Series: Vorkosigan Saga
Published by: Baen
ISBN 13: 9780671878771
Format reviewed: ePub
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Related Reviews: Reading Challenge: Vorkosigan Saga Project
We meet Miles again on a mission as his new rank – imperial auditor – shadowing Imperial Auditor Vorthys (though they do work fairly equally despite Miles’ infancy in the role that already normally goes to much older men…
They have come to Komarr to investigate what caused a ship crash, which happened to also take out the solar mirror that’s vital to the continual terraforming of the planet, where you still need breathing masks if you venture out of the domes the inhabitants all live, shop and (mostly) work in. The other issue here is that the location is Komarr, which is the location of where Miles’ father earned the title The Butcher – for an event not even his doing. There was a massacre of government officials who had surrendered to Aral, but was then taken out by an upstart Aral quickly dispatched himself… but what use is the truth when you have a planet of either indifferent or rebellious locals who hate Vorkosigan as a whole, the Emperor, and wouldn’t mind it at all if Barrayar left them alone for good?
That’s just what the ship disaster looks like it will be leading to. Miles and Vorthys have a difficult bit of detective work ahead of them, and it’s not made easier when people continue to die or go missing around them… and it wouldn’t be part of the Saga if Miles didn’t manage to get himself held captive somewhere and earn a few more wounds (in addition to his current state that still means has seizures).
All in all this is an excellent book because there are no villains – things don’t always go according to plan, but everyone is working and fighting for what they honestly think is for the good of the people. What’s also excellent is that a great portion of this book is from a female point of view, as we are introduced to Ekaterin Vorsoisson, Vorthys’ niece and their host for their time on Komarr. She has an affinity for gardening which relates often in this book on a partially terraformed planet, and also for intelligent destruction – once again we get a female character who doesn’t sit around to be rescued, but instead wants to give them hell even when it may be against the old Vor way.
And finally, Miles is growing up. Still disappointed in his pointless dream at the start of the book, but otherwise he’s treating people with a little more respect. Yay!