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A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold
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2,513492,414 (4.42)137
  1. 60
    Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers (PhoenixFalls)
    PhoenixFalls: A Civil Campaign is Lois McMaster Bujold's attempt to replicate Gaudy Night -- with an infusion of Georgette Heyer -- in her long-running Vorkosigan Saga.
  2. 40
    The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (Enyonam)
    Enyonam: Even though it's a young adult novel, The King of Attolia deals with some fairly mature themes, and has a protagonist who has a lot in common with Miles Vorkosigan.
  3. 20
    The Agent Gambit by Sharon Lee (CatherineCl)
  4. 01
    Knight Errant by KD Sarge (BeaconsBright)
    BeaconsBright: More great action-y space opera

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Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
This is part of Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga. Although it can be read as a standalone book, it's far better read as part of the series, particularly after reading Komarr (Vorkosigan Saga), immediately after which A Civil Campaign is set.

Miles Vorkosigan, Imperial Auditor, Count's heir, and ex-secret-military-hero is in love. Unfortunately, the lady upon whom he has set his heart has just been widowed (in cirumstances in which Miles was intimately involved) and her experience of marriage has left her violently allergic.

Miles, with his customary verve and elan, therefore embarks on a secret courtship. Not secret from the population in general - just in secret from the lady herself.

Also involved in this story are Miles' clone-brother Mark and his girlfriend, and Mark's mad-scientist protege who has made discovery in genetic engineering that could be extremely useful to Barrayar but which has... problems. Emperor Gregor also has problems; Barrayar is now connected to the rest of the galaxy again - galactic medical technology is available on (or off) Barrayar, but the political, legal and ethical framework to deal with the issues this throws up is not - so the problem of sorting this out is given to Miles (whose job, as an Imperial Auditor is, as he reflects, "Anything You Say, Gregor.") You get to watch Miles getting himself in deeper and deeper trouble as he tries to manipulate those around him in typical Miles-fashion, only to find that other people have their own plans that might not mesh well with his own.

This book is a classic example of taking a situation to its logical extreme - and then kicking it when it's down. It's one of the most laugh-out-loud funny books I've ever read (as other reviewers have commented, the Dinner Party Scene is priceless). It's not slapstick humour - this is clever, and witty. And even when you think that everything has been sorted out with the kind of elegance that only a master storyteller can manage, Bujold has one more surprise in store just to finish them whole thing off in style. ( )
  T_K_Elliott | Mar 12, 2017 |
In some sense this is the romantic climax of the saga, in that by the end Miles Vorkosigan has persuaded Ekaterin to marry him, memorably proposing while on trial , which neatly discredits his enemies' claims against him.
His clone brother Mark is having parallel romantic issues, so at one point it is said court gossip is referring to them as the Chance brothers, Fat Chance and Slim Chance. meanwhile Emperor Gregor's marriage to his Komarran bride is proceeding somewhat more smoothly. Looking at the cover picture of a handsome couple, my first thought was that if it was intended to be Miles and Ekaterin, the hieght of the man (significantly taller than the woman) was obviously wrong, and of course he was not fat enough for Mark. By process of elimination, I suppose it must be meant for Gregor, though the pink-cheeked conventionally pretty man was not very like Gregor's olive complexion and sober countenance. ( )
  antiquary | Mar 8, 2017 |
While I enjoyed this book immensely, I wouldn't recommend it as an entree into the Vorkosigan series - I think you need to already know and love the characters.
It's not slow-moving, really - but not much happens. It's a romance/soap opera, more than the action-adventure that most of the series could be classified as.
The story is nearly wholly involved with Miles' bumbling attempts to woo the widow Ekaterin, and the social comedy/drama that follows upon that. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Miles continues his campaign to win Ekaterin's heart, badly. It is complicated by political enemies, his brother Mark and his cousin Ivan, but mostly by his own complicated little self.

No off world heroics here, but it certainly has a smell of bumbling comedy and "love wins the day." The dinner party was a lovely climax of "all that can go wrong will go wrong." Bujold always asks us to think about our prejudices, but doesn't shove the answer down our throats. An enjoyable escape from reality. ( )
  MrsLee | Nov 8, 2015 |
More romance and a bit less adventure in this entry of the Vorkosigan series made for a thoroughly satisfying book. Gover Gardner's narration was the icing on the cake & brought this up to a full 5 stars. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jul 4, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 48 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois McMaster Bujoldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gambino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Turner, PatrickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Jane, Charlotte, Georgette and Dorothy - long may they rule.
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The big groundcar jerked to a stop centimeters from the vehicle ahead of it, and Armsman Pym, driving, swore under his breath.
Since the official job description of an Imperial Auditor was, in effect, Whatever You Say, Gregor, Miles could hardly argue with this. (chapter two)
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Book description
One cunning plan too many...?

It's spring in Vorbarr Sultana, and a young person's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love...money...bio-genetics...love...lack of money...incompatible sexual mores...love...District succession scandals...the Emperor's wedding...and, of course, love...

Lord Miles Vorkosigan, youngest Imperial Auditor to be appointed by the Emperor since the Time of Isolation, has a problem all his new power can't solve: unrequited love for the beautiful Vor widow Ekaterin Vorsoisson. Ekaterin is violently allergic to marriage as a result of her first exposure. But as Miles learned from his late career in galactic covert ops, if a frontal assault won't do, go to subterfuge. He has a cunning plan...

Lord Mark Vorkosigan has a problem; his love for the sunny Kareen, daughter of Commodore Koudelka, has just become unrequited again. But if all his new money can't solve their dilemma, perhaps a judicious blending of science and entrepreneurial scheming might. He has a cunning plan...

Lord Ivan Vorpatril has a problem: unrequited love in general. True, with the men on Barrayar outnumbering the women five to four, his odds aren't good. But Ivan had never thought the odds applied to him. He too has a cunning plan....

If no battle plan survives the first contact with the enemy, just imagine what all Miles's closest friends and relatives can do to his romantic strategy!
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671578855, Mass Market Paperback)

If you relish costume adventure in an intergalactic society starring strong, convincing male and female characters, you'll adore the Vorkosigan Series. If you haven't met Miles Vorkosigan, whose brilliance, manic energy, and unstoppable determination make him a larger-than-life hero despite his dwarfish stature, pick up Komarr and A Civil Campaign. Read them, and then go back and catch the previous nine books (10 if you count Ethan of Athos, which features not Miles but his partner, Ellie Quinn); or read the series in order, starting with the romance of Miles's parents in Shards of Honor.

A Civil Campaign opens where Komarr ends, with Miles determined to court Ekaterin. Unfortunately, his approach is described as "General Romeo Vorkosigan, the one-man strike force." By his father. The potential for comic disaster increases when Miles's clone brother Mark arrives. He's brought a brilliant but scatterbrained scientist who's created a bug producing a perfect food: bug butter. They set up a lab in the basement of Vorkosigan House. Mark has also found a nice Barrayaran girl--she even likes the bugs--with whom he got together on the sexually liberated world of Beta. But now Kareen's living at home. Naturally, disaster strikes, repeatedly and on all fronts.

Bujold unfolds her comedy of manners while continuing to explore familiar themes: the difficulties in becoming a strong adult woman in a patriarchy, the need for trust and honesty in relationships between the sexes, the difference between appearance and identity, and the impact of advanced biotechnologies on society. A Civil Campaign is a sure-fire Hugo and Nebula nominee, likely to add another statue to Bujold's already full shelf. It's charming, touching, and quite funny too. --Nona Vero

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:02:37 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Despite all his power, Lord Miles Vorkosigan can't win the hand of the beautiful Vor widow, Ekaterin Vorsoisson, who is violently allergic to marriage as a result of her first exposure. But as Miles has learned from his career in the galactic covert ops, subterfuge is always an option. So he devises a cunning plan.… (more)

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