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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. Thus, the Komarrans surrounding Miles could be loyal subjects, potential hostages, innocent victims, or rebels ready 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.

366 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 1998

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About the author

Lois McMaster Bujold

180 books37.7k followers
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 bestselling Vorkosigan Saga. Her work has been translated into over twenty languages.

A listing of her awards and nominations may be seen here:


A listing of her interviews is here:


An older fan-run site devoted to her work, The Bujold Nexus, is here:


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Displaying 1 - 30 of 659 reviews
Profile Image for Choko.
1,197 reviews2,583 followers
April 20, 2017
*** 4.35 ***

A buddy read with Evgeny and Maria, because we cannot stop the Forward Momentum!!!

"...“All the geniuses I ever met were so just part of the time. To qualify, you only have to be great once, you know. Once when it matters.” ..."

Once again I am going to sound like a fan-girl, but I can't help it! This series has stolen my heart. I know I have several series of books which I love and are a must read for me, but most of them are more because the story lines are not finished, and the worlds are marvelous, and the writing is great, and I really enjoy the characters... and so on. However, of all of those, The Vorkosigan Saga is the one that I have the most tenderness for. It makes me think, it makes me feel, and it makes me appreciate the more imperfect of the human emotions, the issues we are dealing with in one way or another on daily basis but disguised in a Sci-Fi form. On top of that, as the main protagonist we have Miles, a young man whom we have followed for several years and his evolution form a kid to an adult has been spellbinding... I fill like he is my kid, or more correctly, as if he is my sister's kid and I get to claim and be proud of him and his achievements even though I have been just an observer in his life... He is bigger than life, but packed in a small frame and vulnerable psyche. I love this character so much, he is quickly becoming one of my favorite of all time!

"...“Some people grow into their dreams, instead of out of them.” ..."

This is the first book since he had to part with his second personality, Admiral Naismith, and is now just Lord Vorkosigan, the Imperial auditor. A position which would be the professional peak of any other person on Barrayar, is just "settling" for our Miles... It has been 3 months since he took this post and he is learning on the job by assisting a senior member of the Imperial Auditors. They have to investigate what happened on Komarr, a planet which Miles's father was instrumental in conquering and at the time acquiring the nickname "The Butcher of Komarr"... Having his son on the planet is a bit challenging for the locals, to put it mildly... On top of that, they are staying with the niece of the older partner and her family, which are having some domestic problems and there are multiple tensions in the air. Incidentally, the niece, Ekaterin, happens to be just Miles's type and very unhappy in her marriage... Tum-tum-tuuuummmm.... (there was no cheating, for which I was very grateful!!!)

"...“So the difference between a criminal and a hero is the order in which their vile crimes are committed. And justice comes with a sell-by date. In that case, you’d better hurry. You wouldn't want your heroism to spoil.” ..."

As always, we get the usual action, political machinations, and the mandatory ethical conundrum, mostly based on genetic mutations and conditions. The good thing is, this world is fictional and things can get fixed, while we don't have those luxuries in RL:(((... I love how the author handles all of those situations without making them preachy or intrusive. They are looked upon as just a part of human everyday life and we can imagine parents, kids and spouses dealing with them in just this manner...

"...““He’s not so short,” said Ekaterin defensively. “He’s just . . . concentrated.” ..."

As always I would like to encourage all readers to try this series and see if it is something they might like - it is a great series for young and old alike, because there are situations and issues which are thought provoking for those who have no real life experience as well as those who have had more than they would have liked to have had:):):):)

I wish you all Happy Reading and many more wonderful books to come!!!!
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,860 reviews370 followers
December 10, 2020
I do love Miles Vorkosigan! So much so that I stayed up much too late to finish this book. I think I prefer Miles as an Imperial Auditor, rather than a Imperial Security officer. He gets interesting assignments in his new role.

And I fell head over heels in love with Ekaterin just as surely as Miles did. Bujold manages to take Ekaterin's failed marriage and a possible terrorist plot, and turn them into a romantic story. The terrorism gets its full coverage and the details are laid out in full. The glorious part is Ekaterin's part in foiling their plan. Well, this is the Vorkosigan universe—you must realize that Miles and Barrayar are going to come out on top, yes?

I have the next book sitting on my shelf and I shall be most interested in seeing where this new relationship goes. Miles admires the glorious mess that Kat made and she declares that he is “not so short, just concentrated.” This looks like the beginning of a lively courtship.

Book number 387 of my Science Fiction & Fantasy Reading Project.

Cross posted at my blog:

Profile Image for Maria Dimitrova.
744 reviews139 followers
April 21, 2017
Buddy read with Choko and Evgeny.

I started writing this review yesterday and then RL happened. Let's hope that nothing will interrupt me this time :)

From the very start of the series the planet Komarr has played an important but kind of behind the scenes role in Vorkosigan's lives. And I always wanted to visit it. Mostly because terraforming fascinates me. It's very difficult to write a good book set on a terraformed planet because it's either used as a convenient plot device and the science is so badly researched/explained that it drives me crazy or the technical details are overwhelming and make the reader feel as if she's picked a textbook. LMB has found the perfect balance between those two opposites and blends it seamlessly with the story.

For me this is a reread number "I've lost count" and up until now I was always focused on Miles' side of the story. He does tend to hoard all the attention :) But this time it was Ekaterin's POV that kept me going. Maybe it's because I'm older and have seen the destruction a dysfunctional relationship can bring to a person in RL and that's why Ekaterin's plight hit me so hard. I admire her for finding the strength to because not many people do. Mostly I love how LMB handled the situation - she made it feel real, something few authors manage to do. The inner struggle Ekaterin went through, the excuses she made for so long, the fear, the pain, the ultimate trigger for her decision - everything was described so well that for a moment I forgot that it isn't real.

Komarr fits perfectly with the rest of the series not because Miles is in it but because of Ekaterin. All of the books deal with some sort of social problem and it's sad that those problems are still such a big part of society years after these books were written. And as much as I love Miles and his family it's those themes that make me reread these books time and again.
Profile Image for Jane.
385 reviews606 followers
January 28, 2019
3.5 stars rounded up.

Too much mushy-gush. Not enough action.

Otherwise a typical Miles adventure.

Badass Female Character score: 4/5 -- Ekaterin starts out a bit wishy-washy, but she's got some real Vor strength when push comes to shove.
Profile Image for Clouds.
228 reviews632 followers
December 14, 2013

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 GIFTS AND GUILTY list.

Regardless of how many books are already queued patiently on my reading list, unexpected gifts and guilt-trips will always see unplanned additions muscling their way in at the front.

If you’ve never read any of Bujold’s Vorkosigan Saga – what are you waiting for? They’re great! However, I wouldn’t recommend making this your first. It’s not the kind of series you have to start at the beginning (I came in at book nine and loved it) but, to me, Komarr has the feel of the middle book in a trilogy, a smaller arc within the bigger series.

If you’ve read one or two other books in the Vorkosiverse - this is Miles’ first adventure since Memory , where he embarked upon his new career as a Galactic Auditor. He’s kind of like a trouble-shooting detective with the authority of the Emperor. Miles is still settling into his new role, trying to find the balance between effective use and reprehensible misuse of his power. In this case, Miles is called in to investigate a massive space accident that has damaged the planet Komarr’s soletta array (terrorist-with-secret-weapon shenanigans ensue).

If you’re familiar with the broad path of the series – this is “The one where Miles falls in love.” Miles has been in love before –at the end of Komarr he even reels off a list of all the people he’s fallen for in the past. But watching Miles falling in love has never been the main focus before, it’s always been a subplot or distraction – but Bujold handles it remarkably well, this isn’t a romance in any conventional fashion.

Ekaterin is no Quinn, nor is she a Taura - those are the wild girls from Miles’ past I was most fond of. Ekaterin is an unhappily married Vor lady with an eight year old son. She’s living on Komarr (not her home planet) and married to a Barayaran Administrator who is a complete tool, on both a personal and professional level. Miles meets her through the course of his investigation and is slowly bewitched by her. The perspective flip-flops between Miles and Ekaterin throughout the story as he tries to stay focused on his case rather than the dame, and she tries to change her life somehow.

The twist comes during an accident: her husband is killed and the case breaks. Both aspects of the story pick up the pace before combining in a climax dominated by Ekaterin, not Miles; it’s the last straw for Miles and he is irrevocably smitten.

My favourite quote came right at the end:
“She had met the enemy, mastered her moment, hung three hours on death’s doorstep, all that, and she’d emerged still on her feet and snarling. Oversocialized, hah. Oh, yeah, Da. I want this one.”
It was easy to enjoy Komarr : Miles is one of my favourite characters and hanging out with him is delight. But Ekatarin was new to me, and although she grew on me as the book progressed, it wasn’t love at first sight. She’s complex, brave and strong by the end – but she’s timid, scared, insecure and joyless at the start. So it took me a little longer than normal to become enthralled. At one point I wondered if this might be my first Vorkosigan Saga to get just three-stars from me, but then it pulled round on the upward curve and thundered past the finishing line a very strong four-star rating. I finished it on my break at work today and had a big grin in the canteen – very tempting to just read straight on to the next in the series as I know my wife has bought it!

Bujold’s strongest card is her characterisation, closely followed by her dialogue – and they shine as brightly as ever here. Miles case just isn’t his most fascinating and the supporting cast isn’t half as strong – no Marc, no Cordelia, no Gregor, no Ilyan, no Dendarii, etc. So Komarr is not my favourite of the series (that would be Mirror Dance ), but I still enjoyed it thoroughly and highly recommend.

Komarr was a gift from my Grandmother-in-Law, along with two other Bujold novels she picked up for a combined price of £5 from a second-hand book stall. Thanks Nanny-B!

After this I read: Bear's Magic Moon
Profile Image for Becky.
807 reviews77 followers
December 28, 2020
"Is Komarr nice? It doesn't sound nice. How can a book about the son of the Butcher of Komarr being on Komarr be nice?" - literally me to my roommates before starting this book. Read that in a voice full of hurting doubt and the hopeless desire for something, not less painful, but perhaps more accessible. One grows tired of leaning back and watching Miles pull miracles out of his ass, you know. As enjoyable as that is.

This is the fastest I've ever gone through a Bujold book. I was LOATH to turn the audio book off; I could not put it down.

This is without a doubt my favourite since Ethan and ranks right up there with Cordelia's Honor. I love this. I love Ekaterin with everything in me. I know her. Half way through this I had the horrible realization that while I want so badly to be Cordelia I might be more like Ekaterin: made small. Without a doubt, she is my greatest fear on display. Implicit in that is the very real problem with not being small: if she tries to grow, she makes the men around her feel small, so it's best not to even try. The perfection to which Bujold illustrates phenomena is breathtaking... it's absolutely truly staggering.

And I adore her prose, her insight, and her turns of phrase (turns of phrases? ack). I adore Bujold's characterization. All her characters have distinct voices and I love them all.

Kendra, or maybe it was Jas, I don't remember, said it best: it's not that Ekaterin needed a man to come and let her be big, it's just that she needed the current men in her life to get out of the way so she could do it herself.
All the same, I love Miles for loving her. I love HOW he loves her. I love his understanding, and I love that even if sometimes he doesn't actually understand, he's still trying to.
I love the whole beautiful mess and I am so, so very sad that I don't own this book.

Edit: I just re-listened to this while sick in bed, and at one point Jas came in and said, "the really frustrating part about audio books is that you've been listening to this for HOURS and he's STILL ALIVE."

Re-listen January, 2019: I've been having a very difficult winter, and one night out of desperation for a little comfort I started listening to this one again. God I love this book.

Re-listen November-December, 2020: somehow this has become my go-to for when I am sick or depressed, usually in winter. In my darkest moments, I take comfort in Ekaterine's resilience.
Profile Image for Justine.
1,132 reviews309 followers
August 30, 2019
Reliably good, as expected. I'm still completely annoyed with my library for downgrading our Hoopla subscription so none of the rest of the series will be available for me to listen to on audio. It's a shame because these books seem particularly good to me as audiobooks; I've enjoyed them all so much.
Profile Image for Caro the Helmet Lady.
762 reviews345 followers
March 29, 2020
Well, I guess I can't call it space opera anymore because the closest connection it had with the latter was that someone died in space or that someone worked in space and it was mentioned. No big time adventure, no rockets ridin' villains with blasters. This was again pretty much a cozy mystery with a bit of family drama and a bit of pretty hard falling in love for the main character. This wasn't the usual Miles Vorkosigan fun story. Like you said Evgeny - everything pretty predictable.
Yet I still definitely enjoyed the writing and even the story and I must say the character study was just brilliant. Not gonna lie, I didn't love it but I definitely enjoyed it.

No Worst Cover Gallery edition here, because... there wasn't a single horrible cover for this volume. Le gasp.
Profile Image for Lost Planet Airman.
1,249 reviews71 followers
September 30, 2020
Audio. For me, this was just a filler so I had an audio book available on the phone (my main audio book was on a thumb drive, so not as accessible...

Komarr is Miles' first big 'mission' as the newest of eight permanent Imperial Auditors*, although he is only along originally to train under a more senior and more technical auditor in the investigation of a crash of ship and research station.
*("Imperial Auditor" really reads as "Inspector General of the Future")

The book is almost two major sections, the initial discovery that There Is More Here Than There Seems, and then a short breather while we find There Is Even More Here And It Is Getting Ugly.

Miles handles it with his usual panache and comes away with more than he expected. Is next followed by A Civil Campaign. A good adventure and light drama.
Profile Image for Joaquin Garza.
532 reviews629 followers
May 22, 2021
Komarr es el primer libro después del "reboot" de la Saga Vorkosigan que significó la trama de Recuerdos. Aquí Miles ha salido de la peor crisis de identidad de su vida y se enfrenta a un nuevo reto: uno reto que tiene que ver con uno de los ejes que ha dado problemas para los protagonistas dentro de la saga.

Hasta el momento, estos problemas han venido de dentro de Barrayar mismo, de Jackson's Whole y de Komarr (y en una sorprendentemente menor medida de Cetaganda). Aquí se retoman las ansiedades de los conquistados habitantes de Komarr cuando un accidente daña el espejo solar que permite el proyecto de terraformación del planeta. Conviene notar aquí una curiosa distinción: en The Expanse la cultura que gira en torno a un gigantesco esfuerzo planetario por hacer habitable el lugar es Marte, que de acuerdo a su nombre resulta ser estricto y militarista. Por el contrario, en la saga Vorkosigan la gente de Komarr es más bien dada a los negocios hasta el punto en que su espíritu emprendedor se convierte en aprovechado y eso les juega en contra. Al final fue lo que les costó ser conquistados por Barrayar.

La mayor virtud en esta entrega viene de los personajes, como es usual en Bujold. Por principio de cuentas, quien resulta ser el antagónico aquí tiene una marcada diferencia con los villanos tradicionales de la saga. Incluso el propio Miles se da cuenta, al notar que sus antagonistas han sido todos psicópatas: Ser Galen, Metzov y el Barón Ryoval (añadamos a esta lista a los enemigos de sus padres Vorrutyer y Vordarian, que eran iguales). Aquí es diferente: es la primera vez que los que llevan la contraria tienen una motivación más tenue y trabajada y por lo tanto más creíble y humana. Curioso que hasta que no leí La Maldición de Chalion hace un par de meses me di cuenta que a pesar de lo maravillosa que es su caracterización, a Bujold los villanos le tienden a salir iguales.

Y por supuesto quien distingue al libro es la aparición de Ekaterin. Un retrato exacto de una mujer a las puertas de la mediana edad que cree haber sacrificado todo y por lo tanto ver cómo se le va la vida en un matrimonio agonizante. Se siente casi como canción de plancha pero está magistralmente ejecutada la forma en la que se siente atrapada con un marido mezquino, manipulador y mediocre. Se ve a leguas hacia donde va a ir como personaje, pero Ekaterin es una adición muy pulida al maravilloso elenco de la saga.

Por otro lado me es difícil reseñar sin repetir los puntos que Jo Walton escribió en sus maravillosos ensayos sobre la saga (tengo la costumbre de leer el ensayo correspondiente a la novela justo al terminarla). Pero está en lo cierto sobre las pequeñas falencias, las pequeñas faltas de balance en la ejecución y que aquí partes de la trama se le acomodan demasiado a Miles. No es suficiente para condenar la novela (o hacerla de las más reguleras de la saga, como Hermanos de Armas o Cetaganda), pero sí lo suficiente para alejarla de lo mejor que Bujold nos ha dado.
Profile Image for Chloe Frizzle.
316 reviews42 followers
November 23, 2022
I love our new narrator. I love the mystery plot of this one. I love the slow romance.

I also want to praise the technobabble in this novel. Yes, it's taking about 5-D wormholes. But (and I'm saying this as an engineer), the engineers talk like engineers, and the words they say make sense and convey the concepts clearly. Honestly, the technobabble in this series is the best I've ever encountered. Not too much or too technical for someone who doesn't care. But also accurate and enlightening enough to explain it to someone who does care, like me. Obviously some research and actual science went into it.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,964 followers
July 31, 2014
The wormhole plot was very interesting and satisfying, as was the full worldbuilding of Komarr itself, but what really shone brightest in the novel was Miles's falling in love with a married woman. I knew from a previous readings how important she'd become, but my goodness this was painful to watch. Delightful, absolutely, but also very painful. It was strangely believable and full of depth and realism, greatly surpassing all of his other love interests, and it really brought out the shine in his eyes. Ill-fated love story, anyone? At least the plot actions were entirely believable and felt very natural. Their mutual discovery was slow and the tension was great, and by the end of the novel, still up in the air. As it should be.
To say this was a great Miles story is to say it is absolutely required reading. Like most of them. Go get them. Now. Love them. :)
Profile Image for Megan Baxter.
985 reviews656 followers
October 30, 2014
This was a pivotal book that I missed on my first patchy run at this series. The library didn't have it, but it did the next one, so I came to read this with some idea of what happened in Komarr, but not when. Which ended up being important. And it may be superfluous to say about a Lois McMaster Bujold book at this point, but I liked this a lot.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Profile Image for Becky.
1,575 reviews23 followers
May 15, 2017
I didn't even care about the mystery here, I was so caught up in the romance. I love how Bujold always delivers with her characters. Often I can't remember what happened in her books, but I never forget the people or their relationships. This time we get to meet the love of Miles' life and I like her, I really do. I can't wait to see how this develops in later books.
Profile Image for Trike.
1,459 reviews152 followers
May 17, 2019
The Miles train keeps on chugging. I really enjoyed this one, with the slight exception that the potential new girlfriend’s life circumstances worked out a little too pat. But really I’m not reading this for the high drama, just the fun adventure. This time Team Vorkosigan averts the destruction of the nascent Barryan empire, so that was cool.
Profile Image for Jon.
833 reviews253 followers
March 1, 2010
I connected deeply with the character Ekaterin. Her predicament broke my heart at times. Miles' heart melted as well.

Komarr takes place just three months after Memory. Miles acquires an Auditor Mentor in Ekaterin's uncle Vorthys. Both Imperial Auditors arrive at Komarr to investigate a tragic and seemingly inexplicable near space accident involving an ore freighter and the Komarran solar mirror array. Each Auditor brought a different perspective and expertise to the investigation. Vorthys' engineering background appeared at first blush to be the most vital asset, but when extra parts, including body, were discovered and retrieved, Miles' unique talents became a necessity.

Mystery, sabotage, embezzlement, get-rich-quick schemes, murder, kidnapping and revolution round out the hurdles to Miles' blossoming love life.

Bujold keeps delivering and I keep reading. Highly recommended to space opera junkies everywhere.
Profile Image for Jim.
Author 7 books2,027 followers
October 23, 2014
It's amazing that such a long running series can keep such momentum, even get better. I'd rate this book about the same as the last, except we're introduced to a new character that I have great hopes for. It's a twisty mystery with a lot to say, as usual. We get to see Miles played off against other characters - especially one - that makes for a great story & really brings home a lot of the lessons he's learned. Good ones, too.
Profile Image for Jeraviz.
913 reviews404 followers
February 8, 2023
Seguimos acompañando a Miles a través de su vida. Ya tiene 30 años y su nuevo puesto le está haciendo empezar a sentar la cabeza ya. Su misión ahora es investigar lo que parece un accidente en el planeta Komarr, y como siempre, se ve arrastrado a una serie de acontecimientos que en los que se juega la vida salvar al Imperio.

Es un placer leer esta saga. Bujold hace un trabajo maravilloso a la hora de crear personajes y situaciones, dando igual que sea una historia de Ciencia Ficción, ya que en el fondo lo que nos cuenta son historias de personas. Sustituye el planeta Komarr por la Tierra, y tendrás a Ekaterin atrapada en un matrimonio que no quiere con un marido que la maltrata psicológicamente. O tendrás a un grupo de personas dolidas por la injusticia que se hizo a su pueblo buscando venganza por su cuenta...

Creo que Bujold fue muy inteligente con el cambio de trabajo de Miles para no caer en la repetición, y junto con la llegada también de Ekaterin nos permite leer la historia con otros ojos. Ya no solo vemos el punto de vista de Miles si no de Ekaterin también, y es un soplo de aire fresco para la saga.

En cuanto a la trama, como siempre Bujold construye una historia bien fundamentada, donde no se escapa ningún detalle. Ya está dejando de ser una space opera como en los primeros libros, y se centra casi en exclusiva en tramas políticas y misterios que resolver. Y para mi es un cambio muy bienvenido.

Si estáis leyendo esto sin haber leído nada de Bujold...ya estáis tardando en empezar esta saga. No os arrepentiréis.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,260 reviews222 followers
August 27, 2018
Part of a Vorkosigan reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group in 2017/18. I have long thought of this book as a prologue to the romantic comedy of A Civil Campaign, and as such, I've not revisited it since my first reading even though I've reread A Civil Campaign multiple times. I found myself unexpectedly enjoying it for multiple reasons, partly because I misremembered it as ending with Ekaterin discovering Miles and Tien at the Waste Heat experiment station, and partly because I'd forgotten how much of Miles and Ekaterin's relationship is in this novel.

Miles is on his first official gig as an Imperial Auditor, paired with Lord Auditor Georg Vorthys to investigate the partial destruction of the Komarr soletta array, an artificial satellite solar mirror that's key part of the terraforming of Komarr. While on Komarr they stay with a local Vor administrator who is married to Vorthys's niece Ekaterin. We get Miles's viewpoint of the investigation and his attraction to Ekaterin as we also see Ekaterin's viewpoint of the final destruction of her abusive marriage and how that all ends up connecting with what's really going on.

This is Miles at his best and being written by Bujold at the height of her ability. Miles has thoroughly grown into his abilities and life and while regretting some of his earlier mistakes, now owns them as well as his role for Barryar. For much of this book he's off balance by being forced into a reactive role, and to his credit, he recognizes that, accepts it and changes to accommodate.

Similarly, Ekaterin is a deep and interesting character. While her marriage is horrible, she's wonderful anyway, even when she places such sharp limits around her capabilities. She's also a big part of the next two books which I'm thoroughly looking forward to.
Profile Image for Stuart.
718 reviews267 followers
June 24, 2018
Komarr: Miles the Imperial Auditor Falls in Love
This is probably the eighth or ninth Miles Vorkosigan novel I've listened to this year as I work my way chronologically through the series. I'm now well past the first 3-4 I read back in high school ages ago, and I can increasingly appreciate the different story arcs and overall development of Miles and the other major characters over time. Ms. Bujold has enjoyed phenomenal success with this series and an incredibly loyal fanbase thanks to her great skills in writing compelling, easily-accessible, enjoyable and moving space opera/mystery/adventure SF centered around incredibly real and likable characters.

In Komarr, Miles' investigation of a mysterious space accident (or sabotage?) gets him involved in the life of an unhappily married Vor lady, Ekaterin, which becomes the main focus of the story as it progresses. Bujold deftly weaves both the Komarran conspiracy investigation with their slowly developing understanding of each other. It is not a take of romance, so much as two people learning to understand and appreciate each others' strengths and failings before it even occurs to them that they might have feelings for each other. It was handled very well indeed, and despite the lack of almost all the other fan favorite supporting cast this time around, their relationship is a fascinating and original one, especially getting to know Ekaterin and all the baggage she brings, as you wouldn't expect anyone less complex to be a match for the manic, brilliant, but vulnerable Miles Vorkosigan.
Profile Image for André.
117 reviews13 followers
April 1, 2015
"MINIONS. MINIONS ARE MY FAVOURITE THING." -Miles, all the time, forever.

"So, uh, guess I'll see you around maybe. Or not. Hey, here's a binder I made for you with every one of my six house addresses and fifteen phone numbers as well as the addresses and numbers of every person I know in case all my numbers aren't working and you need to talk to me oh, and if none of those work either here's the address for the Emperor of Barrayar because he should probably know where I am sooo...yeah, call me. Or don't. Whatever, I don't care." -MILES YOU DWEEB
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11k followers
July 2, 2009
4.5 Stars. Another great installment of one of the best SF series of the past 15 years. Not quite as good as some of the earlier installments, but the quality level is still very high. Recommended!!!
Profile Image for Hannah.
287 reviews35 followers
March 14, 2012
4.5 stars.

Komarr was my second expedition into Lois McMaster Bujold's "Vorkosiverse" (my first was Shards of Honour), and my first introduction to Miles Vorkosigan. I have to admit that I didn't like this novel as much as Shards of Honour, but it had nothing to do with Miles. Miles was as wonderful as I hoped he would be. No, it was certain elements of the plot, and certain reservations about the heroine, that knocked a half-star off my rating of this otherwise brilliant novel.

I like to call myself a science fiction fan, but that isn't entirely accurate. The fiction part is great, but sometimes the science part kills it for me. My attention span for technical detail is extremely short, so there were sections of this novel that left me cold. These sections failed to capture my interest long enough to figure out what was going on. As a result, I had to take certain events on faith, since I hadn't paid any attention to the scientific explanations behind them. This emphasis on lengthy technical discussions instead of action sequences meant that parts of the plot lagged heavily, at least in my opinion. (I understand from my scientifically-minded mother that this perception on my part is due to the fact that I consider math the devil and science his demonic first cousin, not due to any failings in Bujold's plot. I think she might be right, but don't tell her I said so.)

My only other reservation about this novel was the heroine, Ekaterin. There was nothing wrong with her as a character, but her vulnerability as the subordinate partner in an unhappy marriage bothered me. I always get irritated with female characters who allow themselves to be victims. Not that Ekaterin really allowed herself to be a victim. Still, she is not the partner I would have chosen for Miles.

In all other respects, I loved Komarr. Bujold's writing is superb. I especially love her dialog. Her characters talk like real people do, which I appreciate after having read so much stilted dialog in other novels. I also love Bujold's ability to convey a wealth of meaning in a few short sentences. She rarely wastes much time on physical descriptions of people, places, or items, but I always have a clear picture of them in my mind. I'm looking forward to reading more of her books.
Profile Image for Tracy.
630 reviews21 followers
August 9, 2017
I wrote a great, long (for me) review about this book. Trust me. My iPad battery went dead when I was almost finished and I lost it. Damn. Now I'm disgruntled and I have housework to do.

Just trust me this is a great book. One of the best in the series. Miles solves another mystery and finds the woman of his dreams (finally). Sadly no Cordelia or Ivan in this one but Ekaterin more than makes up for it. Her Uncle and Aunt Vorthys are also delightful.

As an aside Jo Walton wrote a terrific balanced review of this book on tor.com if you'd like to read it. I don't think she liked it as much as I do hence the balanced part. It's a much better review than mine was honestly.
Profile Image for laurel [the suspected bibliophile].
1,412 reviews389 followers
January 29, 2022
Another reread where the story just gets better as my perceptions change. This was one of the books I considered the most boring, but it's actually pretty exciting! Terraforming, the impacts of colonization, societal expectations and looooooooooooong term planning projects abound.
Profile Image for Lee at ReadWriteWish.
613 reviews79 followers
August 17, 2020
I’ve read this was not a favourite book in this series for a lot of readers; they consider it a filler or a transition book which essentially only exists to establish Miles’s new career and introduce his potential new girlfriend. I do get their point with the transition tag-I think most of the book is showing us that Miles has grown up-but, overall, Komarr has got a lot of hidden depth which they’ve failed to mention.

I’ve said all along that I’ve preferred the planetside mysteries with a touch of political intrigue to the space action/adventure books of the series, so Miles’s new career as an Imperial Auditor suits me just fine. I can’t quite think of an equivalent of the auditor role in real life at the moment, but I guess it’s best described as a detective with unlimited authority and resources.

This book shows us the prejudice and bias Miles faces whilst settling into this new role. The job traditionally carries an air of respect and awe about it and auditors are automatically obeyed but, in Miles’s case, there’s the constant question of whether or not he was appointed simply due to his exalted surname. Most of his previous experience is classified and therefore, he can't reveal any details in his defence. Nevertheless, I think Young!Miles would have shown off to all and sundry without any forethought and this new mature Miles is a nice contrast, picking and choosing his moments which results in a much more effective result. (I also love how often LMB makes Miles’s past adventures amusing - his quip about being an expert when it comes to drainage and pipes, for example -- never gets old!)

The setting for the book’s investigation is the planet Komarr of the title which also comes with an extra set of prejudices for Miles to face. His father is known to the locals as the infamous ‘butcher of Komarr’, the man they mistakenly think ordered a massacre of their peoples when the Barrayarans conquered the planet. There’re actually some really great poignant moments and brilliant quotes from Miles when he is forced to speak on behalf of his father. All in all, Miles’s behaviour in Komarr shows without doubt that he has finally become the man we all thought he’d be.

The second point of the book is, as I said, to introduce readers to Miles’s new love interest. I was surprised that LMB actually gave us Ekaterin’s point of view (in alternate chapters with Miles’s pov). The only other time LMB has used another’s POV was in Mirror Dance (and that was Mark’s, Miles’s clone twin, whilst Miles was indisposed), so I don’t think it’s any type of spoiler to say that LMB was setting up Ekaterin as the romantic heroine for readers to cheer on. In true LMB fashion, she doesn’t make this a conventional romantic meet-cute or Ekaterin the typical female lead.

Ekaterin is married, for starters, to a Vor administrator stationed in Komarr. She is also the niece of one of Miles’s fellow auditors and therefore, invites Miles and her uncle into her home when they come to the planet to investigate a ship’s crash, which might be an accident or might be a prelude to a terrorist act. (If you’re not such a sappy romantic as me, I promise you there’s plenty technical scifi mystery plot to keep you happy.)

At face value, Ekaterin comes across as naive, ignorant and old fashioned, believing she must follow quite a few Vor traditions that have been left behind by most Barrayans. I was at first confused by this attitude until I realised that LMB was presenting us with a woman who is a victim of domestic abuse. No, her husband does not hit her (there’s a fabulous section featuring this thought) but she has been systematically abused by her husband for almost their entire marriage. Strong female characters are LMB’s speciality and Ekaterin’s personal journey to discovering her relationship is not normal and moving to free herself from it is wonderful.

Miles has fallen in love several times during this series but LMB makes it pretty clear that Ekaterin is the real deal. Giving us Ekaterin’s inner thoughts, we get to learn just what she thinks of Miles and his appearance, and it’s so real and true, I just couldn’t help but fall in love with her just from that alone.

I obviously now can’t wait for A Civil Campaign.

5 out of 5
Profile Image for Cecily.
270 reviews28 followers
August 13, 2022
July 2022: I think I'm missing a reread in this list. I know I read these during COVID... Anyway, this is one of my favorites of this saga. It's the excellent middle book of the completely perfect Memory-Komarr-Civil Campaign trifecta that I love with my whole soul. I will never stop rereading these!

June 2018: It's a comfort reread, everyone! Once I start, I CANNOT stop. This book is SO GOOD. My review below still stands. I mean seriously. This is one of my comfort rereads from this series now, along with Memory and Civil Campaign. And Vorpatril. And...Yeah never mind....

2015: I've started a wild and wacky Vorkosigan reread....backwards. It started with picking up A Civil Campaign as I often do, just to read my favorite parts (which is practically the entire book.) The events in Komarr fall right before ACC and color everything so fully that I decided I wanted to reread it. It's not usually one I go back to, being one of the "Lord Auditor" Miles books that read more like really awesome whodunits rather than the military adventure form that the previous novels take. However, I've come to appreciate it for what it is: The first novel about Miles after the life-altering events in Memory (the previous novel). Miles is on a new life course and I LOVE that Komarr starts with us seeing him through the eyes of a stranger, a new character in Ekaterin. Her impressions of him post...um...everything that has happened to him in the previous couple years are quite entertaining and insightful. It's like when you run into someone who knows someone you love and haven't seen in a while. It's just fun to hear them talk about that person. It's fun to compare notes. It's fun to think about them, to see them through another's eyes...well, at least that's how I feel. (This also happens for me in Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, which is a royal kick in the pants.)

Anyway, this novel is really Ekaterin's story. She comes to herself through various events and it's so incredibly perfect that Miles is a part of that process for her, however obliquely (or not-so-obliquely). Have I mentioned how much I love Miles? I haven't? Oh. Ok. I adore him. His presence makes any book good. I'd read about him cleaning out drainage pipes. WAIT! I've actually DONE THAT!! HAHAH! (See The Vor Game). And of course it was fantastic fun!

Sorry, I digress. I ended up appreciating Komarr a lot more on this my...4th time through? 5th? I've lost count. I think it's partly because I'd read the following book FIRST and could see all the changes and growth the characters were about to go through. So much fun and so much cool politicking with Komarr and Barrayar.
Profile Image for Kathleen.
1,330 reviews29 followers
June 20, 2013
4.5 stars for this romantic suspense set on planet Komarr, across the galaxy.

Eketarin Vorsoisson, Vor to the core, kicks asparagus, and not only that, she's tall, brunette, and coolly reserved, until her son is threatened. Miles is crazy about this fascinating widow, but she's done with men, after ten years with Tien the Twit.
"My goodness. You've met with an accident."

"It wasn't us. It was her. The bitch from hell. Or Barrayar, which is almost the same..."

Miles's eyes widened, and his lips parted in breathless anticipation. "Remarkable. Um...how?"

All three Komarrans tried to answer him at once...by which Miles slowly pieced together the most glorious mental picture he'd had all day. All year.

I'm in love. I'm in love. I just thought I was in love before. I must, I must, I must have this woman! Mine, mine, mine.

See more in my review of the anthology Miles in Love (three books in one: Komarr, A Winter Campaign, and Winterfair Gifts).


My reviews of this series (*favorites):

Shards of Honor review
*Barrayar review
*The Warrior's Apprentice review
The Vor Game review
Cetaganda review
The Mountains of Mourning review
Labyrinth review
*Borders of Infinity review
Brothers in Arms review
Mirror Dance review
*Memory review
*Miles in Love: Komarr, A Civil Campaign, Winterfair Gifts review
*Komarr review
Diplomatic Immunity review
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (no review, but I'd go 4 stars)
Cryoburn review
Profile Image for Althea Ann.
2,232 reviews1,016 followers
January 30, 2013
Following directly upon the events of 'Memory,' 'Komarr' still functions as a stand-alone novel.

And... I liked it even better than 'Memory.' The plot felt more original, and it just has a really well-structured, exciting story, backed up by well-rounded, believable characters and a vivid, consistent setting.

Miles Vorkosigan is sent, in his role as Imperial Auditor to the still-somewhat-rebellious subject planet of Komarr to investigate a space accident (or, possibly, act of sabotage) that may seriously impact Komarr's terraforming project.

He accepts the hospitality of his colleague's niece, whose husband happens to be an administrator in that terraforming project. Unfortunately, the husband's also a shiftless jerk, and his and Ekaterin's marriage is on the verge of falling apart.

As layers of plots and motivations unravel, you'll find yourself staying up late to finish... well, at least I did!
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