I’m not up to a review, so some quick notes.
– Loved this.
– A slow build which seemed odd in a “Vorkosigan” novel, until I remembered it was an Ivan novel and realised it was just right.
– By setting the book earlier than the one before, there was a nagging worry right through that (view spoiler) but it was managed perfectly.
– I really liked the way absolutely nothing here was contradicted by CryoBurn, but because that one wasn’t set on Barrayar, even the dramatic fate of ImpSec HQ was still new and a surprise.
– I doubt anything will ever match the dinner party in A Civil Campaign, but the one in here was pretty awesome all the same.
– I loved the way Ivan’s (“I don’t have claustrophobia’) claustrophobia was included and handled.
– What happened to ImpSec HQ (I will not spoil it for you) was such an amazing visual (and yet, again, no hint of it in Cryoburn but it still fits).
– If I had rated this immediately after finishing it, I would probably have given it 9/10, but it grew on me as the days went by and I absorbed the full story. It matched Ivan ever so well.
– I liked that Ivan was both smarter than he lets on and “Ivan, you idiot” at the same time.
– Lady Alys at the memorial for Padma and all the pent up emotion behind it was wonderful.
– Tej’s mental names for Miles (The Coz), Gregor (The Gregor) and Aral (annoyingly, I can’t remember it exactly) were great.
All, it all, another excellent book in the series. Many thanks Lois.