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Lois McMaster Bujold
book cover

Book 13
1999, Baen
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Who recommends: Lynn, JW, Shelly, Barbara, Isabel, Preeti, Shelley, Tanya, Danielle, Lori, Edith, Suzanne, Linda, Robin
Who discommends:

Lynn was right - A CIVIL CAMPAIGN is wonderful! I would probably put it on my SFR 101 list except for the sneaking suspicion that a lot of my enjoyment is due to my long acquaintance with these characters from all the previous books. One thing that did hit me after I finished was how little it read like an scifi - it almost felt like a historical with some technological advances.--Isabel (03 Sep 99)

I just finished A Civil Campaign. It has everything in it, humor, suspense, romance, the wisdom of Cordelia, and some of those scenes where Miles is so bone-wrenchingly honest about himself it makes you cry. I highly recommend this book.--Shelly (03 Sep 99)

Hah, recall what people said about stockpiling books? Wait, I had to read CETAGANDA, MEMORY, and then KOMARR, before I could read A CIVIL CAMPAIGN. Highly recommend. Was already salivating about the Dinner Party From Hell (after all, he did have 96 chairs).

Well, at which point, I really considered replacing my vote in SF/ROM 101 of SHARDS OF HONOR with A CIVIL CAMPAIGN. So I went back and reread SHARDS. A lot of great growth in plotting since SHARDS but SHARDS still better in terms of a better SF/ROM but not in terms of a better book. And A CIVIL CAMPAIGN is one of those that may get a 5 in my estimation since it quite honestly changed the way I looked at life. The part where Aral and Miles are talking about honor and reputation and Gregor dealing with Nikki about his father's death ...--Barbara (03 Sep 99)

Amazon uk delivered and I stayed up ... what a splendid novel it is! (A CIVIL CAMPAIGN, in case I'm not being clear). Loved the dinner party from hell: loved the finale in the council chamber: whole thing really very good. I can't help thinking that (a) LMB's novels aren't always *primarily* SF - several people have said that she'd write good mysteries, but 'Memory' *is* a mystery, albeit with a science-fictional crime ... and 'A Civil Campaign' is far more a romance than it is SF - it's a few days since I finished it, and I can't recall a single plot element which relies on science-fictional concepts. I'll be an enthusiastic recommend for this too - although I think it would work less well (if at all) for a reader who wasn't already familiar with the characters.--Tanya (07 Sep 99)

LMB is very good at putting science into the background of her stories, so much so that it often seems that it isn't needed. But the societies she creates are often based on the science she allows us to see (such as the Betan sexual freedom and reproductive responsibility allowed by uterine replicators), and the plots usually wouldn't occur if it weren't for that science (Miles himself is an example).

But I agree with you that romance is very much at the forefront of this book, but that it wouldn't make a great intro for people from Rom into SF/Rom because there are so many old friends in the book.--Shelly (07 Sep 99)

I won't bother with a plot synopsis since that's been done, but simply add that I also loved it and it goes in my top 10 favorite books of the year. This was very much a "comedy" of manners. I *loved* her sense of humor which really came to the forefront in this book. Those vomit-bugs were priceless and she mined them for all they were worth. I was glad to see Mark healing and the glimpses of Aral and Cordelia. They're an interesting mixture of deep hands-off parental love.

But if I may pick a few nits? I thought the dinner party was a little over-done. And I have to admit that I didn't think Ekaterin was worthy of Miles. But then, who *could* be worthy of Miles? As far as the romance, Cordelia and Aral's worked better for me in SHARDS. But perhaps that's because I've read SHARDS many times and ACC only once. My view of a book changes the more often I read it.

And the dustjacket was a little too gaudy. I swear those soldiers looked as if they were pregnant.--Edith (14 Oct 99)

I read Bujold's A CIVIL CAMPAIGN and just loved it. I think it's a wonderful and wonderfully funny book--by far her best.--Suzanne (08 Dec 99)

Also just finished A CIVIL CAMPAIGN and highly recommend it. Though I might have enjoyed KOMARR just a little more because there weren't quite as many different characters and various political agendas going on. I haven't read any of her previous books exept for SHARDS OF HONOR so I didn't have the pleasure of recognizing all the old friends but she did let you know everyone's history so I didn't have too much of a problem figuring everyone out. Mark's past sure was gruesome and the Lord/Lady situation was very interesting. Things started moving faster in the second half and I loved the ending. Though I was a little frustrated waiting for Miles to get a little headway and sure would have enjoyed seeing him get more than one kiss (even though it was spectacular.)--Linda (3 Feb 00)

I was really disappointed that Gregor didn't get his own book and own fabulous romance. It seemed that it was in the works, and then it didn't materialize. And it's surprising because Bujold has such rabid fans that I think she's aware of what's wanted and expected. That doesn't mean I don't think her books are wonderful and the Miles isn't one of the greatest fictional characters since Crawford of Lymond. She's upped the ante in every book she's written. "Civil Campaign" is the best, and I was properly stunned and delighted. Those of you who read Dunnett can see the parallels to Lymond in Miles's angst - but Bujold takes it another level (not of course at Dunnett's level) but in a humourous vein that's irresistable.--Suzanne (14 Feb 00)

I also reread Louis McMaster Bujold's A CIVIL CAMPAIGN. I had remembered how much I liked this book, but had forgotten several of the details. OMG - the dinner party scene had me in stitches. There are so many good moments in this book - it is definitly one I will have to reread every couple of years.--Shelley (2 Jun 03)

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