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Mirror Dance [Mass Market Paperback]

Lois McMaster Bujold
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

March 1 1995 Miles Vorkosigan Adventures
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.

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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.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of the best April 13 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 after the other, an amazing fact, considering that most writers cannot sustain intensity or readers interest for what has become a simple usual trilogy. Of these wonderful books, Mirror Dance is the best of all, well written, well paced, solid, intelligent, profound, fascinating, funny, moving, and so much more.
I cannot say enough good about this one to do it justice. Lucky is the reader who will read it for the first time. What a treat!
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5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Bujold book . . . Aug. 1 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
. . . and I've read 'em all. :)
"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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the Best of the Vorkosigan Series July 14 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. Whereas Bujold merely introduced Mark in the previous book, "Brothers in Arms," in this book she fleshes him out (both literally and figuratively). This book also sets the stage for what's coming up in the next book, "Memory." So, whatever you do, don't miss this book. Not only is it essential, but it's also great.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Never having been a fan of Sci-Fi novels, I was persuaded to read the first novels in the Vorkosigan Series, by someone who claimed they are not hard-core Sci-Fi, but Space Opera novels.
How true.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Bujold's Best April 18 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 this book, but it's not impossible to start here, and this does surpass both.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply my favorite book Jan. 10 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 me hooked from about page four and didn't let go. Very, very rarely do books get much of an overt reaction from, this one did. The appalling range of emotional reactions Lois is able to elicit from the reader are well represented in any of her books, in this one she makes you run the gauntlet, at least twice. If you have yet to read this book plan not to be doing anything for at least a few hours longer than it takes to read the book, it will leave you feeling spent.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of a great series
All of Lois Bujold's books about Miles are exciting and enormous fun, but this one is the very best. Read more
Published on Dec 11 2002 by Connie
5.0 out of 5 stars All hail the Queen of Space Opera!
I put off writing this review for two years because Mirror Dance is just that caliber of excellence that I was afraid to even try to do it justice. Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2002 by A. Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Speaks to Right to Choose and Right to Life
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 more
Published on June 27 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars An Outstanding Work of Fiction Regardless of Genre
"Mirror Dance" is a novel that works well on its on merits, can be seen as the second half of a story first started in "Brothers in Arms", or as the first half of yet another... Read more
Published on June 24 2002 by Paul
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more mature Miles book
...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 more
Published on Jan. 29 2002 by David Roy
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Most Engaging Books I've Ever Read
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 more
Published on Jan. 13 2002 by monicae
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, but horribly disturbing
When Miles's clone-brother Mark impersonates Admiral Nasmith in order to free clones from Jackson's Whole, the trouble begins. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2001
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