Diplomatic Immunity (novel)

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Diplomatic Immunity
Cover of first edition
Author Lois McMaster Bujold
Audio read by Grover Gardner
Cover artist Stephen Hickman
Country United States
Language English
Series Vorkosigan Saga Universe
Genre Science fiction
Publisher Baen Books
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback & paperback)
Pages 320
ISBN 0-7434-3533-8
OCLC 48662396
813/.54 21
LC Class PS3552.U397 D57 2002
Preceded by A Civil Campaign
Followed by Cryoburn

Diplomatic Immunity is a 2002 science fiction novel by American writer Lois McMaster Bujold, part of the Vorkosigan Saga. It was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 2003.

Plot summary[edit]

Miles Vorkosigan, the main character in the series, and Ekaterin Vorsoisson are enjoying a delayed honeymoon off-world while their first two children are approaching birth in their uterine replicators back on Barrayar. They have just left Earth to begin the journey home when Miles is dispatched by Emperor Gregor Vorbarra to Graf Station in Quaddiespace to untangle a diplomatic incident in his capacity as the nearest Imperial Auditor. There, he is unexpectedly reunited with the Betan hermaphrodite Bel Thorne, a trusted former Dendarii Mercenaries subordinate and his good friend.

A convoy of Komarran merchant ships are being prevented from leaving the station due to trouble caused by Barrayaran personnel from their military escort. Furthermore, a Barrayaran security officer is missing, possibly murdered or deserted.

While investigating, Miles uncovers a plot by a high-ranking Cetagandan to steal a cargo of extreme importance to the Cetagandans and hide its tracks, if necessary, by putting the blame on Barrayar. By the time Miles figures out what is going on, he and Bel have been infected by a highly lethal bioweapon. Miles nearly dies and barely averts an interstellar war between Cetaganda and Barrayar.

Literary significance and reception[edit]

Jeff Zaleski said in his Publishers Weekly review that "Bujold is adept at world-building and provides a witty, character-centered plot, full of exquisite grace notes such as the description of quaddie ballet."[1] Booklist was mixed in their review saying "though Miles remains clever and debonair throughout, too many early series references needlessly obfuscate a breezy, conventional, albeit deep-space, whodunit."[2] Paul Brink, in his review for School Library Journal said that "this quick read has an abundance of plot twists to keep teens glued to the pages. The author gets the technical details right, but keeps explanations to a minimum, so this book should appeal to even non-SF readers who like a fast pace."[3]

External links[edit]

  • Prologue chapter which Bujold wrote, but decided to exclude from the published text.


  1. ^ Zaleski, Jeff (April 1, 2002). "DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY (Book)". Publishers Weekly. 249 (13): 58. ISSN 0000-0019. 
  2. ^ "DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY (Book)". Kirkus Reviews. 70 (7): 460. April 1, 2002. 
  3. ^ Brink, Paul (January 2003). "Diplomatic Immunity (Book)". School Library Journal. 49 (1): 174. ISSN 0362-8930.