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On opposing sides Captain Cordelia Naismith and Admiral Lord Aral Vorkosigan marry and live in aristocratic splendor on his home planet Barrayar Cordelia agrees with the dying old emperor that the Empire would be better if Aral would serve but he knows secrets she does not

10 thoughts on “Barrayar

  1. says:

    4 stars Barrayar a Hugo winner and Nebula nominee back in 1991 is a book that improved dramatically for me on reread It's interesting subtle and complex than I initially gave it credit for And it's fascinating to see the development of Cordelia and Aral's characters from their initial beginnings in Shards of Honor and their growing relationships with each other and with the people around themThe first half of Barrayar is a little on the uiet side deliberately paced as Cordelia a woman with socially liberal views comes to terms with her new life as Lady Vorkosigan in the rigidly traditional and militaristic society on Barrayar Her husband Aral is appointed as regent to the child emperor of Barrayar which puts Cordelia and Aral in the bull's eye of political machinations which become dangerous than either of them anticipated Readers who are familiar with Miles Vorkosigan from the later books in this series will get the beginning of his story here and it's well worth your time The second half is a whirlwind a heart stopping adventure with Cordelia and her new friends at the center of a desperate plan that has far reaching implications for the entire planet of Barrayar The first half might be a bit slow paced for some as it sets up the second half but it's worth the waitCordelia is a character for the ages an outspoken unstoppable force whose steely determination is combined with intelligence a warm heart and concern for the people around her other than those that are causing trouble for Cordelia or those she lovesHe tried to hurt Aral through me I found that annoying I wish you would cease trying to annoy me Count Vordarian I'm afraid you might succeed Her voice fell further almost to a whisper You should fear it tooAral is a great foil for her a strong character in his own right but it's Cordelia who's at the center of this story I'd love to meet her She'd probably kick my butt into shape in a dozen ways I didn't realize were needed until she pointed them out to me

  2. says:

    many thanks to eh and elizabeth etc because i would never never never have read a book with a cover like this but i did it for youse and it has been wonderful reallybut so if i am understanding this correctly and i hope that i am not ms bujold created one of the most interesting and likable while still being flawed characters ever and then abandoned her to write books about this character's son?? and all the rest are about him?? so lamebecause i loved this book i love cordelia i love bujold's writing too so i am sure the other books are eually good but come on you got a good thing going here don't deviate right when you got me interested this is a five star character here she is all good things i am not ready to start over with someone else i did not expect to find such focus on well rounding the characters in a piece of genre fiction usually the focus is on the events not on the psychology of the characters this one is very character driven with plenty of action at the same time there is humor there is very close attention paid to details and the focus is on mature reasonable adults making decisions based on carefully considered facts this pretty much sums it up; a character who assesses the situation and manages to be self sacrificing and unwhiny even though she has so much cause to beAnd what is your current complaint?I don't like Barrayar I want to go home my father in law wants to murder my baby half my friends are running for their lives and I can't get ten minutes alone with my husband whom you people are consuming before my eyes my feet hurt my head hurts my soul hurtsIt was all too complicatedThe poor man just wanted something to put in his blank not an essayFatigue Cordelia managed at lastlovebecause she is not a passive angelic beth type but she understands what each situation calls for she is eminently capable and i admire that than anything else in a human and in a written character i love her dignity and that fact that she can also be frail i want to say i will read of these but i feel like cordelia broke up with me before i was ready for her to do so and i kind of want to prostrate myself before her and beg her to come back to meshe will won't she?someday??come to my blog

  3. says:

    A buddy read with ChokoAfter the events of the last book Cordelia ended up on Barrayar She thought she would be able to get used to new life fairly soon but Barrayar is always full of excitement and surprises like assassinations civil war regicide forbidden duels external conuerors and such You are guaranteed to never have a boring moment but such lifestyle surely takes uite a while to get used to Cordelia however was determined to fit in as best as she could which means she had to organize some of the fun from the above list herself on the top of everything else The only weakness I found was that the whole story is told from Cordelia's POV She is a great and interesting character but the position she was in almost always forced her to take a passive role Aral Vorkosigan had complete picture and as such his POV would make an excellent story As it is now we only see conseuences of his behind the scenes actions while he desperately tried to hold the Empire together If I overlook this biggie I have no complaints other than somewhat slow start As I mentioned Cordelia is a great character and so are a few secondary ones Aral does not get enough screen time to ualify for a main character but he is great in the rare scenes he appears Even with Cordelia's limited information the story is not boring but I would not ualify it as a space opera as everybody remains firmly on the surface of a planet here Passive role or not she still had to act at critical moments and make some key decisions by herself I consider this book to be a good bridge between the previous book and the next one Speaking about the next book it is much better and can be fully ualify as a space opera as it has literally everything the genre reuires My rating is 35 stars rounded down because of my frustration with limited view on goings on most of the time this is a good connection story between its preuel and seuel but as a standalone it is nothing to write home about

  4. says:

    Third read update 12617The love story between Aral and Cordelia continues but it's really a tale about Barrayaran politics and cultural horrors To cull genetic mistakes or not? To break from the hold of barbaric cultural practices or not?Hell it even goes a long way to toward teaching us forgiveness for the mentally ill Although to be perfectly fair Cordelia's bulldog of a man has a lot of nobility in him for latching on to a truly noble mistress but maybe that's missing a point somewhere It's not him It's her Cordelia And my goodness she really kicks ass Besides all that I'm REALLY enjoying the hell out of all the characters who get screen time here and it spurs me on toward all the times I see them in big roles later and I'm loving how the whole series gels together Even the development of certain themes told with different nuances are all here set up and knocked down and will be knocked down just as gloriously laterAm I a total fanboy? I must be if I'm chomping at the bit to re read the whole series Again For the third time Original reviewI remembered this fondly as I reread it now and than ever it was nice to revisit Revolution stolen babies friendly monsters it really had it all especially if you're looking for a solid space opera that has very little in the way of spaceships I jest but not really The worldbuilding is very solid the characters are really amazing and memorable long long after first reading them I found myself smiling at what I remembered to come next and chuckling at the ignorance of later characters when it came to the past of which this novel is the presentIt can certainly be taken on its own merit and should be but it is all the greater in the wider tapestry

  5. says:

    Barrayar chronologically Book #2 in the series the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold is Space Opera at its best Describing it in opera terms it is bel canto florid and intricate reuiring supreme agility and pitch control combined with powerful and dramatic storytelling and LMB just got what it takes to write a damn fantastic libretto The first part seems restrained introducing dramatis personae laying the ground for further action LMB is gradually raising the stakes or increasing the volume intensity if you like until a breathtaking climax descends upon us The story starts right where Book #1 Shards of Honour finished The emperor of Barrayar is dying and has appointed Aral Vorkosigan as regent until his grandson Gregor now 5 grows up Aral's wife Cordelia coming from a technologically socially much developed planet finds it hard to fit into to Barrayaran society and struggles to come to figure out its strange and complicated customs Barrayar is rigidly feudal dominated by a military caste and its technology borders on medieval due to an almost complete isolation from other planets Most of the leaders the so called Vors resist change and consider Aral's leadership as revolutionary and endangering their very existence After the emperor's death a period of political and military unrest begins that endangers both Cordelia Aral as well as the child emperor their friends allies and has far reaching conseuences none of them foresaw I continued to like both Cordelia and Aral they are wonderfully strong characters in their different ways The love respect trust and support they give each other is amazing As for Cordelia she gets baffled by her new home planet and its people but won't let herself be manipulated or frightened for a second by political enemies She is one hell of a brave and capable woman view spoilerWhen her unborn baby's life is endangered due to an assassination attempt she never plays the big drama ueen but grabs the doctors by the balls and forces coaxes bribes them into saving the fetus even though she is aware of the strong animosity concerning disabled people referred to by most Barrayarns as mutations her own father in law threatens to abort the baby personally hide spoiler

  6. says:

    475 A buddy read with Evgeny because we love Sci fiWow Just WOW This is the third book in the chronological order of the series and I am already addicted to it It is Sci fi but this one was on a planet very similar to Earth Barrayar No space battles no new monsters if we don't count the Barrayar Vors the planet's nobility who all act like monsters most of the time No robots and no new races of humanoids Just the life of Vorkosigan and Cordelia four months after they got married He is taking his position as a regent to the young Emperor Gregor and this is cutting into their private time and putting them in a very dangerous position being a target for everyone with political ambitious The relationship is severely tested when an assassination attempt puts the very pregnant Cordelia and her baby in mortal danger The possibility that the baby is most likely going to be born with severe disabilities puts the love of the mother counter to the believes of the old nobility that it would be much better for the baby to be terminated at once than to bring shame to the family with its weaknesses and deformities Coming from the much liberal and progressive Beta Colony Cordelia is ready to fight whoever stands in the way to her child's survival And the numbers of those grow exponentially when a civil war for the throne tears up the very tenuous peace between the full blooded contenders of the Emperor of these war loving militant people On top of that Cordelia has to remind her husband why he married her in the first place because she is the smartest bravest most carrying person he had ever met The book started with a lot of political machinations and intrigues goes through couple of assassination attempts some time for Cornelia to adjust to her new home and introduction to several new characters including the emperor his mom and their female bodyguard Dru who rapidly becomes a perfect fit within the already established group of Cordelia Vorkosigan and the two misfits soldiers who are now in their employee They provide some of the comedy relief as well as a great support for the crazy schemes Cordelia tends to come up with in the most hopeless situation I love them all as a group now and would hate for anything bad to happen to anyone I am putting the author on notice from the start Don't break my heart LMB Yes I know the books have already been written but I like to pretend they write themselves magically as I read them Gives me that false sense of control I like to delude myself with ☺ I loved the way the book became a mad dash for survival in the second half and I could not put it down for a minute after I reached that juncture It was intense it was smart and it was emotional without being melodramatic I am in love Now I can't wait to see if all this worry death and blood was worth it and I have been promised a heck of an adventure with young Miles Naismith Vorkosigan as we go deeper into the series I can't wait ☺☺☺I wish you all Happy Reading and many wonderful books to come

  7. says:

    Barrayar continues and completes the story of former survey ship captain Cordelia Naismith and her husband Aral Vorkosigan Regent of Barrayar it is pretty enjoyable is Bujold becoming one of my favorite scifi authors? i'm surprised at that realization her style is not particularly striking often rather plain and unadorned i don't usually gravitate to those sorts of writers the straightforward ones but her themes her careful way with characterization her undramatic recognition of the complexity fallibility and occasional heroism of the human species are all things that this usually impartial robot observer finds himself genuinely responding to with uncharacteristic human warmthcharacterization is clearly Bujold's major strength and this novel supplies ample opportunity for intriguingly multi leveled characters to shine in particular Bothari poor Bothari so damaged by life and the terrible things done to him that he has become a person who will take on the persona of whoever he is needed to be his need for someone to guide him his craving for validation and for purpose made so palpable by Bujoldthe first half of the novel is pretty intimate in scale it mainly concerns various domestic issues and by domestic i mean in around the home rather than homeland as Cordelia acclimates to the overly formal high strung and resolutely warlike Barrayaran culture it feels odd and a little wrong to use the words domestic and intimate when describing a low key space opera whose first half includes two assassination attempts and various other dramatic incidents but that is the feeling i got and it worked really well the reader gets to know Barrayar in an unhurried fashion just like Cordelia and the reader continues to understand Cordelia in that same deliberate slowly unfolding sort of a way i liked the lack of hustle bustle and i appreciated the calm unrushed paceit all changes in the second part and so swiftly from slow acclimatization right into a fast moving adventure narrative things happening pell mell a flight a rescue a secret journey confrontations deaths a raging fire my gosh a head gets cut off and carried in a bag to be dramatically tossed onto a boardroom table awesome it was incredibly satisfying to see how well Cordelia adapted to her new world how easily she is able to win others to her side how passionate and furious and even murderous she can get when dealing with people who have attacked her loved ones Mother Bear yet she still stays herself compassionate warm hearted saddened angered by the small mindedness of others she's an awesome character and this is a satisfying book

  8. says:

    “I am afraid” So simply opens Barrayar with Cordelia words It takes places immediately after the events of Shards of Honor and starts out with low key family strife that sets the tone along with political developments All the time Lois McMaster Bujold’s character build up takes center stage All in all it is much than the science fiction tag that describes it “My home is not a place it is people” The beginning might be slow though not less significant and it is preparing for what is to come Cordelia is adjusting to an overly formal aristocratic and warlike Barrayar However half way through the rhythm changes Then there is a revolution a secret journey vital prisoners bloodshed and death a rescue a raging fire and ultimately a triumphant return Yes there is so much to enjoy in Barrayar It might be very character driven but there is plenty of action to satisfy any reader Above all Bujold’s masterful writing keeps the reader’s interest fully engagedThe action scenes are well written and believable but it’s Bujold’s characters that lift the book to another level They are all very human I particularly appreciated the relationship between Cordelia and Aral There is tension as should be expected but their marriage comes out solid in the end They are a team against whatever comes against them And Bujold establishes it particularly well through their dialogues “His naked agony terrified her She held him tightly in return ‘I don’t know I don’t know But somebody has been making these kinds of decisions right along while we went along blissfully unconscious taking the world as given And they were only humans too No better no worse than you’‘Frightening thought’She sighed ‘You can’t choose between evil and evil in the dark by logic You can only cling to some safety line of principle’ ‘Dear Captain If I’m still sane fifteen years from now I believe it will be your doing’ For those that enjoyed Shards of Honor like me it is very satisfying to see how well Cordelia adapts to her new home how easily she wins accomplices to her side how furious or even murderous she is with those that hurt her loved ones Above all she is still her own woman When after an assassination attempt Cordelia and Aral’s unborn son suffers permanent after effects their relationship is tested but comes out strong as he supports Cordelia’s effort to save their son When Miles is born I felt her words to him were meaningful and particularly poignant “Welcome to Barrayar son Here you go have a world of wealth and poverty wrenching change and rooted history Have a birth; have two Have a name Miles means soldier but don't let the power of suggestion overwhelm you Have a twisted form in a society that loathes and fears the mutations that have been its deepest agony Have a title wealth power and all the hatred and envy they will draw Have your body ripped apart and re arranged Inherit an array of friends and enemies you never made Have a grandfather from hell Endure pain find joy and make your own meaning because the universe certainly isn't going to supply it Always be a moving target Live Live Live” The conclusion is not only strong but also lays the groundwork for the rest of the series And leaves us wanting Highly recommended

  9. says:

    I am so sold on Cordelia and Aral as a couple This might be an old scifi saga but it's one that has aged well in my opinionThis is the third book chronologically and tells of Cordelia after she married Aral Vorkosigan and came to live with him on Barrayar Naturally a few things about this society are alien to her and to us but she also realizes some weird things about her own culture and that both aren't exactly perfect Moreover since the Emperor has appointed Aral regent there is a lot of stuff to organize and get used to Originally Cordelia thought she'd marry a retired military commander but now she finds herself in the middle of political intrigue attempted assassinations and the likesBut not to worry Cordelia is kick ass once again while still being her own person empathetic sensitive She needs Aral because she loves him but she will also fight like the proverbial lioness for him He tried to hurt Aral through me I found that annoying I wish you would cease trying to annoy me Count Vordarian I'm afraid you might succeed Her voice fell further almost to a whisper You should fear it too And Aral despite being strong honourable strategic as seen in the discussion about the rescue attempt but also loving and kind needs her just as much The first half of the book might seem slow to some because all the political players have to be moved into position but what we read here is very important for the second half of the book and in fact the rest of the series as well as the characterization of all the secondary characters such as Bothari and Droushnakovi what a love story THAT is with Koudelka So it's worth the wait and once action does happen phew that was a wild rideAs usual the author gives us an adventurous tale that hides some very deep and important topics Such as consent sexual as well as to medical treatments or how a society treats physically disabled people The latter especially since Barrayar is being portrayed like Sparta when it comes to babies and disabilities This was a very up to date topic even so back when this was written From a modern perspective I have to say that I personally think I would probably terminate a pregnancy when being notified of my baby's disability I know many cannot understand that but even nowadays you don't exactly live in paradise if something is wrong with you and a physical or mental disability means there is indeed something wrong even if I think we should integrate disabled people fully in any society Thus I think it's better to not subject my child and memy partner to such a life with today's technology it's also easier to spot when something is wrongNevertheless I loved how Cordelia fought for Miles against Aral's father even succeeded and how the young boy even manages to change his grandfather's stern mind This is the saga of an underdog to some extend after allWhat I probably like most about this is how the author manages to portray a topic from all kinds of angles She shows different points of view and the readers decide which they prefer or if they would try to find a way in between even There is also no stiffness about the characters; they can learn and evolve change their minds This makes the scenes and problems as well as the characters much lively and 3 dimensional

  10. says:

    Let's file this Hugo Award in the Regrettable category along with those granted to The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber and Redshirts by His Grand Snarkiness John Scalzi In this book newly pregnant Cordelia Naismith of the enlightened progressive touchy feely Beta Colony settles in with her new husband and prior captor insert eye rolling emoji here Aral Vorkosigan on the barbaric warmongering world of Barrayar where tragically no one talks about their feelings enough; it's not too hard to see the VenusMars femalemale analogy which is thickly applied Cordelia immediately sets about endearing herself to the locals and challenging gender stereotypes bya shoppingb obsessing over wardrobe detailsc making prego talk with other expectant mommiesd dispensing relationship advice to everyone within earshote complaining constantlyf standing around while her husband does stuffCordelia is a woman of complicated feelings and impulses and she apparently spends every waking moment in painstaking examination of same Fortunately she shares them all with us in excruciating detail for page after page after page You'll be happy to know that everyone else around Cordelia is a complete dolt dunce or idiot which gives her lots of opportunities to enlighten them or else they are scheming would be usurpers to the recently vacated throne we figure out who these are early on because they are the people Cordelia doesn't like Don't worry about mixing up all the names each of which starts with Vor because they aren't much different from each other anyway If there's anything you need to know you can be sure that Cordelia will explain it to you at great length and with an air of bemused superiority It should be noted that Barrayar comprises the 2nd half of the omnibus collection Cordelia's Honor which should really be called Cordelia's Every Last Thought since that's what you'll be reading