Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga, #12)” as Want to Read:
A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga, #12)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Civil Campaign (Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) #12)

4.42  ·  Rating Details  ·  10,865 Ratings  ·  465 Reviews
Miles Vorkosigan has a problem: unrequited love for the beautiful widow Ekaterin Vorsoisson, violently allergic to marriage after her first exposure. If a frontal assault won't do, Miles thinks, try subterfuge. He has a cunning plan... Lord Mark Vorkosigan, Miles' brother, also has a problem: his love has just become unrequited again. But he has a cunning plan... Lord Ivan ...more
Paperback, 544 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Baen (first published January 1st 1999)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Civil Campaign, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Grouch Well, yes. It's actually where I started with Miles Vorkosigan BUT it has many references to previous events and will make more sense if you read the…moreWell, yes. It's actually where I started with Miles Vorkosigan BUT it has many references to previous events and will make more sense if you read the previous ones first. It is different from the rest of the series, however, being more romance and less adventure than the others. They're all great reads, though, and Miles and his world are wonderful!(less)
Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
181st out of 5,331 books — 17,884 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Host by Stephenie MeyerCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsDivergent by Veronica Roth
Best Sci-Fi/Futuristic Romance
17th out of 1,062 books — 1,154 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Apr 09, 2008 Sara rated it it was amazing
This has to be my favorite of the Miles Vorkosigan books, and considering how much I love *all* of them, that's saying something. Bujold dedicates this book to "Jane, Charlotte, Georgette, and Dorothy"--Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Georgette Heyer, and Dorothy Sayers. The Grandes Dames of women writers.

Here you will not find the covert ops rescue missions or epic space battles of Mile's past. Instead, he's facing something much, MUCH harder: dealing with real, domestic life. Like trying to co

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my FINISHING THE SERIES! list.

I loves me a good series! But I'm terrible for starting a new series before finishing my last - so this reading list is all about trying to close out those series I've got on the go.

Oh, Countess Bujold, you spoil us.

There are thre
Oct 29, 2007 Mark rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: sciencefiction
The Miles Vorkosigan series is one of the best in science fiction. This is not "hard" science fiction, don't expect scientifically accurate explanations of faster than light travel.

There are also no aliens in this universe, only genetically altered strains of human beings.

Miles is a unique hero in that he is a "little person", a dwarf. His physical body was damaged in-utero by a poison gas attack on his mother, a countess, during a revolutionary war on his home planet of Barrayar.

Oct 22, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 mixtu ...more
SFR Reading Challenge 2012

Grade A+

Miles is in love! Unfortunately, he seems fairly inept at wooing the object of his affection. Miles met Ekaterin on the planet Komarr (and in the book Komarr) when he went to investigate an accident involving a solar mirror. Ekaterin is widowed during that time and returns to Barayar with her young son. Miles plots a campaign to win her heart and beat out all the other eligible men who are soon showing up on Ekaterin's doorstep. Woven seemlessly into the courtsh
Lis Carey
Jan 12, 2011 Lis Carey rated it really liked it
Did you think that Miles was the definitive example of how far the Vor will go to be Vor? You were wrong. Someone else has Miles beat by, um, miles. But that's okay; Miles, as usual, has his own problems. There's his brother Mark's new business venture, which involves some rather unattractive bugs, currently stashed in an old laundry room in Vorkosigan House. There's convincing Ekaterin that the fact that she made a mistake in marrying Tien at twenty doesn't mean that she's forever incapable of ...more
Jan 13, 2009 Ferret rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, chicklit
The first time I read it, I liked it. Then I read Jane Eyre and Pride and Prejudice and returned to it and found to my surprise and pleasure that Bujold had consciously and cleverly incorporated parts of those plots here. Then I read Gaudy Night and all the pieces fit together and I saw that Bujold was celebrating the discovery of love in ways that were newer and excitinger because they built on history.
Mar 07, 2010 Jon added it
Recommended to Jon by: Beyond Reality Series Selection April 2010
Apr 13, 2015 André rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library
Alternate titles for this book:
-Let's Get All the Koudelka Girls Married
-Everyone is Very Excited about Bug Vomit
-Ivan and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
-Seriously How Has a Patriarchal Society with Men Like THIS in Charge Survived So Long?
-Oh Right it's Because the Women Actually Control Everything
-Miles You Dweeb

I think I'm going to reread this book whenever I get sad and my life will improve 5000%
It took me a little while to warm up to A Civil Campaign. The plot development is slow at the beginning while Bujold introduces (or, for long-term fans of the series, reintroduces) her cast of characters and sets them on a series of seemingly unrelated story threads. As the book progresses, however, those threads weave together in delightful and often hilarious ways to form a riveting, cohesive whole. By the end of the novel, I was on the edge of my seat to find out how everything would turn out ...more
Jan 29, 2011 Isis rated it it was amazing
I think this might be my favorite so far of the Vorkosigan series, which is sort of an embarrassing admission because this is the most like a traditional romance novel - not the straightforward Harlequins I went through a phase of loving (and now can't stand), but those fat baroque novels with multiple romance threads winding through subplots of adventure, intrigue, family drama, pirates, ninjas, and so on.

All right, no pirates or ninjas here. But the political intrigue is awesome, the cast of
Andreea Daia
Before I start my review I want to point out that, till this book, I thought that Ms. Bujold can do no wrong, so to speak (just check my other reviews of her books). I don't just like her writing style: I'm in LOVE with her technique. So this being said, for the last three days I've struggled to read this novel (I'm only 66% through) and, at this point, I'm almost ready to put it away and move to the next one, in hope of something more.

So what went wrong and what went well? (And I'm sorry, but t
Dec 19, 2011 SA rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011
"Miles Learns That Love Doesn't Quite Conquer All. Especially When You're an Idiot."

It doesn't' really seem fair to compare this book to the rest in the series--it's so different, dramatically so. Even aside from the regency-esque romance, the internal politicking is such an interior, class-oriented focus that it reads very far from the space adventures Miles had previously been involved in, though many of those were political in nature.

The book is also set off by the number of narrators Bujold
Dec 05, 2015 mich marked it as on-kindle-to-read
I'm trying to better catalog what's on my kindle w/my GR tbr right now, and I have to ask...why the fuck do I own so many random not in order books in the Vorkosigan Saga?? When did I do that? and why? so weird!
Nov 15, 2013 Melody rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heard, favorites
Brilliant. Just plain brilliant. This would be an excellent entry point to the series, but I think it's even better when one knows all the players really well. I love watching Aral and Cordelia grow old together, and I love the way their family expands. This is probably the flat-out funniest Vorkosigan book, but it has its moments of insight and beauty as well. I defy you not to stand up and cheer, tears running down your cheeks, during the scene at the Council of Counts.
Rosario (
I took a little break from the Vorkosigan series after reading this one (it's intense!), so I'm a bit late with this review. But now I've just started Diplomatic Immunity, so I'd best catch up!

A Civil Campaign takes place right after the events in Komarr, and it's basically a romance. There are a few other threads here, including Mark and Kareen's romance and their latest business venture, the preparations for Gregor's upcoming wedding, as well as plenty of political intrigue, including a couple
May 07, 2015 R.J. rated it it was amazing
This was actually the book I was looking forward to re-reading most, and I was not disappointed. I love how the Vorkosigan series morphs from space-opera romp to (mostly) serious military SF to mystery-espionage to dark psychological drama and then, with this book, into a comedy of manners and local politics with an unapologetic romance (indeed at least two, if not several romances) as the central element of the plot. Not to mention the slapstick comedy that comes into play so brilliantly in mom ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
This one started out slowly.....FOR ME. I put that in caps as I suspect it' not true for many readers.

Let me explain. I'm just not a fan of romances and this is not only a's romances. There are romances of almost every imaginable type and so convoluted, complicated, confused....and so on as to satisfy any fan of romances. I on the other hand found my mind wandering and my interest waning. Oh there was a smattering of humor and the beginnings of the political intrigue we've come to
Kat  Hooper
Aug 08, 2013 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at FanLit:

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
This is an unpopular opinion, I know, I'm sorry, but this is my least favorite Vorkosigan book.

If the dedication (to Austen, Brontë, Heyer and Sayers) hadn't clued you in, this is, more or less, a romance. A comedy of manners, if you will. It's not a common genre for mainstream SF, and Bujold pulls it off perfectly and clearly with a lot of love. It is, however, not a genre I am fond of.

Basically, Miles is in love with Ekaterin, and everyone in Vorbarr Sultana knows this... except Ekaterin. So h
A beauty and the beast story, only insofar as physical appearance, not the magical, gothic, or blackmailing bits. The hero, Lord Miles Vorkosigan, is often referred to as a dwarf (albeit 4.9) and a mutant, the mutie lord. Riddled with scars, he's got a big head on a short neck, and just a slight hunch, despite corrective surgery. However, he's brilliant, charming, sardonic, compassionate, and funny. A deadly enemy, a loyal friend. He gets his girl -- a beauty -- on character, not looks, despite ...more
Karl Smithe
Mar 05, 2011 Karl Smithe rated it it was amazing
The cover of that book is funny. Everybody knows that Miles is short and that Ekaterin is taller than he is. At least everyone that has paid enough attention to the series to get this far.

This story is hysterically funny. Although most of her other books contain funny incidents this if the first that can be called a comedy. That is one of the nice things about the Vorkosigan series, each book follows different path. Unlike the Honor Harrington series with the same old melodramatic Honor devastat
Apr 20, 2010 Kathi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Romance and romantic missteps, intrigue and counter-intrigue, and painful emotional growth (not to mention insect growth as well) abound in this installment of the Miles Vorkosigan series.

This book took me from laughter bursting forth to tears trickling down my cheeks. Bujold is a master of the one-liner, but she also sets up and unfolds the most absurd situations in absolutely believable detail. Her characters are so real, so layered, so nuanced--not just Miles, but his clone-brother Mark, his
Dec 16, 2015 Becky rated it really liked it
The first 45% of this book I absolutely hated while listening to it. I slammed around my house, frothing at the mouth. More than once I angrily stopped mid-sentence because I was so pissed at what was going on. And I was made more angry by the knowledge that I was supposed to be finding this funny; it's all framed as this hilarious social calamity.

And then the dinner party happened.

Through the whole first half I kept wishing an adult would show up and smack the kids across their collective faces
Carolyn F.
I'm glad this book takes place on Barraryar. Also the dinner party from hell was really memorable. I also love Cordelia and Aral and I'm thinking of re-reading the first book because their romance is so wonderful. Miles pursues love in his not very straightforward way and the people he confesses his intentions to keep telling him this is not a war maneuver. Great series, can't say it enough!
Dec 02, 2014 Janet rated it it was ok
I just can't get behind the miles vorkosigan romantic relationships.

Let's go on a track record here:
-A woman whose father was employed by his family, and her basically as well
-A teenager and/or questionably able to make adult sexual choices adult who he frees from a prison
-A woman who he is a direct supervisor of
-A woman who has been emotionally abused by her husband for a solid decade or so who he woos by employment

So miles is always the dominant power position from the get go here, and is ba
So, finally a Miles adventure that is not all about mercenaries, shooting, kidnapping, and so forth, but more about Barrayaran history and politics, hereditary wheeling and dealing, the council of counts, medical ethics, and romance.

Of course, the emperor's impending wedding is central, as expected. So, almost all the action takes place in the capital of Barrayar, Vorbar Sultana.

Yes, indeed, this is a bit different from the usual, but still very Miles... and Mark... and Vorkosigan. But with a b
Jan 25, 2014 Donna rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It seems fitting that I just finished re-reading Pride and Prejudice for the umpteenth time as this has the feel of a Jane Austen novel set in space. Oh, and Bujold dedicated it to Jane Austen as well as Charlotte (Bronte), Georgette (Heyer), and Dorothy (Sayers), all of whom are favorite writers of mine.

No battles in this one. Instead, Miles is in love but of course nothing goes easily for him. He makes the mistake of telling everyone around him that he is in love with Ekaterin Vorsoisson, but
Lisa (Harmonybites)
May 20, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Series Fans
This was such fun. This is the 12th book in the Vorkosigan Saga, and though I think it probably could stand alone, I think it's even more enjoyable if you read the prior books, starting at least with the omnibus work Young Miles. I think a lot of the enjoyment in the doings of familiar characters and of the political intrigues might be lost--or of lesser interest--if you haven't followed the books. The series is usually described as space opera, but definitely blends genres--often dropping a mys ...more
Apr 01, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sci Fi Aficionados: A Civil Campaign 23 33 Apr 25, 2014 09:02AM  
Tight Writing 17 87 May 17, 2013 10:36AM  
  • Scout's Progress (Liaden Universe, #6)
  • Rules of Engagement (The Serrano Legacy, #5)
  • The Vorkosigan Companion
  • The Better Part of Valor (Confederation #2)
  • Field of Dishonor (Honor Harrington, #4)
  • Deliverer (Foreigner, #9)
Lois McMaster Bujold was born in 1949, the daughter of an engineering professor at Ohio State University, from whom she picked up her early interest in science fiction. She now lives in Minneapolis, and has two grown children.

Her fantasy from HarperCollins includes the award-winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife tetralogy; her science fiction from Baen Books features the perennially bestse
More about Lois McMaster Bujold...

Other Books in the Series

Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1)
  • The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2)
  • Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan Saga, #3)
  • Falling Free (Vorkosigan Saga, #4)
  • Brothers in Arms (Vorkosigan Saga, #5)
  • The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga, #6)
  • Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7)
  • Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga, #8)
  • Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga, #9)
  • Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10)

Share This Book

“Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.” 3013 likes
“Guard your honor. Let your reputation fall where it will. And outlive the bastards.” 104 likes
More quotes…