This Is Not The Michael You're Looking For's Reviews > Ethan of Athos

Ethan of Athos by Lois McMaster Bujold
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's review
May 30, 2009

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bookshelves: fiction, space-opera, science-fiction, military-science-fiction
Read in June, 2009 , read count: 1

Set in the Vorkosigan universe, Miles does not appear in this book although he's occasionally referred to. This book takes place shortly after Cetaganda, although it was written much earlier. It sort of shows, in that there is information that comes out in Cetaganda that might have been known to the characters of this book if the author had written the previous book and, thus, developed the Cetagandan culture much more heavily than it was developed when this book was actually written.

One of the primary characters of this story is Elli Quinn, who had played a fairly minor role in The Warrior's Apprentice and apparently becomes more important in later stories, but is otherwise completely left out of all of the stories which take place in between that first book and this one (in the universe's chronology, the stories are set something like six years apart).

As for Ethan of Athos itself, it's a fair tale. Not quite as much fun as some of the earlier stories with Miles front-and-central, the backdrop is an all-male society who reproduces through artificial insemination of eggs from an ovarian bank established centuries earlier. In some ways it's a rather interesting concept—many stories have been written about all female cultures doing away with the need for males, but this is the first I've seen in reverse—but beyond some "fish out of water" issues, it really is a minor background element and not explored in any depth.

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