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A Civil Campaign by Lois McMaster Bujold
MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,476472,472 (4.42)134
  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 46 (next | show all)
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 |
It's amazing that such a long running series can keep such momentum, even get so much better. This story is a culmination of some wonderfully sketched characters throughout with dollops of history brought round for leavening. The Vorkosigans & all their friends & enemies are at their best in this somewhat convoluted tale. We know that both Miles & Mark have a propensity for trouble, but with both of them in the same house at the same time on the eve of the Imperial wedding, the mixture was frothing away, exploding at random, & drenching innocent bystanders all over the planet.

I listened to this as an audio book in every second I possibly could spare & a few I couldn't. My wife told me I seemed demented as Miles as I knitted, mowed the lawn, or weeded the gardens, chortling & hooting as the story unfolded. She was quite concerned during one particularly memorable passage - the least boring dinner party I've ever had the pleasure to attend. (OK, I wasn't really there, but it sure seemed as if I was the proverbial fly on the wall & it was a rare treat.) Unfortunately, my wife thought I was having some sort of seizure & I suddenly realized she was bent over me with real concern on her face. Ah, that uncomfortable feeling when you come out of a book & realize the rest of the world hasn't shared the experience...

The only complaint - if complaint it is - that I had was Bujold's propensity for ending chapters on a cliff hanger & starting the next in a completely different setting. It was quite wrenching, but I'd soon be immersed in the new setting & eventually I'd get back to finish up where I'd left off. I was happy to, even though I really wanted to know how the other situation finished up.

As entertaining as this was, Bujold also managed to include some very sage examples for life. Yes, we made bad choices at times & managed to live through them. We are what we've made of ourselves. If things had worked out differently, we wouldn't be the people we are now & if you're happy with that, there is no time nor reason for regret. How true.

On to the next! Winterfair Gifts, a short story. ( )
  jimmaclachlan | Aug 18, 2014 |
Originally posted at FanLit: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/a-civil-campaign-2/

I was afraid I wasn??t going to like A Civil Campaign as well as the previous VORKOSIGAN novels because, according to the description, the plot takes place all on the planet Barrayar and it deals mostly with relationship issues for several of the characters. Most of the various editions of the book sport covers with couples dancing or getting married. So, yeah, I thought it was a romance novel.

Well, A Civil Campaign is a romance novel, but because it involves the romances of Miles Vorkosigan, his clone brother Mark, and his tomcatting cousin Ivan Vorpatril, it is, thankfully, a lot more than that. Along with the romance, Bujold weaves in a few funny subplots that both entertain and advance the plot of the VORKOSIGAN series on the non-romantic fronts, too.
Milesƒ?? goal in this book is to convince the widow Ekaterin Vorsoisson to marry him. (We met her in Komarr.) Ekaterinƒ??s first marriage was painful and she is not inclined to repeat the experience. Thatƒ??s just one problem. The other is that Ekaterin is beautiful and a Vor. Since beautiful single Vor women are rare on patriarchal Barrayar (the previous generation genetically selected for boys), they are in high demand. Miles has to court Ekaterin without scaring her away while he attempts to fend off all other suitors and while he tries to maintain his dignity as an Imperial Auditor. Other romances are going on, too. Gregorƒ??s wedding is being planned by Ivanƒ??s mother. Mark is courting one of the Koudelka girls (her father is not pleased!) and Ivan has suddenly realized that while he has been happily carousing for years, all the best girls were getting snatched up.

Meanwhile, since Aral Vorkosigan is off planet, Miles is left with his fatherƒ??s political duties and the counsel has to deal with a couple of inheritance disputes. One of them involves the problem of patriarchy and the other involves racism. Lois McMaster Bujold has a way of commenting on these issues using humor instead of a hammer ƒ?? itƒ??s both effective and entertaining.
Along with the all the romance and politics, Bujold serves up a hilarious storyline in which Mark, who now considers himself an entrepreneur, teams up with a brilliant but socially inept scientist to genetically engineer insects that vomit up a cheap and nutritious creamy substance that they hope to market to the universe. They set up a lab in Vorkosigan house and get the lovely Koudelka girls to be their lab assistants. This slapstick storyline is a little over the top, but I thought it worked well as a contrast to the politics and romance. Bujold weaves all of these plots together for a synergistic effect thatƒ??s quite pleasing.

There are some niggling little problems with A Civil Campaign, at least for me. One was that I couldnƒ??t muster up the attraction for Ekaterin that Miles seems to feel. I am not sure why he loves her ƒ?? sheƒ??s kind of dull. Also, her reaction to the discovery that Miles was trying to sneakily court her was unreasonable, and his reaction to her reaction was even more unreasonable. This has to do with my second complaint which is that Miles and Mark are both in their thirties but act like theyƒ??re eighteen. Miles is an Imperial Auditor, in fact ƒ?? a very distinguished position in the empire. I forgave their immaturity in previous novels because it seemed like the messes they got themselves into werenƒ??t really their faults. In this novel, though, they donƒ??t have such a good excuseƒ?? On the other hand, this juvenile behavior, which culminates in this case in a disastrous dinner party, is exactly what makes the plot so entertaining, isnƒ??t it?

Iƒ??m listening to Grover Gardner narrate the audio version of the VORKOSIGAN saga. Heƒ??s awesome. ( )
1 vote Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
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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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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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