Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga)

Monday, June 25, 2018


Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga)
Lois McMaster Bujold, 1994

Hugo winner - 1995

This is the third Vorkosigan novel that I've re-read specifically for the Hugo winners project, and once again, I'm surprised how much I discovered about this book by reading it in isolation from the rest of the series.

I had thought this was a good book, but often on re-reading it I have sped through the beginning out of a sense of anticipation and awkwardness around knowing the more dramatic plot elements that were coming.

After reading it with more care, I feel confident saying it's a fantastic book.

This is a book deeply concerned with identity. On the obvious physical level, there are numerous mirrors. Both Miles and Mark see themselves in mirrors at the beginning, establishing their current statuses, tying their paths together, and calling back to their first encounter in Brothers in Arms. Mirrors and cameras, self-image and projected appearance all play critical roles in pivotal scenes. Of course, the two men are also mirrors of each other, both physically and emotionally.

Mark is struggling to find his own place while Miles suffers from literal amnesia, and they each try on different identities on the way. You also have Elena returning to Barrayar to confront her identity in her heritage and the different types of identities and relationships claimed by the many characters who are clones.

All that plus spectacular plot and action, as well as poignant, illuminating appearances by the wide cast of supporting characters.

5 Stars - An Awesome Book

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