Books by Lois McMaster Bujold

THE SHARING KNIFE by Lois McMaster Bujold
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 1, 2006

"Flurries of action early on, devolving into stock fantasy-romance; overall, just about noteworthy enough to bring readers back for the promised conclusion."
First of a planned fantasy duology from Bujold (The Curse of Chalion, 2001, etc.). Read full book review >
THE CURSE OF CHALION by Lois McMaster Bujold
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Aug. 9, 2001

"Boilerplate fantasy, with characters too often indistinguishable and, later, the deflating disclosure that everything that happens is some sort of divine plot. Overall, no better than average, but probably adequate for Bujold fans."
A fantasy venture from the author of the Miles Vorkosigan military-family science fiction series (A Civil Campaign, 1999, etc.). Warrior-diplomat-courtier Cazaril, having been sold into slavery following a disastrous military campaign, finally makes his way home to Valenda after many taxing adventures. To his surprise, he's offered the position of secretary-tutor to "Royesse" (Princess) Iselle and her companion, Lady Betriz. With the monarch, Orico, ailing, running things are the evil dy Jironal brothers, Chancellor Martous and army chief General Dondo (though it may be a while before readers realize there are two of them. One, or both, betrayed Cazaril). Orico's indisposition stems from the Curse of Chalion, which sooner or later dooms all members of the royal family. Martous, meanwhile, persuades weak-willed Orico that the horrid Dondo must wed Iselle; appalled, Iselle pleads and shrieks to no avail. Cazaril, sworn to protect and serve Iselle, cannot permit this. But his attempt to use death magic—Cazaril's death in exchange for Dondo's—ends bizarrely, with Cazaril still alive, thanks to Iselle's fervent prayers to the Lady, but Dondo's soul bound to a death-demon and encysted in Cazaril's entrails as a tumor! Furthermore, he now finds he has otherworldly vision and has become a living saint! Read full book review >
DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY by Lois McMaster Bujold
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2001

"Though Miles remains clever and debonair throughout, too many early series references needlessly obfuscate a breezy, conventional, albeit deep-space, whodunit."
The umpteenth volume in Bujold's far-future adventure series (A Civil Campaign, 1999, etc.) interrupts dapper, diminutive gentleman adventurer Miles Vorkosigan's honeymoon (he married the widowed Ekaterin Vorsoisson) to handle a complicated emergency at a space station inhabited by Quaddies, genetically engineered humans who thrive in zero gravity because they have another pair of arms and hands rather than legs and feet. Miles, now a diplomatic troubleshooter, must determine the fate of a Barryar ensign who has fallen in love with a sexy but earnest Quaddie dancer and who was contemplating desertion when a bunch of his racist shipmates tried to snatch him back, leaving the dancer with a broken arm, ensign and crewmen in the Quaddie brig, and the Quaddie station commander confiscating the offending Barryar vessel. On top of this, another Barryar officer has disappeared, leaving behind a gruesome trail of blood. Miles plays detective Nick to Ekaterin's weaker version of Nora Charles, as they run into characters from previous tales, such as Miles's former (and unrequited) lover, the hermaphroditic Bel Thorne, and a host of other schemers, none of whom is being completely forthcoming. Just when the story bogs down in dialogue, a rogue Catagandan threatens to explode a bio-bomb if the Quaddies don't set the Barryar ship free. Read full book review >
A CIVIL CAMPAIGN by Lois McMaster Bujold
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 1999

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. Read full book review >
WOMEN AT WAR by Lois McMaster Bujold
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

A quarter of a century ago, as the editors ruefully admit, this would have been a groundbreaking anthology, composed as it is of 17 ``original military science fiction stories by women writers.'' Still, groundbreaking or not, the proposition is more elastic than it sounds, including several fantasies and one yarn without military significance. Curious, too, how many of the contributors have chosen male protagonists, despite the welcome variety of styles, themes, and approaches. Jane Yolen and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough offer stories that share settings with their recent novels. Gay Marshall savagely assails the military/industrial complex. Margaret Ball exclaims angrily about recent events in Bosnia. And other stories feature: alien allies, art, cyborgs, spiritual guardians, magic, women commanders, alien contact, women tested in battle, and more. Worth a browse for enlightened readers; mandatory for unreconstructed mcps. Read full book review >
MIRROR DANCE by Lois McMaster Bujold
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: March 1, 1994

The first hardcover appearance of Bujold's well-known series about the Vorkosigan clan, hereditary rulers of planet Barrayar (Borders of Infinity, Brothers in Arms, etc.). Dwarfish, multitalented Miles Vorkosigan has a secret identity as Admiral Naismith, leader of the fearless Dendarii mercenaries; his clone-brother Mark was grown from stolen cells and trained by a ruthless dissident to assassinate Miles and replace him, an ambition Mark no longer holds. In this adventure, Mark masquerades as Admiral Naismith in order to lead a raid on the evil cloning facilities of planet Jackson's Whole. Miles discovers the deception and comes in pursuit, just in time to get himself killed; his body, hopefully preserved in cryonic suspension, vanishes. Mark returns to Barrayar to become acquainted with his biological parents, then figures out where Miles's body has vanished to, and rushes off to recover it. By this time Miles has been revivified, though his memories remain scattered and incomplete (he doesn't know whether he's Miles or Mark). Mark arrives, only to be captured by the sadistic monster and longtime Vorkosigan foe, Baron Ryoval. A well-conceived series, solidly plotted and organized, though heavy going in places and, finally, lacking that spark of genuine originality that would blazon it as truly special. Read full book review >