e99 Online Shopping Mall

Geometry.Net - the online learning center Help  
Home  - Authors - Bujold Lois Mcmaster (Books)

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

click price to see details     click image to enlarge     click link to go to the store

1. Miles, Mutants and Microbes
2. Miles Errant (Miles Vorkosigan
3. Cryoburn (The Vorkosigan Saga)
4. Paladin of Souls
5. A Civil Campaign
6. Cordelia's Honor (Vorkosigan Saga
7. Miles in Love (Miles Vorkosigan
8. The Sharing Knife, Volume Four:
9. The Curse of Chalion
10. Legacy (The Sharing Knife,Book
11. Horizon (The Sharing Knife, Book
12. The Hallowed Hunt
13. Beguilement (The Sharing Knife,
14. Brothers in Arms
15. Young Miles
16. Memory (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures)
17. Dreamweaver's Dilemma
18. Spirit Ring
19. Miles, Mystery & Mayhem
20. The Vor Game

1. Miles, Mutants and Microbes
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Mass Market Paperback: 832 Pages (2008-10-28)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416556001
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Two complete novels and a short novel in one large volume:

Falling Free—The Nebula Award-winning novel. Leo Graf was just your typical efficient engineer: mind your own business and do the job. But all that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat, where children had been bio-engineered to have four arms (and no legs) to function in zero gravity. Now that they’re no longer needed, a heartless mega corporation is getting rid of them before they eat into the profit margin. Leo Graf adopted 1000 quaddies—now he had to teach them to be free. 

“Labyrinth”—When Miles Vorkosigan is captured while on a secret mission to a lawless world, his only hope of escape is an unlikely pair of allies: a quaddie and a teenage werewolf.

Diplomatic Immunity— Miles Vorkosigan and his wife were heading home for the births of their first children, but a major diplomatic disaster is looming at Graf Station, colonized by the descendants of the original quaddies, and duty calls. Unfortunately, diplomatic immunity doesn’t carry over to immunity from a very nasty biological weapon. The downside of being a troubleshooter comes when trouble starts shooting back. . . .

... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Go quaddies!
A nice grouping of books concerning quaddie-space, the quaddie race, and what life in space might be like, in the future.If you haven't read any of the Vorkosigan saga, this would be a good introduction!

4-0 out of 5 stars This book is a compendium of other books
I enjoy the entire Miles Vorkosigan series. However, I made a mistake in purchasing this. I already had two of the three books in this volume and the other one is only very peripherally related to the Miles saga.

Any Bujold book has loads of action, a fast pace, and fun plot twists. The three volumes in this book all pertain to Quaddies. I would suggest purchasing this specific compendium if you like the individual stories and want them in a collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars Quaddie omnibus
Bujold has created some wonderful characters; quaddies are fascinating, and you have to think about how you'd adapt to them--and living in zero G.Falling Free is a wonderful introduction to quaddies.Is it possible to rescue all of them?!

Just visiting Jackson's Whole makes you think--carefully--about bio-engineering.In Labyrinth, Miles has to rescue a teenaged girl--the only survivor of her bio-engineered group, and her metabolism runs hot!

Diplomatic Immunity concerns really sophisticated bio-engineering and the complex culture of the Cetagandans, disappearing bodies, with suspense and danger from parasites, a crazed ba, and colliding cultures. This is a great combo of stories; I enjoyed rereading them all together.

4-0 out of 5 stars Well Chosen Package of Stories
While not, perhaps, the very best of Bujold's work, the woman could write telephone books and make them enjoyable! The stories of the quaddies fit well together, and the first entry, "Falling Free", has been sometimes obscure and difficult to find, so presenting it as a prelude to the others is ideal.

What really stands out is that "Falling Free" was one of Bujold's first stories, long before she had worked out the roadmap for the Vorkosigan Saga, and probably before she ever anticipated there would be such a thing. Her ability to integrate early works with later ones, to weave hints and offhand comments into core events is nothing short of remarkable.

5-0 out of 5 stars READ the description!
Some of the other reviewers apparently neglected to read the book description ("Two complete novels and a short novel in one large volume"!), and gave the work a poor review on the basis of their own negligence because it wasn't new material.No, it is *not* new material, but this is not a new thing for the Vorkosigan series.This title is, in fact, the fifth Vorkosigan Universe omnibus (after Vorkosigan's Game; Young Miles; Miles, Mystery and Mayhem; and Miles Errant-- Miles in Love comes after this one).It packs all the Quaddie stories in one neat little volume: the Nebula Award-winning Falling Free, which is set 300 years P.M. (pre-Miles) and provides some fascinating background on how the universe that Miles knows came to be that way; the short story "Labyrinth," which is Miles' first contact with a living, breathing Quaddie; and the novel Diplomatic Immunity, which brings Miles and his new wife back to Quaddiespace, where it all began.

These stories include some of the best and most sensitive writing in the whole series, in my opinion, and I love the omnibus format.Not only does it save me a bit of shelf space (that is, if I can bear to toss my original copies), but it puts things together thematically-- we get the *whole* Quaddie story in one volume now, and it's much easier to see the connections between the beginning and ending novels.I adore Bujold's Miles books, and I wish she'd write more of them, too, but meanwhile, I'm happy to have the omnibus editions. ... Read more

2. Miles Errant (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures)
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Paperback: 752 Pages (2002-09-01)
list price: US$15.00 -- used & new: US$8.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743435583
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Truth and Consequences: A covert ops liberation of Barrayaran allies in a Cetagandan pow camp goes awry and Miles Naismith is right in the middle of it. Will he find damnation though good works, or faith alone? Still reeling from the prior mission, the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet puts in at old Earth for repairsand finds old enemies. Miles' attempt to juggle both his identities, Admiral Naismith and Lieutenant Lord Vorkosigan, crashes when a new player enters the game: the brother he never knew he had. Two years later, on the crime planet of Jackson's Whole, disaster gets a new name: Mark Pierre Vorkosigan. Another rescue, of clone children scheduled to be murdered for their bodies, goes seriously sour. This time, the consequences look fatal and permanentunless two brothers can each learn the other's true names and games. Publisher's Note: "Miles Errant" has been previously published in parts as "Borders of Infinity", "Brothers in Arms", and "Mirror Dance". This is the first chronologically combined edition, as chosen by the author. 'Georgette Heyer has met her match for intrigue and style!...[Komarr] has twists and turns that could only happen in a Vorkosigan-inspired novel...Boy, can she write!' - Anne McCaffrey. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

5-0 out of 5 stars Another Mile(s) to go
What can I say?I love the stories of a guy who truly overcompensates- who goes the extra Miles in life.My only regret is now I have finished all of Ms. Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan stories.The Vor stories present a well developed fictional universe (and engaging charactors) that is well worth visiting.

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun for all Miles fanatics
I love Bujold, and Miles may be my very favorite of all sci-fi characters.Therefore, I'm obviously recommending this collection of three Vorkosigan stories ("Borders of Infinity," "Brothers in Arms," and "Mirror Dance.")
However, at the risk of sacrelige, I do feel that the Vorkosigan series peaked just before Mark was introduced."Mirror Dance" and a couple of others near by in the chronology - for instance, "Memory," - are not quite as enjoyable to my tastes.
New readers of Bujold should certainly read the series in published (not chronological) order, starting with "The Warrior's Apprentice" and "The Vor Game," and then proceed on if they like so many of us have fallen in love with Barrayar and Miles in particular.

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite Miles (stories)
In which we fall in love with Miles Vorksogian. I started this (ridiculously long) series based on a recommendation from a friend, and I am fortunately one of those people who has to finish what they start. Let me just say by the time I reached this book in the series I was very glad I started. I highly recommended the entire series, although starting with this book would be a fine place to begin. And I have to say that not just to sci-fi fans would enjoy it, buy anyone who enjoys a good novel with some well written characters. Getting to know characters like Miles is what makes reading so fun!

5-0 out of 5 stars I love Miles!
Miles Vorkosigan is one of my absolute all-time favorite characters!Lois McMaster Bujold is truly an amazingly talented author!Her characters live & if these books weren't set in outer space (LOL!) you'd swear they live nearby.This is one of my favorite books!

5-0 out of 5 stars Ok, if you have all the books don't buy this one.
However, if you are new to the Vorkosigian saga then buy these compilation books. What makes these books exceptional is that they generaly incude 2 novels and either a short story or a novella. Right now I don't have the book in review with me so I will not write a specific review. Later on, when I do have it in hand I will do so. Instead I will give an overview of the series.
Who is Miles? Well he is at least two people, Miles Vorkosigian, heir to his fathers title and a mutie (he really isn't but if you look at him you would think so). He is also Admiral Naismith, mercenary naval leader of an elite mercenary unit that specializes in covert rescue operations and revolutionary movements. The super books chronical the adventures of Admiral Naismith and his Betan mother. What hasn't been compiled isreally a look at Miles whithout a dual personalty.

Lois McMaster Bujold has earned her Hugos and Nebulas the hard way with well written stories, superb characterization, and novel ideas on what makes humans click. Cordelia's Honor is the first super book in the series and details the trials and tribulations of Aral Vorkisogian, the Butcher of Komarran; and his Dear Captian, the fearless daughter of Beta Colony. Actually Cordelia Vorkisogian is the real hero in the first super novel, the first 2 books in the Vorkosigian Chronicles, and she almost lives up to her son's reputation.

Are the Vorkosigian novels worth reading? HELL YEAH!!!! Warning where as most novels take me a day to a little over a day to read, these books demand on average 2 to 2 and a half days, and these are barn burning give up sleep and work page turning novels that you can't put down!

Start with Cordelia's Honor if you insist on reading in chronological order. Start with any book avalable in your favorite bookstore as reading out of turn is not detrimental to your reading enjoyment. Better yet read all of the super books first and then read what is left.

Lois McMaster Bujold is one of the most decorated authors in science fiction, only Robert Heinlein has more nominations. Every time a new book is translated into a new language that country's Hugo people instantly nominate it for their Hugo equivalent award. I expect her to become the acknowledged Mother or Grandmother of SCI-FI, her ownly competition is Anne McCaffrey. ... Read more

3. Cryoburn (The Vorkosigan Saga)
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Hardcover: 352 Pages (2010-10-19)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$13.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1439133948
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
            Miles Vorkosigan is back!

            Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove—he’s been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp—an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future—attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter Miles to check it out.

            On Kibou-daini, Miles discovers generational conflict over money and resources is heating up, even as refugees displaced in time skew the meaning of generation past repair. Here he finds a young boy with a passion for pets and a dangerous secret, a Snow White trapped in an icy coffin who burns to re-write her own tale, and a mysterious crone who is the very embodiment of the warning Don’t mess with the secretary. Bribery, corruption, conspiracy, kidnapping—something is rotten on Kibou-daini, and it isn’t due to power outages in the Cryocombs. And Miles is in the middle—of trouble!

“Fresh, intriguing, and, as always with Lois McMaster Bujold, superb.” —Robert Jordan

“It is such a delight to read something by such a good writer, who now seems to be writing at the height of her powers. . . . I really have seldom enjoyed a book so much . . . I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough.” —Diana Wynne Jones

“Living breathing characters who inhabit unusual yet believable worlds.” —Jean Auel

“Bujold successfully mixes quirky humor with just enough action, a dab of feminist social commentary and her usual superb character development . . . enormously satisfying.” —Publishers Weekly  

“One of sf’s outstanding talents . . . an outstanding series.” —Booklist

“Excellently done . . . Bujold has always excelled at creating forceful characters and she does it here again.” —Denver Post

“. . . an intelligent, well-crafted and thoroughly satisfying blend of adventure, sociopolitical commentary, scientific experiments, and occasional perils . . . with that extra spicing of romance. . . .” —Locus ... Read more

Customer Reviews (31)

4-0 out of 5 stars Not her best, but a great way to start
This is the latest Miles Vorkosigan book, and while not the best in the series (That was won hands down by "A Civil Campaign") it is a good place to start from to read the series. Miles isnot just a character, but a whirlwind, that blows through all the planets and societies he deals with, and to start with how that whirlwind began, you need to go back to the beginning... And by the end, you will be different, too. Enjoy!

5-0 out of 5 stars Haven't read it, but already worth it!!!
Just got the book and anxiously pulled out the CD I'd heard mentioned in other reviews.YES!!! E-book versions of ALL the Miles books.I've been doing the Amazon "request a kindle version" for all of them, only now I'm delighted to get them all for a mere $13.99 (but I have already bought paper copies of every one, yes). Plus I get the new book in both paper and e-book. I'm saving Cryoburn for a special treat when I've got more time to savor it. Okay, I did sneak a peak at the very exciting beginning. Not sure how long I can hold out.
Thank you Ms. Bujold and Baen publishing!Not exactly sure what they are thinking giving it all away, but I wish some of my other favorite series would do this.If you haven't read a Miles Vorkosigan book before, I have no idea if Cryoburn itself is a good place to start, but since you get the whole series on CD, you can find out which one would be, if you have a computer or any e-reader.And if you love them as much as I (and many others) do, go and buy the paper copies for yourself or as gifts so they stay in business and get Ms. Bujold to write more!My copies are well-worn from being passed around and re-read.

4-0 out of 5 stars From most other writers, this would have been a solid effort
As a Bujold novel, however, this was a disappointment to me. Like most other fans of her writing, I was impatiently waiting for Cryoburn to show up in my mail box. I admit that I read it "in one sitting" (well, two, actually), but I didn't get another Vorkosigan treat that I was hoping for.
The plot did not grip me as it usually does in Ms. Bujold's books. The characters were not as well written as they usually are. Like other reviewers have said, the usual brilliant, witty Bujold language, a huge part of her appeal, is mostly absent in Cryoburn.
An enjoyable Roic of previous books is now well on its way to degenerating into a Vorkosiverse Jar Jar Binks: A clumsy comic relief with almost no redeeming value. Moreover, the new way he talks to Miles is so un-Barrayar, so artificial, so un-Roic even, that it snapped me right out of the narrative, which doesn't help.

However, I realized after having read the book, that the major problem with Cryoburn and, prior to it, DI, has nothing to do with lazy writing, being hurried or even being tired of the whole Vorkosigan series, all of which I suspect are true to some extent. That problem cannot be solved even if Ms. Bujold suddenly decides to give Miles her full attention and turns her sparkling writing back on. The problem, unfortunately, is with Miles himself.
Simply stated, he has nothing left to prove. And always having to prove himself to Aral, Cordelia, Gregor, Ivan... everyone, friends and enemies alike, had been the driving force behind Miles from before his birth. It was what made Miles into Miles. He had to drive himself and everyone around him crazy and overcome hurdle after hurdle to prove himself.Not having this subtext makes Cryoburn a reasonable sci-fi yarn, but that alone does not make it a Miles Vorkosigan book, philosophical musings about the meaning of death notwithstanding.

I don't know if Ms. Bujold is too tired to write another Miles book. I hope she isn't. I keep re-reading the old ones every once in a while, and I would love to read another quality addition to the series. I also hope she would place it earlier in his time line, when Miles still had something to prove and work for.

P.S. The fourth star is for the CD. That alone makes this book worth buying. Way to go Baen!

2-0 out of 5 stars Forgettable... and that's rare for Bujold
Bujold's greatest strength is her characters, and this book lacked the nuanced personalities that keep me coming back. Roic is about as layered as an episode of Dora the Explorer, so I'd like to less of him, not more. The embassy staff, the damsel du jour, and especially the villains... all of them sort of flat and totally forgettable.

Where are the Tauras, the Ellies, the Ivans, and for the love of cheese, the Gregors? I want more Gregor. I wish that the author would make more of an effort to include the tried-and-true characters, rather than sending Miles off on his own over and over again, to interact tepidly with disposable one-offs. The next book (assuming there is one-- I get the feeling she is quite bored with Miles) should take place at home. Maybe Illyan can be resurrected from scenery status.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great,but shy of mind-blowing
This is a shiny new book, and that in itself makes me happy.PLUS: Yes, it is true.The hardcover edition comes with a CD that contains ALL Vorkosigan books up to and including this one, except for my favorite: Memory.On the CD are versions to read in html, epub, mobi, etc... Also speeches, interviews, cover art... this is amazing.

Premise: Lord Auditor Miles Vorkosigan and Armsman Roic are on Kibou-daini to investigate a sketchy business venture that one of the cryofreezing corporations based there has planned for Komarr.Complications ensue, as usual.

I liked this book, and was slightly sad that I did not love it.I do want to emphasize that I did enjoy it very much, and had it not been for sky-high hopes, I would probably have loved it without reservation.This is the double edge of having authors that you trust to be great: you can be disappointed if they're not amazing.

Many of the Vorkosigan books are About something, with a capital "A", but not in that annoying way that I remember from grade school.Memory is about life changes, and unexpected paths.A Civil Campaign is about love and romance, Barrayar is about motherhood.Cryoburn is about life and death; children and old age.

The planet Kibou-daini is obsessed with cryofreezing, and they put almost all of their populace in cold storage before they die in the hopes of future cures or longevity treatments.This, combined with some unorthodox voting policies, creates some interesting political problems and a nasty series of monopolies running most everything.It's a really neat setting.

Where this book shines brightest is in the character interactions.It's been 7 years in-world since the last book, and Miles is almost 40.You can feel him, not slowing down, but changing, settling a bit, with age.His interactions with other recurring characters speak to their shared history, almost to the extent of repeating old jokes. It doesn't always make for scintillating dialogue, but it feels real; people gently reference their past adventures with each other, and give into a bit of nostalgia now and then.

This runs the risk of feeling like old hat to those of us fans who are familiar with the entire series, but mostly I think Bujold rides the line well. The only place I think she goes too far is in the tangent about Taura, and I know she had to leave that scene for those same fans.

The other two main characters are (20-something) Armsman Roic, last explored in Winterfair Gifts, and a young orphan named Jin who befriends Miles, giving a spectrum of ages in the viewpoints.Miles' children (4 total, plus step-son Nikki!) are almost entirely off-screen, so to speak, but a presence nonetheless.

I absolutely loved the beginning chapters, but felt that the plot wandered a bit through the middle.I look forward to reading it again, now that I'm not racing ahead to find out what happens, just to enjoy the writing.It probably won't be one I re-read and re-read, though.In the scale of this series, I'd put it in the lower middle: above Ethan of Athos, Falling Free, The Vor Game and Brothers in Arms, right below the level of Cetaganda and Mirror Dance, maybe? ... Read more

4. Paladin of Souls
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Mass Market Paperback: 496 Pages (2005-05-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.32
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0380818612
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Follow Lois McMaster Bujold, one of the most honored authors in the field of fantasy and science fiction, to a land threatened by treacherous war and beset by demons -- as a royal dowager, released from the curse of madness and manipulated by an untrustworthy god, is plunged into a desperate struggle to preserve the endangered souls of a realm.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (90)

5-0 out of 5 stars Terrific book. Highly recommended
This book came highly recommended by a friend who knows my taste in fantasy, and I was not disappointed. Engaging, creative, interesting, this story was one of my favorites by Ms. Bujold. The characters were very real to me. Highly recommended story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book, but read The Curse of Chalion first
This book is excellent, perhaps Bujold's best fantasy novel.

I was told that, unlike with many fantasy series, it is quite possible to enjoy this book without having read the first book in the series, The Curse of Chalion.This was true in the sense that it's a different story involving mostly different characters, but it does contain some fairly major spoilers from the first book.

As the first book is also great, I would strongly recommend reading them in order.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
As brilliantly written as Curse of Chalion (yet it is not imperative to have read that book first, though recommended).

I was a bit hesitant to like this book at first after having read Chalion, but I soon grew to love it. Bujold's writing is every English major's dream.

I was completely hooked once I got to the mysterious point (early in) about the man who dies every day at noon with a mortal wound & is resurrected (no spoilers don't worry). I love how strong of a character Ista becomes and how realistic her bitterness at the beginning to her changes throughout the story.

LOVE the epic feel Bujold once again creates!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Bujold's fantasy family
A lot of tags can be erroneously attributed to this book.Despite its Hugo award, it is not a science fiction novel.In spite of taking place in the same world, and with some of the same characters, it is not a sequel to "Curse of Chalion."And it certainly is not a "Verkosigan Saga" book - it moves at a more stately pace, I would say.However, I daresay fans of LMB will not be disappointed, as I found this book to be more engrossing than any of her previous Verkosigan books.

Quite simply, this is a fantasy book.LMB's worldbuilding is very intricate and fascinating.She has gods that appear directly to their people and the main character has the gift of seeing people's souls directly (and therefore ghosts, which are disembodied souls stuck in the world).She naturally has factions and subfactions (both religious and geographic), family dynasties, etc.The tricky part of juggling all this is to ensure the reader isn't lost in the intricacy, and I can assure those reading this review that all is made plain without the author resorting to exposition or family trees.I can also assure the reader that, like LMB's own Verkosigan stories, this story is a stand-alone.I'm sure that people that have read "Curse of Chalion" will find call-backs and references back to the earlier book, but I can assure the new reader that this book is easily followed/understood without reading the earlier book (which I have not).

The plot: Princess Ista is widowed and, upon the death of her mother, the dowager queen, essentially alone in the world.That she's suffered in the past from madness only increases her isolation.Through a series of strange coincidences, she manages to get herself onto the road on a pilgrimmage, in cognito to avoid having to take an entire royal household with her.Some minor adventures occur, and then she unexpectedly meets a raiding party from a rival kingdom, is taken prisoner and... well, that covers the first 1/3 of the book, and basically sets up the world and the characters.What happens next I'll leave for the reader, but suffice to say there are doings afoot that will require all Ista's mental and physical strength to solve, and even then she might need some help from higher powers (or did the higher powers overestimate her inner strength?).

Such a description of the plot is necessarily vague and not likely to grab the reader's attention, but unfortunately describing more would result in spoilers that would ruin the fun of reading the book!So take my word for it - the relatively slow pace of the beginning and the apparently disjointed actions will give way to a frantic pace where all the previously set-up pieces will fall into place.

1-0 out of 5 stars Really Bad Romantic Fantasy
Medieval, new-age romantic fantasy with ladies and maids and squires and grooms and pages and castles and beautiful ponies with flowing manes.This book won both the Hugo and Nebula Awards.And Bujold has won more Hugos than anybody except Heinlein.Unbelievable. ... Read more

5. A Civil Campaign
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Mass Market Paperback: 544 Pages (2000-08-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671578855
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
One cunning plan too many? It's spring in Vorbarr Sultana, and a young person's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love ...money ...bio-genetics ...love ...lack of money ...incompatible planetary sexual mores ...love ...District succession scandals ...the Emperor's wedding ...and, of course, love ...Lord Miles Vorkosigan, youngest Imperial Auditor to be appointed by the Emperor since the Time of Isolation, has a problem all his new power can't solve: unrequited love for the beautiful Vor widow Ekaterin Vorsoisson. Ekaterin is violently allergic to marriage as a result of her first exposure. But as Miles learned from his late career in galactic covert ops, if a frontal assault won't do, go to subterfuge. He has a cunning plan ...Lord Mark Vorkosigan has a problem: his love for the sunny Kareen, daughter of Commodore Koudelka, has just become unrequited again. But if all his new money can't solve their dilemma, perhaps a judicious blending of science and entrepreneurial scheming might. He has a cunning plan ...'It's another winner with all kinds of unexpected adventures ...Georgette Heyer has met her match for intrigue and style!A sprightly conducted romance with twists and turns that could only happen in a Vorkosigan-inspired novel...Boy, can she write!' -Anne McCaffrey.Amazon.com Review
If you relish costume adventure in an intergalactic societystarring strong, convincing male and female characters, you'lladore the VorkosiganSeries. If you haven't met Miles Vorkosigan, whose brilliance,manic energy, and unstoppable determination make him alarger-than-life hero despite his dwarfish stature, pick up Komarr and A CivilCampaign. Read them, and then go back and catch the previousnine books (10 if you count Ethan of Athos, whichfeatures not Miles but his partner, Ellie Quinn); or read the seriesin order, starting with the romance of Miles's parents in Shards of Honor.

A Civil Campaign opens where Komarr ends, with Milesdetermined to court Ekaterin. Unfortunately, his approach is describedas "General Romeo Vorkosigan, the one-man strike force." By hisfather. The potential for comic disaster increases when Miles'sclone brother Mark arrives. He's brought a brilliant butscatterbrained scientist who's created a bug producing a perfect food:bug butter. They set up a lab in the basement of VorkosiganHouse. Mark has also found a nice Barrayaran girl--she even likes thebugs--with whom he got together on the sexually liberated world ofBeta. But now Kareen's living at home. Naturally, disaster strikes,repeatedly and on all fronts.

Bujold unfolds her comedy of mannerswhile continuing to explore familiar themes: the difficulties inbecoming a strong adult woman in a patriarchy, the need for trust andhonesty in relationships between the sexes, the difference betweenappearance and identity, and the impact of advanced biotechnologies onsociety. A Civil Campaign is a sure-fire Hugo and Nebulanominee, likely to add another statue to Bujold's already fullshelf. It's charming, touching, and quite funny too. --NonaVero ... Read more

Customer Reviews (210)

5-0 out of 5 stars I Cannot Believe I Have Waited This Long to Listen to This Book-- Audio Review
I'm probably committing heresy by saying that I generally like Bujold's fantasies better than her space operas, but I am really sold on this episode in the life of Miles Vorkosigan.The audible download file is about18 hours long and I gulped it down in two sessions, one beginning Saturday afternoon and then finishing up on Sunday.

The reader, as in the other Miles books I have listened to, was Grover Gardner.While I'm not as keen on his narration as I was on Lloyd James' reading of The Curse of Chalion, he does a good job in distinguishing the characters by voice without going overboard.

While some people want to focus on the various love stories in this book, my favorite part was the political wrangling that is tied to together oh, so neatly in the end. There's a good bit of comedy as well as action and mystery.

I've read some of the Miles books but thought this one did a good job of standing alone with just enough information to help the reader understand who is who in the large cast of characters.

Something I really did not like was the cover used for the audiobook.The backlit bride and groom facing away from the viewer is rather puzzling given that the only person actually getting married in the story is the Emperor Gregor.If the male figure is meant to be Miles, it honestly doesn't look like the various descriptions given by Bujold.In fact, if required to describe the male character on the cover it would be as an old geezer, not Miles in his mid 30's.

Anyway, highly recommended.And the audio download from audible is a bargain compared to the price of the CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Possibly my favourite Vorkosigan yet.
I'm a huge fan of Lois Bujold's writing and of the Vorkosigan series in particular, and I think this may be my favourite title in the series (although with such competition it would be awfully difficult to choose).Don't be put off by the awful cover art - it's reallynot a Harlequin romance!

Ms Bujold's books are always well written, with meticulous world-building and really rich characterization - the characters in this series really live for me.The early books in the series were essentially space opera, but the characters and the world have built in complexity as the series has progressed and this book defies insertion in to any neat genre pigeon-hole.There's very little space opera in this one (which I suspect accounts for the very few negative reviews here, which I presume are largely from teenage boys who missed the space battles and didn't really get the humour).It's part science fiction, part political thriller, part romance, part comedy of manners, and wholly entertaining - I just couldn't put it down once I started.There are some definite echoes of Jane Austen in the love story (oh, the letter!), including the deliciously subtle wit and observation of character.

The book contains one of my favourite scenes from any book - the Dinner Party - which had me laughing out loud and re-reading it repeatedly, and the climax scene in the Council of Counts had me cheering out loud.

I can't reccomend this series, and this book in particular, too highly.This is science fiction for grown-ups.A terrific read.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of the Vorkosigans
I think this novel is the best of the Vorkosigan series so far, and aficionados of the series will know that that is high praise indeed. It never fails to make me laugh out loud, repeatedly and extensively, and there aren't many books about which that is true. It's more than a comedic novel, however; there's a lot of excellent character development, loose threads from past books tied up, and new loose threads created.

What this novel is not is a space opera, as many of the previous books have been. It is set entirely on Barrayar, and there are no space battles, undercover operations (unless you count the drains), or assassins. However, I have always understood the definition of science fiction to be writing that explores the impact of science on society, and A Civil Campaign is that in the fullest sense. The tagline, "a comedy of biology and manners," is an accurate description. I found the change of location to be realistic: Miles is 30+, and he can't remain the same character having the same experiences forever. This book was a good exploration of the consequences of the events of the past books, and a chance for some growing up on the part of a lot of the characters... don't let that staid pronouncement frighten you off, though. It's a very good book, and I recommend it to fans of the series as well as to people who have never picked up a Vorkosigan novel. I read it before I had read some of the others, and even though I didn't know all of what was going on, the plot, humor, and characters carried their own weight. The book has only improved on subsequent readings.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!
This is a stunningly good book!I am so glad I stumbled across it.Now I need to get my hands on the rest of the Vorkosigan saga IMMEDIATELY!

5-0 out of 5 stars The only Regency SF book ever
To enjoy this book to its fullest, the reader must be among those who have read other books in the series, AND also reads and enjoys Regency Romances.Judging from the other reviews, there are a number of her readers that fit in this category.If you have not yet read this book and fit into the catagory as well, rush to acquire the book.For those who understand what is going on in Mile's life and the conventions of a Regency Romance, A Civil Campaign is the funniest book ever.I read it when it first came out at the World Con, and made quite a spectacle of myself in the lounge reading and chortling away.The people who panned it need to become more ecclectic in their tastes -- most of us who liked this read military SF, which is why we are reading the Miles books, and Regencies as well.You are missing out in life that you have never read even one Georgette Heyer book. ... Read more

6. Cordelia's Honor (Vorkosigan Saga Omnibus: Shards of Honor / Barrayar)
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Mass Market Paperback: 596 Pages (1999-09-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671578286
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
When enemies become mare that friends they win. In her first trial by fire, Cordelia Naismith captained a throwaway ship of the Betan Expeditionary Force on a mission to destroy an enemy armada. Discovering deception within deception, treachery within treachery, she was forced into a separate peace with her chief opponent, Lord Aral Vorkosigan he who was called 'The Butcher of Komarr' and would consequently become an outcast on her own planet and the Lady Vorkosigan on his. Sick of combat and betrayal, she was ready to settle down to a quiet life, interrupted only by the occasion ceremonial appearances required of the Lady Vorkosigan. But when the Emperor died, Aral became guardian of the infant heir to the imperial throne of Barrayar and the target of high-tech assassins in a dynastic civil war that was reminiscent of Earth's Middle Ages, but fought with up-to-the minute biowar technology. Neither Aral nor Cordelia guessed the part that their cell-damaged unborn would play in Barrayar's bloody legacy. Publisher's Note: Cordelia's Honor is comprised of two parts: Shards of Honor and Barrayar.Together they form a continuous story following the life of Cordelia Vorkosigan nee Naismith from the day she met her then-enemy Lord Aral Vorkosigan through the boyhood of her son Miles. Barrayar won the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel of the year. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (80)

5-0 out of 5 stars Could kick myself for ignoring this series for 20 years!
The covers do not do this series justice.
I could kick myself for smirking at these books in the bookstore because the covers looked, well er, lame. 20 years later I am very glad to have discovered the series and hope you will too. Cordelia's Honor is the first book of the 12 book series that is still ongoing. I discovered all this by accident when I got a free copy of one of the books. I very quickly realized this was going to be one of the best science fiction series out there and went and bought them all. I got my brother hooked a short time later. In short, the series is what good books *should* be . . . Suspense, great characters that grow and change, incredible realistic descriptions of the future universe that is very plausible. You might even lose sleep reading on until the end. I haven't had books keep me up at night in ages . . . The stories themselves are so tightly written as to make them compulsively readable. The entire series in order is:

Shards of Honor
(these two books are also combined into "Cordelia's Honor")
The Warrior's Apprentice
The Vor Game
Ethan of Athos
The Borders of Infinity
Brothers in Arms
Mirror Dance
A Civil Campaign
Diplomatic Immunity

Please don't make the mistake of judging by the cover, the series is fantastic and fun to read.

5-0 out of 5 stars If a book can be a hero this is it
I just finished my third reading of this book!This series is so wonderful because all of the characters have character and develop throughout the series. None of them are completely good or totally bad. This is an unusual adventure story that keeps the pages turning with surprises. If I had to choose a series to take with me on a deserted island I would choose these books!


5-0 out of 5 stars one of the best
I made this my first book purchase when I split my household from my parents'. This book makes me smile with every page; the prose just deserves to be read again and again. A fun, stirring journey to barrayar, a worthy for anyone's shelf.

5-0 out of 5 stars Character driven
Cordelia's Honor is two books written years apart about the same characters. The story is driven by the characters rather than the science. If you like stories that are plot driven and about people you would like to know this is for you. If you want science driven stories you will probably not like it. That said, the first part of the book Shards of Honor has been one of my favorites since I first read it over 20 years ago. Even as an early work by Ms. McMasters it is well written with good character development. It shows that human motivation is the same no matter where you are. Part two continues Cordelia's story within months of the first. Both books show a woman who is basically peaceful in the middle of a war then a civil war. She is also patriotic to her homeland and loyal to her husband. While peaceful co-existantace is always her first choice do not push her. She is militarily trained and will push back, sometimes fatally if needed. She moves from an advanced social society into a more repressed male dominated world and makes a place for herself where she ends up as the female guardian of the next ruler. The male leaders, other than her husband, do not realize how much power she has been given to shape the next generation of social reform.

There were several years between the publications of the two books. Ms. McMasters wrote other stories about Cordelia's son in between.Her writing was good and only got better. This is more space opera than hard science but since I like both I would recommend it.I would buy anything by this author.

2-0 out of 5 stars Perhaps a good novella, but definitely not sci-fi
This book was a disappointment. Billed as a sci-fi, the reader is immediately fooled into expecting some swashbuckling futuristic action in the first few pages. This quickly falls apart, however, as the book finds its own in talking about character relationships on a planet that resembles present-day Earth in every way. Prepare for endless pages on horseback riding, formal events, romance, balls, feminism, and a wedding. Dozens of pages are devoted to each topic.

And the book does well with its stride. Characters have some depth to them, the world presented feels real enough. The storyline is consistent and well-presented. Were this billed as a present-day (or even knights or fantasy) story, it would have been a hit with its target audience. As it stands here, "Cordelia's Honor" just doesn't cut it as science fiction. ... Read more

7. Miles in Love (Miles Vorkosigan Series)
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Paperback: 880 Pages (2008-02-05)
list price: US$14.00 -- used & new: US$8.52
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416555471
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Two complete novels and a short novel in one large volume:


Komarr—Miles Vorkosigan is sent to Komarr, a planet that could be a garden with a thousand more years of terraforming; or an uninhabitable wasteland, if the terraforming project fails. The solar mirror vital to the project has been shatteredby a ship hurtling off course, and Miles Vorkossigan has been sent to find out if it was an accident, or sabotage. Miles uncovers a plot that could exile him from Barrayar forever—and discovers an unexpected ally, one with wounds as deep and honor as beleaguered as his own.  


A Civil Campaign—On Komarr, Miles met the beautiful Vor widow Ekaterin Vorsoisson, who has no intention of getting married after the heartbreak and betrayal of her first experience. But Miles has a cunning plan to change her mind. Unfortunately his clone-brother Mark and his cousin Ivan have cunning plans of their own, and the three-way collision of cunning plans threatens to undo Miles’s brilliant romantic strategy.


“Winterfair Gifts”—Miles and Ekaterin make elaborate preparations for their wedding. But Miles has an enemy who is plotting to turn the romantic ceremony into a festival of death.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (15)

5-0 out of 5 stars My favorite sci/fi series/author!
Lois McMaster Bujold was recommended to me by a salesperson in my local bookstore about 10 years ago.From the first book I read, I have been a huge fan, tracking down every work of fiction I could find by her and checking my indie stores starting a couple of weeks before publication dates on new works.My favorite series is the Miles Vorkosigan books.When Komarr, the first book in this compilation, came out, I was convinced that it couldn't get any better, only to be delighted when A Civil Campaign, the next book here, managed to carry my reading pleasure to even greater heights."Winterfair Gifts" rounds out Miles in Love, bringing to an exciting and romantic conclusion Miles' fascinating experiment in courtship.

I particularly enjoy the way these books are character driven.Plot twists may take me by surprise, but never because a well known character behaves in a way the reader knows he never would.I also get a kick from the way the author never misses the opportunity to intertwine minor events and return to seemingly secondary plots to pull the reader faster and deeper into the story, breathless to see how all this can possible be resolved.

Don't be put off by the romance tag, nor the "love" in the title.Yes, there are courting and dating and even a wedding or two, but while you could read the books for that alone, there is so much more here - intrigue and treason and military action and mystery and psychology and science.Space Opera in the best sense!

It is not necessary to read the entire Miles Vorkosigan series in order to enjoy this book.However, I think that getting to know these characters as they develop will only make this more fun.

Thank you to Ms Bujold for the immense pleasure she has given me, and with the purchase of this book the opportunity to share that pleasure with my teenage son.Doesn't get much better than this!

5-0 out of 5 stars If you are captured by the Miles character, you will want to read this omnibus.
Miles Vorkosigan, who was helping to save his people even before he was born (the second time),finally gets to fulfill the basic dreams of the "everyman" in his culture--a wife worthy of his selfless character. He also fulfills his Vor duty of producing heirs. I suppose his grandfather would finally embrace him, if he were still alive. Of course, he saves the brittle peace between planet empires along the way, grows in self-awareness, escapes permanent death, and wins the gratitude/admiration of even more sentient beings in the worm hole nexus.

Don't plan on getting those extra chores done around your home for a while. You will prefer to read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding omnibus volume of Lois's best work
Ah, so many details of other reviews are just a bit off factual.So, don't consider them all to be spoilers.But which are right and which are wrong?Read the books.

The books and story compiled in this volume are wonderfully well written with characters I'd like to know and have for friends.There is adventure, romance, comedy, tragedy, subtlety, intrigue and mystery.

The first page of Komarr and the title of the volume do telegraph the theme of this entire volume - Miles meeting Ekaterin and how they might make a life together.But it is NOT going to be easy to get there, given the beginning.The trip is great, though.

I have all these stories in separate books, on e-book, on audio and I keep a copy of this volume on the shelf to give out -- to hook people into Lois McMaster Bujold's really great writing.

The middle book in the volume is a leading contender for my favorite book of all time.It's stood up well to my 10 or so re-readings.And the others are very good, too.


5-0 out of 5 stars Miles collection with romance and intrigue
This collection shows us Miles and Ekaterin meeting (Komarr), getting to know each other as Miles tries to court her (A Civil Campaign), and the wedding (Winterfair Gifts), and, of course, dealing with assorted family relationships in all the stories.I enjoyed that, plus meeting Taura again in Winterfair Gifts.

A lot more goes on in these stories than romance, of course, Miles having to deal with political problems along the way, but look at how Bujold handles Miles recounting the loves of his life to Ekaterin.None of them would marry him; they all went on to lead successful lives--so unlike her life on Komarr.The last on his list was Rian: "And what does she do now?" "Now?She's an empress." ... "Can I take a number and get in line?" ... "The next number up," he breathed, "is one."

5-0 out of 5 stars Electronic book available via baen.com
This book contains two novels and one short story.Komaar is pretty good, and A Civil Campaign is quite possibly my favorite book ever.I own a paper copy of the books, but I got a kindle-format version via the publisher's web site.The webscriptions e-book comes in multiple formats, so it can be read on devices other than a kindle, including your computer without special software. ... Read more

8. The Sharing Knife, Volume Four: Horizon
by Lois Mcmaster Bujold
Mass Market Paperback: 448 Pages (2010-02-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.12
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061375373
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

The concluding volume in the epic fantasy saga from multiple Hugo Award-winning author Lois McMaster Bujold

A Lakewalker entrusted with protecting the populace from malices—terrifying remnants of ancient magic—Dag Redwing Hickory never expected to fall in love with Fawn Bluefield, the farmer girl he rescued. When they joined in marriage, defying their kin, they bridged the perilous split between their peoples. Now Dag's extraordinary maker abilities have grown—along with his fears about who and what he is becoming, and his frustration with the disdain in which Lakewalker soldier-sorcerers are expected to hold their farmer neighbors.

Fawn and Dag's world is changing, and the traditional Lake-walker practices cannot continue to hold every malice at bay. At the end of their long journey home, the pair must at last answer the question they've grappled with for so long: When the old traditions fail disastrously, can their untried new ways stand against their world's deadliest foe?

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Wrapping up a memorable journey in Bujold's style
I'm not sure what it is I like most about Lois McMaster Bujold's writing:her characterization skills, her prose, the fascinating world-building and plotting?Maybe it's all of the above.One skill she definitely has, though, is adaptability.In all four books of the "Sharing Knife" series, she has used a different style, even as she keeps everything consistent between the books.The fourth book, Horizon, fully illustrates that as Bujold adds a bit of action to the mix, with some wonderful magic, menacing forces, and the gradual softening of attitudes among the two very distinct societies that she has created.It's a wonderful culmination to a series that has captivated me from beginning to end, despite a couple of rough patches in the first book.

The first year of Dag and Fawn's marriage has been tumultuous, a honeymoon journey to show the Farmer girl a world that she's never seen.She's also learned a lot about how Dag's people, the Lakewalkers, aren't truly as scary as most farmers believe.Dag is learning more and more about becoming a "Maker," someone who specializes in working with the "Ground" that inhabits all human beings, and he harbors dreams of becoming a liaison between Lakewalker and Farmer, a bridge of understanding between the two peoples that will end the distrust that keeps them apart.As the newlyweds make their journey from the mouth of the river they have explored back home, with companions both Lakewalker and Farmer alike, the threat of a new kind of Malice (evil remnants of ancient magic) erupts in front of them.Old and tested ways may not be enough, and the true joining of Farmer and Lakewalker may be put to its ultimate test.

Bujold continues her masterful exploration of the Lakewalker world in Horizon, with Dag becoming apprenticed to a crotchety Lakewalker maker in a camp far to the south of Dag's home.In the process, we see even more about how "ground" works and the possibilities that Dag has created with his exploration of it.Fawn makes the perfect bridge between the two peoples, as Farmers instinctively distrust any Lakewalker and she is able to counterbalance that.These two characters are the core of this series, and Bujold does a wonderful job characterizing them.

That's not to say any of the other characters are neglected.As they journey north, the couple continually accept companions who want to come along for the ride, and the band becomes an eclectic mix of Lakewalker and Farmer, along with a couple of half-breeds who give Dag pause for thought regarding what he and Fawn will produce when the time comes.All of these characters are distinct and bring their own personality, prejudices, and talents to the group.They are all three-dimensional characters, never acting differently than they should and always contributing to the progress of the story.

For those readers who feel there hasn't been enough action in the series so far, there's definitely some in the final chapter.These new forms of Malices force Dag and his brethren to come up with new ways to stop them, and the finale of all this is truly fitting to the spirit of the series.All parties working together, the Lakewalkers needing the Farmers' help, and almost everybody has had their eyes opened to a new way of thinking about the world.

In almost every Bujold book I read, I marvel at the world-building skill she demonstrates, and that continues here.Yes, we've seen this world for the last three books, but she always brings something new to the whole proceeding.She's written each book in a different style, though this one is more like the second than it is the other novels.Book one was a romance, book three was a road (river) journey, and Horizon harkens back to the second book with its concentration on the exploration of this fantasy world.Of course, all the books have had that, but that hasn't always been the main thrust.

Bujold even excels in something as cliché as the "where did everybody end up?" epilogue, giving it all through dialogue between two characters who haven't seen each other in a while.We see what all of the survivors of the journey north are doing, the changes in the world and perceptions of it.Of course, this kind of conversation has been done before, but Bujold has the conversation heading toward the wrapping up of one loose end that the reader may not even be aware of, making this character update actually important to the story.

Finally, I have to comment once again on Bujold's prose, as Horizon is a beautiful book to read.She captures the speech mannerisms of both Farmer and Lakewalker perfectly, with hardly a word out of place.Her descriptions give the reader a vivid picture of what's going on and the world around the characters, establishing a setting that you can almost see yourself in.

Obviously, there are no perfect books, but any faults in Horizon are few and far between, at least to this reader's eye.The "Sharing Knife" series may have started out on a slightly questionable note, but it ends on a truly stellar one.I would also hazard a guess that this series could easily be an introduction to fantasy for those who think they don't like that sort of thing, as this is a perfect blending of genres.

Originally published on Curled Up With a Good Book© David Roy, 2009

3-0 out of 5 stars Good book, terrible paperback
This is really five stars for Bujold's book, which is a satisfying close to this series, and zero stars to the disgraceful production values of the mass-market paperback: I read the book when it first came out in hardback, waiting to buy a paperback copy for my collection (I have the other three in paperback). Now that it has finally come out in paperback, I haven't bought it, and I won't until the publisher takes a little bit of care in its production. I visited two different bookstores, and all the copies they had were very badly produced: warped paper, book not square, and, if put on a flat surface, with pages fanning open on their own.

I don't expect perfection and sewn binding from a mass-marked paperback. For my money I do expect a book that is a least as good as other paperbacks.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Sharing Knife - series
I also own about every book published by this author, and have read most of them more than once.Whenever I see her name as author, I buy the book.Her books are consistently entertaining, thoughtful, and the characters are believable and delightful.Her worlds and situations can engage for hours.My husband, who is not much of a reader, is currently reading "The Sharing Knife" - volume 2.

This is a fantasy series set on an unnamed but presumably non-earth world.The setting explores relationships between and within two main groups, ordinary people and those gifted "walkers" which can sense life-forces or have "ground-sense".In addition to the usual friction between different cultures, there is a common enemy of not-quite sentient "malices" which drain life force.The walkers, who have their own seasonal camps and who patrol from place to place as needed, protect the fringes of the more settled, interior settlements and have done such a good job that the farmers and other ordinaries have frequently come to believe that the malices are myth.Thus walkers are finding themselves even more as a fringe group (so to speak) as their traditional role has become less needed and therefore less valued.Some forward thinking walkers come to realize that their society must adapt, although in what direction, and how, is a struggle.

This series has everything--engaging characters faced with tough decisions, romance, individual growth, exploration, humor, personal sacrifice--all seen through the eyes of likable characters who are thrown into situations and relationships requiring re-examination of their beliefs and relationships.The descriptions of landscape, dress, verbal expressions and the character's reactions to different behaviors, underlying prejudices, and trials as they journey, make for a wonderful and sometimes scary, adventure.Vacations don't come any cheaper, and you don't need travel insurance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book in a new series.
I have lots of books from this author and was pleased with this 4 book series. ... Read more

9. The Curse of Chalion
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Paperback: 448 Pages (2006-04-01)
list price: US$13.95 -- used & new: US$5.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001O9CF1I
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

A man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril returns to the noble household he once served as page and is named secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions.

But it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion. And only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge -- an act that will mark him as a tool of the miraculous . . . and trap him in a lethal maze of demonic paradox.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (190)

3-0 out of 5 stars Slow, Emotional, Dramatic, and Romantic
I expected great things from Bujold.An emotional and romantic story of Cazaril the recovering slave, who has an aura of humility, did not do it for me.I think Bujold was going for 'saint' or 'savior' here.No grand action, no intricate mind vs mind strategic one-ups, none of what I'd come to expect from Bujold in a literary sense presented itself.Clunky pacing.

The only 'fantasy' elements are court intrigue, prophecy, and a developed religion.The novel is budding renaissance European-based historical fiction set inside an undefined author-created kingdom.Plus what's up with the weird titles:March, Royina, Roya, Royesse, and Castillar?(Needed maps of Chalion with rank guide.)Bujold mixes in a mystery element (the curse) which I wasn't a fan of, because of religious deus-ex machina.The characterization was written with feeling, yet falls into standard fantasy tropes.

If you're coming into this from Bujold's awesome science fiction, lower your standards.The Curse of Chalion is not an action fantasy, it's a serious story about self-sacrifice and love.The 'leaking poetry' metaphor was the best thing I can remember after reading it.Personally I prefer action fantasy, but if you are a more literary person, then I could see four stars.

5-0 out of 5 stars Not to Be Passed Up
"The Curse of Chalion" is one of a loose trilogy of books, all of which are connected by a shared setting and overlapping sets of characters (although if there is a clear chronology, this is not apparent to me). It is, to my taste, rather darker and grimmer than the other two Chalion books ("Paladin of Souls" and "The Hallowed Hunt"), showcasing, among other things, the threatening side of the spiritual universe that Bujold has here created (the Bastard, for instance, is much less the jolly trickster and much more the master of demons and unwanted creatures in this book). For all that, however, it is remarkable, and something you should not pass up the chance to read, particularly if you are into the work of Ms. Bujold. Buy and enjoy.

3-0 out of 5 stars Merely okay
This book came highly recommended, so maybe it's inevitable that I was disappointed. As far as fantasy goes, it's probably above average, but I found it to be nothing special.

The Curse of Chalion follows its nontraditional hero, Cazaril--a man in his mid-thirties who's failed at most of his endeavors, and is recovering from a stint as a galley slave--as he becomes tutor to the princess Iselle and helps her navigate the waters of a treacherous court. The story is driven more by character than plot; political maneuvering is crucial if not very complicated; there's a bit of fighting but this is not a combat-driven fantasy. There is a sequel, but fortunately this book works well as a standalone.

First, the good. The plot and characters are reasonably original. (I especially liked the idea of a princess arranging her own marriage to someone she'd never met, an interesting and actually empowering take on the standard girl-fights-arranged-marriage plotline.) The quasi-Spanish setting is fun and different (although it needs a map). The religion and its rituals are well-thought-out, and what magic there is fits well into the religion and the story without taking center stage. And the writing style is credible.

Now the not-so-good. Except for Cazaril, the character development is uniformly shallow. For the first half the book, Iselle and her lady-in-waiting Betriz are virtually interchangeable; it felt as if Cazaril fell for Betriz rather than Iselle merely because this served the plot better. Minor characters are one-note and at times just plain silly. The most ridiculous was "the Fox," whom we're told is a tough and conniving negotiator but in actuality is almost comically bad at it; in one scene he actually sounds "panicky" when the other party threatens to leave--the oldest trick in the book, and despite the fact that if he had any sense, "the Fox" would have realized that he had the upper hand in the situation.

Meanwhile, parts of the plot come together far too conveniently or stretch credibility (like how Cazaril could have avoided being told the identity of a certain important person). Worst of all, at the end Bujold cheats: a textbook example of trying to have your cake and eat it too.

But ultimately, I think this book depends on the reader's emotional connection to Cazaril. I wasn't particularly attached and have the feeling that may be why the book left me cold where others loved it. I wouldn't tell people not to read this book, just that it's nothing amazing and was not my cup of tea.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book from start to finish
The main character grabs you from the start as an interesting fellow.Most books seem to drag at first maybe 50 pages, but this one was a hit from page one.I ordered the second book before I was out of chapter 3.As the one star stated there is no magic or whatever else they said, but it is not needed.The characters are well fleshed out and liked or disliked as intended, too bad all books don't have characters this engaging.I haven't read book two yet, should be here soon, and I wish more was written in this world with these characters, I will hate to get to the end.Saying this, book 1 ends nicely with no loose threads and is a book in itself and a sequel not needed to finish loose ends, can't wait to see what will happen in book 2.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the most well written books EVER
Not only is this book one of the best fantasy books I've read, it is one of the best books I've read EVER. Bujold is the type of writer the rest of us aspire to be. She combines brilliance, creativity, attention to detail, and research to make this book a masterpiece.
The three most impressive works I've read from her in order are : The Curse of Chalion, Paladin of Souls, and The Spirit Ring.

The Curse of Chalion and Paladin of Souls main characters feel like characters from Grec-Roman mythology in their trials. The second half of Curse of Chalion has an epic feel; like poor, tormented Odysseus tossed about among the Gods, just wanting to get home.

A must read for any well-realized fantasy fans. ... Read more

10. Legacy (The Sharing Knife,Book 2)
by Lois Mcmaster Bujold
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2008-05-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061139068
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Ill-chance brought young Fawn Bluefield together with Dag Redwing Hickory, the seasoned soldier-sorcerer, but it was love and loyalty that joined their fates. While their unorthodox marriage has been grudgingly accepted by the clever farm girl's people, Dag's Lakewalker kin are less tolerant, greeting their union with derision, suspicion, and prejudice.

The specter of permanent exile looms above the couple—until a final decision on their lot is diverted by a sudden, viciously magical malice attack on a neighboring hinterland. Sworn to duty, Dag must answer the call, leaving his new bride behind. But what awaits him and his patrol could have serious and unimagined consequences for farmers and Lakewalkers alike, forever altering the lovers, their families, and their world.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Legacy (The Sharing Knife, Book 2)
This book was a great read, just the right mix of real vs paranormal ideas.Makes me wish that I had groundsense and was not a farmer girl.Though I would want to be a maker not a patroller, I am too much of a scardy cat to be a patroller.

5-0 out of 5 stars I am hooked on the Sharing Knife books
I started out with The Sharing Knife Beguilement and have enjoyed it so much.I could not put the first 2 books down, the author is very descriptive with her words, the story is unusual and I highly recommend these books, I will be buying the third book tomorrow, cannot wait.I have never written a review here before, but wanted to encourage readers to give her work, esp. this series a good chance!

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed with the weight of the story
I have read every book that Lois McMaster Bujold has written. Her other series have a weight to them that make the stories absolutely fantastic. The Sharing Knife series has hints of this weight, but never reaches the heights of the other series. It is just a mildly interesting set of stories. I am hoping for either more Vorkosigan tales, or, more hopefully, more in the world of Chalion.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Sharing Knife
I held back from buying this book because of the title but once I started reading it the title made sense and I couldn't put the book down.

4-0 out of 5 stars Liked It
I've been surprised by how much I like the "Sharing Knife" series (I'm currently reading book 3).There are elements in the book that I would've thought I would struggle with like the age diff between Fawn and Dag and the fact that Dag seems to have all the magical powers whereas Fawn doesn't.It's a real credit to Bujold's skills as a writer that she somehow makes it all work.

I'd say that this book is not a strong as the first book.There were times when I wish that the writing wasn't quite so subtle.I have this uncomfortable feeling that I vaguely understand the complexity of certain events but I don't understand it enough to explain it to someone else.Subtlety has it's place but there are times when I just want the author to spell it all out for me.Also, I felt there were a bit too many secondary characters.I struggled to remember who everyone is and how they all related with one another.

Criticisms aside, Bujold has this really amazing and interesting talent of conveying lots of meaning and emotion through a few words.Reading the story and the quiet romance between Fawn and Dag is like relaxing in a hammock with a glass of cold drink on a perfect spring afternoon. ... Read more

11. Horizon (The Sharing Knife, Book 4)
by Lois Mcmaster Bujold
Hardcover: 464 Pages (2009-01-27)
list price: US$26.99 -- used & new: US$3.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002SB8P4W
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

In a world where malices—remnants of ancient magic—can erupt with life-destroying power, only soldier-sorcerer Lakewalkers have mastered the ability to kill them. But Lakewalkers keep their uncanny secrets—and themselves—from the farmers they protect, so when patroller Dag Redwing Hickory rescued farmer girl Fawn Bluefield, neither expected to fall in love, join their lives in marriage, or defy both their kin to seek new solutions to the perilous split between their peoples.

As Dag's maker abilities have grown, so has his concern about who—or what—he is becoming. At the end of a great river journey, Dag is offered an apprenticeship to a master groundsetter in a southern Lakewalker camp. But as his understanding of his powers deepens, so does his frustration with the camp's rigid mores with respect to farmers. At last, he and Fawn decide to travel a very different road—and find that along it, their disparate but hopeful company increases.

Fawn and Dag see that their world is changing, and the traditional Lakewalker practices cannot hold every malice at bay forever. Yet for all the customs that the couple has challenged thus far, they will soon be confronted by a crisis exceeding their worst imaginings, one that threatens their Lakewalker and farmer followers alike. Now the pair must answer in earnest the question they've grappled with since they killed their first malice together: When the old traditions fail disastrously, can their untried new ways stand against their world's deadliest foe?

... Read more

Customer Reviews (28)

5-0 out of 5 stars Changing a world
As the fourth and final book in "The Sharing Knife" series, it definitely doesn't stand alone, and indeed it took me considerable time to recall who the secondary characters were, especially the ones who were 'off-stage' in this book.But gradually the details of the story so far came out, and the theme of the book, and the series, began to develop.Dag's world is at the beginning of a time of transition, when the old, and completely separate societies of the Farmers (this includes traders and artisans) and the Lakewalkers, who defend the land from ancient evil beings, is beginning to destablize.The culture seems to be perhaps late 17th or early 18th century, getting close to mass production and technology, and clearly increasing Farmer population, that will soon start to overwhelm the limited magic the Lakewalkers use to protect the land.Dag wants to find ways to undo the fear Farmers have of Lakewalkers, and the scorn that Lakewalkers feel for Farmers, and bring unity and understanding.It seems like more than one not-very-charismatic man can manage, but Dag is determined to gain the skills he needs to try.How a group of travelers come together for Dag to develop and demonstrate some of the possible ways of easing the differences creates an intriguing story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great conclusion to a great series
Horizonis the fourth and final book of Bujold'sSharing Knife series. In it, we find our heroes, Dag and Fawn Bluefield, returning north with the intention of settling a place of their own. Dag, already a veteran Lakewalker patroller, has become more than that now: medicine-maker, groundsetter, husband, father/brother figure, and all-around leader to a small conclave of Lakewalkers and farmers. Dag wants for simple things, but his life is anything but simple. As he and Fawn and a myriad of others travel north, they come face-to-face with Dag's worst nightmare: a malice that has grown unchecked and become very powerful as a result.

The Sharing Knife is, by it's very definition, about sacrifice. Dag sacrifices his usual way of life as a Lakewalker. Fawn sacrifices the stability of the life of a farmer to be with him. Others cross paths with Lakewalkers and farmers alike throughout the series and oftentimes come away missing something. A sharing knife itself is a medium of sacrifice, for it is imbued with the 'death' of a Lakewalker individual, and is the only weapon that can slay a malice.

Horizon is very much a continuation (and conclusion) of the series. The story itself comes full circle in more ways than one as Dag and Fawn return north and, in inadvertent fashion, complete the quest most dear to Dag's heart: to seal the rift between farmer and Lakewalker and unite them against the common threat of malice. Perhaps the best thing about Horizon is the way in which this happens. I won't give anything away, but suffice to say Dag spends much of the first three books planting seeds which only spring forth in this final volume.

I've said this before, but it bears mentioning again: the four books read as one. The style, the flow of the various plotlines; one can easily imagine Bujold having written the series in one long, continuous sitting. The writing is consistently excellent, with characters true to form and dialog spot on. This is not an action-packed thriller, yet Bujold has an excellent sense of moving the story along. I never felt like she was spinning me in circles or going down a path that had no relevance to the overall story. It's just great storytelling.

5-0 out of 5 stars fantastic story
I started with the Hallowed Hunt and it was so cleverly written that I had to search for other books by Bujold.I read all horizon series (there are four) and the thing that stays on my mind - is that this author created a world within a world.Many of her ideals are - just from the era its written in(like frontier times) but she adds certain elements into the story to make it so unusual and creative.I LOVE this author's writing style.Other people need a weird topic to make it interesting - but she does it with - her amazing writing skill.I read the other books paladine of the soul and that was really good too.I love the hesitant heroines of her story and little pieces of romance - that is real - not forced. I am not that fond of her Miles series but that could be - cuz I'm not fond of futuristic story lines.You have to read her books - you won't regret it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Story starts slowly but it still gripped me
Ex-patroller Dag Bluefield knows he needs help, but his own people, the Lakewalkers, have rejected him now that he's married a farmer, Fawn Bluefield. When Fawn tracks down a healer and persuades Dag to take training, she doesn't know that it will take years to complete his work, or that she'd be expected to wait, doing nothing, that entire time. But when a farmer child falls sick, Dag decides he'll break the rules, cure the child no matter what the cost. And so he, Fawn, and a small party, are thrown out of the Lakewalker settlement and follow the Trace to the north, toward Fawn's original home...and Dag's.

THE SHARING KNIFE: HORIZON is an interesting book. The first half the book is largely internal. Fawn and Dag deal with their differences, with the forbidden affection between them, and with the rules put in place by centuries of mistrust between the psychic Lakewalkers and the farmers they begrudgingly protect. In the second half, as they reach the north, Dag and Fawn must face the most terrible enemy their world knows...a malice. Malices are near-divine magical beings who take their shape and intelligence from everything they devour, who can create new life out of their victims, and who can psychically seize control over those without the strong psychic barriers the Lakewalkers maintain but the the farmers simply do not have.

Lois McMaster Bujold writes a human and intriguing story. Although Fawn initially comes across as weak and uninteresting, she grows through the story, becoming a worthy protagonist and hero. Dag, the tired ex-tracker, pursues his goal of becoming a healer to the farmers, whatever the cost to himself, and manages to change the entire world while he's doing it.

I thought THE SHARING KNIFE: HORIZON went too slowly and wanted more to be going on, yet Bujold's writing kept me hooked and reading despite myself. Because HORIZON is the fourth book in this series (I haven't read any of the others), it's certainly possible I would have different feelings if I'd read them continuously. As it was, HORIZON can stand alone, and delivers a satisfying conclusion to the story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Horizon (The Sharing Knife, Book 4)
Bujold's "Sharing Knife" series is a wonderfully unique world with characters you will love. "The Horizon" -4th book in the series is just as exciting and imaginable as all the other books in this series.It's never the same the event twice! Never a repeat performance of the last book. They are always fresh and new and proceed along a believable chain of events.An absolute must read if you've started this series or want an adventure you won't soon forget.
Life for the characters changes in "Horizon", but there are still plenty of malices to give them trouble. Just not the same kind of malices--something has changed.
There are weddings and funerals, laughter and tears. And some new faces that steal the show at times,(in a good way)!
Settings change as they travel down the river and then back to the North. What they encounter on their way will surprise you.Fawn and Dag are in a new phase of their relationship and it promises to provide some new and unexpected twists.
I couldn't put it down! ... Read more

12. The Hallowed Hunt
by Lois Mcmaster Bujold
Mass Market Paperback: 448 Pages (2006-06-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.11
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0060574747
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

A magnificent epic tale of devotion, possession, obsession, and strange destiny from the author of the Hugo Award-winning

Paladin of Souls

Lois McMaster Bujold

The half-mad Prince Boleso has been slain by a noblewoman he had intended to defile -- and Lord Ingrey kin Wilfcliff must transport the body to its burial place and the accused killer, the Lady Ijada, to judgment. With the death of the old Hallow King imminent and the crown in play, the road they must travel together is a dangerous one. And though he is duty-bound to deliver his prisoner to an almost certain death, Ijada may be the only one Ingrey dares trust. For a monstrous malevolence holds the haunted lord in its sway -- and a great and terrible destiny has been bestowed upon him by the gods, the damned, and the dead.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (61)

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing novel from a terrific author
Lois McMaster Bujold has done something with this novel that I did not think she was capable of doing:She wrote a boring book!The characters are flat, especially the point-of-view character, who does not seem to have any control over what's going on around him and doesn't try to do anything about it.The story itself is almost impossible to follow and, when you figure it out (I think I did anyway), you don't really care.There is one great scene, however, that almost redeems the entire book--when the lead character meets one of the gods, you feel like you're right there.Too bad the entire novel did not have that powerful writing.

5-0 out of 5 stars More great fantasy from LMB
Another good book in the Chalion series. LMB's fantasy writing is brilliant - I'm not a fan of her SciFi. If you liked the others in the series you'll like this one. Its not a sequel as no characters from previous books are mentioned. It just uses the same world for a new story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazingly wonderful!
Lois McMaster Bujold is an incredible author!Her worlds are detailed, fully-realized and intriguing.Each of her characters is deep, complicated, and unique.And the plots!Wow!She is one of the few authors I read where I can't guess what is going to happen about 50 pages in.Her writing is for intelligent readers and I appreciate that she doesn't dumb her books down.

This book starts rather quietly.But as the darkness and suspense built up I was more and more involved/invested.The plot/idea/premise was fascinating. I was on the "edge of my seat."

So...as you can tell, I highly recommend this book to you.

In fact, LMB just can't write them fast enough for me!

5-0 out of 5 stars A superb book by a superb author
This third book in the "Chalion" or "Five Gods" series requires a bit more thought to appreciate than the previous books.Or maybe it's that it takes more effort to identify with the protagonist at first.I strongly recommend making the effort, since this story is wonderful, highly re-readable, and a little philosophical (what is the nature of leadership?).Chalion is mentioned only in passing, but since this story takes place hundreds of years before the previous two books, that should be okay.Just don't expect to hear from any of the human characters from the previous books.The Bastard and the Brother do turn up here, quite a bit in fact.For the rest, get the book! It's worth your time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Not up to Lois' usual high standards.
I'm a BIG fan of Lois McMaster Bujold's Sci-Fi books and have read and enjoyed every single one.IMHO, of the four fantasy novels of hers I've read, HH ranks third ahead of 'Sprit Ring' and behind 'Curse of Chalion' and 'Paladin of Souls'.Being such a huge fan, I hold my expectations for her books at the highest plane of reading enjoyment.

'Hallowed Hunt' was better than most of the stuff I've been reading lately. Substandard-Bujold is better than no Bujold to read at all.

Lois usually nails her characters with details and paints them and their inner selves with a dedicated precision.Although her hero Ingrey has a wry sense of humor and is a trifle audacious, I found a major drawback was you really don't get to know him as well as you did Miles Vorkosigan or even Cazaril from `C of C'.

Lady Ijada, the female lead literally lights up the room for Ingrey, but doesn't get much help from Lois in making her a brilliant character for us readers.This is surprising because Lois usually does this very well for headstrong & liberated heroines.

The 'villain' even gets short shrift as he could have been more sympathetically portrayed with more revelations about what was going onwithin his psyche.

I think the limiting factor of 'HH' was that it was written from Ingrey's point of view, and had to follow him throughout the tale.We only saw what was in Ingrey's eyes and head, so we couldn't get deeply into the Earl Horseriver's or Ijada's noggins because of that.Maybe if Lois employed use of the magical 'vision' connection between these characters that device could have helped develop their motivations.

Something I've never caught Bujold in before were production flaws.1. Hallana is ripely pregnant when we first see her, and she delivers a healthy baby girl a short time after.Not a week later, Hallana is back in the capital, sans newborn without even mention of a wet nurse.Seems to me there'd be a baby needing care while Mom is gallivanting throughout the countryside.I remember my infants required a lot of attention. Then 2, Ingrey is next-in-line to inherit a sizable estate, but no mention of that at the end of the story. Considering he was somewhat impovershed and not-landed, that might loom as an important thing to mention in the epilogue.

However, Lois does deliver on the magic and supernatural end of the tale,making an interesting read of the whys and wherefores of spirit animals and ghostly Weald warriors.She's in top form on the plot and witty repartee between Ingrey and any would-be word jouster.

The supporting cast shines greatly over the principals.Jokol, as the boisterous sailor-poet prince, and Hallana, Temple Sorceress and physician are most memorable.Even Hallana's husband, Oswin, in all of ten pages, is made more interesting and fuller fleshed than the primary characters.

'Hallowed Hunt' might be substandard Bujold, but it's a helluva lot better than most of what's out there.Read it!
... Read more

13. Beguilement (The Sharing Knife, Book 1)
by Lois Mcmaster Bujold
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (2007-05-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061139076
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Troubled young Fawn Bluefield seeks a life beyond her family’s farm. But en route to the city, she encounters a patrol of Lakewalkers, nomadic soldier–sorcerers from the northern woodlands. Feared necromancers armed with mysterious knives made of human bone, they wage a secret, ongoing war against the scourge of the "malices," immortal entities that draw the life out of their victims, enslaving human and animal alike.

It is Dag—a Lakewalker patroller weighed down by past sorrows and onerous present responsibilities—who must come to Fawn’s aid when she is taken captive by a malice. They prevail at a devastating cost—unexpectedly binding their fates as they embark upon a remarkable journey into danger and delight, prejudice and partnership . . . and perhaps even love.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (111)

1-0 out of 5 stars really?
I simply cannot believe that the author of 'The Curse of Chalion' wrote this book. That book was deftly handled, well-written, and mature.This book is childish and weak.Did she write this when she was 13?"Little Spark"?Really?

3-0 out of 5 stars Pleasant romance with humans (some with magic abilities) fighting magic creatures.I wasn't wowed, but it was ok.
There are two kinds of humans, regular humans who farm, raise animals and have trades, and lakewalkers who patrol the land looking for and destroying malices.Lakewalkers have magic abilities.Malices erupt from the earth and make slaves out of nearby animals.It reshapes them into human form where they resemble zombie-like men called mud men.The malice has mud men capture humans to do work such as digging.The lakewalkers create special knives to kill the malices.

Fawn's family and others make her feel small and stupid.Sunny is a local bully who has sex with Fawn causing a pregnancy.Fawn runs away hoping to find a job as a maid in the nearby town of Glassforge.Along the way she is kidnapped by a mud man.Dag is a lakewalker who has been following the trail of the mud man.He saves Fawn and then travels with her to Glassforge.

This was nice as a quest fantasy with a character-driven romance.Dag is a hero with no faults.He's great at fighting malices and bad guys.He lost his wife.He lost his left hand in a battle.His body is battered with scars.I admire and like Dag.

I am sympathetic for Fawn.Home has been a painful place for her.Living with Dag on the road is a better life.She and Dag fall in love.He's much older.She's around 20.My only complaint is that the story seemed to drag a bit toward the end, as Fawn's family prepared for a special event.There is a mystery about a knife which is not solved at the end of the book.Dag and Fawn will continue their journey in book 2 to solve the mystery.

Story length: 361 pages.Swearing language: none.Sexual language: none.Number of sex scenes: 2.Total number of sex scene pages: 9.Setting: unknown time before cars in a rural area called Oleana.Copyright: 2006.Genre: young adult fantasy romance.

5-0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written; Bujold outdoes herself
I've long been a fan of Bujold, and have enjoyed every novel of hers. The Beguilement series may be her best work yet. I was a little hesitant about the heroine's name - Fawn. But even Fawn thinks her name is silly.

The world Bujold creates is rich and full of detail. She's not afraid to take the time to work on her characters and shape them into complete people. Even the minor characters have a backstory. The series begins at a slow, but captivating pace, and picks up momentum in the subsequent novels.

This is a book that appeals to all audiences. There's action, adventure, romance, sorcery, horrific enemies (called "malices"), and amazing battles. By the end of the fourth novel, the story feels well rounded and complete. I still want more of it, but there are no loose ends.

2-0 out of 5 stars Bujold bummer!
I never thought I'd be writing a negative review of Bujold, but this book is a bit of a stinker. I had avoided this series, since it was billed as a Fantasy/Romance hybrid. But I finally decided to give it a try, and I'm sorry I did. Even in these allegedly enlightened times I guess there's still a market for Romance novels, and perhaps Bujold had a good time writing in the genre. I have nothing against a love story, but Bujold wrote several real, affecting ones in the Vorkosigan books. I wish she had done this here instead of producing this formulaic Romance claptrap. At least it's not as bad as the stomach-turning SF/Romance perpetrated by Catherine Asaro! Bujold's world is intriguing as its present and past are gradually revealed to us. The characters are quirky and interesting. The writing is good enough to keep me turning the pages - though I turned them rather quickly during the more treacly passages. I don't know whether the plot is sufficiently compelling to get me to try the second volume. Thank heavens a new Vorkosigan is due out this fall!

5-0 out of 5 stars Now my favorite "Comfort" book
My mom suggested this one for me when I was having a particularly stressful month and just could not handle another macabre book about jilted lovers trying to survive the apocalypse. I have read hundreds of books, and this one is by far one of my favorites as it just makes you feel better after reading it. I hope that Lois McMaster Bujold writes more like this one, because I have read this series about five times. ... Read more

14. Brothers in Arms
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Hardcover: 318 Pages (2008-08)
list price: US$25.00 -- used & new: US$25.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1886778744
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
In the wake of unexpected planetary peace and the disappearance of the Dendarii payroll, mercenary captain Miles Naismith attempts to discover the link between the insufferable Captain Galeni and the Komarran rebel expatriates. Reissue. AB. Amazon.com Review
After the audacious prison camp escapade described in Borders of Infinity, Miles is on the run from the Cetagandans, who aren't about to take that kind of thing lying down. The worst of it is, Miles and his friends are starting to see double, and it takes a while to find out who is responsible. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

3-0 out of 5 stars a doppleganger space opera
Space empires and wars of conquest aside we have here a sort of undercover
herofrom a small expanding empire.
He is a strange sort of hero who falls for his woman bodyguard
and although he is third in line for the crown, she would rather be a mercenary captain than his wife back home.
Having two jobs and two titles is made more difficult for the hero Miles when a cloned double shows up.
I might like to read more of this series as the writing is pretty good,
but a sci fi goes there is nothing new or interesting about them.

3-0 out of 5 stars Out Of Sync
Most of the quality aspects of the earlier books in the series continue in Brothers In Arms, which makes it surprising and a little confusing why this book misses the mark.

Miles, is by far, still the most interesting figure in the book.The wit and quick thinking way he is written is something I have yet to see in any other major sci-fi book.In nearly every book on the market, the main character is a physical dynamo and expert in all fields.The frailty the character is written with makes his silver tonged existence stand out all that much more.

Nearly all the other characters in the book also continue to be well constructed, avoiding most cliche's and seeming real and spectacular, as usual.The one major exception, and what more then anything draws down the book is Mark.He is whinny and, for lack of a better word, un-interesting.It amazes me that someone who is made to be a clone of the main character can feel so amazingly different. His sections are worth skimming more then reading.

The plot holds up, although to a less interesting degree then its' predecessors.Most of the mysteries and drama in the book were fine, but as with the character, everything involving the clone plot-line falls a bit flat.

This is not a bad bood by any stretch.It is still much better then most of its competitors ont he shelf.It just doesn't hold to the high standards set by the rest of the series.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Cousin clone kill.

Miles has problems on most fronts.The Cetagandans are none too happy with his escapades.His conservative opposition is none to happy with his escapades.He has a clone brother that wants to kill him.As far as I remember, I think he had enough clean undies and socks to go around though.

A spot of survival and reconciliation is in order.

4-0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book in the Vorkosigan series
You can always count on one of Bujold's Vorkosigan books to be well-written, carefully plotted, and with interesting characters. This is no exception. Here, Miles has emerged from a major coup, liberating a prisoner-of-war camp, but comes to Earth for repairs for his mercenary fleet (which is actually being subsized by Barrajar, but that's not something we talk about). Of course, nothing ends up routine: he has enemies who track him down, and amazingly enough, replace him with a clone. Miles must deal with the situation while at the same time cope with his feelings for his "brother," who shouldn't suffer for the situation he's been forced into. As usual, Miles bends the rules, uses some brilliant tactics, has a suitable amount of angst, and comes out on top. You can always count on Bujold.

4-0 out of 5 stars Miles is two men in one or is that 3 ?
Admiral Naismith has just come into Earth orbit with ships that need refitting, injured and dead crew that need medical care, and the Cetagandan hit squads hopefully lost behind. The Dendarii need their pay for the horrendously expensive jail break they just performed (See Borders of Infinity).He needs money and to check in with the Barrayaran Embassy.

The usual benign beginning turns into intrigue when the Embassy Security doesn't even know Naismith is owed money, his calls for money to his usual sources are unanswered, he's confined to quarters, the Dendarii are at loose ends and getting in trouble, these a plot afoot to kidnap him, a report thinks Naismith and Vorkosigan are the same person, and Ivan is working at the Embassy.

In this book we get an introduction to Galeni and to Lord Mark. There is a lot going on in this book.There's not only the story of the book but much of the background and history that will feature in the next several books is laid in this one.

If your looking for a book to take your mind of your life for a few hours--this is it.There's action, intrigue, plot twists, and the usual wit and humor.At least I know I wouldn't mind a living fur blanket that purrs providing I wasn't allergic to it.

Read and enjoy. ... Read more

15. Young Miles
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Mass Market Paperback: 864 Pages (2003-07-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743436164
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
It isn't easy, being Vor. Being a Vor lord on the war-torn planet Barrayar wasn't easy. Being an officer in Barrayar's military wasn't easy. And being the leader of a force of spaceborne mercenaries while maintaining a secret identity wasn't easy in fact it should have been impossible, to say nothing of being a capital offense on Barrayar. Not that impossibility or great danger would slow down young Miles Vorkosigan much. Washed out of the Barrayaran Military Academy for being overly fragile (he had been biochemically damaged during an assassination attempt while still in his mother's womb), Miles' natural (if unorthodox) leadership qualities quickly led to his off-handedly acquiring a fleet of nineteen ships and three thousand troops, all unswervingly loyal to him or at least to his alter ego, Admiral Naismith. In short order, he foiled a plot against his father, returned to and graduated from the academy, solved a murder among his people, joined a mutiny against a deranged superior officer, thwarted an interstellar invasion, and rescued the Barrayaran Emperor. Then things get interesting.Publisher's Note: "Young Miles" was previously published in parts as "The Warrior's Apprentice", "The Mountains of Mourning", and "The Vor Game". ... Read more

Customer Reviews (29)

5-0 out of 5 stars So good that you'll read it, then re-read it and then re-read it again and ... you get the idea
After reading this book for (what must be) the 6th or 7th time, I thought perhaps I should put in a review. Each time I read the Vorkosigan saga, I find myself completely enchanted all over again. I stay up way past my bedtime, laughing out loud every time Miles advises his compatriots to murmur "hmm" "erm" or "god help us" when they're in doubt, anxiously turning each page to follow the latest action-packed plot turn ... even though I already know the outcome! An absolutely charming series with fantastic character development, interesting plot lines, and a great sense of adventure and humor.

I can't recommend the series (and especially the first Miles book) highly enough.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read
The book makes more sense if you read the prequel about Miles' parents. However, I enjoyed the action, the emotional drama as well as space opera stuff. Bujold has created an interesting character. He gets into all sorts of crazy things and manages to extricate himself creatively all the time. Very fun book.

2-0 out of 5 stars Unforgivable
Ms. Bujold's words flow very nicely on the paper. But there are two glaring technical deficiencies in this book.

The first deficiency is that Young Miles is classified as Science Fiction, when it obviously is not, unless you count Military Science. To be a science fiction, a novel must be a fiction about science. I failed to see the scientific method demonstrated in this book. There is no process of positing a fictional hypothesis, testing the hypothesis with carefully controlled experiments and coming to conclusions on what the experiments proved or disproved. No, in reality, this novel is an attempt to put the question of humanity in a futuristic society that travels by spaceship and uses plasma weapons, a space drama based in Greek mythos if anything.

And the humanitarian aspect falls short, in my opinion. Ms. Bujold demonstrates that someone's diversity can and does add value to their place in humanity as humans. But at the same time, there is a deeply disturbing treatment of people who are born with a different handicap than her protagonist. Ms. Bujold alludes to "hermaphrodites," people who are born with both sexes, coined from the conjunction of two Greek Gods Hermes, the messenger, and Aphrodite, the Goddess of love. References to these people are as "it"'s, using a pronoun that strips all humanity and she causes the text to be hard to read. How could the author write such degrading and unforgivable drivel. In fact, I fail to understand how either she or her protagonist could believe such a thing. It makes me question her research on this novel.

The science of Hermaphrodism in our time has dropped that term in our lifetimes. The term for the last decade is instead intersexed, a condition where one's sex is indeterminate at birth. I would like to demonstrate that there are at lease 3 forms of intersexed conditions. The first and most commonly recognized intersex condition is genital intersex, which used to be classified as the hermaphrodism as classified above. The second class is chromosomal intersex, whereininspection of the persons genes reveals that the individual chromosomal makeup does not fit the genitalia they were born with, one extreme version being Kleinfelter's Syndrome where the chromosomes (XXY) match both female (XX) and male (YY). In both of these cases, the individual growing up still identifies as either a he or a she, but never as an it. The final case of intersex can be debated as to whether it deserves the title, but hormonal balances during fetal development can cause the brain of the infant to be locked somewhere between male and female patterns and not really wholly one or the other. But...the child will still identify as a person, sometimes male, sometimes female with a propensity toward one or the other. If that person is absolutely androgynous (having no gender) the appropriate pronouns are either s/he or ze for he/she and hir for his/her; never an it!

Finally, the Thorne character demonstrates in my opinion that "she" has a more feminine trait and should be referred to that way. I don't know if I can finish reading the novel, because as a transgender woman, every time I see an "it" where I need to see a personal pronoun, I feel degraded and lose sympathy with the author.Ms. Thorne has done a disservice to transgendered and intersexed people with this novel, and that is unforgivable in a novel that is labeled as a "science" fiction.

5-0 out of 5 stars an exceptional read
I found this book to be so absorbing, that I couldn't put it down. Ms. Bujold has continued her fine work in this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Place to Start
This was my first foray into the Vorkosigan Saga.I'd heard from various sources that Bujold is a great science fiction writer and, after reading this omnibus collection of books, I'm inclined to agree.Young Miles is actually a compilation of two previously published novels and a novella followed by a brief after-word by Bujold, which discusses how the Vorkosigan Saga came into creation.It seems as if many of the one star reviews complain about it being a collection of previously published novels.All I can say to that is perhaps people should read the back cover (where it is clearly stated that this is, in fact, an omnibus edition of three previously published stories) before buying the book.Spoilers follow.

The first story, The Warrior's Apprentice, introduces us to our unlikely hero, Miles Vorkosigan, and his pre-military adventures.Miles is rejected from the military academy after failing the physical portion of the final exam.Coming from a society that revolves around and places great importance on the military, this is devastating to Miles and is made more so by the disappointed reaction of his grandfather.His dreams are shattered and he finds himself at a loss as to what he should do with his life.However, a trip to visit his grandmother on Beta Colony (accompanied by his bodyguard, Bothari, and his lifelong friend-and crush-Elena Bothari.He also picks up a jump pilot, Arde Mayhew, and a Barrayaran deserter, Baz Jesek) eventually leads to him to jumping into a war zone and, later, creating the Dendarii Mercenaries.Under and alias, Admiral Miles Naismith, Miles uses his wits to stay alive and run the mercenary fleet.Through a series of twists, he is eventually allowed to return to the military academy and continue his naval training.

The second story is the shortest of the three (actually being a novella), "The Mountains of Mourning."Recently graduated Ensign Miles Vorkosigan is sent to the backwoods of his father's district to investigate an infanticide (instigated by a fixable deformity of the child's mouth).He is forced to solve the crime to his father's satisfaction while enduring a longstanding prejudice against people with deformities, something that hits close to home for him and motivates him to find the murderer.This novella reads like a detective book with clues leading to the culprit.

The third story, The Vor Game, deals with Miles's first adventure in the military.After graduating the academy, Miles receives the disappointing station of Meteorologist on a harsh, frigid base.His monotonous job is made far more exciting by an insane commanding officer and, later, an unexpected runaway.Through a twist of fate, he is reunited the Dendarii Mercenaries and temporarily takes control of them, once again, to save a very important friend and, hopefully, regain his place in the military.Luck, thankfully, is on his side.

Bujold's writing is fantastic.She manages to incorporate enough humour to make certain parts of the story funny (in fact, the humour is artfully woven throughout the novels), enough action to make it exciting, enough emotion to make the reader really feel for the character and his or her situation, all while creating a cohesive, enticing plot.I now understand why she receives so much praise in the sci-fi world.

Where Bujold really succeeds, however, are her characters.Each one practically comes to life and is relatable on some level, whether it's through strengths, weaknesses, or personality.Take our hero, Miles, for example.He isn't the archetype hero.Due to a failed assassination attempt on his parents (involving a toxic gas), he's crippled.He only stands at a diminutive 4'10" with a twisted spine, a head meant for a person 6' tall, and very brittle bones.Therefore, he faces judgement and prejudice against his deformed appearance.To compensate for this, he relies on his wits and intelligence to get him through the struggles he encounters.He's also incredibly hyper.Miles is a likeable character that readers can relate to and believe.He isn't perfect in any sense; he doesn't "get the girl"; things often don't work out as he wants them to.He's enjoyable to read about because of this.The other characters, even down to minor characters who make few appearances, receive a similar treatment.They have their strengths and weaknesses, pasts that affect their present, personality flaws, and many other "human" characteristics.

Young Miles was truly a joy to read and I eagerly look forward to reading the other books in the series.I cannot recommend this book highly enough for any sci-fi fan.Five happily given and well earned stars.
... Read more

16. Memory (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures)
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Mass Market Paperback: 480 Pages (2001-11-27)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.75
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 067187845X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Thanks to his quick-thinking staff, Miles Vorkosigan's first death won't be his last. But the next one might be. When he returns to military duty, Miles realizes that his late death seems to be having a great effect on him. Unfortunately, his weakness reveals itself at the wrong time and place, and Miles must face Barrayaran security chief Simon Illyan. Now things look bad, but Miles's worst nightmares about Simon Illyan don't compare to Illyan's worst nightmares--or are they memories?.Amazon.com Review
Miles turns 30, and--though he isn't slowing down just yet--he is starting to lose interest in the game of Wall: the one where he tries to climb the wall, fails, gets up, and tries again. Having finally reached a point in his life where he can look back and realize that he has managed to prove his courage and competence, hecan move on to bigger and better things.

Depending on how you count it, this is the eighth, ninth, tenth, or eleventh book in a series--not all are about Miles or even his extended family. A good place to start is with the first Vorkosigan story, Shards of Honor. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (71)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!
This is, above all, a mystery story set in the future.Those of us who have been following the series have seen Miles overcome all odds.In this book he overcomes himself and his own lifelong fears.His incredible intelligence, resourcefulness, and energy are fully in view.I have read the book over and over.It always pleases me.

2-0 out of 5 stars Proper names mispronounced
This is a review of the Blackstone Audio book on tape as read by Grover Gardner.

Gardner is an excellent actor and reads the book well enough. However he or his director did LMB the disservice of not checking the pronunciation of the proper names in the book. Throughout the reading he mispronounces several proper names; most egregious Dendarii (per the LMB web site should be den-DARE-ee) as den-dair-ae-eye. These mispronunciations are highly distracting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can I possibly choose a favorite?
If you have not read any of the Vorkosigan novels, do not start with this one. Either begin with the two books about his parents (collected in Cordelia's Honor), or with The Warrior's Apprentice. This is a series that MUST be read in order.

In this book, Miles loses everything he's worked hard for and has to find a new direction. This is something that most people can relate to on some level. The thing that makes this series so wonderful is that the characterization of Miles is amongst THE richest in science fiction. The series can be tragic and hilarious--that's rare, and that is most on display in this book. The Warrior's Apprentice and this book are probably my favorites in the series, but cannot be appreciated unless you read the previous ones and understand the significance of the losses Miles experiences in this book, as well as his triumphs. One of my favorite lines sums up the spirit of this book: "The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart." This series has a lot of heart--if you're a sci-fi reader who only likes cyber/genetic/space battle foci without heart--don't bother with this series. But if you want a series about character and understand that the world building is central to that character, give yourself a treat and read Bujold.

5-0 out of 5 stars Favorite Vorkosigan of Mine
Memory is my favorite of this entire series because it "grows" the main character to an entire new person instead of just another book about the same person. If you are considering a change in your life or have experienced making a life-changing mistake and need a reason to go on again, then this book will speak to you. The "audio books" in this series are read by Mr. Grover Gardner who is a fantastic reader. He has a unique way to signify when something is a thought or when it is spoken out loud. Whether reading or hearing these books they are addicting. Be warned you may have a hard time leaving the Vorkasagan universe!

4-0 out of 5 stars Need the Hardcover
Well I had already read this book as a paperback but am replacing as many of my paperbacks with hardcover as I can find. I really like this author and the series and am awaiting a new book. Chances are there will not be another one but that is a shame. Great book.. ... Read more

17. Dreamweaver's Dilemma
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Paperback: 252 Pages (1997-02-01)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$9.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0915368536
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Contains "Dreamweaver's Dilemma," a previously unpublished novelette set early the author's universe, the Hugo Award-winning "The Mountains of Mourning," a never-before-published Sherlock Holmes pastiche, an interview with Lois McMaster Bujold, and Suford Lewis' Vorkosigan genealogy. Hardbound with cover art by Bob Eggleton. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

3-0 out of 5 stars Early Bujold
This book combines some early short stories, interviews about Bujold's writing, and a chronology of the building of her writing career. Only one Miles' story is included: Mountains of Mourning.
Interesting and informative

3-0 out of 5 stars A qualified three stars
Up until now I thought I loved everything Lois McMaster Bujold has written (well, there was _Spirit Ring_ that didn't quite fall into that category), but I didn't love this.But being a completist, I'm glad I read it and own it.I liked some of the essays about how she came to write, or why readers should read speculative fiction.I enjoyed "Mountains of Mourning" again, but no surprise there, some years I have taught it, I like it that much and think it's that important.Also this week I read the Afterward to _Miles in Love_, a new reprint of _Komarr_, _A Civil Campaign_ and "Winterfair Gifts."It is about the varying structures and themes of those novels, it also fits in nicely with the essays and short stories in this volume.And it's more recent work.
So, if you've read the entire Vorkoverse numerous times and you've read all of Bujold's fantasy, then perhaps you will enjoy(or get enough out of) this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Collectors must
This book is for the Bujold fanatic, and those who like short fiction. Interesting as the stories are, i think the essays by Lois are the best part.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Bunch of Little Bujolds
Bujold doesn't do much short-format stuff, so if you like something under novel length and you have any taste at all--meaning you love Bujold--you need to pick up this book. If you're a Miles Vorkosigan fan--and we already posited your good taste--the book is essential. Strictly speaking, there's only one Vorkosigan story--"The Mountains of Mourning"--and you'll have that anyway in another Miles Vorkosigan collection, but there's invaluable material by Bujold on the writing of the early Vorkosigans, and some supplemental material--charts of the Wormhole Nexus, timelines, geneologies and such. That's not all by Bujold, but it is all intersting and helpful. Warning: this book is NOT the place to start. If you're not familiar with the estimable--and hyperactive--Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, buy the book anyway, but read the early Vorkosigans--SHARDS OF HONOR and WARRIOR'S APPRENTICE at least--before you read this one.

4-0 out of 5 stars Recommended for Hard-Core LMB Fans Only
Lois McMaster Bujold has a deservedly large following for her award-winning fiction, including "The Mountains of Mourning" novella in this collection.However, most of the short stories printed in this book have the unique ideas LMB fans expect from her fiction but are lacking the polish more recent books exhibit.Whatever this aggregate lacks in technical skill, it delivers entertainment with a quirky wit and a wide range of world building that readers of only the "Vorkosigan" universe would miss.

As a avid reader of LMB, I enjoy having this book in my collection but do not use it for "prosethelitizing" since I believe it suitable mostly for the LMB "fanatic".Would that I had spent this little ($12) for my copy!;) ... Read more

18. Spirit Ring
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (2000-05-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$22.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671578707
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description

Fiametta Beneforte dreamed of making beautiful and enchanted objets d'art, but alas her magician-goldsmith father was more likely to have her scrub the kiln than study magic. After all, it was a waste to train a mere daughter beyond the needs of the moment.

Thur Ochs dreamed of escaping the icy mines of Bruinwald. But the letter from his brother Uri arranging his apprenticeship to Master Beneforte was not the only force that drew him over the mountains to the Duchy of Montefoglia...

A betrayal at a banquet plunges Thur and Fiametta into a struggle against men who would use vile magic for vile ends. Needs of this desperate moment will require all their wits, all their talents, and all their courage, if they are to rescue both Montefoglia and the souls of those they most love. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (22)

4-0 out of 5 stars Fun and satisfying
When I first read this book, my reaction was negative - it wasn't Miles and co.But I re-read the book after several years and find that it stands on its own merits.Bujold is trying something different, and her readers need to let her.The beginning of the book is a bit tentative but by the second chapter, the plot is coming together and Bujold is writing as well as she ever did.This book has good characters, interesting situations, and a swashbuckling, satisfying plot resolution.Recommended.

3-0 out of 5 stars Real-world setting doesn'tfree story to be truly `fantastic'
Beinga Miles Vokosigan fanatic, I bought *The Spirit Ring* soon after publication because I was hungry for more LMB.

However, I was disappointed in this first fantasy effort from one of my favorite authors.Her writing seemed to fall off a notch in this book.

The dialogue in *The Spirit Ring* was adequate, but the characters not as fully-formed, and the plot devices only okay.

I had never read a fantasy novel before, and I found it hard for my imagination to run wild because I knew too much already about Renaissance Italy.I couldn't obtain the escape velocity necessary to get fully into themagic and wizardry part of the tale.A real-world setting doesn't really free a story to be truly `fantastic' if there are too many 'real' reference points, such as food, language, or customs.I half expected Fiametta to bump into Leonardo DaVinci as she turned a corner.

Bujold's universe of Chalion (*Curse of Chalion*, *Paladin of Souls*, *The Hallowed Hunt*) is much more fantastic, accessible and successful as a getaway place for the reader. I heartily endorse the Chalion series for the fantasy reader and Bujold fan, and suggest you start with *Paladin of Souls*. Read *The Spirit Ring* afterward. You'll still fing it enjoyable.

If you are used to Lois' Sci-Fi space opera adventures, try to remember this was her first try in the fantasy genre.After all, it's still Lois McMaster Bujold. And LMB at a C+ effort is much better than most stories you get out there.

4-0 out of 5 stars Dark and spirited Ring
Bujold's venture into dark fantasy is very successful; this book is fully enclosed, with a well wrapped up story and it does not threaten to be on of these 20 plus volume cycles that run our of steam by volume 3, but it is an engrossing and very stylish novel. Setting the action in a parallel universe, on Renaissance Earth where magic is not only commonly used, but codified with guild rules, allows her to bring very strange elements to what would otherwise be a rather simple story.
The main character is a headstrong girl, and her and other people and demons in this story are fleshed out (rotting in pieces a bit) really well. This is action driven tale, but the story of daughter's revenge and quest to save her father's soul, no less, is well designed, with emotional resonance. There is black magic, necromancy and black humour, and this is a beautifully designed world, filled with fascinating details. Also, apart from the Earthsea cycle, I don't know many other fantasy novels where the main protagonist has such lovingly described dark skin, and exotic looks, but that's just a nice bonus. This is a real fantasy treat, not as sophisticated as Bujold's main stream sci-fi work, especially the Vorkosigan series, but it's a nice detour.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Surprise or Two
While a seemingly teen fantasy at times in the beginning, this tale does have Bujold's signature tension-filled, squirming adventure that her fans slurp up like...butter bug juice (she cannot control herself - grin).First in the mine accident, and then not for quite awhile, until our Hero is sent off to plant "ears" for spying.After that, the pace picks up in true Bujold style and humor (the woman is amazing with the humor).The whole thing with the statue was AWESOME, Medusa head, pock marks and all.
I can now die happy.

5-0 out of 5 stars First-rate historical fantasy, set in a magical Renaissance
"The Spirit Ring" is based on "The Grateful Dead", which is an old
folk-tale (young man pays for a pauper's burial, and is rewarded by his
ghost), Ms. Bujold's great-uncle's Ph.D. dissertation, and (I presume)
source of the band's name. This is, I think, her most personal novel. The
heroine's domineering, larger-than-life father must be, in part, LMB's own
engineer-father, though the character is formally modeled on Benvenuto
Cellini. The spunky, rebellious, and ultimately spectacularly successful
daughter is surely, in part, Lois herself (or at least a power-fantasy
wish-fulfillment mental self-image) [1]. Huh. I don't normally do (or
like) this sort of review, but it feels right this time. Read the book and
see what you think. LMB has said that the engineer-hero of "Falling Free"
was explicitly modeled after her Dad. And "The Spirit Ring" is her only
female coming-of-age novel. None of this will get in the way of your
enjoyment of the book, BTW, it's Bujold at her story-telling best, a fine
and stirring yarn indeed.

We're in the smokehouse at a rural inn:

Thur glanced up, then his gaze was riveted by what lay in the shadows
above the rafters... the nude body of a gray-bearded man, close-wrapped in
the same sort of gauze as the sausages... His skin was shrivelled and
tanning in the smoke.

"Pico was right," Thur observed after a moment's stunned silence. "Your
wife does smoke the most unusual hams."

Catti glanced up after him. "Oh, that," he said in disgust. "...He's a
refugee from Montefoglia who didn't quite make it. Penniless, it turned
out -- after the bill was run up."

"Do you often do this to guests who don't pay?" asked Thur in a fascinated
voice. "I'll tell Pico to settle our bill promptly..."

"The Spirit Ring" was Bujold's ninth published novel, first fantasy novel
and first hardcover. It didn't sell very well. I was vaguely aware of its
existence, but I'm not a regular fantasy reader and had passed it by. Don't
you make the same mistake.

Happy reading!
Pete Tillman ... Read more

19. Miles, Mystery & Mayhem
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Mass Market Paperback: 576 Pages (2003-08-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.74
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0743436180
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Miles Vorkosigan times three equals entertainment, excitement & excellence. Diplomat, soldier, spy-Lieutenant Lord Miles Naismith Vorkosigan of the Barrayaran Empire, a.k.a. Admiral Naismith of the Dendarii Free Mercenaries, is a young man of many parts. Miles and his handsome cousin Ivan are called upon to play a simple diplomatic role on the capital world of Barrayar's old enemy until murder and deceit thrust them into Cetagandan internal politics at the highest levels, and Miles discovers the secrets of the haut-women's biological domain to be very complicated indeed. Commander Elli Quinn, sent by Miles on the trail of those secrets, meets a man who marches to the beat of a very different drummer. Dr. Ethan Urquhart, obstretician from a planet forbidden to women, is on a quest at cross-purposes to Elli's mission - or is it? Consequences of Cetagandan bioengineering continue to play out, this time on a Dendrii sortie to the crime planet of Jackson's Whole. When he encounters a genetically altered super-soldier, Miles' routine rescue strike takes a sudden hard turn for the unanticipated.Publisher's Note: "Miles, Mystery & Mayhem" was previously published in parts as "Cetaganda", "Ethan of Athos", and "Labyrinth". This is the first unified edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (24)

4-0 out of 5 stars Good place to start this series
I think this is a good place to start and/or jump into if you have not read the series from beginning to end. These stories can stand alone without knowledge of the characters.I believe though that after reading them you will be hooked by Ms. Bujold's compelling writing to want to read the entire Vorkosigan saga from beginning to end.This is one universe that is fun to escape into.You won't regret purchasing this book. It is a mystery, science fiction, romance, and action all in one.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great fun with lots of action
If you like David Weber's Honor Harrington series, you'll probably enjoy this series also. Unlike Harrington's goddess-like physicality, Miles Vorkosigan has tremendous physical problems to overcome. He does so in such innovative ways that the books are delightful. Bujold creates great dialogue and plot twists even better than Weber. If you want straight space opera, stick with Weber. If you want a bit more, try Bujold's Vorkosigan saga. Great reading for a little escape.

5-0 out of 5 stars Omnibus of the middle years
This book is an omnibus of two books and a novella. It is the second omnibus chronologically of Miles Vorkosigan's adventures. It is still early enough to jump in without losing too much - though her humor builds on character a great deal. All three of these books deal very closely with themes of genetic manipulation.

Cetaganda is a story about Miles Vorkosigan and his cousin Ivan and how they save the Empire - The Cetagandan Empire (aka, the bad guys). It did a great job of outlining a culture we only had the vaguest notions about in previous works, and making them human, and inhuman, in delightfully believable ways. One last comment: kitten tree - lol.

Ethan of Athos is set very much in the Miles Vorkosigan universe - featuring the lovely Ella Quinn, who appears in the first book and in many later stories - but does not include everyone's favorite non-mutant midget himself. It does include a planet on which male chauvinist religious extremists have decided to live on their own - without women. Start filling in blanks yourself. I have to say, for not including any of my favorite regular characters, this is one of my favorite books of Bujold's. It has one of the most unique concepts I've run across, and some of the most well constructed telepaths.

"Labyrinth" is perhaps my least favorite of Bujold's shorter works, which speaks to the extremely high quality of her other stories, rather than any low quality of this one. Features the introduction of Taura, and who doesn't love Taura?

Buy it in hardcover of paperback - either way, you'll love it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Exploring other cultures in the Vorkosigan universe
This collection focuses on the connected themes of "human evolution, reproduction, bioethics, and gender issues."(I learn a lot from Bujold's Afterwords.)You'd never realize that from the title, but it fits, of course.

Bujold is fantastic at creating other cultures and interesting and sympathetic characters who've evolved in worlds way different from ours.Cetaganda is a culture that requires study to see how the groups work together.(No wonder they run off the tracks now and then.)Only Miles could connect with individuals there.

Ethan of Athos is a work of art.It takes a great writer to involve you in a world that fears women and is so out of touch with other worlds.And Quinn is a perfect mentor for Ethan.

Labyrinth is a favorite story.(Well, never ask me to rank them.)Miles' rescue and naming of Taura is well done.I was relieved to learn the doctor's reason for wanting Taura "put down."

All the stories are great reads, and they lead your mind outside the box.
(P.S. I enjoy omnibus collections.Btw, check out Baen's omnibus editions of Christopher Anvil and James H. Schmitz, two more favorite authors.)

4-0 out of 5 stars well worth reading
Much better than the estrogen drenched Brother in Arms. Rivals, albeit in different fashion, gender challenges of William Barton's novels. ... Read more

20. The Vor Game
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Mass Market Paperback: 345 Pages (2002-04-30)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$4.29
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671720147
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Sent to the other side of the galaxy when he angers the High Command on his home planet, mercenary leader Miles becomes the only hope for betrayed childhood friend Emperor Gregor and will become emperor himself if he fails. Reissue. AB. Amazon.com Review
Miles manages to graduate from the Academy. His reward? A first post on Kyril Island, predicting and combating the local weather and his commanding officer's homicidal moods. His reputation and stunted form further battered by both, Illyan finds a way to combine (sort of) Miles's two lives as Lord Vorkosigan and Admiral Naismith--great for Miles, but a little hard on his commanding officers. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars I'm beginning to find this series addictive.
Ensign Miles Vorkosigan can't believe his first posting after graduating from the academy. He's assigned to forecast the weather at Kyril Island, a polar military base. Who on Barrayar even knows the place exists? And why give the young Lord Vorkosigan, who knows nothing about meterology, this thankless job?

Thanks to his brittle bones, which make him stunted and fragile on a planet where the physically imperfect do not usually survive to be born, Miles finds the harsh environment of Kyril Island an even bigger danger than would a "normal" ensign. His comrades haze him with uncommon vigor, hating and fearing the man who is different (and in their eyes, inferior). He comes close to dying thanks to that hazing. Then his commanding officer, who despises his famous father's name and therefore the young man who bears it, gives an insane order - one that will kill those who follow it. What will Miles do? Destroy the career for which he has fought so hard, before it properly begins; or watch his comrades die?

That's just the first part of this novel, which goes on to return Miles to his "Admiral Naismith" alias (familiar to those who have read THE WARRIOR'S APPRENTICE). It reads smoothly, and it allows Miles to change and grow naturally as he meets new challenges and finds ways to surmount them. Familiar characters from the earlier books reappear, and new characters - including some vividly drawn villains - also drive the action. I'm beginning to find this series addictive. It is such pure fun to read!

--Reviewed by Nina M. Osier, author of 2005 EPPIE winner REGS

5-0 out of 5 stars another great Miles book, great listening
This is about the audio version. I'm having a great time with the Miles Vorkosigan books...I must be, I'm gonna end up spending my yearly audio budget on 'em.Plots are pretty involved but not tough to follow, she sprinkles humor all through them, characters likable & believable.The narrator is excellent; pleasant voice, good pacing, just understated enough that he doesn't detract from the book, animated enough that he helps it come alive. (His reading of Donald E Westlake's Dortmunder books are priceless).

Oops. The Dortmunders are great audio books, just not read by Grover Gardner.It was another great reader, tho GG has my vote for all-time best.

5-0 out of 5 stars a good choice
I just finished reading the Vor Game.It's the first book I've read by this author.I enjoyed it and happy i picked it up.The action, polital intrigue kept my attention until the very end.

3-0 out of 5 stars He's a kid? Really?
I found myself distracted again and again by the fact that this kid, just out of school, has deep experience in espionage, has several expertly developed alternate personas and, in one of them, was the founder and leader of a very large mercenary organization who's people were fiercely loyal to him. I know, I know - No, I didn't read the previous books. But, regardless, they can't make this kind of experience in a newly minted graduate plausible. No matter how bright he is, he couldn't have acquired these skills without significant life experience. Make him 30 - then I could buy it.

Issue #2: It's fundamental in good fiction to avoid cliches and opt instead for original descriptive language. I'm not a by-the-book guy. But there are literally dozens of cliches - and usually they are actually highlighted by the context - as if the cliche is the summation of the incident or scene. It could be argued that this simply followed the thinking of the point-of-view character, which would make it excusable from time to time, but it happened so often as to distract from the story - and to make an otherwise good scene seem trite.

Despite these distractions, I did find myself both liking Miles (and even the sulking Gregor) and interested in the sometimes-difficult-to-follow intricacies of worm-hole politics. I was in the last quarter of the book before I could admit it, though. Makes it hard to decide whether to pick up other books in the series...

I'd agree that given its faults, the awards are surprising. But fiction is ultimately about engaging stories and interesting characters and this book is relatively strong in both.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
Graduation is a cold experience.

Just out of the academy, and not the most popular preson with the conservative types, Miles get a crappy job in a remote polar location.He very soon gets into trouble via a murder, which he is accused of.Also, the young emperor has bailed in space.Miles has to get himself out of trouble and also do something about the missing royalty, with the odd dangerous woman and space war thrown in just to keep him on his toes.

... Read more

  1-20 of 100 | Next 20
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

Prices listed on this site are subject to change without notice.
Questions on ordering or shipping? click here for help.

site stats