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Barrayar Hardcover – January 25, 2012

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Barrayar + Shards of Honor + The Warrior's Apprentice
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: NESFA Press; 1 edition (January 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886778930
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886778931
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #973,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Cordelia Naismith was resourceful and courageous, but what is Lady Vorkosigan like? When her life is shattered by a soltoxin grenade, the unfortunate Barrayarans who target her husband and hit her child find out. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


I am anxiously awaiting the release of Lois McMaster Bujold's "The Vor Game". I have listened to "Barrayar" and "Warriors Apprentice" -- loved them both; and have just ordered "Falling Free" and "Shards of Honor". Thank you for supplying such a superior product! -- glaboy, 03/05/98<br /><br />I am holding my breath waiting for the Warrior Apprentice, The teaser at the end makes it sound so exiting. Thanks for the tremendous work you do I have listened to everything listed on your website! Carol Cowan and Michael Hanson are the greatest. The really compliment each other and produce OUTSTANDING Audio Books. -- llainna, 9/19/97<br /><br />I am planning to put on my Xmas list some of the Bujold titles. The awards your company has are truly well earned. -- DjacksonT, 7/10/98<br /><br />I have all the Bujold audio books to date have to tell you to order the tapes! The main thing about these productions is that they are unabridged and very like listening to a radio play. Both the readers change their voices in really remarkable way so that you *know* whether the character is young or old, good or evil. So my recommendation is "two thumbs up" for Shards and Barrayar (and no, I don't have shares in the company... <g>) -- north, 3 Dec 1997<br /><br />I look forward to getting Warrior's Apprentice and the rest of the series. I applaud the effort and success you have done with the previous tapes. -- dancer, 12/13/97<br /><br />I've now listened to Falling Free, Shards, and Barrayar on tape. I have to say I think Barrayar is the best yet. -- gryphon, 10 Jan 1998<br /><br />It is action that never stops. The characters are so well-defined that you can't help but care what happens to them. And since the author doesn't telegraph her punches, you never know who is going to be left standing when the fighting is over. -- St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 2, 1997<br /><br />Looking forward to enjoying [The Warrior's Apprentice] as I have both 'Shards' and 'Barrayar.' The books were great. Listening to the tapes while commuting only furthers my enjoyment of LMB's fine series. I grew up enjoying radio drama and love the 'theater of the mind' concept. --acksmith, 11/17/97 --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

The characters are great and the story is riveting.
If you like politics, military reading, thrillers, science fiction, historical fiction then this book is for you.
Then read each and every book about Miles Vorkosigan, the child of Cordelia and Aral.
Kevin Baker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By David Roy on March 28, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Barrayar is, chronologically, the second book in the Miles Vorkosigan series, though it was written after the first few books of that series came out. It continues the story of Miles' mother, Cordelia Naismith (though now she's married, so it's really Cordelia Vorkosigan). It ends with a very young Miles, neatly tying into the beginning of Miles' story (which is what the rest of the series is about). Barrayar won a Hugo award, one of the highest awards in science fiction writing, and I will have to say that it was well-deserved. This is a fabulous book.
After leaving her home planet of Beta to marry Aral Vorkosigan on his home planet of Barrayar, Cordelia tries to settle into a Barrayaran retired nobles' life. Aral has retired from politics and wants to lead a quiet life with his new wife. Cordelia is pregnant with their son, and he just wants to live a happy life with her. Unfortunately, events transpire to make that impossible. The Emperor is dying and his grandson (the son died in Shards of Honor, the first book) is only four years old. A regent must be appointed, and Vorkosigan is the only one who would be agreeable to the majority of Counts. Thus, Cordelia and Aral's life is turned upside down when he assumes his new duties. There is plenty of political intrigue as other Counts scheme for power because Vorkosigan wants to bring Barrayar into the current century while the conservatives want things to stay as they are. These events even go so far as to really affect the unborn Miles in ways that will be familiar to long-time Vorkosigan fans, but which I won't spoil in case you've never read a Vorkosigan book.
This book is fascinating in many ways.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Duane Thomas on December 15, 2005
Format: Paperback
To start with, if you haven't yet read Shards of Honor, the first novel in the tales of Miles Vorkosigan (even though it doesn't actually feature Miles, it's about how his parents met), STOP, go back and read it before approaching Barrayar. You'll be glad you did. These two novels, written seven years apart, tell one complete story arc. How that came to be is an interesting story.

Shards of Honor and Barrayar form the beginning of the Miles Vorkosigan series. (Bujold's novel Falling Free takes place within the same fictional universe but, being set approximately 200 years before Miles' birth, features none of the series' familiar characters. Eventually you'll want to read Falling Free, but it doesn't matter when; you can insert it into your Bujold reading experience anytime.) Shards of Honor is Bujold's first novel (not merely the first novel she ever sold, but the first she ever wrote, thus disproving the axiom, "All first novels are unsaleable trash"). She begins writing it in December 1982. In mid-'83, having worked through the Shards material and about a third into what would eventually become Barrayar, Bujold realizes her manuscript is becoming too long to submit as one book (the "wisdom" at the time being a thin manuscript is more likely to be picked off the slush pile than a thick one). Bujold finds a logical breaking point for her tale (Cordelia's arrival on Barrayar), puts it in final draft form, and mothballs the partially finished "rest of the story."

Bujold submits Shards and begins working on another book, The Warrior's Apprentice. She's about halfway through that when Shards comes back rejected with an editorial suggestion she tighten it up. She finishes Warrior's, then cuts about 80 pages out of Shards, giving her two good unpublished novels.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Tompkins on November 14, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"Barrayar," winner of the Hugo award, is itself out of print, but available in the new paperback, "Cordelia's Honor," which also has "Shards of Honor." Both together are the story of Cordelia Naismith, a survey officer from civilized, polite Beta. She was first captured by, then married, Lord Aral Vorkosigan, "The Butcher of Komarr." "Barrayer" is the story of the incredible effect Cordelia had on Vorkosigan's warrior planet Barrayar, and how she stopped the civil war that threatened to slag down the planet. The heir she bore Vorkosigan was twisted and deformed from an assassination attempt during pregnacy. This son, Miles, Lord Vorkosigan, is the hero of the following 9 books (so far) of the Vorkosigan saga. I am very fond of David Drake's and S.M. Stirling realistic SF war stories. Lois McMaster Bujold's "Barrayar" and the Vorkosigan Saga stories are Drake's and Stirling's equal. "Barrayar" is very highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bookseeker on May 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of the great political space adventures of all times. Written before firefly was conceived of, some of the plot points from this novel have since been "borrowed" by later authors but never used better.
Set on a fuedal planet in the midst of a time of political upheaval is Cordelia who's upbringing on a more progressive world makes her an oserverver of belief systems and customs that range from complex to repressive. Her marriage to a retired military and political leader is thrust into the center of a maelstrom when a coupe takes place and cordelias husband, self and unborn child are forced into the mix of those maneuvering and willing to kill for power. A scientist and former solder Cordelia is told that war is the bussiness of men on this world, however the men don't seem to be doing an adequate job of ending the conflict and most importantly to Cordelia, of protecting her unborn child. If you are a man you should not be detered by the female hero and the baby from reading this. There is true adventure here, and the birth of one of the great adventure heroes of science fiction. Plus a few sword fights and some gun play. If you are a women who likes speculative fiction this book embodies some of the prime movers of female motivation and courage.
Although written awhile ago this book is still completely relevant and our science has not yet caught up with some of the inventions herein although they are likely coming.
Ms. Bujold is a writer with unique vision and insight into how people and cultural systems tick. This novel contains one of her best antagonists and best heroes. I have read and reread this book with joy.
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