Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (Vorkosigan Saga) Hardcover – February 2, 2016
|New from||Used from|
Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
A science fiction legend, Lois McMaster Bujold is one of the most highly regarded speculative fiction writers of all time. She has won three Nebula Awards and six Hugo Awards, four for best novel, which matches Robert A. Heinlein's record. Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan saga is a massively popular science fiction mainstay. The mother of two, Ms. Bujold lives in Minneapolis.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
The series of books that is the Vorkosigan saga has changed from book to book, morphing genres and literary styles with unusual fluidity. This book does not fit neatly any existing literary slot. It is still science fiction, although most of the science involves either human reproduction or ecology in this case. But if you are expecting action or mystery you will be let down. There is a bit of romance, an exploration of gender roles, and a revisit to the relationship of Aral and Cordelia that fills a lot of detail known neither to the reader or their son Miles. Miles himself arrives later, family in tow to assess and assimilate his mothers next step.
While this works as a stand alone novel, it could also function as either a last look at characters many readers have grown to love, or a jumping off point for a whole new set of adventures. As ever the answer lies with Ms. Bujold who often keeps her literary plans to herself.
While I am fine with this novels unique style, I did miss Bujold's usual humor, and found Cordelia strangely diminished during most of the novel. I hope this is side effect of grief rather than age, and that if we are lucky enough to get more books her trademark strength of character will be restored. It is because of these factors I withhold one star, although I consider every book written by this author cause for rejoicing.
Over against this, there are the bad points. (Spoilers coming!) The main one is, it's just not very interesting. Cordelia is strangely muted - perhaps because there is no life-or-death dilemma for her to grapple with. But much worse is the dilution of her love story with Aral by turning it into the three way romance between Aral, the young Jole and Cordelia. Yes, we all knew Aral was bisexual. But the idea that he was obsessed with anyone apart from Cordelia comes as news to series fans. Playing fast and loose with the canon in this way might be the author's prerogative, but exercising it like this, so late in the series, is simply an abuse of authorial power, in my opinion. Vorkosigan completists will want this book, but others will find it a waste of time.
But I must say this latest outing in the Vorkosigan saga was deeply disappointing. As other commenters noted, there was next to no plot here, except - for this reader - a surprising desire that Cordelia decides to pursue after her husband Aral's death. Nor was I particularly impressed to hear about the bizarre intimate shenanigans revealed about Cordelia and Aral's marriage. There had been no real foreshadowing of any of this in the earlier books, and quite frankly seem more to do with the author deciding to explore gender-related theories for her own amusement. This seems a rather self-indulgent approach to writing a book, and had the author not been such a well regarded writer in the genre, I can't imagine a publisher would have printed it.
Read this if you've been following the series, and want to know what happens to Cordelia (a rather colourless Cordelia here), but definitely don't read if you are new to the Vorkosigans. It won't make much sense, and nothing much really happens to move the story along.
Some of the best writing in the series was about romance: Komarr, A Civil Campaign and Captain Vorpatril's Alliance. But not this one. It was definitely NOT worth delaying Bands of Mourning to read this disappointing book. It has now tainted the rest of the series. Cordelia used to be my favorite character: a strong woman who directly shaped the fate of an empire by her actions and examples. Now, for me, the series ends with Cryoburn. I will never reread Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen.