Ethan of Athos is one of the few books set in Lois McMaster Bujold’s universe of Miles Vorkosigan that does not feature an appearance by Miles or any member of his family.
The story begins on Athos - a planet populated solely by males, because they banned females generations ago. The men of Athos reproduce by importing ovaries and cultivating babies in birth chambers. Dr. Ethan Urquhart examines a new shipment of ovaries and discovers that they are useless - some damaged and some from animals.
Much to Ethan's chagrin, the Athos government assigns him to travel off planet and find out what happened to their original shipment. This distresses Ethan, who has been conditioned all his life to be repulsed at the thought of women.
Of course, Ethan finds himself the target of a murder attempt and he is rescued by a female assassin - Elli Quinn. Together, Ethan and Quinn track down the reason the shipment was stolen and replaced.
The story has action and intrigue, but also some messages about culture. Athos holds deep prejudices against women; and others in the galaxy hold prejudices against Athos for their homosexual lifestyles. To succeed, Ethan must overcome his prejudices and work with Quinn.
While not one of Bujold's best novels, I still enjoyed Ethan of Athos.