The Vor Game by Lois McMaster Bujold
Read February 6, 2011 – February 9, 2011
Premise: Miles Vorkosigan (remember Miles?) has a problem following orders. As in if it would be better to disobey the order to achieve the goal, he cannot obey it. So he ends up gallivanting across the universe, rather by accident, and rescuing Barrayar from the evil Cetagandans (again, by coincidence), not to mention saving his Emperor from himself.
Verdict: This novel won the Hugo the year before Barrayar did. And you know what? Since Barrayar only exists to tell the story of Miles genesis, I’m now willing to forgive it a ton of things that rubbed me the wrong way to begin with. Miles is a snark. He’s entertaining, absurdly lovable (from the reader’s standpoint anyway), and just all around fun to read about. This novel follows his trials getting through his first few months in the Barrayaran military (I think the military came out on the bad side of that deal, if that gives you any idea about Miles.) Last time, I said the only person I loved more than Miles was his father. This time, the only people I love more than Gregor Vorbarra (Emperor of Barrayar) are Miles and his father. Ha. Another interesting character was the psycho-lady Commander Cavilo—the leader of another mercenary group sort-of-fighting against Miles. She basically uses sex for evil. Bujold managed to pull her off as a terrifying character instead of just throwing her in for titillation which I definitely commend her for. And what is “The Vor Game” anyway? As far as I can tell it’s “the game of life” that the upper classes of Barrayar have to play involving honor, intention, politics, and on and on and on (in this case it’s much about the Emperor of Barrayar). If you like space opera, political intrigue, the rest of this series, or good books in general, I’m fairly certain you’ll like these.
Certainly keeps you turning the pages. Onward!