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.