Dismissed from the Barrayaran Military Academy for his fragile bones, Miles Vorkosigan's natural leadership qualities quickly led to his off-handedly acquiring a fleet of 19 ships and 3000 troops, all loyal to him - or at least to his alter ego, Admiral Naismith. Then things got really... read more
Being a Vor lord on the planet Barrayar wasn't easy. And being the leader of a force of space-born mercenaries while maintaining a secret identity wasn't easy -- in fact, it should have been impossible. But neither impossibility nor danger ever...
THE WARRIOR'S APPRENTICE
Seventeen-year-old Miles fails to qualify for the Barrayaran Service Academy, breaking both legs during a run over an obstacle course. On a visit to Beta Colony, in quick succession, he obtains a ship, a pilot, and a smuggling mission, running guns to a beleaguered... read more (warning: may contain spoilers)
THE WARRIOR'S APPRENTICE
Seventeen-year-old Miles fails to qualify for the Barrayaran Service Academy, breaking both legs during a run over an obstacle course. On a visit to Beta Colony, in quick succession, he obtains a ship, a pilot, and a smuggling mission, running guns to a beleaguered government. He captures another ship from the blockading Oseran Mercenaries, somewhat unintentionally, and representing himself as Admiral Naismith , commander of the non-existent Dendarii Mercenaries, co-opts the crew through improvisation, sheer audacity and luck. Under Naismith's brilliant leadership, the Dendarii eventually take over the rest of the Oseran fleet and win the war.
The unexpected arrival of Miles’ cousin Ivan Vorpatril brings the realization that a political faction in the Council of Counts is attacking his father back on Barrayar by charging Miles with maintaining a private army—an act of capital treason. He returns home posthaste, uncovers the real plot behind the charges, and escapes trial by gaining the Emperor's approval to recast the Dendarii (secretly) as Imperial forces. He is rewarded with admission to the Academy, which all in the know agree might help keep him out of trouble for a while.
THE MOUNTAINS OF MOURNING
Miles has just graduated from the Imperial Academy, and is at home at Vorkosigan Surleau with his parents. A woman from the isolated village of Silvy Vale walks three days to Vorkosigan Surleau to report the suspected murder of her baby, who was born with a hare lip and cleft palate. Miles' father sends him to investigate as his Voice to gain experience. Miles solves the mystery and exercises justice and mercy in appropriate measures.
THE VOR GAME
Miles graduates from the Academy, and is upset to learn he is being sent to replace the weather officer at the Empire's winter infantry training base on remote Kyril Island, to see if he can handle the discipline and military routine. Miles refuses to obey what he deems a criminal order by the base commander, who has him arrested for mutiny, and as he is Vor, treason. He is quickly returned to the capital and sequestered in the bowels of Imperial Security by Simon Illyan who, along with his father, conclude that Miles behaved correctly. Unfortunately, given the political climate in Vorbarr Sultana, they decide it would be most prudent to assign Miles to ImpSec and send him away (far, far away) from Barrayar for the time being.
On his first ImpSec mission, an information-gathering operation in the Hegen Hub, Miles is framed for murder and arrested. While in custody, he is startled to find Barrayaran Emperor Gregor (a childhood friend) also being held. Gregor explains that he had run away from the embassy on Komarr after a drunken night and then was shanghaied as a technician by an unscrupulous ship owner. Miles muddies the waters in an attempt to extricate Gregor, and is soon up to his neck in a mysterious plot involving an amoral femme fatale, his murderous former Kyril Island commanding officer, and Hub power politics. Miles encounters his mercenary friends and, after some problems with the former leaders who have regained power, resumes his Admiral Naismith persona and takes charge. He is able to rescue Gregor, stop the fiendish plot (which involves a Cetagandan invasion fleet), and as a bonus, unify the Hub systems to repel the Cetagandans, with a little timely help from a Barrayaran fleet co-commanded by his father and Emperor Gregor.
Gregor and ImpSec decide to put the Dendarii on permanent retainer for covert missions, with Miles officially installed as liaison and admiral.
“--"Women shouldn't be in combat." -- "Why not? Why is that," she jerked her head toward the infirmary, "any more horrible for a woman than a man?" -- "I don't know," Miles groped. "Your father once said that if a woman puts on a uniform she's asking for it, and you should never hesitate to fire - odd streak of egalitarianism, coming from him. But all my instincts are to throw my cloak across her puddle or something, not blow her head off. It throws me off." -- "The honor goes with the risk," argued Elena. "Deny the risk and you deny the honor. I always thought you were the one Barrayaran male I knew who'd allow that a woman might have an honor that wasn't parked between her legs."”Miles Vorkosigan and Elena Bothari
“"If I were killed, you wouldn't leave me out there, would you, my lord?" -- "Huh?" Miles tore his attention from trying to make new constellations. -- "They leave bodies in space sometimes. Cold as hell. . . God can't find them out there. No one could." -- Miles blinked. He had never known the Sergeant concealed a theological streak. "Look, what's all this all of a sudden about getting killed? You're not going to-" -- "The Count your father promised me," Bothari raised his voice slightly to override him, "I'd be buried at your lady mother's feet, at Vorkosigan Surleau. He promised. Didn't he tell you?" -- "Er. . . The subject never came up." -- "His word as Vorkosigan. Your word." -- "Uh, right, then." Miles stared out the chamber's transparency. Some saw stars, it seemed, and some saw the spaces between them. Cold. . .”Miles Vorkosigan and Sergeant Bothari
“He went through his half of the patterns automatically, while his mind circled again around his real life military dilemma. This was just the sort of thing he would have been taught how to do at the Imperial Service Academy, he thought with an inward sigh. There was probably a book on it. He wished he had a copy; he was getting mortally tired of having to re-invent the wheel every fifteen minutes. Although it was just barely possible there WAS no way for three small warships and a battered freighter to take out an entire mercenary fleet.”Miles Vorkosigan (inner thoughts)
“You own honor by the ocean," she whispered. "I have only a little bucketful. Unfair to jostle it -- my lord.”Elena Bothari
“Heroes. They sprang up around him like weeds. A carrier, he was seemingly unable to catch the disease he spread.”Miles Vorkosigan (inner thoughts)
“<Miles> surged up, sat back down, squeezed his temples with the heels of his hands in an effort to get his brain into motion. Not only was Ivan an idiot, but he generated a telepathic damping field that turned people nearby into idiots too. He would point this out to Barrayaran Intelligence, who would make of his cousin the newest weapon in their arsenal -- if anyone could be found who could remember what they were doing once they closed on him. . .”Miles Vorkosigan (inner thoughts)
“"Your forward momentum is going to lead all your followers off a cliff someday." He paused, beginning to grin. "On the way down, you'll convince 'em all they can fly." He stuck his fists in his armpits, and waggled his elbows. "Lead on, my lord. I'm flapping as hard as I can."”Arde Mayhew
“Only on Barrayar, Miles reflected, would pulling a loaded needler start a stampede TOWARD one.”Miles Vorkosigan (inner thoughts)
“-- "I only wanted to serve Barrayar, as my father before me. When I couldn't serve Barrayar, I wanted -- I wanted to serve something. To--" he raised his eyes to his father's, driven to a painful honesty, "to make my life an offering fit to lay at his feet." He shrugged. "Screwed up again." -- "Clay, boy." Count Vorkosigan's voice was hoarse but clear. "Only clay. Not fit to receive so golden a sacrifice." His voice cracked. -- For a moment, Miles forgot to care about his coming trial. He lidded his eyes, and stored tranquility away in his heart's most secret recesses, to pleasure him in some lean and desperate future hour.”Miles Vorkosigan and Aral Vorkosigan
“--"No fair. . . You had sugar in your pockets."--"Of course I had sugar in my pockets. It's called foresight and planning. The trick of handling horses isn't to be faster than the horse, or stronger than the horse. That pits your weakness against his strengths. The trick is to be smarter than the horse. That pits your strength against his weakness, eh?"”Dea and Miles Vorkosigan
“That's the thing, m'lord. I'm not so in love with facts as I used to be. Sometimes, they bite.”Serg Karal
“Home is where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”Cordelia Vorkosigan
“A retreating enemy should be offered all the face he can carry off. Just don't let him carry off anything else.”Aral Vorkosigan
“I once swore an oath to serve an emperor. The most morally dangerous moment for a guardian is when the temptation to become a puppet-master seems most rational. I always knew the moment must. . . no. I knew that if the moment never came, I should have failed my oath most profoundly. It was still a shock to the system though. The letting go.”Aral Vorkosigan
“The cream pie of justice flies one way.”Miles Vorkosigan
“If I don't send you someplace else, you'll be right here.”Simon Illyan
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