Date: 2017-05-19 10:30 pm (UTC)
justira: A purple, gender-ambiguous unicorn pony in the style of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. (lady business)
From: [personal profile] justira
Thanks so much for commenting!

Aral and Cordelia! I love them so much! Like I said in the post Aral is my actual fave; I could read about him all day. Cordelia's Honor is where I tell everyone to start, if they can handle (a) attempted rape and (b) rape apologia (Bothari's whole character >.>).

Don't get me wrong, I love Bothari. But he's... complicated.

"Mountains of Mourning" is, to date, the only Vorkosigan work that has made me cry. It wasn't even the first time I read it, but one of my many rereads. I'm glad [personal profile] forestofglory put it on her list, because it really deserves to be read.

Miles! He took a long time to grow on me, honestly. I think... I think I like the shape Miles makes in the world more than I like Miles himself? I don't dislike him, but... he's more of a... vehicle for me? Like he moves the series along all right. But I prefer Aral and Cordelia.

Mirror Dance/Brothers in Arms/Vor Game — I had a really hard time trimming down this part of the series in my list, because the series builds on itself so much and basically everything that came before matters. The same problem obtains with Memory, and if there's one thing I think my list is really missing to make Memory pack the best punch, it's "Borders of Infinity". It's an example of the extraordinary results Miles could deliver with the Dendarii which I think really adds to the place Memory holds in the series.

I have a... hit or miss relationship with Captain Vorpatril's Alliance.

Well, okay, I'll come clean: in private conversations, I refer to that book as The Heteronormativity Shoehorn Power Hour. Ivan/Tej grew on me eventually, but Rish/Byerly just... I don't see it? I don't get it? It read really heavily of "pair the spares" to me and Byerly never read as particularly hetero to me. Scratch that — he read as explicitly NOT hetero to me. He could, of course, be bi but... we only ever see him with a woman (I'll come back to this point). Finally, Byerly and Ivan had such great chemistry with each other that I had really high hopes for them. I mean, before Captain Vorpatril's Alliance was published, I thought, Bujold gave us Aral, so maybe she'd take another step and give us Byerly/Ivan?

Alas, it was not to be.

Captain Vorpatril's Alliance is a fun story that's like... half heist and half comedy of manners, or perhaps comedy of errors. But I will basically never get over my disappointment with it.

You next talk about Gentleman Jole which is actually A GREAT TRANSITION for me because let's come back to that "only ever see him with a woman" bit. So, I am not actually gonna go into detail here, because [personal profile] owlmoose and I are writing a WHOLE POST about this book and sexuality in the Vorkosigan saga and so on, so I hope you join us there! But I have a complicated relationship with this book, too. On the one hand, it gave us Aral/Jole canon and I like Cordelia/Jole, and I like the bittersweetness of it, finding something beautiful after a death. But... none of the Aral/Jole takes place onscreen and it's basically more het relationships? Anyway, that post will be coming soon! [personal profile] owlmoose and I come at the book from completely opposite angles, so hopefully it will be an interesting and exciting post!

I agree with your list of must-reads/skippables EXCEPT I find Warrior's Apprentice to be essential. It's shakier writing, but the stuff with Bothari and Elena just holds too much weight for me (I latched on to Bothari as a character really strongly).

I actually avoided reading Cryoburn for... six years? I think? I pre-ordered it and owned it as soon as it came out, but someone spoiled me for The Spoiler and like... I couldn't handle the idea. I just couldn't read it until Gentleman Jole came out and then I blitzed straight through Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, Cryoburn, and right on to Gentleman Jole, which helped me process my grief a lot.

Anyway, thanks for coming here to disagree with me! I love disagreeing with people!
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