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Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold

Shards of Honor (original 1986; edition 2000)

by Lois McMaster Bujold, Suford Lewis (Afterword), James M. Bryant (Foreword)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,959723,472 (4.1)1 / 303
Title:Shards of Honor
Authors:Lois McMaster Bujold
Other authors:Suford Lewis (Afterword), James M. Bryant (Foreword)
Info:The NESFA Press (2000), Edition: First Cloth Edition, Hardcover, 239 pages
Collections:Your library

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Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold (1986)

Recently added bydkb, Dilvich, juripakaste, Flick-Imrie, dschander, thefirstdark, gponym, private library, Lhachwen
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Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
The first published book of the Vorkosigan Saga, this is a book from NPR 100 Science Fiction and Fantasy books and an example of space opera. This book features Cordelia Naismith, a captain of a Astronomical Survey ship. They are attacked while exploring a newly discovered planet and her crew escapes leaving her on the planet. The other character is Captain Lord Aral Vorkosigan who is left for dead in a mutiny by his crew. This book features military battle, prisoners of war. Cordelia and Aral fall in love but they are from different planets and different values. Cordelia is a theist and from a liberal and he is from a military, conservative country. This may be science fiction but it also is a large amount of romance. Oh, and in this first book, the main character of the sage doesn't even make an appearance. The author Lois McMaster Bujold lives in Minnesota. ( )
  Kristelh | Apr 9, 2016 |
[January 2-3, 2016] Reread.

[January 23, 2014] A thoroughly enjoyable novel. Though Vorkosigan and Barrayaran society are the real foci, I love that the story is filtered through Cordelia's eyes. The one downside, perhaps, is that Cordelia's own world and people don't seem comparatively as fully realized as the Barrayarans; but I appreciated that the novel wasn't a straightforward, predictable compare-and-contrast between the conservative militarism of the Barrayarans and the egalitarian liberalism of the Betans. The characters aren't so easily defined.

And the romance--exactly the kind of love story I want to read. Both characters are pragmatic, purposeful, duty-conscious adults, aware of their responsibilities and aware their actions have consequences. Their attraction isn't just physical or even coldly intellectual but rather based on the fact they both are seeking something beyond themselves and see it in each other, however imperfectly. ("I believe he calls it honor. I guess I'd call it the grace of God.")

Very much looking forward to discovering the rest of this series. ( )
  9inchsnails | Mar 7, 2016 |
3.5 for the Aral and Cordelia story, and 5 stars for the last chapter, which is a totally separate story ('Aftermaths') rounds out to 4 stars.

'Shards of Honor' is the first novel in what has since become an extensive series (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vorkosigan_Saga#Works) of which I've read a great many. It's always odd to go back and read an early book featuring characters who were later fleshed out a great deal more. To be frank, this book does not fully live up to many of the later entries into the saga - but then, how could it, really? The world, and the people in it, have grown in the three decades since this book was written.

None of this is to say this isn't a good book. It is.
Non-combatant Betan scientist Captain Cordelia Naismith and her exploration team are ambushed and attacked by a group of militaristic Barrayaran soldiers. Next thing she knows, her spaceship must flee, leaving her behind. Also marooned on the planet is the Barrayaran commander Aral Vorkosigan, betrayed by his own men. Cooperation may be the only way that either of them can stay alive - and the only way that Cordelia can keep a severely injured member of her crew alive, as well. Forced into proximity, the two of them may learn that although they come from wildly disparate cultures, as individuals they may have more in common than they would have guessed.

That's just the beginning of the story, and it progresses with plenty of action, but also with a very realistic, human focus on emotions, values, and decision-making.

At the end of the book, 'Aftermaths,' a separate short story which was actually written (and published) before the rest of the book, goes even farther with that theme. It gives us a look at an aspect of space battles that action-packed stories of glory usually skip - the civil servants employed to collect the corpses floating in space, working an unpleasant but necessary job. It's a powerful and heartwrenching tale. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Jan. 2016 reread via audiobook
I am so glad that I decided to revisit this first book in the Vorkosigan series. I had forgotten how much of Miles' 'backstory' is explained in this one (perhaps because I foolishly let 5-6 years go by after reading "Cordelia's Honor" before picking the series back up).

However, coming to it after having read the rest of the series meant that it did lose some of its tension. ( )
  leslie.98 | Jan 29, 2016 |
This is both a debut novel and the first book written in the scifi Vorkosigan series, event though the events of Falling Free happen a couple of centuries earlier. There are no sentient beings from any planet other than earth in this bok.

Cordelia (Wonder if Bujold was remembering Anne of Green Gables when she chose this name?) is a liberal theist from the planet Beta whose weapon is a stunner. While on an exploratory mission, she is taken captive by Aral Vorkosigan, who comes from the sexist, jingoistic planet Barrayar and whose interplanetary reputation is one of a brutal mass murderer. This is a scifi romance with a number of twists and turns which threaten to keep Aral & Cordelia apart, and itntroduces us to the parents of the main hero of the series, Miles Vorkosigan.

Bujold tends to write fairly intelligent scifi and this series is often labelled space opera, which is a new term for me. ( )
  Karin7 | Jan 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 69 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois McMaster Bujoldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Cherry, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gutierrez, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A sea of mist drifted through the cloud forest, soft, grey, luminescent.
And so he did, as shy as an apprentice saint washing his first leper.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671720872, Paperback)

Cordelia Naismith, Betan Survey Captain, was expecting the unexpected: hexapods, floating creatures, odd parasites... She was not, however, expecting to find hostile humans on an uninhabited planet. And she wasn't really expecting to fall in love with a 40-plus barbarian known to cosmopolitan galactics as the Butcher of Komarr. Will Mother ever understand? And can such an odd beast as love survive an interplanetary war?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:51 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Cordelia Naismith, Betan Survey Captain, was on a routine mission to study life forms on an uninhabited neutral planet. She was not, however, expecting to find hostile humans on an uninhabited planet. And she wasn't really expecting to fall in love with a 40-plus barbarian known to cosmopolitan galactics as the Butcher of Komarr.… (more)

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