As always, Miles books are bright, fun, smart and fast moving - with characters who feel real. So what's not to like? I think sometimes when an author is consistently excellent its easy to get spoiled and start demanding that each book be better than the one before. But hey, if the one before was terrific, the next one doesn't need to be better than that! Okay for each of us there are a few books that rise to become our favorites in a series that is already a favorite. I'm not sure this one is going to do that. I didn't laugh hard enough. But I had a great time reading it and it still beats the heck out of most of the other stuff on the shelf. Here's raising a glass to the consistently high quality of Lois McMaster Bujold's work, long may it wave.