Romantic science fiction comedy with real people,
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This review is from: A Civil Campaign: A Comedy of Biology and Manners (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures) (Mass Market Paperback)
Witty without being self-conscious, funny but not silly, this novel about Miles Vorkosigan's "campaign" to marry Ekaterin is the rest of the story which started with "Komarr" (the events in Komarr occur just before the start of "A Civil Campaign"). There are other, earlier novels about Miles but he was only a baby in the only others I have read in this series (Shards of Honour and Barrayar) so I don't think you need to read all of them to make sense of this one.
Miles' attempts to court Ekaterin do not work out as he expects, at least not at first. In the meantime his "clone-brother" Mark also has a girlfriend with her own ideas, picked up from the free-and-easy planet Beta, and the subsidiary characters are very enjoyable - funny without being caricatures. The humour is sophisticated and sometimes sly. I am not interested in descriptions of alien technology or battles in space and this book has none of these at all. There is political intrigue and a subtle and realistic interweaving of future technology and human behaviour in a modern feudal society. All done with a light touch and so well-written you feel you have met the characters in real life, or wish you could.