Reviews for Civil Campaign : A Company of Biology and Manners


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 September 1999
The latest Miles Vorkosigan adventure has him campaigning in four plots. Courting the lovely widow Ekaterin Vorsoissons, he must overcome her resistance to marrying again. As best man at Emperor Gregor's wedding, he must wade hip-deep in social intrigue. As an imperial auditor, he must deal with two disputes over aristocratic titles, one of which arose because one claimant has had gender-changing surgery. And as heir to the Vorkosigan title, he has duties contingent on his clone-sibling Mark's complicated courtship of Karreen Koudelka. Bujold weaves all four actions into a seamless whole that her faithful readers may rank among the best books in an outstanding series. Familiarity with most of the characters and with Barrayaran society is expected, however, and readers new to Miles may feel somewhat at sea in this comedy of manners--the banquet at Vorkosigan House is one of Bujold's most memorable scenes. There is, of course, a pleasant remedy for such discomfort: go further back in the Vorkosigan corpus and read forward! ((Reviewed September 1, 1999)) Copyright 2000 Booklist Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 1999 August #1
Another yarn in Bujold's military-family series (Mirror Dance, 1994, etc.) set on planet Barrayar, home of the dwarfish, multitalented Miles Vorkosigan his secret identity is that of the fearless mercenary leader Admiral Naismith and his obese clone-brother Mark. Here, the Emperor Gregor comes to Barrayar to be wed, with Miles's aunt, the Lady Alys Vorpatril, making the arrangements. Amid the pomp and circumstance, Miles's tender, careful wooing of lovely widow Madame Ekatarin Vorsoisson will stir intrigues both political and romantic. Whatever the action and, physically, there isn't much Miles will be in the thick of it. Inviting if sometimes overembellished folderol, with an agreeable sense of humor. Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Library Journal Reviews 1999 September #2
As an Imperial Auditor, Miles Vorkosigan involves himself in the Emperor's wedding plans and discovers his own romantic interest in Lady Ekaterin Vorsoisson. The latest in Bujold's space opera featuring the diminutive nobleman Miles Vorkosigan combines a comedy of manners with political intrigue as suspicious deaths and treachery threaten to cast a damper on galactic affairs. Libraries should purchase where the series is popular. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1999 August #4
Bujold dedicates her new novel to the Bront s, Georgette Heyer and Dorothy Sayers, which gives a pretty good indication of the territory she's staked out in this well-done addition (after Komarr) to her popular Miles Vorkosigan series. Miles, forced by ill heath to give up his military career and having embarked on a second career as an Imperial Auditor (a kind of peripatetic judge and ambassador), is madly in love with the beautiful and brilliant Ekaterin Vorsoisson. Unfortunately, Ekaterin is the recent widow of a crooked government official whose death Miles holds himself partially responsible for. Their courtship is made even more difficult by a series of interrelated events. First, Emperor Gregor is getting married, and Miles, like everyone else in the government, is caught up in the complex social and diplomatic whirl surrounding the impending nuptials. Second, Miles's disaster-prone clone brother, Mark, has concocted a scheme to make a fortune marketing "butter bugs," unattractive, cockroachlike creatures that secrete a bland tofulike food product. Worse, Mark has set up his laboratory in Vorkosigan House, the bugs have gotten loose and Miles's parents, Lord Aral and Lady Cordelia, are due home any second. And then there's the dirty infighting going on in the Council of Counts over who should inherit two vacant districts, plus an attempt to frame Miles for murder. Through all these often hilarious and occasionally dangerous incidents, Miles strives heroically to keep his eye on the prize the winning of Ekaterin's hand in marriage. Bujold successfully mixes quirky humor with just enough action, a dab of feminist social commentary and her usual superb character development in a sprightly SF romance that her many fans will find enormously satisfying. (Sept.) FYI: Bujold has won four Hugos and two Nebulas for books and stories in the Miles Vorkosigan series. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

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