While being a space-faring empire, Barrayar still harbors deep-rooted prejudices and superstitions, including those against “mutants.”
When a Dendarii hill-woman comes before Aral Vorkosigan seeking justice for the murder of her infant baby who has been killed because of her physical defects, the Barrayaran Lord sends his son Miles to a remote mountain village to discover the truth and carry out Imperial justice, and at the same time attack these long-held barbaric beliefs.
And who better than Miles Vorkosigan, who has himself struggled with these prejudices all his life because of his own physical deformities.
The Mountains of Mourning is a stand-alone novella that takes place (chronologically) between the events relayed in The Warrior’s Apprentice and The Vor Game. It won both the Hugo and the Nebula awards the year it was published, as well as an SF Chronicle Award for best Novella.
The Mountains of Mourning
Lois McMaster Bujold