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Barrayar [Mass Market Paperback]

Lois McMaster Bujold
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 April 1995
Following her marriage to the notorious 'Butcher of Komarr', Lord Aral Vorkosigan, Captain Cordelia Naismith has become an outcast on her own world. Sick of combat and betrayal, she is ready to settle down to a quiet life on Barrayar, interrupted only by the occasional ceremonial appearances required of the Lady Vorkosigan. At least, that was the plan...With the death of the emperor, Aral has become Regent for the infant heir to the throne of Barrayar, thus making him - and his family - a target for traitors and malcontents. It takes but one lapse in the constant, deadly game of palace intrigue for things to go terribly wrong. An assassination attempt on the young emperor fails but the poison gas used does find a victim: the pregnant Cordelia. The Lady Vorkosigan herself is unharmed, but the gas seriously affects the growth and development of their unborn child, Miles. Irreparable cell-damage means that the heir to House Vorkosigan is born with bones that are, and will always be, unnaturally brittle, and he will never stand taller than his mother's shoulder. But what he lacks in strength, the young Miles more than makes up for in spirit. Neither Aral nor Cordelia could possibly guess the part their fragile son is destined to play in the future of the empire...
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall & IBD; Reissue edition (1 April 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067172083X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671720834
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 10.2 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 367,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Lois McMaster Bujold burst onto the SF scene in 1986 with SHARDS OF HONOUR, closely followed by BARRAYAR, and THE WARRIOR'S APPRENTICE, which introduced the physically handicapped military genius, Miles Vorkosigan. Since then she has won four Hugo Awards and two Nebulas. The mother of two, Bujold lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Science Fiction on a Personal Level 17 Dec 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Barrayar follows on immediately from Bujold's earlier Shards of Honor, and continues the trials and tribulations of Cordelia Vorkosigan (nee Naismith) and her new husband Aral, suddenly-appointed regent of the eponymous world.

We follow Cordelia as she struggles to adjust to Aral's new responsibilities, her own unique place in Barrayaran society, and the beginnings of her pregnancy with their first child. Barrayar is far different from her own home, with a strictly stratified class structure, extreme notions of war and honour and a resistance to change.

Not all of Barrayar is happy with Aral's appointment, nor his proposed reforms, and soon the story shifts to encompass both political intrigue and the threat of violence. A midstory event (which I won't spoil here) changes everything, and soon Cordelia must risk everything to save what she cares about.

This book is beautifully written, with Bujold giving each character their own distinct voice and motivations. She is equally adept with moving character scenes and tense action sequences.

Cordelia in particular is probably the most human character I have read in a SF book in a long time. She is sympathetic throughout, as she deals with an antagonistic father-in-law, the romantic frustrations of her friends/staff and the turmoil of the disturbed armsman Bothari.

I haven't gone into too much detail on the twists and turns of the plot, because part of the enjoyment comes with the surprises the book throws up. But I would heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoyed Shards of Honor, or indeed anyone who enjoys their science fiction with humanity, thoughtfulness and wit.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The book (without giving away too much in the way of spoilers!): second instalment in the Vorkosigan saga: Cordelia, offworlder, has married Aral Vorkosigan and settles into a quiet estate life - when Aral gets saddled with an important task by the Emperor. Before she knows it Cordelia is leading a high-profile Barrayar life, still astounded by quaint and plain weird Barrayaran customs - and making her imprint, too. What she cannot change is the bloody revolution the Vorkosigan family becomes embroiled in, and she and her unborn child become important pawns in the highest of political stakes.

The author: Lois McMaster Bujold has written several series of books (including the Vorkosigan Saga, of which is the second part, and consisting of a series of full-length books as well as short stories) and several stand-alone novels. She has won the Hugo four times, as well as the Nebula twice, the Mythopoeic Award, the World Fantasy Award, and recently the Skylark Award.

My opinion: Bujold can write like a dream, and this is another example of her class. I am a sucker for her style, her imagination, and her personalities: vivid, fully three-dimensional, many things implied and not spelled out completely; humor, love, and a consistent Universe (well, kind of anyway). She writes with *feeling*, with soul; and manages to convey that so you feel a lot of the personalities' grief, fury, fear and joy. She can bring tears to my eyes, too - a rare writer.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Accolades 22 Oct 2013
By brumeux
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A work, by a master of words and feelings. Bujold pulls you in and holds you rapt from first to last word. Every Vorkosigan book does it to you. Shards of Honor preceeds Barrayar and is a must, both should be read before the remaining books about Miles Vorkosigan.
Each book can and does stand alone, but, once you are hooked, and you WILL be, you will want to read them in order.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, cracking read. 16 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I came to the brilliantly plotted Lois Mcmaster Bujold universe through a complement to her clear, wonderfully vibrant prose.
That is apparent as soon as you start reading (start with Shards of Honour)
You will not be able to stop reading until you have read them all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant 26 Dec 2010
I love everything about the Miles Vorkosigan series and this prelude tells the story of Miles' birth and the events that lead to his unusual development. Fantastic.Barrayar (Vorkosigan)Barrayar (Vorkosigan)
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