Mirror Dance Mass Market Paperback – Mar 1 1995
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Miles Vorkosigan faces more than his share of troubles as the protagonist in Mirror Dance. Not only is he deformed and undersized but he has a cloned brother who gets into a jam in the free enterprise plague spot known as Jackson's Whole. Miles tries to help his brother but ends up injured, placed on cryogenic suspension and then lost in intergalactic limbo. And that's just in the first 100 pages. The following 300 pages add a wealth more to this fantastic tale that's both humorous and finely written. Mirror Dance won the 1995 Hugo Award for Science Fiction.
From Publishers Weekly
Honor and his sense of self place the fetally damaged, dwarf-like and brilliant Miles Vorkosigan in grave danger as he attempts to save his disturbed, younger clone Mark from the consequences of folly in this intricate and rousing new installment of the Vorkosigan adventures (after Barrayar ), the series' first appearance in trade hardcover. Passing himself off as Admiral Miles Naismith, Miles's secret identity, Mark commandeers one of the Dendarii Free Mercenary vessels to liberate clones being raised as brain-transplant hosts on the outlaw planet Jackson's Whole. When the plan goes awry, Miles is killed. He is preserved for resuscitation, however, in a cryo-chamber, which disappears in the confusion of evacuation. As the Dendarii search feverishly for their leader, the terrified Mark is sent to Barrayar to Miles's parents, Count Aral and Countess Cordelia Vorkosigan. The couple welcome him as a son and begin his training as their heir in case Miles is never found. The competitive and confused Mark, who had been created as a tool to assassinate his father and was brutalized by a madman in his youth, begins to find himself. His (and Miles's) penetrating intelligence flowers, and he plans a return to Jackson's Whole to find Miles and redeem himself. Hugo award-winner Bujold creates a tapestry of variegated human societies dispersed throughout a colorful galaxy. She peoples it with introspective but genuine heroes who seize the reader's imagination and intellect.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
"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.
Once again, instead of a play-by-play plot synopsis I will direct the reader's attention to the true merits of Mirror Dance (not that the plot is lacking in any way, trust me!). First, this is a poignant look into the minds and souls of two men who happen to be genetically identitical, but whose lives have taken jarringly disparate paths. Many have wondered before if Bujold has a degree in Psychology or some other such head-shrinking, she does such a superb and realistic job of getting inside characters' heads. But far from a tour of Psych and Neuroses 101, Mirror Dance participates; we are speared with their hopes and heartaches, dragged into their whirlwind view of the action around them. The moment of truth came for me when I realized that I could actually empathize with a man who was raised by terrorists to become a sociopath, and his painful struggle to rise above his upbringing to be psychologically reborn as a human.
Next, Bujold accomplishes here a rare coup: this is a carefully thought out universe, with laws, advanced technologies, cultures, wars, and moral dilemmas aplenty -- but without overwhelming attention to the logistics and alienness of this future.Read more ›
But however you slice it, "Mirror Dance" is a terrific read. "Brothers in Arms" first introduced us to Miles Vorkosigan's clone brother, Mark. But it is "Mirror Dance" which finally has Mark come into his own as a character and as a member of the Vorkosigan universe.
For the uninitiated, Lois McMaster Bujold has created the Vorkosigan Saga, one of the best written science fiction series yet created. It is more space opera than hardcore science fiction, but Ms. Bujold has a keen awareness of any number of ethical questions which will no doubt face humanity in the coming centuries. Besides, she's one hell of a writer, a true master of wordcraftsmanship.
The Vorkosigan Saga follows the adventures of Miles Vorkosigan, starting with the early stories of how Miles' mother and father met. Miles is only 4'9" tall, and was born with brittle bones, the reult of a poison gas attack on his parents while his mother was pregnant with him. Miles is the heir to one of the 60 Counts on his home planet of Barrayar, a planet which places great pride on military (and therefore physical) skill. Circumstances resulted in a 17 year-old Miles creating a mercenary unit, the Dendarii Mercenaries, of which Miles assumed command, in the persona of Admiral Naismith.
In the world of Barrayar, Miles is Lieutenant Vorkosigan, heir to Count Vorkosigan, future ruler of one of 60 Districts on Barrayar, foster brother to the Emperor himself; but also a mere galactic courier for Imperial Security (ImpSec).Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
I won't repeat what has been said already by so many readers, except to say that I agree with them : Lois McMaster Bujold has been giving us consistently outstanding novels one... Read morePublished on April 13 2004 by Marie Gagnon
This is probably the best book in the whole Miles Vorkosigan series. Interestingly, most of the book is written not from Miles' perspective, but from Mark's. Read morePublished on July 14 2003 by illiandantic
This is Lois McMaster Bujold's best book to date. I recommend reading The Warrior's Apprentice (omni Young Miles) and/or Brothers in Arms (omni Miles Errant) before preceding to... Read morePublished on April 18 2003
I'm not the type of person to go out and make absolute statements. This book deserves one. Not often am I completely taken in by a book for more than a few chapters, this one had... Read morePublished on Jan. 10 2003 by LaughingLion
All of Lois Bujold's books about Miles are exciting and enormous fun, but this one is the very best. Read morePublished on Dec 11 2002 by Connie
I must admitthat I have always been a right to choose supporter, however this book gave me an appreciation, although not a conversion, to the concepts put forward by the Right to... Read morePublished on June 26 2002
...This book takes the previous books' quality, and blows them all away. It's a bit longer then the other ones, and uses that space for some deep psychological studies of two... Read morePublished on Jan. 29 2002 by David Roy
Lois McMaster Bujold is bar-none, the best science fiction author in terms of characterization. This is by far the most engaging book I've read in a while. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2002 by monicae