't make it a book for children. It makes it a rarity.
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on May 24, 2016
I'm going to post the same review for the entire Vorkosigan saga. MANY years ago (shudder to think - we only had books made of paper) I was stuck at an airport with nothing to read. The only book I could find in the store was named Cordelia's Honor. It was about a woman and written by a woman. From what I could discern from the cover, it was a combination of books from some sort of "Vor" series. With no intent to offend anyone, for me back in those days the book had 2.9 strikes against it before I read the first word: it was about a woman, science fiction written by a woman, and this stupid sounding "Vor" word. I very reluctantly bought it. I sat down in that miserable airport (aren't they all?) and started reading. On that day, the fickle finger of fate was FINALLY pointing favorably for me. The book had rich and deep characters, complex plot, thought provoking ideas and statements, a different way of "seeing" things, it forced you to think instead of numbly process words - it was everything I love about my life long relentless pursuit of reading. I've read the series several times. They still make me think, they still make tears, and I keep finding little tidbits that I missed. I could write much more but I'm going to try to imitate a wonderful author named Lois McMaster Bujold and use just the right amount of words - no more, no less. Please read these in order. I promise you won't regret it. I'm ashamed of myself for not writing a review years ago. I feel that I did a great author a disservice by not giving her a few timely words after the thousands of wonderful words she's given me.
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on August 1, 2013
I love the characters in this series. They are so well done.
I have this book In hardback, but wanted it in Kindle as I have reread it many times.
The whole series is brilliant and exciting. It keep you reading even when you think you should stop.
She is one of the best writers that I have ever read and I have read thousands of books.
I would recommend this book for anyone who loves action and mind expanding science fiction.
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on January 5, 2000
Miles spent more energy getting into the military than any other ten people -- so he should get a lot out of it, right? Right. Miles's finds himself not on board a battleship, but assigned as weatherman in the Barrayar equivalent of Siberia -- not exactly the start of a brilliant military career. Trust Miles to make a bad situation worse, and trust Bujold to keep him hopping. This book has it all, action, pain, humor and Miles succeeding beyond anyone's wildest dreams. Bujold has managed to create a character who convinces me that he is indeed a genius as well as more human than most. Bravo. If you are new to the series, this is probably not the best book to begin with -- try Shards of Honor or The Warrior's Apprentice.
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on May 31, 2000
This book won Bujold yet another Hugo award (She has the second most in history but yet few people have heard of her). As always Miles seems to be able to do the work of five people, but it takes him the work of ten to get into the military, his dream career on army mad Barrayar. His amazing wit, insight into the mind of his comrades and enemies (supplied by Bujold of course), and amazing intellect are as always seemingly eclipsed by his father's and grandfather's achievements. The characters may seem young and whiney to some but it actually shows them rather believably in my opinion. Gregor's world image was just subtly but still utterly shattered and forcibly rearranged. Miles has just had his resolve and self confidence weakened by problems on Kryil Island and with his superior officers throughout the service, his idea of his dream career in the military not quite working our right; but by the end he became the pushy self-confident force he becomes in the persona of Admiral Naismith. An all around great read, how can it be out of stock all ready?
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on June 3, 2015
His home world is military minded so the stories have some violence, but not an overabundance and any sex is talked of but no graphic descriptions. Miles gets into the middle of a mess and the mystery is how he can get out of it with the least amount of damage.

Miles is sent to be seen while the person who is sent with him is to be invisible and spying out the military strengths of the different places they go through. The person with Miles receives orders he does not share with Miles, except that Miles is to return home immediately. Until complications ensue.
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