This was far better than I expected it to be. As previously mentioned the cover is crapity crap crap and does not leave one with high hopes. Bujold really excels her at world building in very simple brush strokes. I can only assume that the series gets better, as it gets more complex, but this was a very simple, very too the point story filled with action and adventure, but it never felt like i needed to worry about brain cell loss while reading, even though it is not what anyone would call cerebral scifi.As an aside, I noticed this was published in 1986, the same year Star Trek: TNG began. I noticed some parallels and am absolutely sure there was some talk of Bujold's novels in future seasons writers' rooms.I plan on reading the next book, if not rest of the series, but unlike some series, this did not compel me to read the rest before i started anything else, and as it is some 19 or so books long, I am ever thankful for that.