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Komarr by Lois McMaster Bujold
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Notes:

Chapter 4: See Cordelia's Honor for the ugly incident that led to the shrine at Solstice and unfairly gave Aral Vorkosigan the sobriquet 'the Butcher of Komarr'. Miles' close friend mentioned is probably Duv Galeni.

See chapter 5 for some of the classic verbal abuser methods Tien uses against Ekaterin.

Chapter 6: See for the incident in which Miles' jumpship was wrecked.

Chapter 7 mentions the Time of Isolation case of the sixth Countess Vorvayne and what she did when her husband was sentenced to die for treason. As for Ekaterian' musings after the story, the actual quotation is '...where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise' (Thomas Gray, from the end of his 'Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College').

Chapter 8: Is the kitten that Miles offers Cappell one of the offspring of Zap the Vorkosigan House gatehouse guard's cat?

Chapter 12:

a. Sergeant Bothari died in The Warrior's Apprentice.

b. Professor Vorthys, when asked, talks about how his niece's marriage appeared to her family.

Chapter 14:

a. Ekaterin's birthday is three weeks before Miles'. They were born the same year.

b. See Brothers in Arms for Miles' idiosyncratic reaction to the fast-penta drug.

Chapter 15: Look here for a project Miles would to have Mark invest in.

Chapter 16:

a. Miles remembers dealing with his classmates when he was a schoolboy. Sergeant Bothari was wise.

b. See for when Miles employed a ten-year-old girl for courier duty.

c. Miles met Nicol the Quaddie musician in Labyrinth.

Chapter 17 has an interesting conversation about the bad history between Komarr and Barrayar.

Chapter 18:

a. Miles sunk himself and his vehicle in arctic mud in 'Weatherman'.

b. Miles tells an amusing story from back when he and his cousin Ivan were Imperial Junior Scouts.

Chapter 19: Ekaterin reflects on the Barrayaran legend of the Tragedy of the Maiden of the Lake. (Another old Barrayaran legend she recalls seems to have borrowed elements from an even older Earth fairy tale.)

Chapter 20: Baron Ryoval was taken care of in Mirror Dance, Ser Galen in Brothers in Arms. General Metzov is from ( )
  JalenV | Apr 4, 2019 |
Komarr is a Lord Miles Vorkosigan case as an Imperial Auditor. (His first case, in which he was only an acting Imperial Auditor, was in book 11, Memory. I loved the moment when the perpetrator complained that Miles had taken only three days to find something that should have taken him three months.)

Miles is sharing point-of-view character duties with Ekaterin Nile Vorvayne Vorsoisson. Madame Vorsoisson should have been given a copy of The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans for a wedding gift. Her husband, Etienne 'Tien' Vorsoisson, is a classic case. Their son, 'Nikki" (Nikolai), and the what her presence on Komarr will come to mean for Miles and the Barrayaran Empire are reasons we readers can be grateful she married Tien. Pity she had to endure him for so many years, though.

Miles is one of two Imperial Auditors sent to investigate an accident that destroyed an ore freighter and damaged part of the solar array that Komarr needs to augment its weak sun. The other is Dr. Vorthys, whom we met in chapter 28 of Memory. By useful coincidence, he's Ekaterin's uncle. Both auditors will be guests in the Vorsoisson apartment. We're 'treated' to Tien's way of thinking early in chapter one. His assumption about how Miles got to be appointed an Imperial Auditor at the tender age of 30 should cause a snort of derision from anyone who read the last book.

Notes:

Chapter 4: See Cordelia's Honor for the ugly incident that led to the shrine at Solstice and unfairly gave Aral Vorkosigan the sobriquet 'the Butcher of Komarr'. Miles' close friend who is mentioned is probably Duv Galeni.

See chapter 5 for some of the classic verbal abuser methods Tien uses against Ekaterin.

Chapter 6: See for the incident in which Miles' jumpship was wrecked.

Chapter 7 mentions the Time of Isolation case of the sixth Countess Vorvayne and what she did when her husband was sentenced to die for treason. As for Ekaterian' musings after the story, the actual quotation is '...where ignorance is bliss, 'tis folly to be wise' (Thomas Gray, from the end of his 'Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College').

Chapter 8: The kitten that Miles offers Cappell is the offspring of Zap, the Vorkosigan House gatehouse guard's cat. She had her litter of six in chapter 28 of Memory. Guess where.

Chapter 12:

a. Sergeant Bothari died in The Warrior's Apprentice.

b. Professor Vorthys, when asked, talks about how his niece's marriage appeared to her family.

Chapter 14:

a. Ekaterin's birthday is three weeks before Miles'. They were born the same year.

b. See Brothers sin Arms for Miles' idiosyncratic reaction to the fast-penta drug.

Chapter 15: Look here for a project Miles would to have Mark invest in.

Chapter 16:

a. Miles remembers dealing with his classmates when he was a schoolboy. Sergeant Bothari was wise.

b. See for when Miles employed a ten-year-old girl for courier duty.

c. Miles met Nicol the Quaddie musician in Labyrinth.

Chapter 17 has an interesting conversation about the bad history between Komarr and Barrayar.

Chapter 18:

a. Miles sunk himself and his vehicle in arctic mud in 'Weatherman'.

b. Miles tells an amusing story from back when he and his cousin Ivan were Imperial Junior Scouts.

Chapter 19: Ekaterin reflects on the Barrayaran legend of the Tragedy of the Maiden of the Lake. (Another old Barrayaran legend she recalls seems to have borrowed elements from an even older Earth fairy tale.) ( )
  JalenV | Apr 2, 2019 |
Miles in his first job as a permanent Imperial Auditor. Miles on the planet where, more than anywhere else, they think of his dad as the Butcher. Miles meeting a woman who is neither an impossible choice for the next Countess Vorkosigan, nor an impossible person to imagine him spending five minutes talking to without going mad. Miles exercising restraint (I'll bet you didn't think he knew what that was.) Great fun.
( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
(Twelfth of 17 (I suppose): Vorkosigan saga (chronological order). Science fiction, space opera)

The story opens on the planet Komarr with Ekaterin Vorsoisson staring at the damaged solar array as it sets. Her uncle, an Imperial Auditor, is about to arrive from Barrayar to assess the situation (as to whether it was an accident or sabotage, especially in light of Emperor Gregor's upcoming marriage to a prominent Komarran) and will be staying with her family; and then her husband informs her that her uncle will be bringing a colleague.

Enter Miles; we now see him from the other side of the table, as it were, through the eyes of other Vor (as opposed to our usual view through Miles's eyes, seeing other people's reactions to him). Ekaterin and her husband see him as a mutant - though his deformities are actually physical and not genetic. Her husband's reaction is the usual Vor distaste, but she finds him a source of hope; because their family is desperately hiding an inherited mutation of its own. However the tension of living with the disease leaves her feeling trapped.

This is Miles's first appointment as one of the standing Imperial Auditors; he is still stretching into his role as the Emperor's Voice and unsure of whether he might abuse his powers. Thus he makes a few of what he considers mistakes - although, from our point of view, they serve to advance the plot by not bringing the story to a premature end.

Bujold tells the story from both Miles's and Ekaterin's points of view, blending them seamlessly as the investigation progresses (or, frustratingly, doesn't). Although Ekaterin is initially surprised by Miles's appearance, she is one of few people who don't underestimate him because of it. Miles, with his long habit of falling in love with unattainable women in the mold of Elena Bothari, is attracted to Ekaterin.

...his own fixation, he had long ago ruefully recognised, was on long cool brunettes with expressions of quiet reserves and warm alto voices.

Ekaterin, despite having grown up in a traditional rural Vor family and her suppressing marital circumstances, turns out to be a feisty lady who can more than hold her own, like many of Bujold's female characters. She does seem to be developing a liking for Miles and his compassion and sense of humour - in spite of his dropping them both into a pond. I must say the last page or so left me with a broad smile on my face.

4**** ( )
1 vote humouress | Sep 1, 2017 |
To really appreciate this book, you need to have read some of the preceding books in the series. However, you can still enjoy it on its own.

In this book, we meet Ekaterin Vorsoisson, unhappy wife of Etienne Vorsoisson, a Barrayaran administrator on conquered Komarr. It's her apartment where Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan comes to stay (with her uncle, Imperial Auditor Professor Vorthys) when investigating the origins of a planetary disaster: was it accident, incompetence - or sabotage?

Interestingly, in this book, Ekaterin is the main point-of-view character. In most of the other Vorkosigan Saga books, this is Miles, so this represents a change. But the change works extremely well. Not only do we get to see Miles as strangers see him, but we get the point of view of someone who does not routinely move in the same rarefied social, political and military circles as Miles. Ekaterin grew up in a provincial town; she has followed the socially-acceptable life path for a young Vor girl (wife and mother) but it has not brought her happiness. Now we get to see not only how the 'other half' lives, but also how Ekaterin reacts to Miles' famous forward momentum and you-can-do-anything-and-the-universe-had-better-get-out-the-way attitide.

As usual with Bujold's books, all of her characters are living beings. She manages to write people so that even the ones you never meet - who are only referred to in one line spoken by a walk-on character - seem to conjure up a whole image and personality. Bujold delights in the ridiculous, but she can be serious too, often by stealth. We meet Ekaterin's husband, a lonely, frightened man whose loneliness and fear are all his own fault, or the fault of his clinging to increasingly outmoded social mores. We get to see the effect of this self-destructiveness not only on Etienne himself, but also on his wife and son. We meet Komarrans, too. The inhabitants of a conquered planet, we meet the ones who have accepted the conquest and the ones who have not, and their different ways of dealing with the fact that their once-independent planet is now part of the empire ruled by the people they once dropped in the mire by allowing an invasion fleet through their wormhole. Along the way, Bujold manages to give us a whistle-stop tour of several important issues, but we also get hilarious scenes such as Miles' and Ekaterin's disastrous shopping trip.

This is one of my favourite books in the Vorkosigan Saga, and I've read it many times. There's enough social commentary in there to satisfy the intellect, but enough sheer fun that you always feel better after you've read it. ( )
  T_K_Elliott | Mar 12, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois McMaster Bujoldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gambino, FredCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, CarolCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
First words
The last gleaming sliver of Komarr's true-sun melted out of sight beyond the low hills on the western horizon.
Quotations
Miles: Fortunately for my credit, from the outside most people can't tell the rapid exploitation of a belatedly recognized opportunity from deep-laid planning. (chapter 21)
Aim high. You may still miss the target but at least you won't shoot your foot off.
Her late husband had called her Kat. A pet name. A little name. As if he hadn't time to pronounce the whole thing, or wish to be bothered...But Ekaterin was light on the teeth and the tip of the tongue, yet elegant and dignified and entirely worth an extra second of, of anyone's time. (chapter 12)
Tien's antilegacy clouded the glimmerings of the new future she ached to claim for herself. She imagined a bird, released from ten years in a cage, told she could fly free - as soon as these lead weights were attached to her feet.
This bird's going to get there if she has to walk every step. (chapter 13)
(Miles, encouraging Nikki to return to school)
"It's not as daunting the second time. I wished later I could have started with the second time. But the only way to get to the second time is to do the first time. Seems paradoxical, that the fastest way to get to easy is through the hard. In this case, I can't spare you an ImpSec agent to check out your school for antimutant activity." (chapter 16)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Miles Vorkosigan arrives on the Barrayaran colony planet Komarr to investigate the destruction of a freighter which has crashed into the orbital mirror display - a mechanism vital to the planet's long-term terraforming programme. Miles's emperor, Gregor, is about to marry a Komarran princess, and relations between the empire and its possession must remain smooth.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671578081, Mass Market Paperback)

Lois McMaster Bujold comes through again with another sharp Miles Vorkosigan novel. Komarr can be read as a standalone, though it is part of a whole series. (Komarr brings the total to 16 books!) Miles is a hugely popular character with fans--and they won't be disappointed with his latest adventure.

The planet Komarr is undergoing centuries-long terraforming when one of the orbiting mirrors crucial to the effort is smashed by an off-course ship. Miles Vorkosigan is sent to Komarr to investigate the incident; once there, he becomes embroiled in political and scientific battles. To make matters worse, the name Vorkosigan is anathema on Komarr. But our intrepid hero can't be put down easily. While trying to save Komarr, he manages... maybe... to find true love at last! Bujold's original and intelligent blend of politics, science, and cliffhanging-good space opera makes this book a satisfying adventure and a charming romance. --Therese Littleton

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:27 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Komarr could be a garden - with a thousand more years work. Or an uninhabitable wasteland, if the terraforming fails. Now the solar mirror vital to the terraforming of the conquered planet has been shattered by a ship hurtling off course. The Emperor of Barrayar sends his newest Imperial Auditor, Lord Miles Vorkosigan, to find out why. The choice is not a popular one on Komarr, where a betrayal a generation before drenched the name of Vorkosigan in blood. In the political and physical claustrophobia of the domed cities, are the Komarrans surrounding Miles loyal subjects, potential hostages, innocent victims, or rebels bidding for revenge? Lies within lies, treachery within treachery - Miles is caught in a race against time to stop a plot that could exile him from Barrayar forever. His burning hope lies in an unexpected ally, one with wounds as deep and honor as beleaguered as his own.… (more)

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