Shards of Honor (Vorkosigan Saga) by Lois McMaster Bujold
My friends L and M recommended the Vorkosigan Saga to me a few years back, and I finally got around to reading it this year. I’m not always a huge fan of fantasy or science fiction, but I take my friends’ recommendations seriously, and I enjoy a good story. While the first novel, Shards of Honor, was not my absolute favorite science fiction story, it was engaging, unusual, and interesting. I’ll be curious to see how the rest of the books develop the world.
This novel, which Bujold published first, is actually a prequel of sorts to her series about Miles Vorkosigan. It actually focuses on the meeting of his parents, Cordelia Naismith and Aral Vorkosigan. Cordelia is from Beta Colony and has been sent on a survey mission to a neighboring planet, where her crew is killed or captured by a Barrayan ship. She finds herself in Barrayan Aral’s captivity, but they quickly grow to a mutual respect and understanding, one which could turn into something stronger. And yet, the conflict between their nations rages on. It is up to Cordelia and Aral to determine their future, and that of their respective countries.
I think that Bujold writes a solid story. The characters are well fleshed out, and you feel compassion for multiple people at once. You also get a sense of motivation, which makes the story even more compelling. I do think a weakness of the craft/storytelling comes in with the worldbuilding. I couldn’t always tell what the “rules” of the world were, or how the universe worked. I wonder if that’s something we explore in future books. Either way, it was an enjoyable book. I look forward to seeing where the series will go next. A solid 3.5 stars.