Lord Miles Vorkosigan of Barrayar and his wife, Lady Ekaterin , have other things on their minds, such as getting home in time to attend the long-awaited births of their first children. Waiting on Graf Station are diplomatic snarls, tangled loyalties, old friends, new enemies, racial tensions, lies and deceptions, mysterious disappearances, and a lethal secret with wider consequences than even Miles anticipates: a race with time for life against death in horrifying new forms. The downside of being a troubleshooter comes when trouble starts shooting back. The situation called for an Imperial Auditor. And, oh by the way, matters surrounding the Cetagandans around Rho Ceta were getting peculiar: he and Ekaterin should get home soonest.
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Girls, you rule! Miles Vorkosigan was on his honeymoon showing his wife wonders of the known Universe he got to travel around a lot when the Emperor called him back on a very complicated matter - just like Miles usually like solving.
I will try to explain, but it might sound somewhat incomprehensible. Komarr is one of the planets of Barrayar Empire; rich one. Barrayar itself is more military-oriented planet. So when a merchant fleet from Komarr is assembled it A buddy read with Choko and Maria. So when a merchant fleet from Komarr is assembled it is escorted by Barrayan military. Quaddies are a very interesting and neutral race in the far end of the Galaxy.
So a Komarran merchant fleet was impounded in Quaddie territory, one of the military escort personnel disappeared and another one deserted and asked for a refugee status. The military overreacted and send a retrieval squad which resulted in a shootout rumored to bring some casualties and a huge intergalactic incident.
Miles was supposed to sort it all out. It still looked innocent enough for the guy to take his wife with him hoping to show her Quaddie culture. It turned out to be probably the most dangerous assignment Miles was assigned to - and he did see a fair share of really dangerous ones. It was nice to revisit Quaddies again first time seen in the series prequel taking place around years before.
One cannot help feeling greatest respect for the nation which considers engineers to be the highest-respected profession. I was always curious how Miles would interact with them, but it turns out nothing unexpected happen: let me just say when he finally left Quaddies working with him most probably cried nonstop with tears of joy for a long time. At least they did not had Miles as their subordinate - these do not survive him without being scarred for life.
It was also nice to meet some familiar faces from the previous books of the series - people I was really curious about. I will not name they to avoid spoilers, but encountering them again was a nice surprise. As a wife of high Vor Lord she will do. In the beginning of the read I was mildly curious - after all how can a trade dispute be exciting?
I became more and more involved thanks to great characters - main and supporting. One question arose yet again, something we already discussed with my buddy readers. There are two races playing bad guys in the Universe. One behaves like common ruthless criminals and another playing mad scientists. Which one is more menacing? I would go with mad scientists all the time. So yes, this is the highest-rated book for me. Curiously enough both of my buddy readers rated it lower. As to the series: if you have even a passable interest in science fiction go for it.
If you want to read great science fiction written by a woman this would be your best bet. In short just read it already.
Plot summary[ edit ] Miles Vorkosigan, the main character in the series, and Ekaterin Vorsoisson are enjoying a delayed honeymoon off-world while their first two children are approaching birth in their uterine replicators back on Barrayar. They have just left Earth to begin the journey home when Miles is dispatched by Emperor Gregor Vorbarra to Graf Station in Quaddiespace to untangle a diplomatic incident in his capacity as the nearest Imperial Auditor. There, he is unexpectedly reunited with the Betan hermaphrodite Bel Thorne, a trusted former Dendarii Mercenaries subordinate and his good friend. Quaddies are the result of genetic manipulation centuries before, as described in the novel Falling Free.