Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: A Civil Campaign, Chapters 11 and 12

Chapter 10 featured hangovers. Chapters 11 and 12 see our characters sufficiently recovered from Miles’s dinner to begin having meetings.

Kareen Koudelka didn’t put in an appearance in chapter 10. Chapter 11 moves quickly to bring us up to speed on her situation. Her parents have stopped short of bricking her up with the cask of amontillado. Instead, they have barred her from visiting Vorkosigan House or speaking to anyone who lives there, and have imposed her sister Martya on her as a chaperone.

The Koudelkas—by which I mean “mostly Kou”—are not behaving rationally. Nothing we know about Barrayaran culture compels parents to behave this way, even if they have four daughters to marry off and careers that rely on their close connections with people in power. Kou’s close connection to high Vor politics comes from his relationship with ARAL, a man who ruined his own reputation with a WILD, ...