Admiral Naismith (aka Lord Miles Vorkosigan) and the Dendarii arrive on Earth for a well deserved rest. When someone tries to kill Miles, he must juggle both his identities to unravel the complicated plot, which reveals an unexpedted ally.
Captain Ivan Vorpatril is happy with his uneventful bachelor's life as a staff officer to a Barrayaran admiral. He is not far down the hereditary list for the emperorship. Thankfully, new heirs have directed that headache elsewhere, leaving Ivan to enjoy his life on Komarr, far from the court politics of his home system. But when an old friend in Barrayaran intelligence asks Ivan to protect a young woman who may be on the hit list of a criminal syndicate, Ivan's chivalrous nature takes over.
An immortal company whose job it is to shepherd its mortal frozen patrons into an unknown future attempts to expand its franchise into the Barrayaran Empire. Emperor Gregor dispatches his top troubleshooter, who discovers generational conflict over money and resources is heating up, even as refugees displaced in time skew the meaning of “generation” past repair.
On the planet of Athos there are no women so Dr. Ethan Urquhart delivers babies from uterine replicators. The Athosians have lived this way for 200 years but the ovarian cultures dating back to the settlement of the planet are giving out. With the future at stake, Ethan is chosen to brave the wider universe in quest of new ovarian tissue cultures to replenish Athos' dwindling stocks.
When the Lady Ijada slays Prince Boleso in defense of her virtue, it falls to Lord Ingrey to bring her to court for judgment. But his road is fraught with danger, and his prisoner may turn out to be the only one he dares trust.
Lakewalker Barr Foxbrush returns from two years of patrolling the bitter wilds of Luthlia against the enigmatic, destructive entities called malices, only to find that the secret daughter he'd left behind in the hinterland of Oleana has disappeared from her home after a terrible accusation. The search for her will call on more of Barr's mind and heart than just his mage powers, as he tries to balance his mistakes of the past and his most personal duties to the future.
The Emperor of Barrayar sends his newest imperial auditor, Lord Miles Vorkosigan, to investigate a problem on the planet of Komarr. But a betrayal there a generation before drenched the name of Vorkosigan in blood. Thus the Komarrans surrounding Miles could be loyal subjects or rebels ready for revenge.
Miles is recovering from his first death when he finds himself summoned home to face the Barrayaran security chief, Simon Illyan. But Miles's worst nightmares about Illyan are nothing compared to Illyan's nightmares.