Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels discussion

The Mountains of Mourning (Vorkosigan Saga, #5.1)
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Challenges - Discussion > Vorkosigan 3.5 -- The Mountains of Mourning

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message 1: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kateblue | 3614 comments Mod
Here is where to comment about the Hugo winning novella


Allan Phillips | 1861 comments Mod
Nebula too! If you have trouble finding it, it is also in the omnibus Young Miles.


message 3: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kateblue | 3614 comments Mod
You can get the novella as a standalone Kindle for $3.99 here: https://smile.amazon.com/Mountains-Mo...

Also, there's a paperback for $5.99 (seems a bit steep)


message 4: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Z (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3405 comments Mod
I started it and it is an interesting mystery story


Lee at ReadWriteWish (leeatreadwritewish) | 68 comments Just finished this one. I really liked it. I think I prefer this series when they're on Barrayar as opposed to space.

LMB fit in a lot in the shorter form book. Classism, prejudice and poverty are all covered, along with the obvious one of ableism. The villagers (who I suppose you’d call Hillbillies) are written as complicated, judgmental at times, and ignorant due to their lack of opportunity, but never as stupid.

Count Piotr’s legacy is still pronounced in this outing and I love how LMB continues to make him an important character in the series. My beloved Aral proves he is still the master strategist and Miles lives up to expectations by pulling everything together in the end.

I actually liked it more than Warrior's Apprentice


message 6: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Z (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3405 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "I actually liked it more than Warrior's Apprentice.."

It is definitely more focused and less "running the disintegrating staircase" type of story, which maybe makes it more tangible


message 7: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kateblue | 3614 comments Mod
It was written later than The Warrior's Apprentice, which was only her second book


message 8: by Joe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Joe Santoro | 194 comments This one beat's Warrior's Apprentice by miles (no pun intended)... Warrior's Apprentice bordered on parody, it was a fun romp, but didn't have alot of depth.

This one was a story I was looking forward to as soon as I was 1/2 way through Shards of Honor, but expected Cordelia to be the main character.

In some ways, I feel like it takes away from her character... in 20 years, she hasn't made much headway changing the society she's adopted, despite being in a position to do so. (I think I'm still a little sad over the time skip).

On the other hand, Miles' condition made it make all the more sense and it worked perfectly... it just fit so well into the saga.

I think the story managed to split the happy medium between delivering a moral and being preachy, and I LOVED the ending.

The fact that the culprit was clear from the get go is always annoying in mysteries, but in this case it worked, and happily we as readers didn't show up the characters... Miles figured it out just about the same time, I think.

While I'm not 100% sold on him yet, this story when a long way on getting me to like him, that's for sure.

I missed Bothari, though.


Lee at ReadWriteWish (leeatreadwritewish) | 68 comments To be fair to Cordelia and Aral and their attempts to make Barrayar more modern, it is mentioned several times in the story that the cities were more progressive and that this area was more of a backwater. So, I think they had made some inroads.


Allan Phillips | 1861 comments Mod
This one was really good. Nothing too easy or ridiculously coincidental, everything just resolved logically and well. Emotional and moving, well-deserving of its award.


message 11: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Z (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3405 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "To be fair to Cordelia and Aral and their attempts to make Barrayar more modern, it is mentioned several times in the story that the cities were more progressive and that this area was more of a ba..."

As a real world example: Armenia and several Asian states (Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, etc) was part of USSR since its formation, but 70 years are quite harsh to traditions rule, several generations fought with it, but right now they still often are talking in terms of 'clans'


Cordelia (anne21) | 53 comments Just finished this one. I liked it very much - a lot more than "Warrior's Apprentice". We saw and got to know a whole different side of Miles, and I got to like and respect him a lot more. He certainly seems a lot older and mature than 20.


message 13: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kateblue | 3614 comments Mod
Yes, it was later written and she was more accomplished. Mountains of Mourning won all the awards that year


message 14: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Z (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3405 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "Yes, it was later written and she was more accomplished. Mountains of Mourning won all the awards that year"

And it was really worth all of them!


Cordelia (anne21) | 53 comments Oleksandr wrote: "Kateblue wrote: "Yes, it was later written and she was more accomplished. Mountains of Mourning won all the awards that year"

And it was really worth all of them!"


Certainly was.


Antti Värtö (andekn) | 727 comments Yeah, this was the stuff I was expecting! Like Cordelia, Joe and Lee I also enjoyed this much more than Warrior's Apprentice. There was a real moral dilemma, which was resolved satisfyingly.

Like Barrayar, MoM could be rewritten as fantasy with minimal changes. It didn't really bother me all that much, this time, but at times I almost felt like I was reading a Penric and Desdemona story. They traveled on horseback, for crying out loud!


message 17: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kateblue | 3614 comments Mod
I have not yet read the P&D stories, and you have made me happy to read them now!


Cordelia (anne21) | 53 comments Kateblue wrote: "I have not yet read the P&D stories, and you have made me happy to read them now!"

I haven't read them either, Kate. I really must - sometime.


Antti Värtö (andekn) | 727 comments I was reminded specifically of "Penric and the Shaman". It, too, features a murder mystery that the protagonist has to solve - but the case turns out to be more complex than it looks at the first glance.


message 20: by Kat (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kat | 8 comments I liked Warrior's Apprentice for what it was, but this one is another kettle of fish, very meaty. (Though fish isn't supposed to be meat...) Amazing how economical it is, nothing extra, and like Joe, I loved the ending--the language there is so powerful. The image of "the river of roses" stayed with me after I finished--it clearly had symbolic value but I'm not sure I fully took it in. Maybe I'll read it again someday and see more.


message 21: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Z (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3405 comments Mod
Kat wrote: "I loved the ending--the language there is so powerful."

I second that. It is unfortunate that a lot of writers go writing long novels, while such a short novella is better and deeper than a lot of them


message 22: by Nick (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nick Imrie (nickimrie) | 137 comments Kat wrote: "I liked Warrior's Apprentice for what it was

I think I enjoyed Warrior's Apprentice more, because it was a ridiculous romp, but it was a very well-made and fun romp.

This story had some powerful things to say about societal change and prejudices. I thought the scene where Miles has to consider what he does next was very powerful.

I'm not sure it was much of a murder mystery though - a very limited cast of characters and the person who did was exactly the sort to do it!


message 23: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Sep 06, 2020 02:54PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Art | 2549 comments Mod
Lee wrote: "Just finished this one. I really liked it. I think I prefer this series when they're on Barrayar as opposed to space.

LMB fit in a lot in the shorter form book. Classism, prejudice and poverty ar..."


I've just started it while on a train, should finish it on my way back. I'm enjoying the style much more than what book 3 had to offer. There is a quote that I liked which in one sentence explains the Spartan culture of Barrayar better than Warrior's Apprentice has done in a whole book:

"My lord, may I suggest that your next logical step be to draft all the able-bodied men in the community for a hunt for this Csurik? Beyond doubt, you've established that the infanticide was a murder."
Interesting turn of phrase, Miles thought dryly. Even Pym doesn't find it redundant. Oh, my poor Barrayar.



Lee at ReadWriteWish (leeatreadwritewish) | 68 comments Art wrote: "Lee wrote: "Just finished this one. I really liked it. I think I prefer this series when they're on Barrayar as opposed to space.

LMB fit in a lot in the shorter form book. Classism, prejudice an..."


I've lost count of the number of quotes I've saved from these books.


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