Friday, March 18, 2016

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen

I needed my Vorkosigan fix way too much by the time this book came out. It had been long enough since the last one that I had completely forgotten the death of Aral Vorkosigan, Miles' father, and found myself grieving once again with Cordelia, three years later in book time. Cordelia, herself, and Aral's long time protege, Oliver Jole, now an admiral in his own right, and as we learn fairly early in the story, Aral's lover.

The menage a trois evidently worked quite well when Aral was alive, but Oliver and Cordelia were unable to kindle any fire between the two of them when Aral was gone, so they simply lapsed into being friends, and Jole ended up in charge of the Sergyar fleet, while Cordelia continued to serve as Vicereine of the colony.

These chapters of their lives are drawing to a close, as Oliver approaches his "twice-twenty" years of service to the Emperor in the fleet, and Cordelia considers turning over the reins of power to a younger person as the colony matures. She has also decided to quicken some of the fertilized eggs that she and Aral put in cryogenic storage back before Miles was born, and to raise a number of sisters for the new Count and his wife, Ekaterina's children to play with.

Always even-handed, she also gifts Oliver with some of the embryos, leaving the choice up to him of whether and when to start a family of his own, with the children of the man he loved.

So, this book isn't filled with all of the danger and frying pan to fire goodness that we've come to enjoy from our old friend Miles and his cousin Ivan (who doesn't even put in a cameo here), but at least we get to spend a bit of time with some old friends and to see the man whom Miles has become, now that he's not off derring and do-ing.

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