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Still new to her duties as Lady Vorkosigan, Ekaterin is working together with expatriate scientist Enrique Borgos on a radical scheme to recover the lands of the Vashnoi exclusion zone, lingering radioactive legacy of the Cetagandan invasion of the planet Barrayar. When Enrique’s experimental bioengineered creatures go missing, the pair discover that the zone still conceal Still new to her duties as Lady Vorkosigan, Ekaterin is working together with expatriate scientist Enrique Borgos on a radical scheme to recover the lands of the Vashnoi exclusion zone, lingering radioactive legacy of the Cetagandan invasion of the planet Barrayar. When Enrique’s experimental bioengineered creatures go missing, the pair discover that the zone still conceals deadly old secrets. This novella falls after Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance in the Vorkosigan series timeline, but may be read entirely independently. The Vorkosigan saga was the recipient of the first Hugo Award for best science fiction series in 2017. “Bujold couldn't characterize badly if threatened with a firing squad.” - Booklist “Bujold is not just a master of plot, she is a master of emotion.” - SF Site “Bujold continues to prove what marvels genius can create out of basic space operatics.” - Library Journal “Bujold is one of the best writers of SF adventure to come along in years.” - Locus Magazine “A superb craftsman and stylist, Ms. Bujold is well on her way to becoming one of the great voices of speculative fiction.” - Rave Reviews “Bujold has a gift, nearly unique in science fiction, for the comedy of manners.” - Chicago Sun Times Bujold's "work remains among the most enjoyable and rewarding in contemporary SF." - Publishers Weekly “Superb far-future saga.” - Publishers Weekly, on the 'Vorkosigan' series Lois McMaster Bujold was born in 1949, the daughter of an engineering professor at Ohio State University, from whom she picked up her early interest in science fiction. She now lives in Minneapolis, and has two grown children. She began writing with the aim of professional publication in 1982. She wrote three novels in three years; in October of 1985, all three sold to Baen Books, launching her career. Bujold went on to write many other books for Baen, mostly featuring her popular character Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, his family, friends, and enemies. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Her fantasy from Eos includes the award-winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife series.


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Still new to her duties as Lady Vorkosigan, Ekaterin is working together with expatriate scientist Enrique Borgos on a radical scheme to recover the lands of the Vashnoi exclusion zone, lingering radioactive legacy of the Cetagandan invasion of the planet Barrayar. When Enrique’s experimental bioengineered creatures go missing, the pair discover that the zone still conceal Still new to her duties as Lady Vorkosigan, Ekaterin is working together with expatriate scientist Enrique Borgos on a radical scheme to recover the lands of the Vashnoi exclusion zone, lingering radioactive legacy of the Cetagandan invasion of the planet Barrayar. When Enrique’s experimental bioengineered creatures go missing, the pair discover that the zone still conceals deadly old secrets. This novella falls after Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance in the Vorkosigan series timeline, but may be read entirely independently. The Vorkosigan saga was the recipient of the first Hugo Award for best science fiction series in 2017. “Bujold couldn't characterize badly if threatened with a firing squad.” - Booklist “Bujold is not just a master of plot, she is a master of emotion.” - SF Site “Bujold continues to prove what marvels genius can create out of basic space operatics.” - Library Journal “Bujold is one of the best writers of SF adventure to come along in years.” - Locus Magazine “A superb craftsman and stylist, Ms. Bujold is well on her way to becoming one of the great voices of speculative fiction.” - Rave Reviews “Bujold has a gift, nearly unique in science fiction, for the comedy of manners.” - Chicago Sun Times Bujold's "work remains among the most enjoyable and rewarding in contemporary SF." - Publishers Weekly “Superb far-future saga.” - Publishers Weekly, on the 'Vorkosigan' series Lois McMaster Bujold was born in 1949, the daughter of an engineering professor at Ohio State University, from whom she picked up her early interest in science fiction. She now lives in Minneapolis, and has two grown children. She began writing with the aim of professional publication in 1982. She wrote three novels in three years; in October of 1985, all three sold to Baen Books, launching her career. Bujold went on to write many other books for Baen, mostly featuring her popular character Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, his family, friends, and enemies. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Her fantasy from Eos includes the award-winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife series.

30 review for The Flowers of Vashnoi (Vorkosigan Saga (Chronological) #14.1)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    I'd thought the author was done with this series and I'm delighted to be wrong. This short novella picks up after the events of Captain Vorpatril's Alliance and features Lady Ekaterin and Enrique Borgos (mainly from A Civil Campaign) as they use Enriques bio-engineered bugs to try and cleanup the Vashnoi, a Vorkosigan holding that was radioactively contaminated during the war with the Cetagandans. Only there are some tragic complications. Miles is present here, but it's Ekaterin who shines. As we I'd thought the author was done with this series and I'm delighted to be wrong. This short novella picks up after the events of Captain Vorpatril's Alliance and features Lady Ekaterin and Enrique Borgos (mainly from A Civil Campaign) as they use Enriques bio-engineered bugs to try and cleanup the Vashnoi, a Vorkosigan holding that was radioactively contaminated during the war with the Cetagandans. Only there are some tragic complications. Miles is present here, but it's Ekaterin who shines. As we have seen elsewhere in the series, Ekaterin is a wonderfully sensible character who's highly reminiscent of Cordelia, only with a much more Barrayaran perspective. Enrique Borgos also gets some welcome characterization and some appreciation for being more than "that bug guy". This isn't a standalone in any way though, and a reading of Komarr and A Civil Campaign would be a minimum for understanding what is happening here.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Vesna

    “Is it still a victory if you don’t get the credit?" There's nothing to really rate here. This is far, far away from the space opera called Vorkosigan Saga. And I still stand by my opinion that everything worth saying was said by the end of The Civil Campaign. But it proves I will still read anything with the name Vorkosigan attached to it (even after the DISASTER called Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. There is NO forgiving Bujold for that one! Never, ever, ever...). In some ways it did remaind “Is it still a victory if you don’t get the credit?" There's nothing to really rate here. This is far, far away from the space opera called Vorkosigan Saga. And I still stand by my opinion that everything worth saying was said by the end of The Civil Campaign. But it proves I will still read anything with the name Vorkosigan attached to it (even after the DISASTER called Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. There is NO forgiving Bujold for that one! Never, ever, ever...). In some ways it did remaind me of Mountains of Mourning, this being Ekaterin's version. But, when, all those years ago, Miles cut his way through thorny Earth's roses and first stepped towards the Dendarii Mountains, his whole future life was hanging in the balance, everything was at stake. This time things are much more settled, although there's much work to be done yet. All in all, cute, charming, funny, but it lacked the strong emotional effect on me.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Ekaterine sighed. "Is this all going to work?" Her harassed gesture around encompassed everything: the zone, the radbug project, the district, far too many decades of inherited history. Miles vented a mask-muffled noise, not quite a laugh. "It's not as though we can stop trying." I used to read stories about people who refused to leave their homes, even in the face of certain death, and wonder at how they could be so stupid. Didn't they know there was a whole life to be lived somewhere else? Now, Ekaterine sighed. "Is this all going to work?" Her harassed gesture around encompassed everything: the zone, the radbug project, the district, far too many decades of inherited history. Miles vented a mask-muffled noise, not quite a laugh. "It's not as though we can stop trying." I used to read stories about people who refused to leave their homes, even in the face of certain death, and wonder at how they could be so stupid. Didn't they know there was a whole life to be lived somewhere else? Now, having been away from my home for so long, seeing it there and not being able to have it, I think I'd know what I'd choose, if I'd had the choice back then. If I was going to make a last stand, I'd know where it'd be. Not just because of my own memories, but a whole history of memories born into my blood, an inheritance of connection and struggle and devotion and pain that sings in my veins and I can do nothing about. I used to read the news and hear about all the terrible things in the world and think that things were at least still getting better. Things were still fixable. But now I see all those refugees, all those trying to stop a diaspora by creating another diaspora, trying to purify land with blood, and I know none of this is going away. There's a whole history of memories born into their blood on all sides, an inheritance of trauma and faith and fear and passion singing in their veins and nothing to be done about it. Is this all going to work? It's not as though we can stop trying. (view spoiler)[ When she slept at last, she dreamed of gardens of moving lights, molten with color, where children, their faces as elusive as butterflies, played and were not poisoned. (hide spoiler)] Where, I ask, echoing Ekaterine, among these children needing to be cared for, in this haunted place, this dreadful orphanage, where are the grown-ups who are...responsible Oh yeah, also the story was pretty great.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This novella is one of those stories where it's difficult to decide whether to round "Liked" up or not. Naturally, the writing is excellent, as expected from LMB: vivid, clear, and literate. The emotional and philosophical truths and insights are balanced with an interesting plot. The resolutions are a combination of hopefulness and lingering melancholy, intrinsic to a region still dealing generations later with radiation poisoning from a past devastating conflict and cultural backwardness from This novella is one of those stories where it's difficult to decide whether to round "Liked" up or not. Naturally, the writing is excellent, as expected from LMB: vivid, clear, and literate. The emotional and philosophical truths and insights are balanced with an interesting plot. The resolutions are a combination of hopefulness and lingering melancholy, intrinsic to a region still dealing generations later with radiation poisoning from a past devastating conflict and cultural backwardness from years of isolation, as previously seen from young Miles's PoV in "The Mountains of Mourning". Ekaterin makes an ideal semi-insider's perspective from which to see it all at this later stage, having been Lady Vorkosigan for a handful of years at this point. Enrique's brilliant, eccentric, scientific mind adds an objective angle to the mix. Miles's own reactions to the land are still shaped by old General Count Piotr's influence, years after his death and Miles's ambiguous inheritance. I don't want to give away all they unexpectedly find there, on a trip that was meant to be merely checking on the first, experimental stage of a biological reclamation project. The editing is flawless, and the cover is beautiful and appropriate, bearing the newest version of Enrique's butter bugs, customized with Ekaterin's design to indicate their radiation-eating genetics. I should note that the story ends at 93%, followed by the standard appendix giving variant reading orders for Ms. Bujold's several series, not only the Vorkosigan-verse. This is unlikely to work well as a starting point for readers new to the series, but it offers a valuable experience for those already familiar with the world and characters.

  5. 5 out of 5

    T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)

    This is a nice little short story/novella, set just after Captain Vorpatril's Alliance in the series chronology. Ekaterin Vorkosigan is working with Enrique Borgos (of A Civil Campaign fame) to develop a way to clean up the still-radioactive site of Vorkosigan Vashnoi. Naturally, they find a... problem. In some ways, this is a strange little story. I wouldn't recommend it for people who aren't already Vorkosigan fans, as - although technically it works as a standalone - you really need to be fam This is a nice little short story/novella, set just after Captain Vorpatril's Alliance in the series chronology. Ekaterin Vorkosigan is working with Enrique Borgos (of A Civil Campaign fame) to develop a way to clean up the still-radioactive site of Vorkosigan Vashnoi. Naturally, they find a... problem. In some ways, this is a strange little story. I wouldn't recommend it for people who aren't already Vorkosigan fans, as - although technically it works as a standalone - you really need to be familiar with the characters and the history in order to appreciate it fully. Furthermore, when it comes to plot, there isn't actually all that much of it. What makes this story worth reading isn't so much what is on the page, but the implications. I don't know whether Bujold deliberately decided to write something that invites the reader to think about the implications of the situation Ekaterin deals with - both backwards and forwards - but that is how it worked for me. My favourite quote, from Miles: "'S funny. Piotr, toward the end of his life, looked at our district and only saw how much better it was. All the backbreaking, heartbreaking work he did cleaning up the messes after the war is taken for granted now, or mostly just forgotten. Instead, we look around and only see how much better it could be. And neither of us is wrong, exactly."

  6. 5 out of 5

    Christopher

    A Miles (or rather Ekaterin) Vorkosigan short-story. I feel like this is a book-end story to Mountains of Mourning and somewhat wish I had re-read that story before reading this one. The theme here is clearly one of legacy. Toxic legacies of conflicts in the past (both military, community, and familial), and legacy systems that can be forgotten and abandoned - and yet never truly are because someone still sees value in what others see as garbage and waste. Ultimately, there is a techno-utopian vi A Miles (or rather Ekaterin) Vorkosigan short-story. I feel like this is a book-end story to Mountains of Mourning and somewhat wish I had re-read that story before reading this one. The theme here is clearly one of legacy. Toxic legacies of conflicts in the past (both military, community, and familial), and legacy systems that can be forgotten and abandoned - and yet never truly are because someone still sees value in what others see as garbage and waste. Ultimately, there is a techno-utopian view of a sustainable world where nothing is truly a waste, just an input stream to the next process. Life goes on and life finds a way. The true failure is in assuming you are at the end of anything. Damn but these later Bujold books have the tendency to bring out the philosopher in me.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Girl

    Lovely science cockroaches <3

  8. 4 out of 5

    Olga Godim

    Miles Vorkosigan’s wife Ekaterine is one of my favorite characters in the Vorkosigan saga, second only to Cordelia. This novella is Ekaterine’s story, and I expected to love it much more than I actually did. It is a sad story, a story of forgotten people. Ekaterine is her true self: capable and compassionate, but the people she encountered in the radiation-contaminated zone of Vorkosigan Vashnoi are a sorry bunch, sick and pathetic. I don’t know if there is any future for any of them. Ekaterine d Miles Vorkosigan’s wife Ekaterine is one of my favorite characters in the Vorkosigan saga, second only to Cordelia. This novella is Ekaterine’s story, and I expected to love it much more than I actually did. It is a sad story, a story of forgotten people. Ekaterine is her true self: capable and compassionate, but the people she encountered in the radiation-contaminated zone of Vorkosigan Vashnoi are a sorry bunch, sick and pathetic. I don’t know if there is any future for any of them. Ekaterine did try to help them, she did her best, but I’m still not sure anything positive would come of it. Lost people don’t always fare well in the modern society. The story doesn’t follow Ekaterine’s foundlings beyond being brought out of hiding. What happens to them afterwards is unclear, so the book feels unfinished, a teaser instead of a full story, and it makes me frustrated. I really would like to know what happens next, especially to the albino boy. I hope he makes it: he is the only one with any hope for the future. Pity, the book stops where it does.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leseparatist

    It's always a delight to make a trip back to Vorkosigan saga, even when it's a short trip that doesn't bring all that much new material. Ekaterin is amazing and the image of Vashnoi as a garden - worth the trip.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brzk

    If you are checking reviews on this small book, chances are you have already decided to read it. No fear - you will not be disappointed. I was in turns dismayed, surprised, delighted and relieved by the story. By all means read it, the world is a better place because of it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Cecily

    It's there anything better than an unexpected Vorkosigan novella? No. There is NOT. This one is a delight though in the more serious vein of Mountains of Mourning, taking place deep inside the Vorkosigan district. Ekaterin is always a lovely character to ride along with, partly because she loves Miles as much as I do. I love the view we get of the not long married Vorkosigans managing their complicated, rather tragic district on Barrayar. I just want more, as usual.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lianne Pheno

    http://delivreenlivres.blogspot.com/2... Haaa, quel plaisir anticipé quand l'annonce d'un nouveau texte dans la Saga Vorkosigan arrive. Celui ci est une novella assez courte et n'a malheureusement pas la profondeur ni l'humour des autres romans de la série mais ça reste un texte agréable à lire et distrayant. Ekaterin se rend dans l'ancienne capitale Vorkosigane. La district de Vashnoi a été victime d'une bombe lors de la guerre contre l'occupation Cetagandane il y a maintenant plus d'un demi si http://delivreenlivres.blogspot.com/2... Haaa, quel plaisir anticipé quand l'annonce d'un nouveau texte dans la Saga Vorkosigan arrive. Celui ci est une novella assez courte et n'a malheureusement pas la profondeur ni l'humour des autres romans de la série mais ça reste un texte agréable à lire et distrayant. Ekaterin se rend dans l'ancienne capitale Vorkosigane. La district de Vashnoi a été victime d'une bombe lors de la guerre contre l'occupation Cetagandane il y a maintenant plus d'un demi siècle et est toujours très radioactif. Le laboratoire d'Ekaterin a créé des insectes modifiés qui sont capable de retenir toute la radioactivité de ce qu'ils mangent tout en rejetant de l'engrais non contaminé à la place. Le but étant bien sur d'accélérer la décontamination de la zone en récupérant les insectes très contaminés ensuite. Mais une fois sur place ils s'aperçoivent que plus de la moitié des insectes manquent et que la zone n'est pas forcement aussi inhabitée qu'ils le pensaient ... Vous l'aurez compris, cette novella a pour protagoniste principal Ekaterin. J'ai l'impression que l'autrice veut donner leur voix à tous les personnages importants une dernière fois avant de dire adieu à la série. Ça m'a rendu une nouvelle fois très nostalgique. Bien sur il est difficile de penser à Ekaterin sans Miles, mais il est absent ici, on le voit juste apparaitre un moment vers la fin. Et c'est tant mieux car Miles à tendance à éclipser les autres personnages dés qu'il met les pieds dans une pièce, du coup voir Ekaterin sans lui était un peu un moment privilégié. Le thème de cette novella est un thème cher à la série : l'acceptation des personnes nées avec des malformations. Ce thème particulier avait déjà été au cœur d'une autre histoire courte dans la série : Les Montagnes du Deuil (présente dans Les frontières de l'infini). Je suis sur de pouvoir dire que ce sujet tien à cœur toutes les lecteurs qui adorent cette série. Miles c'est battu dans ce sens depuis toujours et sa présence à su démontrer que les personnes malformées n'étaient pas forcement des poids pour la société. Bien sur émotionnellement c'est très fort et on ne peux qu'être touché par la vie de ses personnes, rejetées par tout le monde est obligé de vivre dans des lieux inhospitaliers et irradiés. Mais en même temps l'autrice arrive à faire en sorte que le ton reste léger et que ça ne tourne pas au drame complet. En plus la présence d'Ekaterin assure que cette histoire aura une fin positive. Ce que je regrette dans cette histoire c'est qu'au final en dehors de la découverte initiale il ne se passe pas grand chose, c'est limite déjà fini au moment ou ça commence. Il n'y a aucune surprise et le scénario est trop léger. C'est un peu dommage et même si le thème en lui même fait tenir le tout, ce texte n'atteint pas le niveau du reste de la série pour moi. Pareil pour l'humour, il y a des (trop) petites touches mais qui m'ont plus frustré qu'autre chose parce qu'elle m'ont fait me rappeler ce que j'appréciais dans la série mais sans me donner la dose nécessaire pour arriver à satiété. Au final je dirais que cette novella traite d'un sujet fort et touchant mais qu'il lui manquait cependant un peu de développement et d'humour pour arriver au niveau du reste de la série. 15.5/20

  13. 5 out of 5

    CatBookMom

    Pushing the envelope. Compassion. A snapshot of a character who isn't usually the focus of stories. All of these apply to *The Flowers of Vashnoi.* It's a wonderful little story, makes me think about the story **Aftermaths**, which is often attached to *Shards of Honor*, but has also been published as part of a collection or two. The ending of *The Flowers of Vashnoi* doesn't give you the same whiplash that **Aftermaths** does; instead, it's a main plot point that causes the whiplash. This story Pushing the envelope. Compassion. A snapshot of a character who isn't usually the focus of stories. All of these apply to *The Flowers of Vashnoi.* It's a wonderful little story, makes me think about the story **Aftermaths**, which is often attached to *Shards of Honor*, but has also been published as part of a collection or two. The ending of *The Flowers of Vashnoi* doesn't give you the same whiplash that **Aftermaths** does; instead, it's a main plot point that causes the whiplash. This story is a chance for Enrique Borgos and Ekaterina to really shine, particularly Enrique, who comes across in *A Civil Campaign* as a comically clueless scientist. Ekaterina showed her kick-ass qualities in *Komarr*, and she's just as strong and strong-minded in *Flowers*. Thank you, Ms Bujold, for a lovely story.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Melody

    Bujold's Vorkosigan novellas have always been strong. This, for all its fancifulness, fits right in. I loved Ekaterin as the POV character, I've been wanting inside her head for a long time. I understand that I haven't a shred of objectivity about this series, it's one that I know so well and love so hard. I don't have much that's coherent to say yet, let me read it another 5 times. “Miles opened a gloved hand, full of acknowledgement, empty of solutions. One couldn’t fix the past, only the prese Bujold's Vorkosigan novellas have always been strong. This, for all its fancifulness, fits right in. I loved Ekaterin as the POV character, I've been wanting inside her head for a long time. I understand that I haven't a shred of objectivity about this series, it's one that I know so well and love so hard. I don't have much that's coherent to say yet, let me read it another 5 times. “Miles opened a gloved hand, full of acknowledgement, empty of solutions. One couldn’t fix the past, only the present.”

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jill Vassilakos-long

    I remember Miles once thinking of himself as the man who owns Vorkosigan's Vashnoi. (I think it was in Memory.) It was a moment when he recognizes that he's not just stubborn, but bone-deep obdurate. Where others might see a lost cause and give up, he digs in and does long-range planning. It's lovely, in this novella, to see that planning spin out as Ekaterin and Enrique take point on beginning the work of reclaiming that which the rest of Barrayar believed unredeemable.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    Very similar to the story Mountains of Mourning, except this time it was Ekaterin instead of Miles investigating. Enjoyable tale, but very short. I was kind of more interested in what was happening at Miles' meeting and with the kids back home, than the actual plot of this story.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rachel (Kalanadi)

    Video review: https://youtu.be/uyIQWu_dVhs

  18. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Ekaterin! Re-engineered butterbugs!

  19. 5 out of 5

    David Holmes

    I enjoy how new Bujold stories just materialize unexpectedly now, available immediately, in easily digestible page counts. Nobody had any reason to think there would be another Vorkosigan story, and poof, here one is! I had always wondered what happened with Enrique & Martya, and now we find out, and with Ekaterin as the main character! Though like A Civil Campaign, Enrique and his bugs are the B-storyline.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Azz Lunatic

    Fun! A solid Ekaterin story about Barrayaran bioethics. She has a Mountains of Mourning-esque rite of passage, with Dr. Borgos as a capable backup.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lis Carey

    Miles and Ekaterin Vorkosigan have been married for four years now, and in addition to Ekaterin's son Nikki, they have two children of their own, toddlers Sasha and Helen. Aral and Cordelia have gone off to Sergyar as Viceroy and Vicereine, and Miles and Ekaterin have taken on responsibility for the Vorkosigan District. That district includes the Vashnoi exclusion zone, nuked by the Cetagandans during the invasion eighty years ago, and the source of much of Barrayar's horror of mutation. Ekaterin Miles and Ekaterin Vorkosigan have been married for four years now, and in addition to Ekaterin's son Nikki, they have two children of their own, toddlers Sasha and Helen. Aral and Cordelia have gone off to Sergyar as Viceroy and Vicereine, and Miles and Ekaterin have taken on responsibility for the Vorkosigan District. That district includes the Vashnoi exclusion zone, nuked by the Cetagandans during the invasion eighty years ago, and the source of much of Barrayar's horror of mutation. Ekaterin and Enrique Borgos, the scientist who created the butterbugs, are working on an attempt to recover the lands, with new bio-engineered bugs. The new bugs will, if successful, clean the land of radiation, and recover useful metals. Unfortunately, the Vashnoi exclusion zone has more old secrets than just how long it will take to make the land usable again. This is in a sense Ekaterin's first real test as Lady Vorkosigan. Miles is caught up in his own duties when an emergency arises at the test site for the new radbugs, Ekaterin has only Enrique with her when they discover the cause of the problem. Enrique is from Escobar, with little to no knowledge or experience of Barrayaran history, customs, traditions, and especially of peasants with not much more education than in the Time of Isolation. He's also a science geek, not overly graceful or skilled with people who can't converse at a fairly high level of education. Part of Ekaterin's challenge is not just being Lady Vorkosigan for people who have good reason to be frightened of being found, but managing Enrique, so that his presence is helpful rather than an additional problem. This novella is a nice look at Ekaterin growing in to her role, a role that places her at a higher status and very different responsibilities than she was educated for. This is the other side of her second marriage giving her more freedom to pursue her own interests and goals, and it's an important part of Ekaterin becoming who she will need to be, as the future Countess Vorkosigan. It's a very nice little novella. Highly recommended. I bought this book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)

    The first (and hopefully not last) Vorkosigan that I'm here to read on release! Woo! We're back with Ekaterin and Miles. And our favourite scientist Enrique Borgos who has now been successfully married to Martya Koudelka, and we're able to see the continuing work with the horrible bugs. Yes, I'm firmly on Miles' side for this one. Though I do like to see the application we see in this book - you remember the little bit of land left to Miles, that he used to gamble in an earlier book; the bit that The first (and hopefully not last) Vorkosigan that I'm here to read on release! Woo! We're back with Ekaterin and Miles. And our favourite scientist Enrique Borgos who has now been successfully married to Martya Koudelka, and we're able to see the continuing work with the horrible bugs. Yes, I'm firmly on Miles' side for this one. Though I do like to see the application we see in this book - you remember the little bit of land left to Miles, that he used to gamble in an earlier book; the bit that's radioactive? Well, Dr Borgos reckons he can engineer bugs that can fix that little issue.  Miles is mostly busy, so it's up to Ekaterin to keep Borgos company through their business. Miles isn't happy when it's discovered that some of the bugs may not be able to be accounted for... considering they're not able to fly, and should have been restricted to the sealed off radioactive bit... so Ekaterin and Borgos return for a more thorough search and to setup surveillance. And what they find is really quite interesting.  As we've already seen in previous books, Bujold continues to explore old fashions and those that continue long after they're expected - we once saw Miles hold court for the murder of a child that shouldn't have happened in their day and age... and we see that similar things are still happening in the remote parts of the world. Even as better health care is reaching all corners... in this case, thanks to Miles' mother. It somehow made people hide all the more.  I do like that we get to see more of Ekaterin, and more interactions with the kids. I really hope we get more books, so we can see their kids, and the royal kids, and all the next generation and how they have their own lives, and get to see Miles and Gregor etc from afar, like we did at the start when we moved from seeing Miles' parents as the main characters in the first book (in our reading order anyway), and then move to be seen from Miles' perspective. A wonderful way to spend my weekend. 

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kosh

    It's a Barrayar novella. I would have loved it just for that, but as usual the author exceeded my expectations. This is a delightful return to Barrayar and a pleasure to read.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    You know what this series is? It’s Anne of Green Gables. What is Vokosigan Surleau but Avonlea at the edge of space?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    I will read anything Lois writes that takes place in this universe. This isn't the most emotionally packed story, nor is it the deepest or wittiest, or even the best plotted of the series. But I still enjoyed it as it was a chance to see old friends. This is a quieter novella than the rest of the series - which make sense as it's Ekaterin's story, not Miles's, and she is quiet competence and intelligence rather than her husband's over-the-top grandstanding genius. Here, we see more of how life m I will read anything Lois writes that takes place in this universe. This isn't the most emotionally packed story, nor is it the deepest or wittiest, or even the best plotted of the series. But I still enjoyed it as it was a chance to see old friends. This is a quieter novella than the rest of the series - which make sense as it's Ekaterin's story, not Miles's, and she is quiet competence and intelligence rather than her husband's over-the-top grandstanding genius. Here, we see more of how life might be for those who aren't Vor, particularly those who live in the rural backcountry of Vorkosigan land. And it's suitably tragic, but Ekaterin turns it into something potentially hopeful. This is her "Mountains of Mourning" in a way. (Also, yes, more Borgos!)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Cat M

    A new Vorkosiverse story this year was so unexpected and I’m so glad that it’s such a great story too. Like the series as a whole, this is a story about family and legacy and reckoning with the past. The legacy is Miles’s, but the story is Ekaterin’s and that works surprisingly well. I love Ekaterin’s pov, she’s just so marvellously competent, but in this calm, unshowy way that’s so unlike Miles. All the characters were great, new and old alike, but I particularly enjoyed Enrique here, which surp A new Vorkosiverse story this year was so unexpected and I’m so glad that it’s such a great story too. Like the series as a whole, this is a story about family and legacy and reckoning with the past. The legacy is Miles’s, but the story is Ekaterin’s and that works surprisingly well. I love Ekaterin’s pov, she’s just so marvellously competent, but in this calm, unshowy way that’s so unlike Miles. All the characters were great, new and old alike, but I particularly enjoyed Enrique here, which surprised me because I’ve never had much interest in him before. Also, there’s a delightful domestic scene involving Miles and the twins that reminded me wonderfully of one of my favourite moments between Aral and Miles when he was a kid.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lauredhel

    Loved it. Wanted more.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    A pleasant novella focusing on Ekaterina and the (literal) fall-out of the Cetagandan invasion, but lacking a sense of real urgency. The humanitarian stakes are important, however, as is always the case with the Vorkosigan stories. If you are already a Vorkosigan fan, you will enjoy reading this, but it's probably not a place to start if you don't know who Count Piotr was, why some people call Miles "the mutie lord," or the significance of genetically altered butterbugs.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Nicole Luiken

    I love the Vorkosigan series (well anything by Bujold really) so devoured this novella in one sitting. I liked how being married to Miles has influenced Ekaterine; she is very much Lady Vorkosigan in her own quiet way. Vashnoi's troubled history was introduced very early in the series so it was nice to actually see it. And old Piotr is still leaving echoes...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Oh I was glad to see that come up and I enjoyed reading it. I'm all for seeing more of Ekaterin, and more of the Vorkosigan District. Serious topics and issues, but also so many places I laughed out loud. Bujold is a buy-on-sight, whenever she puts something out. I miss her longer books, but am glad she's still enjoying writing enough to give us the novellas now and then.

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