But Miles realizes he's in trouble again. First the Mercenaries' payroll doesn't arrive on time, and then someone tries to murder him. Now Miles must juggle both his identities at once to unravel the complicated plot against him, and to reveal an unexpected ally.
Just who is trying to assassinate which of his personas, and why?
Hi-fi sci-fi: listen to more in the Vorkosigan saga.
©1989 Lois McMaster Bujold; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Miles is confronted with some of the most intriguing and complex plot and psychological developments...in addition to some fascinating new characters." (Library Journal)
I hope someday Audible publishes the whole series (or at least numbers them), in the
meanwhile, here is something that might be useful.
The Vorkosigan Saga, in series order:
- Dreamweaver's Dilemma
- Falling Free
- Shards of Honor
- The Warrior's Apprentice
- The Mountains of Mourning (included in Borders of Infinity)
- The Vor Game
- Ethan of Athos
- Labyrinth (included in Borders of Infinity)
- The Borders of Infinity
- Brothers in Arms
- Mirror Dance (1994)
- Memory (1996)
- Komarr (1998)
- A Civil Campaign
- Winterfair Gifts
- Diplomatic Immunity
In truth you can skip around, but it's more fun if you kindof read these in order.
I love reading and listening to books, especially fantasy, science fiction, children's, historical, and classics.
In the beginning of Brother in Arms (1989), the fourth novel in Lois McMaster Bujold's popular science fiction series about Miles Vorkosigan, Miles and the Dendarii Free Mercenary Fleet he heads under the fake identity of Admiral Naismith have limped into orbit around earth to repair their ships and restore health to their personnel. Miles' first visit to earth is immediately plagued by a host of prickly problems. First, the Dendarii may still be being pursued by assassins sent by the Cetagandan Empire to exact revenge on Admiral Naismith for the covert action the Dendarii recently conducted against Cetaganda. Second, the money owed the Dendarii by the Barrayaran Empire for that contract hasn't been paid, leaving the mercenary company on the edge of bankruptcy. Third, in his true identity as Lieutenant Miles Vorkosigan of the Barrayaran military, Miles must report to Captain Galeni of the Barrayaran Embassy, which has a mole who might be Galeni. Fourth, Miles must decide how far to take his relationship with the beautiful Dendarii Comander Elli Quinn, his right-hand woman and bodyguard. Beneath those problems Miles' lugs his perennial baggage: at age 24 he's only 4' 9" with an over-sized head and brittle bones, which (he believes) leads many of his fellow Barrayarans to figure that his military career is due to nepotism because his father is the Prime Minister of the Barrayaran Empire, or that he should have been killed at birth as a mutant.
As the novel progresses, it becomes increasingly difficult for Miles to keep his two incompatible identities secret and separate. How much of Miles is Admiral Naismith? How much is Lieutenant Vokosigan? How much is Miles? Early in the novel Miles is forced to ad-lib a clever cover story: Admiral Naismith is Lieutenant Vorkosigan's clone, created by the Cetagandans to cause trouble for their Barrayaran rivals. Needless to say, the fabrication has intriguing unintended consequences.
Miles is a wonderful protagonist: witty, clever, cocky, insecure, unflappable, empathetic, insubordinate, and loyal. No action hero, throwing a punch would break every bone in his hand. Instead, he relies on his chutzpah, brains, knack for improvisation, and facility with falsehood to get out of sticky situations that are dangerous to his fragile body and to his Barrayaran home culture.
The reader of the audiobook, Grover Gardener has a dry and articulate voice ideal for Bujold's witty writing. In the text, Bujold writes Miles' impertinent and caustic thoughts in italics, without writing, "he thought," and Gardener is skillful at subtly indicating those italics when Miles is thinking something subversive or rude rather than speaking it.
Through the plot strand about Miles' dual identity, Bujold threads plenty of the espionage, kidnappings, rescues, showdowns, family dynamics, and witty dialogue spawned by the galactic history and politics of her fictional universe, in which human beings have dispersed over the millennia from earth into competing cultures on different worlds in different solar systems linked by a limited number of rapid transit wormholes. Bujold does not write sublime space opera ala Iain Banks or Alistair Reynolds, mostly ignoring the wonders of nature and mind-boggling scales of size, time, or space. She also does not write hard science fiction, leaving the scientific workings of her advanced technology unexplained. Instead, she writes fast-paced, suspenseful, and funny space opera driven by appealing and psychologically believable characters and by interesting and politically believable cultures.
I've read every thing this author has written and this is one of the better self-contained novels. The back story does not intrude in the action. There are several referals to the action in the novelette "Borders of Infinity" and Audible would be well served to acquire it and "Mountains of Mourning" for our listening pleasure.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
Really pleasant characters in a fleshed out universe. One of the best, highly prolific sci-fi writers I have found. These books are about people (human and otherwise) and science-fiction is only a scaffolding for the issues and actions of the characters. So far these have been quite consistently good. I really should give this 4 stars not 5 but I just can't stop myself...
Audiobook Junkie... Love all types of Science Fiction
This book maybe isn't as good as the first two books in the miles vorkosigan series if you fancy the space battles and the commanding of armies. It sort of rides the coat tail of the next book on audibles list (Border's Infinity) which lays the ground work for what happens in this telling of Mile's life. I don't think Border Infinity is exactly necessary to read before, although, it takes place in the form of a report that accounts for what happened to create this novels mess of events in the first place. This book has more to do with politics, the past, and dealing with Miles sense of identification. Everything is very cleverly pulled off by the McMaster Bujold and by the end of the story all points seem to intersect in a great mess plots that seem determined to cause conflict to Miles and his counterparts.
Fascinating story line, perfect narration, overall a great audio book. If you are new to this series start with "The Warrior's Apprentice" and go from there. This is one of the best science fiction series available.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Miles is on Earth in this installment. Things are supposed to be quiet and restful, but NO! Brothers in Arms is like a sitcom without a laugh track. Funny stuff!
I adore fantasy, British literature from Victorian days through WWII, mysteries, food books, and Young Adult fantasy.
I didn't really think I would like something dubbed a "space opera" but someone who shares my taste in most books was practically breathing these books in...so I decided this would be the one to start my adventure with Miles Vorkosigan....and oh, what a delightful journey. I am reading them in chronological order (I went back and read the two "prequels" about one third of the way through the series) and each one is better than the one before...whichever one I am reading is the best! After a few chapters I was hooked. Miles Vorkosigan is to me one of the most compelling hero's of literature...hovering up there with Frodo and Harry Potter...and Lois McMaster Bujold is an exquisite writer. The Miles Vorosigan novels are far and away my favorite new books to read in 2012. This audio version is very well narrated. HIGHLY recommended to you!
I loved the purring blanket... The psychological interplay between Miles and Mark is simply brilliant. Plus much, much more.
Great story. Very fun to listen to. But please Mr. Grover Gardner, make sure there is continuity in pronunciation from one book to the next. Names shouldn't change how they are said between books.
"Brothers in Arms (Unabridged)"
Another brilliant book would love to see more of these on Audible - excellent series!
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