As with all the books in the Vorkosigan Saga, a thoroughly entertaining read. Miles Vorkosigan himself features only briefly; this time the focus is on his cousin Ivan, which makes for a slightly less madcap adventure - but only slightly. For once it's not Miles that drags Ivan into trouble - that comes from an altogether different source. All the same, once the hijinks ensue, it's a classic Vorkosigan tale. I wonder just how distressed Ivan would be if he realised exactly how much his Lord Auditor Coz has rubbed off on him? (That's not to say that I think Ivan is a clone of Miles - that would be doing both of them, and the author, a great disservice. And besides, that honour belongs to another character altogether. It is clear, however, that Ivan has subconsciously picked up a few things from Miles over the years.)Anyway, if you liked the other Vorkosigan books, then there's just as much to like here. If you haven't read any others, however, I wouldn't suggest this as a starting point. Although you could read this as a stand-alone story (and any necessary back-story is referenced/explained), I think it probably reads far better for being familiar with the protagonist and with the various supporting characters and settings.