Attempting to live a normal life after a pre-natal accident leaves him in a delicate state after he is born, Miles Vorkosigan learns that he has a jealous clone brother who is plotting to kill and replace him. Reprint. PW.
"Mirror Dance" is a great book. It's intensely psychological, a fast moving space opera drama that gets everything right -- everything.
The story is as follows. Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, galactic mercenery and reluctant Vor lord, had tried in "Brothers in Arms" to give his clone brother Mark a start in life. But Mark couldn't get free of Miles, no matter how he tried; this was because of psychological damage and because of intense psychosocial programming by renegade terrorists (who had ordered Mark cloned to make him substitute for Miles). Before Miles showed up, Mark had no identity -- his whole purpose was to take over Miles' life. But Miles changed that. Somewhat.
The start of "Mirror Dance" has Mark back; he has found out about some clones about to be killed in clone brain transplants. He's extremely sensitive to this, and wants to stop it. However, because of his damage, he doesn't believe that anyone will help him -- not Miles, not his family (who he doesn't realize would care), not anyone.
So, he steals one of Miles' mercenary ships, and goes hunting. He frees most of the clones, but ends up killing Miles (who goes down to rescue Mark -- again).
The first time I read this (all in the first hundred pages, so this isn't a spoiler), I threw the book across the room. I didn't care for Mark, and I wanted Miles to live.
However, in the next three hundred pages, I came to care desperately for Mark. He meets Cordelia, his mother -- a formidable ex-ship's captain. And he meets Aral, his father -- a formidable Prime Minister, ex-ship's captain, and Admiral of Barrayar.
His father has a health crisis, while everyone tries to find Miles.Read more ›
Bujold writes about her characters first and foremost and plotline a close second. Mirror Dance had me reading non-stop from the very beginning. Usually, I am not one for sitting down to read all day, but I just had to with this novel, for the character development and plot arcs were just amazing and so unbelievably intriguing.
This was the first book I've read, which caught me re-reading the end of a chapter, over and over and over again, for fear of going on to the next page. Why was I afraid? I didn't want those soul-shattering, heart-breaking words to be true...the plot turns in this novel are so crucial to the series and so amazingly unexpected, I am left feeling dazed and have nowhere else to go, but to read on.
Fantastic work on Bujold's part here. No other author compares, especially given the intricate plot and all the wonderfully crafted characters' development throughout this novel and the whole series. If you want to read a story filled with action, space combat missions, honor, human error, the fiercest type of love there is, AND be taken on a self-discovery journey with the characters, it doesn't get any better than this.
There is a lot I could say about this book, but I'd just be wasting your precious time. Give it a shot, and try to read at least a hundred pages before giving up.