Why this book?
One of the complaints levied—and not entirely unfairly—against science fiction is a lack of emphasis on character. Not so here. Lois Bujold sets is the absolute gold standard character writer in science fiction, for my money, and one of the best character writers I’ve encountered in my life, period. Her Vorkosigan series (which begins with the novel Shards of Honor, published 1986), follows two generations of the Vorkosigan family, a powerful noble family in the interplanetary Barrayaran Empire, as it struggles to reconcile the planet’s essentially medieval society with the more classically liberal galactic community. The first phase of the series follows Cordelia, an outsider from broader galactic civilization, and her whirlwind romance with Count Aral Vorkosigan. Science fiction tends not to focus on healthy relationships and intact family units, but Bujold does, and does so with a depth of feeling and sensitivity unmatched, I think, in the field.
As the series progresses, it centers on Aral and Cordelia’s son, Miles, a brilliant military commander and adventurer suffering from brittle bone disease and a host of less infirmities that barely serve to slow him down. Pound for pound, Miles is my favorite character in science fiction, and it isn’t even close. There are few science fiction writers who write political intrigue and aristocratic family drama as well as Bujold, and readers will be happy to learn the series contains more than 15 novels, as well as some novellas that will be sure to keep them invested for months at least. These are quick reads, hugely accessible, and for my money the perfect transitional reading for folks trying to jump from fantasy to SF.
Shards of Honor: Volume 2
Why should I read it?
2 authors picked Shards of Honor as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.
What is this book about?
When Cordelia Naismith and her survey crew are attacked by a renegade group
from Barrayar, she is taken prisoner by Aral Vorkosigan, commander of the
Barrayan ship that has been taken over by an ambitious and ruthless crew member.
Aral and Cordelia s
- Coming soon!