Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen (Vorkosigan Saga)
“The Red Queen” became Cordelia Naismith/Vorkosigan’s sobriquet after the bloody events in Barrayar (fortuitously republished, as it is the establishing story for this one.) I urge readers who are new to the Vorkosigan saga to read that first.
Widowed, her son Miles and his clone-brother Mark well into their own careers, and in one case, deep into parenthood, Cordelia returns to Sergyar, where she and Aral spent happy years during Emperor Gregor’s early reign.
Vicereine Vorkosigan is welcomed back to Sergyar, where she has large personal plans. Using material she and Aral banked in the past, Cordelia plans . . . daughters! Free, as daughters, of what she thinks of as the Vor curse. She is, after all, only seventy-six, young for a galactic.
We are granted a startling glimpse into a facet of Aral’s that included then-lieutenant and now Admiral Jole. Cordelia offers him enucleated ova and some of Aral’s genetic material as well.
Mind you, readers, McMaster Bujold hits us with all of that in the first fifty pages.
High romance and strife are here. A fascinating world is presented for learning and growing into; hope burgeons, and vistas open to future loving.
This mature writer has never held a pen more masterfully.
Lois McMaster Bujold