Tag Archives: Cetaganda

Brothers in arms

Brothers in arms / Lois McMaster Bujold

That ain’t no clone, that’s my brother

I’ve been having trouble deciding what I want to post about next so I’m just gonna go back to the Vorkosigan series.

Brothers in arms is set more or less directly after the novella Borders of infinity (as opposed to the book of the same title), and is the first in a series of five novels that are fairly closely linked. Borders of infinity is itself the catalyst for this “set”, but it’s not strictly necessary to have read the novella for the rest of this to make sense.

Brief plot summary

After [events of Borders of infinity], the Dendarii Free Mercenaries are forced to stop on Earth for repairs. Problems arise when Miles, technically part of the Barrayaran military hierarchy, is assigned to a desk job while his nominal commanding officer waits for approval to release the funds to cover the repairs to the Dendarii fleet.

Separated from his troops, Miles is forced to conspire with his cousin Ivan to make contact with the Dendarii to prevent mass desertion, mutiny, bankruptcy, and/or the repossession of the fleet by their creditors. All the while, Miles is forced to attempt to reinforce the crumbling wall between his two identities.

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Cetaganda / Lois McMaster Bujold.

Yeah, you can probably skip this one.

Cetaganda is my least favorite of the Vorkosigan books, but it’s still a great read. It’s my least favorite because one of the reasons I enjoy the series so much is because of how interconnected everything is while each volume still works as a standalone novel. I like Cetaganda less than the others not because of any particular failings on its part, but because it’s largely irrelevent to the series as a whole.*

*Since writing this post, my perspective on this issue has changed somewhat. See the addendum below.

Plot summary

Miles Vorkosigan and his cousin Ivan end up on the homeworld of the Cetagandan empire for a state funeral. Cetaganda is aggressively expansionistic and during Miles’s grandfather’s youth had attempted to “colonize” the then technologically backwards Barrayar. The political situation is understandably tense, and soon Miles and Ivan find themselves embroiled in the complex morass of Cetagandan eugenics policy.

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