Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga)

Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga)

by Lois McMaster Bujold

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Overview

The latest installment of the Hugo-award winning adventures of Miles Vorkosigan, in which Miles and Cousin Ivan go to Cetaganda to play the part of sprigs of the nobility doing their diplomatic duty by good old barrayar, this book finds Miles trying to play detective in a strange, complicated, and deceptively alien culture. HC: Baen.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780671877446
Publisher: Baen
Publication date: 10/01/1996
Series: Vorkosigan Saga
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 572,568
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.94(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

A science fiction legend, Lois McMaster Bujold is one of the most highly regarded speculative fiction writers of all time. She has won three Nebula Awards and six Hugo Awards, four for Best Novel, matching Robert A. Heinlein's record. The majority of Bujold's works comprise three separate book series: the Miles Vorkosigan Saga, the Chalion Series, and the Sharing Knife Series. The mother of two, Ms. Bujold lives in Minneapolis.

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Cetaganda 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: The Cetagandan Empire may be Barrayar's main military rival, but when the Cetagandan Empress dies, political niceties must still be maintained. In this case, the young officer Miles Vorkosigan, son of the Barrayaran Prime Minister, and his cousin Ivan are sent to Cetaganda to attend the galactic funeral proceedings. However, they've barely made it off their spaceship -- and haven't, to their knowledge, offended anyone yet -- when they're attacked by a servant of the late empress¿ The same servant who is later found in the middle of the mourning procession with his throat cut.Miles and Ivan are torn about how to report this incident, and to whom, and puzzled as to how they've acquired such obviously powerful enemies so quickly. Also puzzling is the mysterious object left behind: a seemingly inert rod bearing the seal of the Star Crèche -- the elite genetic repository for the Cetagandan upper class. The Cetagandan aristocracy is rigidly stratified, with the Ghem Lords in charge of the military, and the Haut Lords ruling the Ghem. The Haut exist in such luxury and seclusion that Haut Ladies travel everywhere inside opaque force-field bubbles, seen in the flesh by no one outside the Haut.With that social system in mind, Miles is shocked when a Haut Lady corners him to demand the return of the missing object. But given that he still doesn't know why he and Ivan were attacked in the first place, Miles is unsure whom to trust, even as he uncovers a plot that could shatter the very foundations of the Cetagandan Empire.Review: The more I listen, the more I realize that the Vorkosigan Saga books come in several distinct types, and Cetaganda has confirmed that I prefer the books that are centered around a mystery more than the books that focus heavily on military strategy. Sleuthing beats spacefights, at least on my own personal scale. Cetaganda takes place almost entirely planet-side, and it's got a good and delicious mystery at its core. It's well paced, with each fresh revelation only leading to a deeper mystery, so that you're left feeling satisfied yet intrigued throughout. Clues are sprinkled around, although some of the more important ones are subtle enough that they can zip right past and be gone if you're not listening closely.While Lois McMaster Bujold's familiar themes of identity and what makes a person who they are continue to be developed throughout the book, what I found the most interesting thematically was the development of the Cetagandan caste system and the relative role of gender. Bujold has built a society that takes traditional gender roles and power structures and gives them a new twist, taking them to their extremes in a way I've not seen before. The world of the unapproachable Haut Ladies actually makes a very interesting counterpoint to the all-male society of Ethan of Athos, which is the next book in the series' internal chronology.This book also had a very interesting play on the political boundaries of the Barrayaran Empire. Barrayar and Cetaganda, while not (currently) active enemies, are tense rivals at best, and Miles finds himself in a position where he can choose to save the Cetagandan power base from falling into disarray. The ending of the book hints at the broader political implications of his choices, but I thought they could have been expanded upon more than they were.The audio production was seamlessly enjoyable; Gardner's slightly sarcastic voice is a great fit both for Miles's character and for Bujold's dry wit. 4 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Miles's background is less important to Cetaganda than it is to some of the other mid-series Vorkosigan novels, so it could ostensibly be read on its own. However, it's a lot richer for knowing more about the rest of the Galactic worlds, to better bring Cetagandan society into contrast.
MrsLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Two ambassadors head to a former enemy planet to attend the funeral of its empress. Before they can even land, an event happens which could put the two empires at war again. Now it is up to Miles Vokorsigan to unravel the mystery and put the spark out before it catches.This was the first book by Bujold I have read, and one of the very few sci-fi books I have enjoyed. The wry humor, mystery and action were a treat. The narrator of this (I listened to the audio version) did not have a voice I enjoy, but he read well and the story overcame that. I'm looking forward to more!
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cetaganda is the fifth story in the Vorkosigan Saga, a space opera series by Bujold. By this time a whole lot of story has passed, and I wouldn't try reading this novel as a standalone. This is a favorite series of mine, primarily for it's foremost character, Miles Vorkosigan. Miles is born with near-crippling physical disabilities, short, brittle-boned and hunchbacked, into a military culture that prizes physical vitality and good looks. That means he has had to work hard for acceptance and respect--and to compensate for his physical drawbacks with a very canny mind. The man can talk his way into and out of almost everything, and that's a lot of what makes this fun to read. This also presents an interesting society on the planet Cetaganda--a very hierarchical and tightly controlled society. They're the traditional enemies and rivals of Mile's Barrayar, and Miles and his cousin Ivan are there as part of a diplomatic delegation attending a state funeral. While there Miles is caught up in a murder mystery that could bring war between their two planets and goes up to the highest levels of Cetaganda society. Like all the Vorkosigan stories I've read thus far, this is a fun, entertaining fast-paced read as well as a solidly written mystery.
RGKronschnabel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The only other Lois McMaster Bujold book I have read was "Ethan of Athos". The idea there was good but I found it not a "page turner". So I have not picked up any of Lois's other books.And then I met her at Gaylaxicon in Sept. 2009. We talked she recommended "The Curse of Chalion". Great! Read the next one: "Paladin of Souls". Haven't read the third in the trilogy yet, but plan to pick it up soon. So, then someone in one of the other SciFi groups in town here told me to pick any of the Miles Vorkosigan adventures. So I read this one. I loved it. EX 90.Lots of thought went into the background. Think Dune, in terms of density of ideas (but it is certainly not Dune). Great characters. and not only great characters, but personalities that play off of one another. Also unexpected plot twists. An Excellent Read.
VVilliam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another great book in the Vorkosigan saga that is exciting to read from the sci-fi elements and an intriguing mystery.
DNWilliams on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I love Ivan. I love when Miles and Ivan have to work together. Throw in a planet full of Cetagandans and yet another plot against Barrayar and you have a winner. I feel so sorry for Ivan. If Miles weren't in the picture, Ivan wouldn't have anything to live up to and would be perfectly happy in his life. But despite Miles' physical appearance, Miles intelligence and drive to overcome his appearance (and Barrayar's prejudice) means that Ivan's only defense is to appear dumber than he appears, which means that in this instance Miles is free to work behind the scene and foil every attempt to frame Barrayar and the Count. Miles never wavers in his determination, even when it saving Barrayar means he must save the Centagandan Empire, too. And, of course, Ivan has no choice but to fall in behind Miles and help him save the day.
infjsarah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bujold is a brilliant writer and the adventures of Miles Vorkosigan are always fun. This book is almost impossible to find in the UK but I managed to scrape a copy. It is a fun, light read with Miles as usual unable to avoid interfering in events around him on a world where the true power is hard to define.I will be hunting Brothers in Arms next.
love2laf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good Miles story, but perhaps, I've read too many in a row? Or Cetaganda is just not a planet to my taste with haut, ghem, and bas.
laura1814 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What happens to humans after more than eight centuries of genetic engineering? How might a society evolve when all births are in vitro and all genetic matings are pre-approved? Throw in an Empress's funeral attended by intergalactic diplomats, a murder mystery, and a brilliant but physically damaged (quite literally) protagonist, and you have Miles Vorkosigan on the planet Cetaganda. I could say more at length but you want to read this one without spoilers!This is one of my favorite books in the Miles Vorkosigan Adverntures series, but I am rereading the whole series now and frequently my "favorite" is the one I happen to be reading at the moment!
lalawe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fascinating look into the Cetagandans, the Barrayarans' most hated enemy. As usual, Miles (and cousin Ivan) don't disappoint!
melannen on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite of the Barrayar books, this is a mystery novel inside a political suspense novel inside what is really just an extended and exuberant exercise in worldbuilding - as Miles and Ivan attend the Empress' funeral, they get to see an unexpectedly intimate view of the circles inside circles of the Cetagandan aristocracy - and the grand beauty of their culture. The friendly enemies are all suitably honorable, the bad guys are all suitably despicable, the plots are baroque, and for once, Miles gets *exactly* what he deserves.
Finxy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Miles tries his hand at another bit of detective work again in this one. He's on a diplomatic mission to Cetaganda with his 'a bit thick but handsome' cousin. He's not even off the shuttle before he's knee deep in intrigue and murder, dodging potentially fatal traps as he goes. Spending time in Miles head is always enjoyable and fun. I also enjoyed trying to imagine how beautiful the Cetagandan Haut women were. Probably similar to trying to imagine what Galadriel looked like - an enjoyable exercise but ultimately a futile one.
crazybatcow on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story stands alone even though it is part of a long series (or perhaps collection is a better term) of books that contain many of the same characters.It is a mystery/detective novel set on a different planet. The main character, Miles, solves this puzzle and saves the day.The world is well-drawn, the characters are interesting, and there is just the right amount of humor to make it a tad funny even though the story itself is not meant to be humorous.
beccaelizabeth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another wonderful Vorkosigan book. Miles letting his curiousity - and chivalry - get him in way over his head. And then getting brains, luck, honor and friends get him out again.
T_Higgins More than 1 year ago
Every Vorkosigan Saga book I have read has been excellent, and this is no exception. Well drawn characters are the engines that power the plot line. There is no sense of a lull as one reads the story; the pacing is skillfully maintained. Highly recommended for readers of light sci fi and adventure tales.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Another compelling tale by Bujold proving she is far and away the best SF/F writer in the business. Witty, intelligent, realistic action, strong characters and plot. A complete book.