Welp, friends, it’s another Vorkosigan review! Surprise, surprise, given my recent obsession with these books. I’ll keep it short and sweet, I promise.
Ethan of Athos is the first Vorkosigan novel that I’ve read that doesn’t feature Miles Vorkosigan as the main character. In fact, he’s not even in the book – only just mentioned a few times. I was curious as to whether I would enjoy this one as much as I’ve enjoyed the others.
And I loved it!
Ethan (the title character) was charming and clumsy and well-intentioned and ignorant and endearing and slightly frustrating and so lovable. Seriously, I absolutely loved his character. It was also great to get better acquainted with Elli Quinn, who we barely met in a previous book (The Vor Game, I think?). We also got to see the Cetagandans from a different angle than we did in Cetaganda, which I appreciated. I feel like reading that book right before Ethan of Athos gave me an appreciation for some of the Cetagandans that we meet in Ethan. Some of them. I also hate some of them…
Anyway, the story was Bujold’s typical fast-paced adventure that keeps you guessing and turns you on your head at least once. Probably at least 5 or 6 times. So far, her works haven’t been too rompy for my taste – just fun, easy-to-read, balanced sci-fi adventures with amazing characterization. This one especially. I laughed out loud multiple times, and I teared up a few times as well.
And I was REALLY satisfied with the ending. I was afraid that Bujold was going to do something that I didn’t want her to do, but thankfully she didn’t. Instead, she did something that I didn’t expect but that I very much approved of. That’s all I’m going to say because I don’t want to spoil anything from this awesome book.
The stories Bujold weaves are incredible, and Ethan of Athos is now up there near the top of my list of her favorite works. But there are still so many more for me to read 🙂