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Barrayar Audiobook
Barrayar
Written by: 
Lois McMaster Bujold
Narrated by: 
Grover Gardner
Barrayar Audiobook

Barrayar: A Vorkosigan Adventure

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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

  • 1992 Hugo Award, Best Novel

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (1638 )
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4.6 (1118 )
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  •  
    Karen S. Coyle Florida 02-04-10
    Karen S. Coyle Florida 02-04-10 Member Since 2009

    one picky reader!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Lois Bujold always delivers!"

    This is the second part of the omnibus novelization of her books Shards of Honor and Barryar (since released in one title as the book "Cordelia's Honor") and if you haven't read Shards of Honor yet, you have to start there. Cordelia (and in later books her son Miles) are some of the best protagonists in all of fiction, not just sci-fi. Science fiction as a whole is notoriously littered with books that have really nifty aliens and spaceships.... and really wooden characters spouting ridiculous dialogue. This is one of those rare gems that gets every part of the writing RIGHT. Yes, there's space travel and fascinating outer-space-worlds-of-the-future to explore here, and the world-building is top notch: but this would be an outstanding book in ANY genre; on depth of characterization alone. Cordelia is blazingly smart, warm-hearted, loyal, and very witty (by the second chapter you'll feel like you've always known her, because Bujold's just that darn good), and she has one adventure and/or crisis to handle after another in this great book: and every beat of the story plays out as absolutely REAL; every character is fully fleshed out and multi-dimensional, the fallout from every decision is realistically portrayed. It's a mash-up of the best possible space opera, the best possible soap opera, and the best possible character studies out there - just hurry and download this thing; you can thank me later!

    24 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bronwyn Soell Illinois, United States 01-03-10
    Bronwyn Soell Illinois, United States 01-03-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Finally! I've been waiting for this one for years!"

    As a longtime reader of Bujold's, I was delighted to discover Grover Gardner's terrific audio versions of all of her books- but where was Barrayar???

    At last it is available and it is well worth the wait. Whether you are a first time listener to the Vorkosigan saga, or have been reading the adventures of Miles and his family, you will absolutely enjoy hearing this one read aloud. Gardner's characterizations are dead-on as always, and it was wonderful to hear Bothari, Cordelia, Aral, Drou and Kou and all these memorable characters brought so vividly to life.

    Gardner does a great job of going 'back in time' with these characters. Other books in the series (other than 'Shards of Honor' the earliest written and probably the weakest of the entire group) take place later in time, so I really have to say how subtly and believably Gardner uses his voice to make all the characters younger, and different from their older incarnations in other books.

    It doesn't matter if you are new to Bujold and the series or an old fan. Barrayar will suck you in and keep you listening. After hearing it, I immediately went back and listened to the whole series again.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pamela Los Angeles, CA, United States 12-19-09
    Pamela Los Angeles, CA, United States 12-19-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Finally!!"

    Finally available at Audible! One of the best in the Vorkosigan saga, and Cordelia remains one of my all-time favorite fictional characters. The phrase
    'going shopping' takes on an entirely different meaning by the end of the book.

    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lifelong Reader Southwest, USA 12-27-09
    Lifelong Reader Southwest, USA 12-27-09

    Caz

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""Shards of Honor" continues"

    I've been waiting for a long time for Audible to offer this audiobook, which I think of as the second half of the book started in "Shards of Honor." "Barrayar" is everything that makes for good listening--a fascinating plot and great characters. In this book, Cordelia must protect both the child emperor and her unborn son while her husband, as the new Regent of Barrayar, struggles to end a Pretender's civil war to take control of the throne.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed San Jose, CA, United States 01-10-10
    Ed San Jose, CA, United States 01-10-10 Member Since 2007
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    "So happy these older Vorkosigan books are on audio"

    While these older books in the saga aren't necessary to understand the newer books which feature Miles, they do add a lot of depth. It's great to understand the background and motivations of the characters that take secondary roles in the later books.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terri Broomfield, CO, United States 05-04-12
    Terri Broomfield, CO, United States 05-04-12 Member Since 2015

    Sci-Fi, Fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers with sarcasm are my favorites.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A Hero's Beginning & his Extraordinary Parents"

    It is amazing how many credits you can blow through when you find an incredible writer & series (or multiple series). I haven't found anything of LMB's that I haven't enjoyed.

    This is book 2 about Miles' extraordinary parents and friends. I absolutely adore Cordelia. She is the type of woman that many of us wish to be, honest, strong in will, determined, and she has great taste in mates & friends. Aral Vorkosigan is a man looking for something and someone to live for and Cordelia is the one who helps guide him as well as love & understand him.

    I love the back stories of other major characters in the series: Bothari, Illyan, Kuo, Drou, Gregor Vorbarra....

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheap and Lazy 03-07-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Actually Book Two in the Series"

    The first, “Shards of Honor,” introduced Cordelia and Aral Vorkosigan, Beta Colony and Barrayar. You wouldn’t have to read/listen to it prior to this one, though I strongly suggest you do. This book tells of their first year together on Barrayar. It’s a rough one. I loved the first book—great sic-fi romance. This one was even better, though less of a romance and more anthropological/socialogical sci-fi. Cordelia’s wry humor worked well with the political intrigue and the difficulties of learning to negotiate a different culture. The writing is finely done without overwhelming or slowing the story down. There’s enough action with the intrigue to keep the pace moving, but it’s the characters who make the story. The ending immensely satisfying, while still setting up for more books in the series (which I can’t wait to hear). Though most of the book is from Cordelia’s perspective, the (male) narrator on the audio book did a wonderful job capturing her “voice.”

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan Lawrence, KS, United States 03-09-12
    Bryan Lawrence, KS, United States 03-09-12 Member Since 2010
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    "I love this series"

    I had read (and listened to) the rest of the Vorkosigan series (starting with Warrior's Apprentice) twice when I finally got around to this book. I'm actually glad I read it in this order. I think this book would have been enjoyable if read in the proper sequence. But I thoroughly enjoyed learning where and how my favorite characters came to be. I love this series and this book certainly makes a great addition (or start)---I need to work back to Shards of Honor next.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuck Georgia 07-05-10
    Chuck Georgia 07-05-10 Member Since 2016
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    "A Good Intro to Vorkosigan series"

    I enjoyed this book. I was new to the author and the series. The characters and the background to the culture are developed as a byproduct of the story which I like. This allows action to be intertwined with narrative. Well narrated.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leanna Seattle, WA United States 05-31-15
    Leanna Seattle, WA United States 05-31-15 Member Since 2008

    I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unforgettable characters"
    Any additional comments?

    This installment is the follow-up to Shards of Honor. We learn more about Aral and Cordelia and just how nuts Barrayaran politics are. Lois McMaster Bujold is a phenomenal writer who consistently delivers fully developed, living characters who truly show the grays of real people. Furthermore, the narrator is a perfect pairing to the writing. Listen to these books. You will not regret the decision.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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  • Mr
    9/26/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "awesome"

    i have always loved this book series, this one fills in gaps in plot nicely

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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