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Publisher's Summary

It was the wrong war, in the wrong place, at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons. And Captain Cordelia Naismith of the Betan Expeditionary Force would be forced into a separate peace with her enemy, Lord Vorkosigan.

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.

Critic Reviews

"[Bujold] gives [her] characters enough emotional depth, and enough sense, to raise their story beyond cliché." ( Locus)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • Terri
  • Colorado
  • 10-26-11

Awesome

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Enjoyed it

I listened to this out of order from the Vorkosigan series and liked the look at Miles' progenitors. An enjoyable listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

A solid read but not really sci-fi

If you like sci-fi and love chick lit, you'll really enjoy this book. This is a well-written story with excellent character development and dialog. The sci-fi elements are, well, pretty weak medicine. If you only like hard sci-fi, look elswhere. The plot elements could have easily been set in a western or modern-day thriller. Also, it's a little bit short (I'm a big fan of epic space operas). The narrator is a great reader.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

If you want the order of Miles' books:

I stumbled across the 1st "Miles" book (--Falling Free; it's sort of a prequel, actually 200 years in the future) by accident, & enjoyed listening to the audiobook. When I went to go on to the next books, I found it annoying that they're not numbered. I did find a site that lists the books in order, for those who want a shortcut: go to dendari(dot)co(dot)uk(bkslash)Fic & click on "Miles Vorkosigan/Naismith his life & times"

As to how good they are, I've enjoyed the next 2 books enough that I bought them in order, & am about to buy the next. I like her characters, good plots that keep moving right along, & her 'sociological' sci fi of the planets Barrayar vs Beta is interesting. She's also got, interesting & frequently amusing ways of saying things that add to the positive experience.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Saga beginnings

A fabulous read and listen. I hope the Barrayar, the second half of the story, is released in the very near future.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Very Average

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.

9 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Bonnie
  • Bellmore, NY, United States
  • 06-25-10

Really enjoyed finding out how they met

I have been reading about Miles Vorkosigan, and loving all the books. Some more than others. None were ever a disappointment. I truly enjoyed getting background on Miles parents, and I would love to see another book about Miles early childhood. Bujould finds a way to put humor in almost every book she writes. I found this very enjoyable

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Just a boy and a girl and a war in space

Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold is a love story between two individuals separated by interplanetary space with an even greater gulf in terms of cultures. "Bumping" into each other on neutral world, Cordelia is just trying to do her job, while Aral is dealing with a mutiny while orchestrating complex political machinations for his emperor. Each finds the other intoxicating and quickly become allies and soulmates. While Aral succeeds professionally, while the real story remains hidden, Cordelia returns home only to find too much has changed and can never be the same. Eventually, Cordelia takes the initiative and embarks on the maiden voyage of what will become the Vorkosigan saga.

The sci-fi elements are muted, in support of the plot. Faster than light travel is accomplished by "wormhole jumps" where the placement of wormhole nexuses take on military and strategic importance. Advanced weaponry in the form of stunners, nerve disruptors, and plasma guns are used sparingly, but critically. Uterine replicators are introduced. Political machinations are extensive and detailed with each government setting their own agenda. One other prominent feature is technological disparity between adversaries. Ultimately, this is a love story between two very different people who find solace with each other when they feel rejected and alone in their own societies..

The narration is first rate with an excellent range of voices of both genders. Pacing and mood are appropriately rendered. Gardner also possesses the unique talent of inflecting his voice just so, to convey a thought versus spoken word which Bujold utilizes liberally throughout the story.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • JLM
  • Oakland, CA, United States
  • 08-28-12

Meh... Formulaic yet moved...

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

What else can I say? Shallow, fun, lightweight space opera with a woman involved. Not bad, nothing monumental either. ...

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Ron P
  • Monroe, WA USA
  • 02-13-18

What am I missing?

The issue I have is not that this book is generally well-reviewed -- a lot of books I don't care for are well-reviewed. (as an aside, I wonder what the median book rating is across the entire Audible catalog . . . 3.5?). It's that reviewers I follow and respect seem to *love* this book.

I just don't get it. For starters, the plot felt like a rough outline of a story to me, with some mechanics that felt either lazy or extremely contrived. Or both. The 'war' felt neither epic nor threatening.

The prose was serviceable at a minimum, and much better than that in places. But . . .

I just never really cared about anyone or anything in the book. The writing maintained this weird emotional distance from the characters. Specifically, I was very conscious that I was following a story, and that the characters were *characters*, not people. It was sorta like reading a newspaper. Places where I should have empathized with a character going through something horrible, or perhaps been moved, were just . . . numb.

Normally, I'd just write it off and shrug. But given that so many people I respect really like this book -- I'm trying to figure out what I'm missing.

I just can't.