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.