Series: Vorkosigan Saga
Published by: Baen
ISBN 13: 9781886778740
Format reviewed: ePub
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Related Reviews: Reading Challenge: Vorkosigan Saga Project
We join them close to where we left them in Borders of Infinity – Miles has returned to his Barrayan job in order to tidy things up with his Dendarii and do a stint as being ordinary Vor Miles again. This involves reporting in to Simon and requesting funds to cover wages, supplies and most importantly, repairs their ship suffered in the recent battle. This is Miles though, and things are never that easy.
He’s happened to have to report in to Earth, to Captain Duv Galeni, a man who 1. hasn’t been briefed on Miles’s two identities, 2. doesn’t understand the need for the Dendarii and assumes it’s yet another ‘Vor thing’ where Miles has only got where he is thanks to his father, and, 3. has a bit of an issue with that considering his own background. Komarran. And considering the war that no one can forget and the fact he’s had to fight everything and everyone for his chance to get where he is… Oh, and, of course the fact that Miles’ father ‘the Butcher of Komarr’ is likely the one who killed his own father… well. He’s pretty civil, considering. Just bitter.
Requests have to be manually jumped through wormholes in order for one part of space to contact another, so it’s ten days between message to Simon and back to Galeni in order for the requested funds to come through. Considering the requested funds are to the tune of eighteen million marks, which is ‘more than ten times to budget for this entire embassy for a year’ this does nothing to invoke anything less than passive aggressive remarks, but he follows through. And then for a second time, when the funds are missing from the first response.
From here it’s a rollercoaster of spoilery-emotions. There’s a big reveal in this one that gives the book its title, but what’s interesting in this is how it’s handled. We have Miles, who is referred to as a mutant for all his health defects, and he’s come to terms with this all years ago. We see discussion of him and why his parents have never had any other children, more discussion on Barrayar and their thoughts on how fit he is in all senses of the word… and more that you can see in the upcoming discussion with Tsana.
Overall, this was an excellent piece of work, and I really hope we get to see all of these characters (Galeni and Mark mainly) much more, very soon.