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A Civil Campaign

(Vorkosigan Saga (Publication Order) #12)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  18,137 ratings  ·  839 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, 534 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Baen (first published 1999)
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Mitali There are a lot of references to the events of the previous book, Komarr, and a major sub-plot hangs on exactly what happened in it, but those events …moreThere are a lot of references to the events of the previous book, Komarr, and a major sub-plot hangs on exactly what happened in it, but those events are only partially specified in this book. So if you read it as a standalone, you'll spend a lot of time wondering what really happened. Also, there are a lot of callbacks to earlier books in the series and a lot of character inter-relationships that are not clarified here. So it makes more sense to come to this book after at least reading Komarr, and preferably most other books in the series so far.(less)

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Average rating 4.37  · 
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Apr 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: scifi
A buddy read with Choko and Maria.

Dear book it is not you, it is me. You are great and I sincerely wish you more new satisfied readers in the future. I just had different expectations, sorry. I expected you to be dashing, daring, take the risk and hell with the consequences type. Instead I got a romance. A well-written, entertaining, mostly funny, but still romance. A series which started as an excellent space opera became (you guessed it) a romance with the only relation to space being word "pl
Feb 27, 2015 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%
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
*** 4.85 ***

A buddy read with Evgeny and Maria because we love Science Fiction and Miles!!!

"...“Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself.... The friction tends to arise when the two are not the same....There is no more hollow feeling than to stand with your honor shattered at your feet while soaring public reputation wraps you in rewards. That's soul destroying. The other way around is merely very, very irritating. ... Guard your honor. Let your re
Apr 09, 2008 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
Maria Dimitrova
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Buddy read with Choko and Evgeny.

Romantic Comedy the Vorkosigans' style! This is probably the most hilarious book in the entire series but if you were looking for the space opera style of the earlier books you'll be disappointed. In the two previous books Miles moved to a new stage in his life and this is a natural result of it. But don't be afraid - this is more of an interlude, a breather between the heavier stuff.

That being said there were still some pretty interesting social and economical
I couldn't resist picking up this novel right after finishing Komarr. I'm glad that I read it while the details of Komarr were still crystal clear in my head. These two books remind me a lot of Sharon Lee & Steve Miller's Liadin Universe series. They have investigations and political intrigue, of course, but they also have a good solid love story at their core. Can Miles Vorkosigan convince Ekaterin Vorsoisson to become Lady Vorkosigan?

Ekaterin wondered at one point why he wasn't being pursued b

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 t
Caro the Helmet Lady
Drum roll....


Jaaaaaane Austeeeeeeen... in spaaaaaaaaace!!!!

No, seriously, I wasn't expecting rockets and blasters from this one, it would be quite silly when one sees a cover like this, when there's basically prince William and Kate on it (how prophetic), but I still hoped for an itsy bitsy spacish operish something...
Instead I got Sense and Sensibility a lot of gossiping, a lot of insight into Barayar succession law, a lot of intrigue, most of it to make our Perfect Poor Honest Wido
Sep 13, 2007 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.

Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was so good; better than I had expected. From the description it sounded like this was going to be sort of a romance with comedic undertones, which isn't necessarily my thing. Turns out there is all the usual serious complexity these books normally have and with the same apt doses of humour I've come to expect.

Once again, the various characters both old and new absolutely shine. Bujold has such an exceptional talent for bringing them to life and engaging the reader in the most thorough way
Lis Carey
Jan 12, 2011 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
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Part of a Vorkosigan reread with the SpecFic Buddy Reads group in 2017/18. This has long been my favorite of the Vorkosigan series, and it's nice to see that it still holds up on rereading.

Miles is back from Komarr with a new goal: to win Ekaterin Vorsoisson. And being Miles he establishes a grand strategy to conquer all before him in the pursuit of his goal. But this is Miles as Lord Vorkosigan, Lord Auditor and sitting proxy for Count Vorkosigan while his father is Viceroy of Sergyar. Everythi
Aug 06, 2013 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 mixture was froth ...more
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
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
This one is easily one of my favorites, but mainly because I'm a lousy sucker for comedies and romance. The whole mess of the book was so delicious that I had to read it in one sitting, laughing out loud, and generally making a disturbance of myself. I am unrepentant.
Marriage in fiction can be a wonderful thing, and while the actual marriage in question doesn't actually occur in this novel, the pertinent requisites were more than enough to amuse and have me on the floor.

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
This comedy of manners was delightful fun. The blend of physical slapstick, political intrigue and humorous dialogue was perfectly balanced, like a well-engineered machine. There are so many moving parts that it’s impossible to briefly sum up what happens in the story, as each plot thread twists and tangles with the others.

This is really Part Two of the story which began in Komarr, and it works best when read that way. I assume the next book will be an immediate continuation of the story, based
Lost Planet Airman
Oct 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: completed-series
A Civil Campaign: A nice little change from the space opera and super-sci-fi-ness of some of the previous Vorkosiverse books. Miles has returned home to Barrayar between missions as Imperial Auditor, and with only mundane distractions to occupy him, becomes over-concerned with his attraction to the young widow Ekaterin Vorsoisson. Kat is attracted to Miles as well, but past experience, Barrayaran mores, and reforming her life all lead her to practical desire to avoid romance. In usual Miles fash ...more
Jan 13, 2009 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. ...more
Kat  Hooper
May 03, 2012 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
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Five or Six separate plot lines juggled perfectly and one of the funnest scenes I have ever read. Wonderful book. The entire series is worth reading for this one alone.
Pride and Prejudice for Miles Vorkosigan Fans
This one is for the fans. If you've followed the many adventures of Miles Vorkosigan, Ivan Vorpatril, Emperor Gregor, and Ekaterin in Komarr, you'll understand all the intricate character details and background that give this story the proper context to enjoy it. If you just read it on its own, be prepared for a lengthly series of comic romantic mishaps among Miles and his friends. It really doesn't feature any space adventure or substantial political
Jul 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Vorkosigan fans interested in a comedy of manners and romantic farce
Recommended to Carly by: the other dozen or so Bujold books I've read
Shelves: scifi, romance
**edited 02/01/14

Ever since I read The Warrior's Apprentice and fell in love with the Vorkosigan Saga, I've been told, "Just wait until you get to A Civil Campaign! Best Vorkosigan book ever...", etc. In some ways, I can see why.A Civil Campaign is light and fun; a romantic comedy much in line with the dedication (Jane, Charlotte, Georgette, Dorothy), with the added joy of butter-bugs gone wild (don't ask). But as it turned out, it wasn't one of my favourite books in the series, and it's taken m
Freya Marske
Jun 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
AN UTTER DELIGHT. It's nice to have such a perfect example to throw at people's heads if anyone ever asks 'what kinds of books do you aspire to write one day?' Hijinks, romance, trade, politics, more romance, MORE HIJINKS. And a food fight. ...more
Most people I know who have read the Vorkosigan Saga consider this to be their favourite of the series so I had high expectations. The last book, Komarr, was basically a ‘meet cute’ between our series hero, Miles, and his new ladylove, Ekaterin. I was expecting A Civil Campaign to be a romance between the two with some sort of misunderstanding/conflict, maybe a touch of mystery for Miles to solve somewhere along the line before he wins the girl over completely.  Well… It is this story but quite ...more
Peter Tillman
2021 reread: a reliable comfort-read, and my favorite of the Vorkosigan books. As others have noted, if you've somehow missed the series, don't start here! Half the fun is the familiar cast of characters: Cousin Ivan! Commodore Koudelka's Blonde Commandos! The formidable Countess Cordelia! And on and on, down to the black and white kittens who steal a scene or two. I found the sfnal technology elements well-integrated, here largely Beta Colony biotech stuff, but the continued adjustments of form ...more
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4/5; 4 stars; A-

I recently re-read the very first books in the Vorkosigan Saga because I wanted to re-visit Cordelia and Aral but then I skipped towards the end of the series in preparation for finally getting caught up with the ones on my shelf and the latest coming out. I skipped to this one because I remember it being so very funny. Grover Gardner is an excellent narrator and he did a great job, as usual, on the variety of voices and acting out of the various scenes. This book has many hilari
Megan Baxter
Mar 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Just imagine me giving a huge satisfied sigh right about now. That's what I was waiting for. More of that manic Miles energy. I've liked the couple of other Vorkosigan books I've read between The Warrior's Apprentice and A Civil Campaign, but they lacked a certain something that caught me about the first book. It's back in this one, and I couldn't be happier.

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 de
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wbtm-challenge
Well, I've finally found a Bujold book I enjoyed. The beginning was a bit slow, and I was not very impressed with Miles's attitude toward wooing Ekaterin, but once the story got to the hilariously disastrous dinner party it started to win me over. Once Miles got his head out of his ass, I found the various romantic plotlines much more enjoyable, and I was very entertained by all of the politicking and plotting. By the end, I was laughing out loud at some of the conversations and reveals. My one ...more
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
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Hugo & Nebula Awa...: Vorkosigan 12--A Civil Campaign--note--numbers are OUR reading order only 22 20 Oct 17, 2020 11:04AM  
Fantasy Buddy Reads: Civil Campaign [Sep 6, 2018] 10 40 Nov 07, 2018 07:11PM  
Science Fiction A...: A Civil Campaign 23 38 Apr 25, 2014 09:02AM  
Tight Writing 17 92 May 17, 2013 10:36AM  

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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 (Publication Order) (1 - 10 of 16 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)

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