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.
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By Karen S. Coyle on 04-02-10
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!
29 of 29 people found this review helpful
By Bronwyn Soell on 03-01-10
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.
18 of 18 people found this review helpful