Miles Vorkosigan is back!
Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. Barrayaran Imperial Auditor Miles Vorkosigan can hardly disapprove-he's been cheating death his whole life, on the theory that turnabout is fair play. But when a Kibou-daini cryocorp-an immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its all-too-mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future-attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire, Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter Miles to check it out.
On Kibou-daini, Miles discovers generational conflict over money and resources is heating up, even as refugees displaced in time skew the meaning of generation past repair. Here he finds a young boy with a passion for pets and a dangerous secret, a Snow White trapped in an icy coffin who burns to re-write her own tale, and a mysterious crone who is the very embodiment of the warning Don't mess with the secretary. Bribery, corruption, conspiracy, kidnapping-something is rotten on Kibou-daini, and it isn't due to power outages in the Cryocombs. And Miles is in the middle-of trouble!
An acclaimed legend in the field of fantasy and science fiction, Lois McMaster Bujold returns to the vivid and perilous world of her previous masterworks, the Hugo Award-winning “Paladin of Souls” and Hugo and World Fantasy Award-nominated “The Curse of Chalion,” with an epic tale of devotion and strange destiny.
Prince Boleso is dead—slain by a noblewoman he had intended to defile.
Lord Ingrey kin Wolfcliff has been dispatched to the remote castle of the late, exiled, half-mad royal to transport the body to its burial place and the accused killer, the Lady Ijada, to judgment. Ingrey’s mission is an ugly and delicate one, for the imminent death of the old Hallow King has placed the crown in play, and the murder of his youngest son threatens to further roil already treacherous political waters. But there is more here than a prince’s degenerate lusts and the fatal retribution it engendered. Boleso’s dark act, though unfinished, inadvertently bestowed an unwanted mystical “gift” upon proud, brave Ijada that must ultimately mean her doom—a curse similar to one with which Ingrey himself has been burdened since boyhood.
A forbidden spirit now inhabits the soul of Ijada, giving her senses she never wished for and an obligation no one sane would desire. At once psychically linked to the remarkable lady and repelled by what she carries within, Ingrey fears the havoc his own inner beast could wreak while on their journey, as he fights a powerful growing attraction… and an equally powerful compulsion to kill.
The road they travel together is beset with dangers—and though duty-bound to deliver Ijada to an almost certain execution, Ingrey soon realizes that she is the only one hedares trust. For a malevolent enemy with designs on a troubled kingdom holds Ingrey in his sway—and without Ijada’s aid and love, the haunted lord will never be able to break free and realize the great and terrible destiny bestowed upon him by the gods, the damned, and the dead.
Not everyone would envy young Lord Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, even though he had formed his own mercenary fleet before attending the naval academy, and even though his mother was the beautiful Cordelia, the ship captain who has taught the Lords of Barrayar much about the perils of sexism. Even the fact that Miles is the third in line to the throne and personally owns a major chunk of his home planet would not tempt any normal person to change places with him.
When assassins came to rid the world of his father, his mother, pregnant with Miles, was in the line of fire, and Miles was but an egg for the omelet in an all too literal sense. Thanks to heroic medical intervention, Miles survived his near fatal brush with war gas—as a pain-filled dwarf with bones as weak and brittle as some malign composite of chalk and glass. Miles is often mistaken for a mutant by his mutant-loathing countrymen.
Leo Graf was an effective engineer… Safety Regs weren’t just the rule book he swore by; he’d helped write them. All that changed on his assignment to the Cay Habitat. Leo was profoundly uneasy with the corporate exploitation of his bright new students—till that exploitation turned to something much worse. He hadn’t anticipated a situation where the right thing to do was neither save, nor in the rules…
Leo Graf adopted 1000 quaddies—now all he had to do was teach them to be free.