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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Algis Budrys
Alliance In Blood
Ariel Tachna
Progress: 86/210 pages
To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last
Connie Willis, Recorded Books LLC, Steven Crossley
The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality
Julie Sondra Decker
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages
The Mountains of Mourning (Vorkosigan Saga) - Lois McMaster Bujold While I didn't enjoy this novella quite as much as I did The Warrior's Apprentice, it was still a good read. Whereas The Warrior's Apprentice was a wild ride, with Miles piling lies upon lies to get himself and those around him out of trouble, The Mountains of Mourning was more of a mystery story. This time, Miles needed to uncover the truth rather than obscure it.In a way, Miles was more vulnerable in this novella than I ever remember him being in The Warrior's Apprentice. The villagers already had their opinions about him and why he was there. Although some knew of the story of his birth, others assumed he was a mutant. His investigation brought him face-to-face with the kind of people who would probably have let him die when he was a baby – in fact, he was looking for someone who really did kill a baby for having nothing more than a cleft palate.Although the difference between this novella and The Warrior's Apprentice took some getting used to – I hadn't realized Bujold switched gears that much even within a single series – once I did get used to it, I enjoyed it. Miles wasn't happy about having his leave interrupted, but he was never tempted to take the easy way out. He did the job he'd been sent to do, thoroughly and properly. A favorite quote of mine from the story, said by Miles to the Speaker who should have looked further into Harra's baby's death:“'The Count's justice is for everyone, now. Even if they're small. And weakly. And have something wrong with them. And cannot even speak for themselves – Speaker.'” (26)If you haven't read anything else in this series, I wouldn't recommend starting with this novella – it references characters and events from The Warrior's Apprentice. There are brief mentions of Elena, who Miles still thinks about, and Bothari. Pym, as a replacement for Bothari, was a little disappointing – if he turns up in future books, I hope he becomes more interesting.One thing that came up briefly in The Warrior's Apprentice and was a big part of The Mountains of Mourning was Miles' relationship with his grandfather. While I knew their relationship was complex and painful, I hadn't realized how much of it went over my head until I read The Mountains of Mourning. It was heartbreaking stuff and gave me a better understanding of how much Miles had riding on what he had thought was his only chance to qualify for the Barrayaran Service Academy.While I missed the hyperactive, lying Miles of The Warrior's Apprentice, my only real complaint about this novella had to do with the brief moment Miles considered hooking up with one of the village girls. Miles was in a town where one of the inhabitants had murdered a baby with a birth defect much milder than what he had been born with and one or more other inhabitants potentially knew who did it and were covering for that person. That he even briefly considered a one-night stand with one of the local girls seemed pretty stupid to me.This was an unexpectedly big change of pace from The Warrior's Apprentice, but enjoyable all the same. I've since purchased the e-book version of Young Miles, a collection that includes The Warrior's Apprentice, this novella, and The Vor Game, so expect to see more Vorkosigan Saga posts from me in the future.(Original review, with read-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)