These are really, really good. After reading a couple from later in the series, I’ve tracked back and read this one, which introduces the character of Miles Naismith Vorkosigan. Although handicapped by several birth defects due to an assassination attempt on his parents before his birth, Miles refuses to be stopped. He has an advantage in being part of the planet of Barrayar’s military aristocracy – and he also happens to be both brilliant and charismatic.
His strategic brilliance doesn’t help him when he fails to pass the physical tests required by his military academy, though. His hopes dashed, he and a childhood friend, Elena, go on a visit to Beta Colony. Here a credulity-straining but thoroughly entertaining chain of events begins… starting with Miles trying to bail out a random pilot in danger of losing his ship – and ending with Miles as the Admiral of a mercenary fleet.
Good, exciting fun from start to finish.