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Shards of Honor Hardcover – July 1, 2000
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Everything We Keep: A Novel
On the day of her wedding, she buried her fiancé—and unearthed shocking secrets. Learn More
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''Bujold has a nice hand with the complications . . . All in all, Shards is a worthy effort, and worth reading for any fan of SF romance.'' --Analog --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Top Customer Reviews
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).Read more ›
Lois McMaster Bujold has the amazing talent of mixing characters and science and fiction in exactly the proper amounts. Cordelia Naismith is an astrocartographer from Beta Colony, heading a company of scientific prima donnas on an expedition to map out and catalog flora and fauna on a newly discovered planet. Sounds simple enough, right? Unfortunately Cordelia wasn't expecting to be ambushed by a bunch of blood-thirsty, out of control Barrayarans, or to get stuck in a trek for survival with their leader, Aral Vorkosigan, better known as the Butcher of Komarr. And that's only where the trouble begins.
How do two people from distinctly different cultures survive in their situation, which I'm not going to expound on as it will spoil some of the best moments in the book? How will love survive an intergalactic war? How can someone survive after sacraficing honour, only to find that the necessary, vital result will never replace it? And, of course, the most pressing question to be asked: how much sexual energy do two people have to spare while hiking forty kilometres a day, concussed, stunned, diseased, on poor food and little sleep, alternating caring for a wounded man with avoiding becoming dinner for every carnivore within range, and with a coup to plan for at the end? Lois McMaster Bujold handles the characterisation so well that you almost forget that you don't actually know Cordelia and Aral. Highly, highly recommended.
After finishing the book, I found that I was so in love with the characters and the experience of sharing their lives, that I felt sadness, even grief over not being able to continue in the world created by this author. After all, one can only read a book once in awhile to experience it fully, because the feelings evoked, the sense of interest and excitement fades with familiarity.
After this experience, I found myself pondering what was so important to me about this book, what made this experience so positive, so important. Why did I wish with all my heart that these people lived in my world? Why did I yearn to be a part of their lives in a real way? Why did I want to be them, or know them?
As I pondered my feelings, I realized that these characters, which so fascinated me, lived with a very deep code of honor, sometimes at great personal expense. This code was an intrinsic part of the make up of their being. The ongoing struggle to live according to these deep values was exciting, and created tension and drama. Over and over again, it was evident that these characters struggled with the importance of personal honor, of keeping one's word, of living consistently by their code. Sometimes they succeeded, and sometimes they had to set aside the code, for the greater good.
Does living by a code of honor make things humorous; I don't know. Or perhaps honor gives one a way of looking at the world that facilitates laughter sometimes, and then tears as well, sometimes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was thinking, rather than review this book, I would sing karaoke-style to "Total Eclipse of the Heart" by Bonnie Tyler, because I think it evokes pretty much the same... Read morePublished 23 days ago by Robert M.
I love Bujold's entire Vorkosigan series, and this is one of the better ones. It features Cordelia Vorkosigan, who is above all others the fictional character I would most like to... Read morePublished 27 days ago by J. Singer
A good story, well written. Held my attention well, I have gone on to the next book to see how the story continues.Published 1 month ago by Chas B Lindemann
A good sci-fi novel that many have found captivating and for good reason. A mix of action, mystery,fantasy and romance set in a excellent fictional setting.Published 2 months ago by airbus1094
The characters seemed a little flat. Not a bad book, but not great either.Published 3 months ago by hfjordan
I'm going to post the same review for the entire Vorkosigan saga. MANY years ago (shudder to think - we only had books made of paper) I was stuck at an airport with nothing to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by book guy
This is an adventure book with a female heroine. All the characters a complex. The plot is fascinating. I'm sure they're much better reviews of this book on Amazon. Read morePublished 3 months ago by S. Woodyard