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Winterfair Gifts [novella]

by Lois McMaster Bujold

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Vorkosigan: Publication Order (14a), Vorkosigan: Chronological Order (13a)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4371447,743 (3.86)60
This Hugo-nominated novella adds a delightful extra chapter to Bujold's acclaimed Vorkosigan series. Falling in between the novels A Civil Campaign and Diplomatic Immunity, it describes the wedding of Miles and Ekaterin and the events leading up to it. In the festive season of Winterfair on the planet Barrayar, Lord Miles Vorkosigan is making elaborate preparations for his wedding. The long-awaited event stirs up romance and intrigue among his eccentric family and friends, particularly for bioengineered space mercenary Sergeant Taura and shy, diffident Armsman Roic. But Miles also has an enemy who is plotting to turn the romantic ceremony into a festival of death. Winterfair Gifts offers another of Bujold's witty, character-centered science fiction plots with a twist of romance.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Ágætis nóvella eftir Bujold þar sem aldrei þessu vant aðalpersónurnar eru aukapersónur í lífi Miles Vorkosigan. Önnur sjónarhorn sem nú sýna giftingu dvergsins ásamt stressinu og látunum þar í kring. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
Winterfair has come to Vorbarr Sultana, and Miles Vorkosigan and Ekaterin Vorsoisson are about to be married. The wedding is planned, the garden is laid out for it (yes, in the winter; Ekaterin designed the garden and Miles is determined to have the wedding there), the gifts are arriving, and so are the guests.

Elli Quinn, Miles' successor as Admiral of the Dendarii Free Mercenaries, is not coming, but has apparently sent two gifts. One is a Cetagandan genetically-engineered living blanket, which purrs. It's accompanied by one of Elli's ribald limericks. The other, arriving separately and a little later, is a beautiful string of pearls, with no limerick.

When Ekaterin puts on the pearl choker to see how it looks, and decides it will look very good with her wedding dress, all present agree. She doesn't have it on long at this point, because she starts feeling worn out and needs to go lie down. Among those who watch this happening are Sgt. Taura (another of Miles' former Dendarii comrades), and Armsman Roic, who is the newest of the Vorkosigan armsmen.

When Ekaterin doesn't feel well enough to attend the emperor's celebratory dinner for the couple about to be married, it's Taura and Roic who become uneasy about that pearl choker.

Nothing Miles does is ever calm and unexciting, or even particularly safe.

Along the way we have the gracious and terrifying Alys Vorpatril, Taura's first encounter with upperclass Barrayaran women's clothing, and Ivan Vorpatril successfully obeying to the letter the order not to exercise his sense of humor in any way that will disrupt Miles and Ekaterin's wedding. Really, he does not disrupt the wedding. At all. And I grinned; it was very, very Ivan.

Is this novella essential to following the overall Vorkosigan story? No. But it's an enjoyable novella, and the "minor" characters who take leading roles here were very well presented and quite likable.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook. ( )
  LisCarey | Dec 28, 2021 |
I've waited a long time to listen to Winterfair Gifts, but it was worth it! Before we get to Miles and Ekaterin's wedding, there's all the fun with narrator Armsman Roic's reactions to everyone, especially the bio-engineered super-soldier, Sergeant Taura.

Taura has had the misfortune of taking to heart what someone told her: pink is a non-threatening color. Pink just isn't Taura's color. Good thing that Miles asked his aunt, THE Barrayaran Social Arbiter, Lady Alys Vorpatril, to take Taura's wardrobe in hand. Armsman Roic is as stunned by the effect of the first new outfit he sees as any young man in a movie or on TV seeing a great makeover done on a woman or girl he thought was plain.

Poor Roic has been suffering the aftereffect of the ridiculous showing he made in the hilarious climax of A Civil Campaign. He's sure that Miles thinks he's a dolt. Armsman Pym keeps him on night duty. This enables him to help Sergeant Taura foil a plot against Miles.

If you love the Vorkosigan Saga, don't miss this story! If you're new to the series, check the suggested reading order so you will be able to properly appreciate this entry. ( )
  JalenV | Oct 16, 2021 |
Winterfair Gifts tells the story of Miles's wedding, but from the point of view of armsman Roic, a servant in the Vorkosigan household. While it was interesting to get another outside perspective of Miles, it was a little frustrating at times to get shut out of the main characters' lives. The main plotline of the story was fairly unremarkable, and was only tangentially related to the larger political picture. If you can't get enough of Miles and his adventures, or don't want to miss a key moment in his life, sure give this a read. Personally, though, I found it to be pretty forgettable. ( )
  Phrim | May 28, 2021 |
Ever wonder what the day looks like from the eyes of one of the Vorkosigan armsmen? This story is told exclusively by following armsman Roic around in the days leading up to the Winterfair and the wedding. I enjoyed that point of view. ( )
  bratell | Dec 25, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bujold, Lois McMasterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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From Armsman Roic's wrist com the gate guard's voice reported laconically, "They're in. Gate's locked."
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Please do not combine this single-title book with the anthology that contains the same story.

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This Hugo-nominated novella adds a delightful extra chapter to Bujold's acclaimed Vorkosigan series. Falling in between the novels A Civil Campaign and Diplomatic Immunity, it describes the wedding of Miles and Ekaterin and the events leading up to it. In the festive season of Winterfair on the planet Barrayar, Lord Miles Vorkosigan is making elaborate preparations for his wedding. The long-awaited event stirs up romance and intrigue among his eccentric family and friends, particularly for bioengineered space mercenary Sergeant Taura and shy, diffident Armsman Roic. But Miles also has an enemy who is plotting to turn the romantic ceremony into a festival of death. Winterfair Gifts offers another of Bujold's witty, character-centered science fiction plots with a twist of romance.

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