Another fun romp with Miles Vorkosigan who, in his position as Imperial Auditor, figures out the scam and fixes what's going wrong on the planet. This novel lives up to its predecessors, though not the funniest, nor deepest, nor any superlative among them. Nevertheless, Bujold is always a lot of fun. This one was a typical delightful read, easily finished in a day or two.
I enjoyed all the animals as pets, and the young viewpoint character. Miles is implausibly energetic and heals incredibly quickly, as always. But that's only proper for fictional superheroes, isn't it? I wonder if politics in the US have made me cynical, for I found myself thinking how refreshing was the idea of leaders who actually reward honesty and loyalty in underlings, and who live up to a high standard of those characteristics themselves. If I noticed my boss accepting a bribe, I don't think I would run instantly to turn her in to her superiors. Instead I would begin looking for another job and only when I found one would I quietly, anonymously, let the right people know what was going on at the former place. Whistleblowers are not treated well, that I've seen. Though if people's lives were at stake I hope I would respond very quickly.
So in a culture that places the highest value on personal loyalty, it's refreshing to see the assumption that good citizens would not hesitate to turn in their bosses for corruption.
The action played out nicely down to a satisfying ending that brought tears to my eyes. I know I'll enjoy reading whatever comes next from Bujold in this series. The characters are great and the stories are lively, funny, and fast-paced. Though I wish, sometimes, for more of the depth she showed in Cordelia's Honor, the founding novel of the series. I still think that one was my favorite.