Cetaganda – Lois McMaster Bujold

Whodunnit? Miles to the rescue.

Stars: Three and a half of five.

Review format: Note plus links.
Summary:Miles and Ivan are sent to the home world of the Cetagandan Empire to represent Barrayar at the Imperial funeral of the dowager Empress, mother of the current Emperor. They soon become entangled in an internal Cetagandan plot which leads to murder.Miles forms an unusual alliance with Rian Degtiar, the “Handmaiden of the Star Crèche”, who is charged with the duties of Empress until the new one is chosen. Miles solves the complex mystery and prevents the Cetagandan Empire from fragmenting into nine dangerously expansionist-minded parts. (from wikipedia)
Provenance: Baen Online Store… via the containing omnibus, Miles, Mystery, and Mayhem.
Date Read: Sometime in late July.  Review written 2 months late. 😦

Recommended for Miles fans, but newbies should start with Cordelia’s Honor, or The Warrior’s Apprentice.

Be aware – Admiral Naismith does not have a leading role in this novel.  The book’s impetus is definitely the mystery.  Nonetheless, it’s got reliable writing, snappy characterization, solid plot, and great momentum.

Fun links and others’ reviews

Other related good stuff and reviews  (added by me, not generated)

  • Read the first Miles book for free via the publisher: Warrior’s Apprentice
  • Want the full list of books in the Vorkosigan Saga? Here’s my list: Bujold Bibliography.
  • In 2004, Matt at There Are Statues was rubbed the wrong way by Miles’ arrogance but still gave it 4/5 I also agree that 4’9″ is awfully damn short.  That’s the size of many eight-year-olds! “The major issue is Miles is a jerk. He’s nice to people, but a jerk towards his own country, which is even less forgivable, especially in light of the values Miles himself claims to hold. In previous books his constant going-it-alone was played down, but here he does it himself expressly because he wants to be a hero and get promoted. Ugh. My sister has told me he doesn’t get away with this forever, but I’m wondering if it is worth it. Miles is so carefully drawn as a nice, smart guy I’ll probably feel bad if he gets the crushing he deserves, but infuriated if he doesn’t. At any rate, Cetaganda is a textbook example of good light reading.”
  • So, is four-foot-nine reasonable, or not?   Peter Dinklage, whom you will probably recognize as Tyrion from Game of Thrones, is four foot five.  Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) is five foot one. Humphrey Bogart was five foot eight. Anyone know of an actor or actress who’s exactly four-nine?
  • Maureen at Singing Light thought Cetaganda was fun, but “missed the supporting cast. It was a little more plot and a little less character driven….which meant that my emotional investment was pretty much solely on Miles and Ivan’s behalf. However, that’s not a terrible thing, and Bujold’s writing keeps me happy anyway.”
  • And finally, the Cetagandan Kitten Tree gets a mention en Francais at L’Extérieur de l’Asile.


Want me to link to your review too? Let me know in a comment, and I can add the link here.

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  1. #1 by Maureen E on October 3, 2011 - 4:39 pm

    Thanks for the mention!

    • #2 by Sandy M. on October 6, 2011 - 1:45 pm

      You are most welcome. I enjoy pulling together info from diverse spots, and your review contributed nicely to the mix.

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