The more you read the Vorkosigan series, the more you begin to enjoy the appearances by Ivan-you-idiot. So when the latest book in the series was released centered around an Ivan adventure (with Byerly resurfacing!) I was hoping for the best.
I was not at all disappointed. This one was a riot.
The book can basically be divided into quarters. The first quarter introduces all of the new characters, gives details on Ivan's current career standing - and surprise! he is doing quite well thank you - and delivers laughs and plot twists fastly and furiously.
The second quarter is possibly my favorite, as Ivan returns to Barrayar and renews acquaintances with Miles, Gregor, Alys, Simon, and others. This portion of the book rivals Civil Campaign for fantastic dialogue and the reinforcement of Vorish duties and expectations. The previous (set further in the future) installment of the series, Cryoburn, lacked this reconnection with older characters (aside from Roic and Raven) and despite the jaw-dropping ending in Cryoburn, this lack proved a bit of a disappointment for long-time fans. There are no such concerns here.
The third quarter brings a massive plot twist. For a wee while I was afraid that the first half of the book might prove to be the more enjoyable, but things began to pick themselves up and then came:
The last quarter, where the full dryness of Barrayaran humour comes out and mayhem ensues.