Diplomatic Immunity (novel)
Cover of first edition
|Author||Lois McMaster Bujold|
|Cover artist||Stephen Hickman|
|Series||Vorkosigan Saga Universe|
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|LC Class||PS3552.U397 D57 2002|
|Preceded by||A Civil Campaign|
Miles and Ekaterin 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 merchant ships and their Barrayaran Navy escorts are being prevented from leaving the station, and a Barrayaran 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 almost dies (again) and barely averts an interstellar war between Cetaganda and Barrayar.
Literary significance and reception
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." 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." 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."
- Prologue chapter which Bujold wrote, but decided to exclude from the published text.