Ryan's Reviews > Memory

Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold
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's review
May 11, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: all-time-favourites, sci-fi
Read from May 08 to 10, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Identity has been, in many ways, the central theme of the Vorkosigan Saga - how people define themselves, and how they can create prisons for themselves by letting others define themselves.

So of course, at this midpoint in the series, Bujold takes two of the central characters, Miles and Simon Illyan, and has outside forces strip their cherised, hard-fought-for identities away. Of course, identity is not the type of thing one can really survive without, so both men have to mourn their old lives, and then find new ones. In Miles' case, especially, building his new/old self takes time, and pain, and very nearly blood, making it more like a traditional birth than one from a Betan uterine replicator.

There is, of course, also a mystery/adventure plot to keep things moving along, and Miles gets to take on a new role (if not quite a new identity). Those parts were entertaining to read, and it's always a pleasure to watch Miles work his way through knots so Gordian that you can't even tell there's a knot there, but those parts by themselves would not be enough to make Memory a classic - it's instead the relationship between Simon and Miles, and watching them put themselves back together again, that made it such a satisfying read.

I almost missed this one, because it wasn't included in the CD of omnibus editions I received as ebooks, but I'm quite glad I didn't - it's an essential part of the Vorkosigan canon and quite literally changes everything.
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Quotes Ryan Liked

Lois McMaster Bujold
“Some prices are just too high, no matter how much you may want the prize. The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart.”
Lois McMaster Bujold, Memory

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