Kibou-daini is a planet obsessed with cheating death. All well and good, so long as they kept to themselves. But now the Kibou-daini are attempting to franchise out their Fountain of Youth wares to the rest of the galaxy and the Barrayar Galactic Empire is none too pleased with the implications.
Cue Miles Vorkosigan, malformed royal troublemaker - but also heir and savior of empire. On Kibou-daini, Miles unearths a war of generations as the oldsters in charge refuse to die and their descendants threaten outright patricide, matricide and maybe even genocide - the prize being a big fat slice of the immortality pie. Bribery, corruption, conspiracy, kidnapping-something is rotten on Kibou-daini, and Miles is up to his neck in trouble and adventure once more.