Really only 3.5 stars, but the last chapter made it 4 stars for me.
If you strip away the space opera and science fiction, this story boils down to a mystery/thriller where the old adage ‘follow the money’ proves axiomatic again.
Miles is on a new (to us) planet, Kibou-daini (settled by people of Japanese heritage). An entire culture mortally afraid of dying (pun intended) to the point where millions, if not billions, of citizens have chosen cryo preservation rather than the more traditional final frontier (i.e. Death). Oddly, since they are not dead, as citizens they still retain their votes in this democracy, albeit by proxy held by ever larger more monopolistic corporations. This sparked quite a few intriguing interpolations both in the characters and my own internal ponderings.
As Emperor Gregor suspected, thanks to his Komarran familial connections, Miles uncovers a plot that could pose an inexorable glacial threat to a third of the Barrayaran Empire and manages, in his usual manic hyperactive style, to expose and diffuse said threat.
Cameos by Ekaterin, Mark and Kareen. Briefer cameos by Ivan and Gregor in the last chapter, but have a box of tissues handy.