marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,


Cetaganda by Lois McMaster Bujold

A Miles story.  A mystery more than a military tale.  Minor spoilers ahead for the earlier books.

Ivan and Miles are off to Cetaganda as official representatives at the funeral of the Dowager Emepress. Things start when their shuttle docks at the wrong station, and a strange Cetagandan tries to get on -- and gets away again, leaving them with a weapon and another object.

This proves all the more important when the stranger's dead body appears in the middle of funerary ceremonies, and a woman begs Miles to give the object back. It goes onward. It involves the mysteriousness of Cetagandan titles -- very unrevealing; a tree that produces kittens; the significance of haut wives given to ghem lords; the plans of the dead empress; Ivan's putting forth a simple and obvious plan; a ghem-colonel taking Miles's advice; much curiosity about what, exactly, Miles did in his job; and much more.

Also a vivid view of worldbuilding.
Tags: fiction reviews: mystery, fiction reviews: sf

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