Another in Bujolds science fiction series, focusing of Ivan Vorpatril, cousin of Miles, nephew of Cordelia and Aral. The prose is excellent as always, and the characters are far more amusing and sympathetic than most characters in science fiction. Like many of the best sci fi authors, Bujold uses the science fiction elements to tell stories about people, rather than about technology. However, in this book there are places where the characters make decisions purely to allow the plot to go where Bujold wants, and to set up her (very funny) set pieces. This annoys me, as usually she writes books where the characters behave like real people, rather than acting in inexplicable ways purely to nudge the plot along.
Possibly 4 stars would be fairer (and amazon don't give 3.5) but I am disappointed because I thought this would be one of her usual classics.