Sunday, July 6

Komarr - Lois McMaster Bujold

Accompanying Auditor Professor Vorthys, Miles goes to Komarr to investigate a serious incident of sabotage. The Auditors stay with Professor Vorthys' niece, Ekaterin, her husband Etienne Vorsoisson, and their son Nikolai. Miles is instantly attracted to Madam Vorsoisson, who is clearly unhappy in her marriage. In the process of investigating the incident Tien is accidentally killed and Ekaterin decides to move back to Barrayar with her aunt and uncle.
For a review of the style of writing, see any of my other Vokosigan saga reviews, as I'll just be repeating myself - the writing is lyric, the plotting complex, the characterisation subtle and layered, the dialogue fresh and believable...
The most satisfying part of Komarr for me is the continuation of Miles' evolution - though he has had many relationships, and even been in love, Ekaterin presents a new level of romantic interest. Of course the situation is more complex - first married, then widowed, and with a child, but this is further complicated by the unhappiness of the marriage and the fact that Miles was present when Tien died and he feels somewhat responsible. The novel is told from both Miles' and Ekaterin's points of view, given the reader greater insight into Ekaterin - her frustration with Tien and the betrayal she feels when she learns painful truths about him, and her attraction to Miles.
There's also a sense of satisfaction in seeing Miles continue to develop in the role of Imperial Auditor, and the prejudices of other characters (who believe he got the role through nepotism ratter than ability) is beautifully conveyed. - Alex

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