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on 5 June 1998
Miles, the son of a powerful Vor family, is driven to succeed. He's smart, intelligent, and politically saavy. By birth, he should be assured a place in the ruling class when he reaches maturity.
So, what's the problem?
Miles was injured when his parents were victims of a terrorist attack while his mother was pregnant with him. His brittle bones break at the slightest pressure and cannot be replaced with synthetics until he reaches the end of his growth. The people of Barrayar have a fear of genetic defects and many people condone killing all children who are not 'perfect'. A practice that Mile's father has been trying to discourage in his province.
In "Mountains of Mourning", Miles is authorized to find the person who killed a newborn child who was born with a treatable genetic disorder. Imagine the locals 'joy' to find a 'mutie' has been sent to try one of them for doing their best to preserve their genetic purity.
Miles uses his intelligence to overcome the obstacles in his path. While everyone thinks he has been given every honor due to his position, Miles knows that he's earned every pat on the head, every medal, every good grade, every advancment that he has ever received.
Miles is not perfect. He struggles and rails against the system, his body, and the attitudes of those around him. His continuing struggle to achieve his own goals and to make something of himself -- make him a character that I, as a reader, can sympathize with.
I think what makes this series so addicting is that readers feel deeply about the main character. We become emotionally involved in his life -- we cheer him on. We want him to succeed against the odds because the author doesn't cheat -- Miles takes his beatings and goes on. An example that many of us find reassuring.
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on 23 August 1999
I got the two books that are reprinted in this one almost by accident. I decided to see what the story was like. I could not put them down, and I now get my hands on anything that Bujold is willing to publish.
This is not the first book in the time line, nor is it the first book Bujold has written of the series. However, I recomend that you start with this book or the two that compose it. There is nothing that is not explained enough to understand despite all the history that has gone on before. But, the charecters are so well developed by the time that this book is written that everything comes alive.
Young Miles is the only really new charecter introduced. Almost all of the supporting cast and situations have been well established by this book. When we meet Miles, we fall in love with him. He is not a superman, but he achieves the superhuman. He can be annoying, flighty and self absorbed, but we see that it is his way of dealing with the world and overcome the bad luck he has handed to him before he was even born. Another way of dealing with the world is to be hyperactive and accomplishing several actions at once, so much so that when he is accidently given an "upper" laced drink no one notices until he crashes days later.
After you read this, you can go back and read the first few books in the series. It is almost like watching Star Wars Episode 1 in that you know much of what will happen, but it does not take away from the pleasure of the stories. But start here and start the book at a time when you have little else to do for the next few days.
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on 25 August 1997
Readers should note that this book is a reprint of The Warriors Apprentice, The Mountains of Mourning and The Vor Game. The only new material is the authors afterward (7 pages) in which she explains the background to writing the series.
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on 12 April 2010
The Bujold 'Vorkosigan' books rival Weber's 'Honor' books, Moons 'Vatta' or 'Serrano' books, Mike Shepard's 'Longknife' books, or even Mcaffrey's storytelling. These are all excellent but Bujold surpases them (in my opinion): By intelligent sympathetic characters, their depth and values. She is more intereted in people than the world but doesn't stint on background, society, politics, geography and economy, in which her characters are formed and through which they move. She is not alone in choosing flawed or self-doubting characters, but Robin Hobb's various sagas are the only ones I feel do that better.

This is The second in the series after Cordelia's Honour, if you go by the Omnibus editions: Oh for a proper collected works, they are dreadfully mixed up (sometimes duplicated) in strange combinations not all of which are available in the same bindings. Makes library shelves awkward Mr Publisher! At least there is a chronology in the back of most editions. Only the single books are shown their places in the Saga there, omnibuses are not included; you have to read the omnibus front covers to work out which you need next.

- Warriors apprentice: Miles arrival in the Saga, son of Aral and Cordelia, physically handicapped but proving a superabundance of wit and wile.
- Mountains of Morning: Miles is set a thoughtful social and judicial task (short)
- Vor Game: The Dendari mercenaries cement their place, Miles confirms his place as heart of the saga, and most other main characters are transofrmd from sketches to fully 3-D.

I will not spoil the discovery that such a good read deserves by giving away the plot more.
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on 2 February 1998
This is one book in the saga that started with Shards of Honor which was about Mile's mother and father. Miles Vorkosgian is a wonderful hero -- instead of the usual magnificent physical specimen, here we have a man who is fragile physically in a culture that values physical and military prowess, who is forced to use his (considerable) intellect to achieve his goals. His shrewd manipulation and warm caring nature make him a person that you feel you could respect and admire. On top of that, all of Bujold's books are great stories. My only problem is that I can read so much faster than she can write, and I have run out of new books to read. Ms. Bujold, more, please.
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on 10 April 2011
For someone who likes Science Fiction it might seem strange that I'm only recently acquainted with the irrepressible Miles Vorkosigan. Better late than never though. I've just burned my way through the first three books featuring the little guy. Maybe it is for the best though, because if I'd read them as they were being published then I wouldn't have been able to read them in chronological order, as some of the books filled in the gaps between previously published books. I'm a linear sort of bloke really. The first book is a roller coaster of a ride, that really gets going after Miles tells his first little untruth to resolve a situation. The fun starts when the little fib snowballs into a web of lies and half truths with Miles at the centre of an expanding net. I know, I shouldn't really try to get away with such an awful mixed metaphor.
The second story, which is more of a novella than a book, ditches the space opera format in favour of a more thoughtful look at the roots of Barrayan society with Miles investigating a Murder in a back woods village. It won the Nebula award. Seeing Miles in such a different setting gives the author an opportunity to show Miles in a different light. It is well handled and the shorter format seems to have focused the author's storytelling and exploration of themes into a more cogent whole.
The third book won a Hugo. Different again. The initial setting of the ice base was one that I was really enjoying. Just as you are getting used to the cold, Bujold pulls the rug out from under you again and we are off into the space opera driven rush of spiraling events, the eventual reunion with the Dendarii mercenaries and all those previously laid lies introduced in the first book. Very enjoyable, with no sense ever that the story is being padded, which is something that often happens to long running series. At the heart of it all though is the character of Miles. He's just a wonderful character. You can't really help but like him. If you could bottle his energy in liquid form I wouldn't drink anything else.
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Looking forward to the rest of Young Miles lifestyle. He manages to be convincingly piratical even with his handicaps. He will truly run his family.
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on 3 December 1999
Any Miles Vorkorsigan book is well worth the reading. This one is great as an intro to the series, and gives a good example of the quality you can expect from Lois McMaster Bujold. Cordelia's Honour is actually the firstin the series perhaps the fairest example of the series
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on 26 September 1997
If you love Bujold and want to buy hardcover copies of the Vorkosigan adventures, stay away from this one. The publisher slapped a hard cover onto very flimsy pages, and it won't last any longer than your paperback copies. Bujold deserved a better quality publication. Find hardcover copies of the original novels instead--they are well worth the investment.
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