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The Flowers of Vashnoi

(Vorkosigan Saga (Chronological) #14.1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  3,067 ratings  ·  403 reviews
Still new to her duties as Lady Vorkosigan, Ekaterin is working together with expatriate scientist Enrique Borgos on a radical scheme to recover the lands of the Vashnoi exclusion zone, lingering radioactive legacy of the Cetagandan invasion of the planet Barrayar. When Enrique’s experimental bioengineered creatures go missing, the pair discover that the zone still conceal ...more
Nook, 98 pages
Published May 16th 2018 by Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc.
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Start your review of The Flowers of Vashnoi (Vorkosigan Saga, #14.1)
Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Final review, first posted on Fantasy Literature:

This VORKOSIGAN SAGA novella is a blast from the past, accompanied by a large dose of radiation. After Lois McMaster Bujold apparently wrapped up this long-running series in 2016 with Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, she returned once again to her immensely popular series with this brief novella, backtracking in the series timeline to just a few years after Miles Vorkosigan’s marriage to Ekaterin, when their oldest children, twins Sasha and Helen
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'd thought the author was done with this series and I'm delighted to be wrong.

This short novella picks up after the events of Captain Vorpatril's Alliance and features Lady Ekaterin and Enrique Borgos (mainly from A Civil Campaign) as they use Enriques bio-engineered bugs to try and cleanup the Vashnoi, a Vorkosigan holding that was radioactively contaminated during the war with the Cetagandans. Only there are some tragic complications.

Miles is present here, but it's Ekaterin who shines. As we
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019

One couldn't fix the past, only the present.

Only a novella for fans of the series: one might be tempted to discard this story as light entertainment. But this is Lois McMaster Bujold, and she can be relied upon to tackle the heaviest of issues with the lightest touch through romance and humor. Think what we are currently doing to our planet! We know what's wrong, but what we really need is to decide on the path forward. For the author, science and human responsibility have always provided the
“Is it still a victory if you don’t get the credit?"

There's nothing to really rate here.
This is far, far away from the space opera called Vorkosigan Saga.
And I still stand by my opinion that everything worth saying was said by the end of The Civil Campaign.
But it proves I will still read anything with the name Vorkosigan attached to it (even after the DISASTER called Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. There is NO forgiving Bujold for that one! Never, ever, ever...).
In some ways it did remaind
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ekaterine sighed. "Is this all going to work?" Her harassed gesture around encompassed everything: the zone, the radbug project, the district, far too many decades of inherited history.
Miles vented a mask-muffled noise, not quite a laugh.
"It's not as though we can stop trying."

I used to read stories about people who refused to leave their homes, even in the face of certain death, and wonder at how they could be so stupid. Didn't they know there was a whole life to be lived somewhere else?
An alluring addition to Bujold’s spin-offs from her series about Miles Vorkiosigan, the handicapped kid who became an underground spy and problem solver for a worthy galactic empire. Written in the late 80s and early 90s, they were a great pleasure to me as space opera with humor and fulsome character development (a source of 13 4 or 5-star reads). With a long tour of fantasy novels in the 2000s, starting with the World of Five Gods series, the recent set of Penric & Desdemona novels, and the Sh ...more
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed, audiobook
I love Ekaterin so, so much. 😭😭😭 This was a beautiful, nostalgic little gem that I’m so glad I discovered! The Vorkosigan Saga is one of my favorite comfort rereads. Until recently, I had no idea this novella existed, and I’m eternally grateful to the Subterranean Press email newsletter for informing me of its existence, even though I ended up reading it via borrowed audiobook from the library. Love love love. I need more Ekaterin (and Enrique, for amusement) in my life!
This novella is one of those stories where it's difficult to decide whether to round "Liked" up or not. Naturally, the writing is excellent, as expected from LMB: vivid, clear, and literate. The emotional and philosophical truths and insights are balanced with an interesting plot. The resolutions are a combination of hopefulness and lingering melancholy, intrinsic to a region still dealing generations later with radiation poisoning from a past devastating conflict and cultural backwardness from ...more
T. K. Elliott (Tiffany)
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a nice little short story/novella, set just after Captain Vorpatril's Alliance in the series chronology. Ekaterin Vorkosigan is working with Enrique Borgos (of A Civil Campaign fame) to develop a way to clean up the still-radioactive site of Vorkosigan Vashnoi. Naturally, they find a... problem.

In some ways, this is a strange little story. I wouldn't recommend it for people who aren't already Vorkosigan fans, as - although technically it works as a standalone - you really need to be fam
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
A Miles (or rather Ekaterin) Vorkosigan short-story. I feel like this is a book-end story to Mountains of Mourning and somewhat wish I had re-read that story before reading this one.

The theme here is clearly one of legacy. Toxic legacies of conflicts in the past (both military, community, and familial), and legacy systems that can be forgotten and abandoned - and yet never truly are because someone still sees value in what others see as garbage and waste. Ultimately, there is a techno-utopian vi
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bujold's Vorkosigan novellas have always been strong. This, for all its fancifulness, fits right in. I loved Ekaterin as the POV character, I've been wanting inside her head for a long time. I understand that I haven't a shred of objectivity about this series, it's one that I know so well and love so hard. I don't have much that's coherent to say yet, let me read it another 5 times.

“Miles opened a gloved hand, full of acknowledgement, empty of solutions. One couldn’t fix the past, only the prese
May 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bujold, sci
If you are checking reviews on this small book, chances are you have already decided to read it.
No fear - you will not be disappointed. I was in turns dismayed, surprised, delighted and relieved by the story. By all means read it, the world is a better place because of it.
laurel [suspected bibliophile]
Ekaterin and Enrique attempt to heal the radiated wasteland of Vorkosigan Vashnoi, and discover a legacy of problems.

I'm so happy to read another novella from Ekaterin's POV. She's so different from Miles and while she's kinda like Cordelia (huh), she's very much her own person, with her own goals and dreams and motivations. And her own methods for handling Miles (stepping aside to let him run himself out had my dying).

I was also excited to read more about Vorkosigan Vashnoi, which has been flow
May 18, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
Lovely science cockroaches <3 ...more
Olga Godim
May 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
Miles Vorkosigan’s wife Ekaterine is one of my favorite characters in the Vorkosigan saga, second only to Cordelia. This novella is Ekaterine’s story, and I expected to love it much more than I actually did.
It is a sad story, a story of forgotten people. Ekaterine is her true self: capable and compassionate, but the people she encountered in the radiation-contaminated zone of Vorkosigan Vashnoi are a sorry bunch, sick and pathetic. I don’t know if there is any future for any of them. Ekaterine d
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is there anything better than an unexpected Vorkosigan novella? No. There is NOT. This one is a delight though in the more serious vein of Mountains of Mourning, taking place deep inside the Vorkosigan district. Ekaterin is always a lovely character to ride along with, partly because she loves Miles as much as I do. I love the view we get of the not long married Vorkosigans managing their complicated, rather tragic district on Barrayar. I just want more, as usual.
It's always a delight to make a trip back to Vorkosigan saga, even when it's a short trip that doesn't bring all that much new material.

Ekaterin is amazing and the image of Vashnoi as a garden - worth the trip.
Pushing the envelope. Compassion. A snapshot of a character who isn't usually the focus of stories. All of these apply to *The Flowers of Vashnoi.*

It's a wonderful little story, makes me think about the story **Aftermaths**, which is often attached to *Shards of Honor*, but has also been published as part of a collection or two. The ending of *The Flowers of Vashnoi* doesn't give you the same whiplash that **Aftermaths** does; instead, it's a main plot point that causes the whiplash.

This story
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, netgalley, kindle
A worthy dream!

A tightly worded, short story continuing the lives of Ekaterin, Lady Vorkosigan and Lord Miles set in the Vashnoi exclusion zone, an area destroyed during the Cetagandan invasion of the planet Barrayar. That exclusion zone is part of Miles' inheritance. Underneath this delightful novella beats the complexity of Miles and his world, it's dark history, and recovery. Fans will identify immediately, knowing the stories behind simple statements. Scientist Enrique Borgos and Ekaterin ha
Heather Jones
Sep 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a pleasant (well, maybe wrong word, see futher...) side-story in the Vorkosigan universe focusing on collaborations between Ekaterin and bioengineer Enrique looking for genetically engineered mitigations for the toxic waste site that forms part of Miles’ inheritance. It’s also about the persistance of ingrained prejudices and the ways in which ignorance (on all sides) enables unprivileged people to fall through the cracks in an otherwise progressive society. Although I liked that these i ...more
Jill Vassilakos-long
I remember Miles once thinking of himself as the man who owns Vorkosigan's Vashnoi. (I think it was in Memory.) It was a moment when he recognizes that he's not just stubborn, but bone-deep obdurate. Where others might see a lost cause and give up, he digs in and does long-range planning. It's lovely, in this novella, to see that planning spin out as Ekaterin and Enrique take point on beginning the work of reclaiming that which the rest of Barrayar believed unredeemable.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really satisfying to read. It’s wonderful seeing Miles and Ekaterin settled into their married life. I’ve always thought Ekaterin was a wonderful foil for the hyperactive Miles. She’s always been so self-contained and calm. But when the chips are down she doesn’t put up with any crap. It was delightful, being inside of her head.
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Strictly for fans of the series. Time passes; with effort, old horrors can be erased and replaced with beauty, but some people will resist the change.
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ekaterin! Re-engineered butterbugs!
Lis Carey
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miles and Ekaterin Vorkosigan have been married for four years now, and in addition to Ekaterin's son Nikki, they have two children of their own, toddlers Sasha and Helen. Aral and Cordelia have gone off to Sergyar as Viceroy and Vicereine, and Miles and Ekaterin have taken on responsibility for the Vorkosigan District.

That district includes the Vashnoi exclusion zone, nuked by the Cetagandans during the invasion eighty years ago, and the source of much of Barrayar's horror of mutation. Ekaterin
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
The first (and hopefully not last) Vorkosigan that I'm here to read on release! Woo!

We're back with Ekaterin and Miles. And our favourite scientist Enrique Borgos who has now been successfully married to Martya Koudelka, and we're able to see the continuing work with the horrible bugs. Yes, I'm firmly on Miles' side for this one. Though I do like to see the application we see in this book - you remember the little bit of land left to Miles, that he used to gamble in an earlier book; the bit that
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful. Ekaterin is the best, but also: this feels like it advances the story and the world of the Vorkosigan saga significantly even though it's a novella.
Cat M
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-f
A new Vorkosiverse story this year was so unexpected and I’m so glad that it’s such a great story too.

Like the series as a whole, this is a story about family and legacy and reckoning with the past. The legacy is Miles’s, but the story is Ekaterin’s and that works surprisingly well.

I love Ekaterin’s pov, she’s just so marvellously competent, but in this calm, unshowy way that’s so unlike Miles. All the characters were great, new and old alike, but I particularly enjoyed Enrique here, which surp
David Holmes
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy how new Bujold stories just materialize unexpectedly now, available immediately, in easily digestible page counts. Nobody had any reason to think there would be another Vorkosigan story, and poof, here one is!

I had always wondered what happened with Enrique & Martya, and now we find out, and with Ekaterin as the main character! Though like A Civil Campaign, Enrique and his bugs are the B-storyline.
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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

Other books in the series

Vorkosigan Saga (Chronological) (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Falling Free (Vorkosigan Saga, #4)
  • Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1)
  • Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7)
  • The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2)
  • The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga, #6)
  • Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga, #9)
  • Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan Saga, #3)
  • Brothers in Arms (Vorkosigan Saga, #5)
  • Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga, #8)
  • Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10)

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“Oh.” Jadwiga looked more confused than thrilled at this news, though Ingi, who had brightened at the mention of the van, shot Ekaterin a sudden sharp look, beseeching hope muted by who-knew-what harsh experiences of disappointment and frustration. Ekaterin bit her lip on promises she could not yet guarantee.” 0 likes
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