Political intrigue, culture clash and romance make a stirring mix in this award-winning follow-up novel to the acclaimed Shards of Honor.
In the wake of interplanetary war, former commander Cordelia Naismith has deserted her own planet to marry the leader of the defeated enemy, Aral Vorkosigan. On his home planet of Barrayar, two rival factions are eyeing the recently vacated throne, and Aral, recently appointed Regent of Barrayar by the Emperor on his deathbed, must stand between them.
Lord and Lady Vorkosigan, Aral and Cordelia struggle to establish stability in a fragile government thrown into confusion by the transition of power and the threat of civil war. When a palace coup endangers the government, their lives, and her unborn son, Cordelia takes action to secure the safety of her new family and new home.
Hi-fi sci-fi: listen to more in the Vorkosigan saga.
©1991 Lois McMaster Bujold; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Probably in the top 20.
I love how complexly messy things are from the personal to political. LMB doesn't have things just magically work out, and people don't necessarily get a happily ever after. However, Cordelia and Aral remain true to character and don't loose themselves in the roles they have to play, but show strength as true partners trusting each other to do their best. This is a huge strength in LMB's works in my opinion. If for nothing else read this novel for Cordelia's shopping gift to Aral, best Winterfair gift ever!
Honestly, I can't picture any other narrator for this series and his voice truly becomes Miles' voice in the later books in all it's manic glory.
The Soltoxin gas aftermath scenes.
This is the second book that I've listened to in this series, so the fact that I chose to continue the story should show that I at least like it. I do however have a hard time giving it more than 3 stars because I am a long time Robert Heinlein fan. This writing style is mediocre compared to the character development , bantering, and intellectually descriptive scenes and thoughts in Heinlein's prose. I find Bujolds literature to lack the cutting dialogue and thought-provoking ideas that I have come to enjoy in books like Stranger in a Strange Land, Time Enough for Love and The Cat Who Walks Through Walls - a few of my favorite multiple-universe novels by Heinlein.
A lover of good music, good stories and intelligent non-fiction.
A can't-put-down follow-up to the 1st book in the series. It features a strong, intelligent lead character who has a great sense of humor, palace and political intrigue and a civil war.
Really well written. I can't wait to start on the next book in the series.
Lois McMaster Bujold is a talented writer. I love all her books. Her Vorkosigan Series is most enjoyable. This particular is based mainly on Miles Vorkosigan's parents, Aral and Cordelia.
Both have very strong characters. The politics in Barayar caused a lot of upheavals. There was a rival staging a coup, luckily Aral have loyal allies and good prevailed. A plot full of suspense and action. A very good series to follow.
The setting is very interesting with characters from different planets and backgrounds. The characters all have interesting points of view. The story has action and interpersonal relationships. Fun!
Barrayar starts the same day as Bujold’s first Vorkosigan novel, Shards of Honor, leaves off. It fills in the drama that takes place during Cordelia’s pregnancy with Miles that was alluded to in The Warrior’s Apprentice. Written with the typical pace and wit that this series has become known for, this action packed installment won yet another well deserved Hugo Award for Ms. Bujold. If you’ve made it this far into the series, come back to old friends and enjoy the ride.
Cordelia Naismith – now Lady Vorkosigan – takes up the lead role that had been laid down for the future based books about her son. While Miles’ quick thinking and preternatural skill of getting himself into one jam after another can be good reading, it’s a nice change of pace to read how Cordelia solves problems that she did not take part in creating. Her strength and resiliency grounds the story in a way only adults can.
The tale essentially becomes one of survival as civil war breaks out on Barrayar as the old guard of politicians try to keep the newly appointed Regent Aral Vorkosigan out of power following the Emporer’s death. Evading assassination attempts, capture, and betrayal, Cordelia and the faithful Sergeant Bothari must do what they can to remain free – and keep her unborn child Miles alive. The story builds quickly into an all out sprint that doesn’t end until all Barryar has been changed. Yet again, the Vorkosigans are at the middle of events that shake the galaxy. Just a normal tale for this family.
Few authors provide such easy and enjoyable reading as Lois Bujold. Even if you’re not a science fiction reader, these stories are about the inner and outer struggles of life. Plus they’re a whole lot of fun. Highly recommended!
Audible listeners: Grover Gardner is a great reader!
7 stars out of 10
I loved this whole book. Seriously. I liked the previous (chronologically) book but it had a few things that annoyed me. This one, however, was just right. Lots of action, lots of weird cultural things to learn about, both Barrayaran and Betan), further development of a number of characters from the previous book and a few new ones, weird technology, crazy politics and military shenanigans, outdoorsy action, just the whole gamut of interesting plots and places. This book made me laugh and cry and both shocked and amazed me, at times.
By the end of this book, the reader knows quite a bit about Barrayar, its culture and history and so forth. The reader learns along with the protagonist, Cornelia. We also learn about Cornelia's home, the Betan colony, through contrasts in technology, culture, beliefs, and behavior become apparent.
I listened to this book on audible, mostly, and read parts as well. The narrater, Grover Gardner, is excellent.
I can't wait to move on to the next book in the series chronology.
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