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"Manners", Indeed
A Civil Campaign
Lois McMaster Bujold
, et al
To fully appreciate this book, it helps to have read Miles's previous adventure, "Komarr", which ends just about exactly where this one picks up. However, Ms Bujold does include enough backstory in this volume to get by on.

The author's dedication includes several ladies listed only by first names -- among them "Jane" (Austen) and "Georgette" (Heyer). Certainly, the ladies' spirits are hovering close ocer this story, because it is a thoroughly enjoyable Comedy Of Manners from start to finish.

Part of the fun, though one tends to cringe as one looks ahead, is in watching the step by step manner in which Miles Vorkosigan, the resourceful former covert ops whiz and youngest Imperial Auditor, who always comes out ahead no matter how hopeless the situation, meticulously setting up an Inevitable Hideous Flaming Social Disaster for himself. Only the Truly Brilliant can be Truly Stupid when they Miss The Point and Push On Anyway, and Miles is beyond brilliant.

Miles, you see, has Fallen In Love. For real and for permanent, this time, it looks like. And he has no clue at all as to how normal people connect up and pair off in the Real World.

Of course, he has helpers, partners and accomplices in setting up his own humiliation -- his clone-brother Mark arrives with a true Mad Scientist in tow and sets up a lab in Miles's basement -- but Miles, as always, is Captain of His Fate.

Only this time he's on a lee shore and a gale is rising.

Three beautiful sisters with conflicting motives and plans for various of the male characters help to stir the brew.

And then there are the butter bugs... but we won't talk about the butter bugs here, except that they are Rather Important to the plot.

"Mother, Father, I'd like you to meet... She's getting *away*!"

If you enjoy a romp through society's ins and outs; if you have enjoyed Georgette Heyer's wonderful Regency romances, then you must try this book.

And if you like it as well as i think you will, and decide you *must* know more about Miles and his family and Barrayar, then either jump *all* the way back to "Cordelia's Honor", which is the two novels that are earliest in series order ("Shards of Honor" and "Barrayar"), or you might want to jump back to "The Warrior's Apprentice", which is the beginning of Miles's adventures.

Or you might just want to pick up any of the series and enjoy yourself.