This week in the Vorkosigan reread, we reach the dramatic climax of Cetaganda. Ivan gets kidnapped, Rian gets the key, Benin gets a promotion, Miles gets a medal, and then we all go home.
Surprising no one, the man behind the curtain of this entire plan was… Ilsum Kety. Just like Yenaro said. Bujold didn’t even try to distract us with a red herring. For his valuable contribution to smoking out the traitors (ie, for knowing a guy’s name) Yenaro gets a job as, like, fifth under-assistant to the 17th imperial perfumer. It’s a low-ranking job, but it’s a real one. My congratulations to Yenaro for turning a situation in which he was nearly killed by an exploding carpet into an opportunity for meaningful and remunerative employment in the arts. As Miles will point out when he delivers his own account of himself to the Emperor Giaja, the best strategies achieve their goals regardless of your survival. Yenaro has suffered a great deal, but in the long game of his own life, this is a remarkable success. Miles owes that maxim about strategy to Captain Cavillo, late of Randall’s Rangers. I am glad to see that she is still in Miles’s thoughts, though grateful that her perfume is no longer afflicting his sinuses.