Shards of Honor is the novel in which Lois McMaster Bujold introduced the science-fiction world to Barrayar and Aral Vorkosigan, Beta Colony and Cordelia Naismith. From this beginning the author has created a multigenerational saga spanning time as well as space.
Bujold is generally recognized as the current exemplar of the character-based science-fiction adventure story.
©1986 Lois McMaster Bujold; (P)2009 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
"[Bujold] gives [her] characters enough emotional depth, and enough sense, to raise their story beyond cliché." (Locus)
Anyone who has enjoyed reading about Miles and Ivan and their adventures will love this book. Each story about Miles has told bits and pieces of his parent's story - enough to support whatever Miles is doing at the moment but never enough to get to know Arl and Cordelia. This story delves deeper into their characters and how they met. We also get to know a little about the Sargent and understand better why he was the way he was. Coming into this series backward, it's nice to see that Miles is a composite of his parents. Had I encountered this story before any of the stories about Miles, it would have been less interesting. Part of the fun is to look for people who you know are in future books (like Arty Mayhew!).
If you are a fan of traditional hard science fiction and space opera by the likes of Peter Hamilton, Alastair Reynolds and Iain Banks, then you probably won't like this book. It is basically a love story that happens to be set in a futuristic setting. Not a bad story (if you like this genre), but few if any new ideas were presented and this book could have just as easily be set in modern times.
Being a fan of LMB's later fantasy work I was keen to listen to some earlier sci-fi. The reviews were all good for this audio book but I can't agree. The dialog was stilted, you couldn't get into the characters the story was all over the place and didn't flow - I can't see how a long series was started from this. I love sci-fi but this was only average.
Dr. Jim Fox -- Former College Professor and Mental Health Therapist
I loved the book. It was different than many Sci-Fi books with a great depth of character(s). I really enjoyed book immensely to the point I listened to it twice. The story is good, but really the characters moved it along. If you are a Sci-Fi Fan or even just a Drama fan, this book is definitely worth a credit.
Once in a while I buy a book because I have a credit, not because I have a desire to read it. So this book stayed on my shelf for more than a year. And lucky me! If I would have started it earlier, I would have been hooked to the series much earlier and would have read all 16 of them in the past months! And had read no other books...
This is the start of the Vorkosigan series, and together with its successor Barrayar outlines the details of how Miles' parents met and came together. I will not spoil anything by saying this. The story is believable and entertaining at the same time. Cordelia and Aral are slowly showing their own character in the various actions that fill this first volume. And some other characters are introduced which become more important in the next episode. Although I rate Barrayar a bit higher due to suspense and story, Shards of Honor does not disappoint and it is a worthwhile introduction to the series.
If you don't like this book, than you can skip the rest too.
By the way, the start of the story of Miles Vorkosigan himself is with 'The Warrior's Apprentice'. Some reviewers feel it is better to start with that one.
Grover Gardner is great as always.
This book sets the stage for everything to follow. As such, if you're just being introduced to the series it's a good place to start. The characters introduced here aren't in every following book, but the things you learn about them personally and their cultures are invaluable.
This whole series is well-written and engaging. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
Lacks the humor of Miles Vorkosigan (who comes in later books), but has the strong will and courage of his mother - must read for better understanding of future events. I listened to it after already reading and listening few books about Miles. The narrator (Grover Gardner) performance makes these excellent books even better.
Just Read Baby!
I liked Vorkosigian...I have great empathy for honorable men who have to make tough decisions. But I throughly enjoyed Cordelia.
I particularly enjoyed the dialogue between Cordelia and Vorkosigan
This is the second book I have read by the author,having read the 4th book in this story arc. This story was much more enjoyable and seemed better written and more believeable. I like books from this genre and Ms.Bujold does a decent job.
Sometimes it seems as though there is a different writer doing the dialogue...one of them very good and the other one boring, predictabe and pedantic. I particularly enjoyed the interplay between Vorkosigian and Cordelia, especially early in the
Shards of Honor opens the door to the Vorkosigan/Naismith universe. Bujold manages to tell a full and complete story of war and love between the two protagonists, while also introducing characters and setting the stage to be expanded in later books. The writing is skillful and full of understated humor (though I laughed out loud a few times); and there were no jarring notes in the performance.
This audio book was a very enjoyable way to re-experience the novel. I highly recommend it.
Sci-Fi, Fantasy, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers with sarcasm are my favorites.
My first exposure to the writings of Lois McMaster Bujold was with the absolutely fabulous, thoughtful & endearing Sharing Knife series so I decided to give her Vorkosigan Saga a whirl when this first book went on sale. To say that Shards of Honor met my expectations is a vast understatement especially since as I am writing this review I am downloading the next book in the series, Betrayer.
Bujold spins such a wonderful relationship between two very strong and noble characters dealing with a fairly dysfunctional universe that does its best to come between them (as she did later with the Sharing Knife series).
There is an added bonus story from the same universe & time with different characters at the end of the book that left me smiling and hopeful.
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