Following graduation Miles is posted to remote and icy Kyril Island as the new Weather Officer, an unattractive posting designed to explore his ability to cope with military discipline. He quickly discovers laxness, alcoholism and depression are rife among the soldiers, and that the commander is a delusional megalomaniac - in standing up to him and for the grunts, Miles is charged with mutiny, a treasonable action for a Vor. Arrested by the head of Imperial Security, Simor Illyan himself, Miles learns that there are bigger issues threatening Barrayar - Gregor, Emperor of Barrayar and childhood playmate of Miles, has vanished in the middle of a diplomatic mission.
Directed toward another mission, Miles manages to get embroiled with a bewitching woman, a mysterious plot, is reunited with his Dendarii mercenaries and rescues Gregor from his captors as well as his own demons, while legitimising the Dendarii force in the process.
Like the other Vorkosigan reviews (below), my blurb will be longer than the comments, predominantly because I can't say anything new and ravy - the writing's tight, the action rapid and compelling, the characters involving and sympathetic (or textured and repellant), and I kept telling myself I was going to do all the other things I absolutely had to do, as soon as I finished one more chapter. - Alex