I read this book about 31-Jan-2004. I've read this book before. The book is copyright 1998. This note was last modified Friday, 02-May-2014 23:47:21 PDT.
This is book 9 of the "Miles Vorkosigan" series.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
This is probably the first time I've reread this. I got really hooked on A Civil Campaign, and read that a lot, but until now wasn't moved to go back and reread this.
I'm very glad I did. It's even better than I remembered. It doesn't have the lovely broad cast of characters that ACC does, but it's very nice indeed in its own particular ways.
This is where Ekaterin Niles Vorvain Vorsoison is introduced. She's a wonderful character. A Vor woman, with great intelligence, but trapped (not originally forced, but now trapped) in a bad marriage. The marriage comes apart before our eyes, and then her husband is killed which actually complicates the situation even more. And she gets caught up in an Auditorial investigation of what turns out to be a major plot, which probably (the scientists aren't totally satisfied yet at the end of the book) wouldn't actually have permanently cut Barryar off from the rest of the galaxy. It would probably only have killed a few thousand people and destroyed the civilian station serving that wormhole at Komarr.
Like Steven Brust's Teckla, this book leaves me not wanting to know how much of the depiction of a relationship dying is from personal experience.
The plot is eventually defused. The most important action is taken by Ekaterin herself, who stumbles into one of the missing scientists on the station, is kidnapped, and manages eventually to get a warning out and to destroy the secret weapon. All perfectly believably. Leaving herself as a hostage to the defeated plotters. Miles manages to talk them down to the point of not going out in a blaze of glory. And as a result the day is saved. The scientists should have just killed Ekaterin and the Professora. But they were portrayed as not being the wholesale or cold-blooded killing types, and it makes perfect sense that they didn't want to do that.
I still think they should have kept the two women stunned, though. As I remember it, one or maybe two heavy stuns would have been enough. The story would probably have had a very different, much bloodier, ending then. I like this ending better, though.