Eager reader of history, mystery, classics, biographies, steampunk, lit fic, science, scifi, and etc. My reviews are mostly positive--I rarely finish or write about books I don't enjoy. My TBR is too high for that.
This is the second space opera for grown-ups featuring intelligent, capable, determined Cordelia Naismith, now Lady Vorkosigan since her marriage to aging warrior Aral Vorkosigan, and after all the multi-planet craziness of Shards of Honor it looks like Cordelia and Aral have finally been able to extricate themselves from government and military responsibilities enough to relax, semi-retire, and start a family. But of course that nice, quiet state of affairs doesn’t last.
Not long after Cordelia discovers she’s pregnant the emperor dies, Aral is made Regent for the too-young-to-rule heir, a power struggle war divides the planet’s battling aristocracy, and Cordelia is on the run, scrabbling across the countryside desperate to protect her unborn child. Complicating matters, Cordelia with her civilized Beta Colony background is far from comfortable with the Barrayaran planet’s warlike anti-feminist culture or primitive (meaning like our own) health care options for, among other things, pregnancy. Plus there is the young emperor to hide and protect, battle-damaged comrades to nurture and deploy, and a highly hostile father-in-law with deadly plans to thwart.
Lois McMaster Bujold hasn’t scrimped on anything in this story--character evolution, world building, sci fi coolness, or high action plot--and I found it all totally captivating.