If you relish costume adventure in an intergalactic society starring strong, convincing male and
female characters, you'll adore the Vorkosigan Series
. If you haven't met Miles Vorkosigan, whose brilliance, manic energy, and unstoppable determination make him a larger-than-life hero despite his dwarfish stature, pick up Komarr
and A Civil Campaign
. Read them, and then go back and catch the previous nine
books (10 if you count Ethan of Athos
, which features not Miles but his partner, Ellie Quinn); or read the series in order, starting with the romance of Miles's parents in Shards of Honor
A Civil Campaign opens where Komarr ends, with Miles determined to court Ekaterin. Unfortunately, his approach is described as "General Romeo Vorkosigan, the one-man strike force." By his father. The potential for comic disaster increases when Miles's clone brother Mark arrives. He's brought a brilliant but scatterbrained scientist who's created a bug producing a perfect food: bug butter. They set up a lab in the basement of Vorkosigan House. Mark has also found a nice Barrayaran girl--she even likes the bugs--with whom he got together on the sexually liberated world of Beta. But now Kareen's living at home. Naturally, disaster strikes, repeatedly and on all fronts.
Bujold unfolds her comedy of manners while continuing to explore familiar themes: the difficulties in becoming a strong adult woman in a patriarchy, the need for trust and honesty in relationships between the sexes, the difference between appearance and identity, and the impact of advanced biotechnologies on society. A Civil Campaign is a sure-fire Hugo and Nebula nominee, likely to add another statue to Bujold's already full shelf. It's charming, touching, and quite funny too. --Nona Vero
From Publishers Weekly
Bujold dedicates her new novel to the Bront?s, Georgette Heyer and Dorothy Sayers, which gives a pretty good indication of the territory she's staked out in this well-done addition (after Komarr) to her popular Miles Vorkosigan series. Miles, forced by ill heath to give up his military career and having embarked on a second career as an Imperial Auditor (a kind of peripatetic judge and ambassador), is madly in love with the beautiful and brilliant Ekaterin Vorsoisson. Unfortunately, Ekaterin is the recent widow of a crooked government official whose death Miles holds himself partially responsible for. Their courtship is made even more difficult by a series of interrelated events. First, Emperor Gregor is getting married, and Miles, like everyone else in the government, is caught up in the complex social and diplomatic whirl surrounding the impending nuptials. Second, Miles's disaster-prone clone brother, Mark, has concocted a scheme to make a fortune marketing "butter bugs," unattractive, cockroachlike creatures that secrete a bland tofulike food product. Worse, Mark has set up his laboratory in Vorkosigan House, the bugs have gotten loose and Miles's parents, Lord Aral and Lady Cordelia, are due home any second. And then there's the dirty infighting going on in the Council of Counts over who should inherit two vacant districts, plus an attempt to frame Miles for murder. Through all these often hilarious and occasionally dangerous incidents, Miles strives heroically to keep his eye on the prizeAthe winning of Ekaterin's hand in marriage. 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. (Sept.) FYI: Bujold has won four Hugos and two Nebulas for books and stories in the Miles Vorkosigan series.
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