Rather unusually for Ms Bujold since Ethan of Athos Miles is not the main Point of View character of the book. Much of the action is seen from the point of view of Ekaterin Vorsoisson, wife of a fairly minor bureaucrat but this is a change that was necessary to keep the series fresh IMO

Komarr is the dagger at Barrayar's throat. Heart of a Jump nexus that leads out into the greater galaxy.

Komarr was the route for a failed invasion of Barrayar and the objective of a vengeful Barrayar.

Komarr is the jewel in the tri world Barrayaran empire.

All of this is long in the past, though, as are the uprisings against Barrayaran rule - most Komarrans are contented with the way things are going with more rights accruing to them as the years pass.

So when the solletta array orbiting Komarr to waken it from it's long frozen sleep is blown to fractured remnants of it's former glory there is concern in the Imperium and in the Domes of Komarr.

The ore freighter that was the putative reason for the accident did not come out of the crash any better and seven people were known to have died.

A pair of Imperial Auditors were called out to oversee the investigation. One was Professor Vorthys, Emeritus Professor of Engineering at Barrayar's premier university and a structural failure expert, and the second was the newcomer, Lord Miles Vorkosigan, who was looking into the bodies. So it's his serenity that is disturbed when they found a spare body floating in the remnants of the solletta array

Though every one is disturbed when the body is identified as a member of the Terraforming team headed up by their host.

Unfortunately, Miles was new to his Auditorship and refused to be his usually pushy self so he fails to make a couple of important decisions.

As the case begins to unravel, the serious nature of those decisions becomes ever more apparent. Not least when he and his host are captured by those he is chasing, leading to tragedy in Komarr's lethal atmosphere.

Things are brought to a crashing climax aboard the spaceport facing Barrayar's wormhole.

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