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)
For those of you who haven't had the pleasure of reading the Miles Vorkosigan books, this is the first in the series, which introduces Miles' parents, Cordelia Naismith of the planet Beta and Aral Vorkosigan of the planet Barrayar. I originally read "Shards of Honor" and the second book in the series, "Barrayar," in a compilation book called, "Cordelia's Honor." Reading these two books as one made more sense, as "Shards of Honor" is a reasonably good story that builds to a whale of a good story in "Barrayar." Have patience with the slower pace of "Shards of Honor" (and Bujold's early writing skills). They are critical to your enjoyment of the full impact of "Barrayar," which the publisher's website states will be released in audiobook on 11/1/09. "Shards of Honor" is the only book in the Vorkosigan series which isn't the best of the best. However, you will enjoy the series all the more if you understand how Miles came to be. Look at the number of high-starred reviews Audible listeners have given to the Miles Vorkosigan series, which has also won a number of Hugo and Nebula awards.
When I drive, I read... uhm listen. I like SciFi, Fantasy, some Detective and Espionage novels and Religion. Now and then I will also listen to something else.
Two people from very different backgrounds and home worlds are thrown together in an Indiana Jones type space adventure. Aral Vorkosigan is an unrefined military leader from an "uncivilised" world called Barrayar while Cordelia Naismith comes from Beta Colony, a place that seems civilised and technologically advanced.
In a time of war, Cordelia must choose between love or patriotism, truth or fame, an uncertain future or celebrity status. Woven through these choices are a quest for true honour that might just be masked as shame.
Lois McMaster Bujold draws you into an enjoyable adventure where you are kept on the edge of your seat - boy meets girl, but are they really going to live happily ever after?
As this novel introduce the parents of Miles Vorkosigan - but not yet Miles - even the final answer stays tentative.
Again Grover Gardner can be congratulated for a solid performance.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and heartily recommends it to anyone looking for a true Indiana Jones type space adventure!
Genre fiction, trashy to literary--mystery, action, sci fi, fantasy, and, yes, even romance. Also history. Listener reviews help a lot!
This book sat on my Wish List for a while based on the recommendation of an Audible listener whose reviews I follow; I'd never encountered Bujold's books and was in no hurry, it was in the "maybe I'll try it" category. Then Audible put it on sale, which pushed me to take the plunge. Listened to the whole thing in two gulps. Loved it. Now have to get the sequel ("Barrayar") and then apparently have an entire series featuring Cordelia and Aral's son Miles Vorkosigan to look forward to. From the sound of the reviews the series only gets better.
This is definitely character-based rather than technologically-based science fiction.
I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This is the first in the Vorkosigan series. The writing here is good but not as good as the later books. Nevertheless it is still better than most Sci Fi and well worth reading to set the tone and history of the continuing characters. This is very light Sci-Fi and more like fantasy. The later books become a bit more Sci Fi oriented. This is one of my favorite series in Sci Fi. The series has lots of action, really great characters, lots of fun, interesting concepts, and stories that really hang together well. This first book is a little slow but I recommend it as it adds richness and depth to the later novels.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Cordelia Naismith is a terrific heroine and this is a wonderful love story. I listened to Shards of Honor in audio format, read by Grover Gardner. At first I thought the choice of a male narrator was strange until I remembered that most of the VORKOSIGAN books are written from Miles’ perspective.
Life-long reader, 10 years listening
This is the first book in the saga of Miles Vorkosigan, the story of how his parents met and fell in love. It's not at all a typical love story, but it is one you will want to listen to again and again. Cordelia has incredibly difficult choices to make, driven by her personal code of honor. She is well-matched by Aral, who has his own struggles of conscience and loyalty.
I've been a fan for years, and I was thrilled when the books began coming out in audiobook format. Grover Gardner does a fine job and I'm so glad that he has read all the Vorkosigan books, since he is now the only voice of Miles for me.
I loved this one. I can't wait for another.
Bujold is an excellent writer and holds her audience in every book and keeps the reader on course (informed on the characters and situations) no matter which one you start to read first.
I love the narrator! Don't change him!
This is Bujold's first and definitely weakest novel. That said, if you are a fan of the Vorkosigan clan or Ms. Bujold in general, don't miss this. Despite a clunky plot and a writer who is learning to flesh out her worldview, I found myself entranced by the younger versions of characters and a world I had come to know and love in the later series. They foreshadow themselves, and make you want to go back and listen to all the later novels again! Grover Gardner's reading is superb as always, and even if you haven't read her other books, I think this might intrigue you enough to try the next one. But really, this is a treat for people who already know Cordelia and Aral. You'll enjoy seeing their younger, clumsier selves.
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.
2nd in the Vorkosigan saga. Entertaining & shows promise but smacks at times of wish fulfillment & romance cliches which occasionally overwhelm a pretty good story. Starts off with you thinking its going to be another 'Enemy Mine' type with enemies banding together against common odds but then cycles through a whole range of other tropes. The characters are great & no wonder it they (or in many cases their descendants) were picked up for later instalments. The next one is 'Barrayar' (which won all kinds of awards) & the two after that so there's something there :-)
"One of my favourites."
Whenever I'm feeling in need of cheering up, this (and the even better sequel) are my go to books. I love the developing relationship between Cordelia and Aral. The art of falling in love with the "bad" guy, making concessions for a relationship and knowing when to draw the line.
While all the Vorkosigan books are good, for my money they reach great when the characters from these two books turn up to make Mile's life difficult.
"Excellent story line could not switch off!!"
Adventurer and love story all rolled into one - the characters were believable and the pace was fast and kept me interested!!
Cordelia Naismith - a strong sensible woman, bold brave and all the attributes of a heroine
Even a war and distant planets could not stop their destiny
I have now listened to nearly all the series - I had never heard of Lois McMaster Bujold before listening to one of her books on sale - she has captured my imagination
Yes I would - the setting is interesting, pitting the scientific rationality of Beta Colony against the less advanced and more brutal world of Barrayar. The characters are engaging and you really care what happens to them, which is always going to make a good story
"A great audio book and start to a brilliant series"
I really loved this book. Still probably my favourite of the whole series. Characters are developed really well. It's interesting, the plot has a good pace to it and the romance side of it isn't in your face at all! My only criticism would be that, as a British person, it took a while to get used to the accent of the narrator, but once I was used to it, it actually fits the tone of the book really well.
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