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Bujold, winner of five major sf awards, may well garner a sixth with this, her first hardcover original. It features the deformed and undersized heir to the strongman of Barrayar, Miles Vorkosigan, who doubles as Admiral Naismith, leader of the Dendarii Mercenaries--and is secretly on the payroll of Barrayaran Imperial Intelligence. The tale begins with Miles' cloned sibling Mark masquerading as Miles in order to take a Dendarii ship to that free enterprise plague spot, Jackson's Whole, on an unauthorized mission to clean out the clone creches where he was raised. The mission goes awry, Miles comes to Mark's rescue, the rescue goes even more wrong, and by page 100, Miles' body, in cryogenic suspension after receiving mortal wounds, has been shoved into the equivalent of a Federal Express drop and completely lost! The remaining pages complete as good a story as ever was offered as science fiction, with Bujold's carefully crafted prose, logical working out of even minor plot points, and inimitable wit all very much in evidence. Deserves the highest recommendation and a hoard of eager readers. ~--Roland GreenNonboxed reviews


Publishers Weekly
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Honor and his sense of self place the fetally damaged, dwarf-like and brilliant Miles Vorkosigan in grave danger as he attempts to save his disturbed, younger clone Mark from the consequences of folly in this intricate and rousing new installment of the Vorkosigan adventures (after Barrayar ), the series' first appearance in trade hardcover. Passing himself off as Admiral Miles Naismith, Miles's secret identity, Mark commandeers one of the Dendarii Free Mercenary vessels to liberate clones being raised as brain-transplant hosts on the outlaw planet Jackson's Whole. When the plan goes awry, Miles is killed. He is preserved for resuscitation, however, in a cryo-chamber, which disappears in the confusion of evacuation. As the Dendarii search feverishly for their leader, the terrified Mark is sent to Barrayar to Miles's parents, Count Aral and Countess Cordelia Vorkosigan. The couple welcome him as a son and begin his training as their heir in case Miles is never found. The competitive and confused Mark, who had been created as a tool to assassinate his father and was brutalized by a madman in his youth, begins to find himself. His (and Miles's) penetrating intelligence flowers, and he plans a return to Jackson's Whole to find Miles and redeem himself. Hugo award-winner Bujold creates a tapestry of variegated human societies dispersed throughout a colorful galaxy. She peoples it with introspective but genuine heroes who seize the reader's imagination and intellect. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved