Shards of Honor (Vorkosigan Saga)

Shards of Honor (Vorkosigan Saga)

by Lois McMaster Bujold

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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 survive countless mishaps while their mutual admiration and even stronger feelings emerge. A science fiction romance by a Hugo and Nebula Award winning master.

Bujold's SHARDS OF HONOR is the first book in her SF universe to feature the Vorkosigan clan, followed by the Hugo award-winning BARRAYAR. The Nebula award-winning FALLING FREE precedes it by internal chronology in the same future history.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014120999
Publisher: Spectrum Literary Agency, Inc.
Publication date: 04/09/2012
Series: Vorkosigan Saga
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 46,488
File size: 662 KB

About the Author

Lois McMaster Bujold was born in 1949, the daughter of an engineering professor at Ohio State University, from whom she picked up her early interest in science fiction. She now lives in Minneapolis, and has two grown children. She began writing with the aim of professional publication in 1982. She wrote three novels in three years; in October of 1985, all three sold to Baen Books, launching her career. Bujold went on to write many other books for Baen, mostly featuring her popular character Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, his family, friends, and enemies. Her books have been translated into over twenty languages. Her fantasy from Eos includes the award-winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife series.

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Shards of Honor (Vorkosigan Saga) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 30 reviews.
Patokagwp More than 1 year ago
This is a book that I bought ages ago in hard copy. And I am excited to have it on my Nook. It is a book that appeals to those who honor strength, honesty, dedication and duty. It explores how honorable people choose how to respect the gift of finding love and try to find a way for it to succeed. It is a palate cleansing tale where both parties want to be together and due to the circumstances of their careers, their planets, must put personal preferences on the back burner until they can find a way to satisfy their honor and duty. Neither party wants to quit their life path and both would love to find a way to be together. This is a story where you do not want to skip a single paragraph. It is a story that you do not want to see end. It is a story that grows dearer as you age, because it is about love happening to two people who have more or less given up. One line stands out. "when did she stop being afraid of him and afraid for him..." And it goes on to say how it was worse to be afraid for him. Anyone who appreciates a military career will appreciate the choices. How realistic is this? I do not want to know. I just know that while I am in the midst of this story, I want to believe in it and the characters. Thank you for putting it in the eformat, so that I will always have it.
AstraCB More than 1 year ago
A great book by a great author. If you haven't discovered Lois McMastet Bujold yet, this is a great place to start. Bujold is equally strong in creating plot, character in a unique and inventive futuristic universe.
Anonymous 6 months ago
This story has interesting characters and unexpected twists.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
sleahey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This early novelette in the Vorkosigan series sets the stage for what comes later. Cordelia and Aral, the parents of Miles Vorkosigan, meet as enemies in this adventure tale, fall in love as captor and prisoner, and then get married. Many of the later characters are introduced or explained here, but this also stands alone.
Archren on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cordelia is the unlikely hero of ¿Shards of Honor.¿ Taken prisoner after a Barrayan raid on the planet she was scouting, she falls in love with her ¿captor,¿ a Barrayan captain named Vorkosigan (not *that* Vorkosigan) who had been more or less shot in the back by his comrades. Part of their strong mutual attraction stems from their commitment to honor and duty, and their respect for each other is not dimmed when she escapes back to her own territory. After a declared hostile war between their two nations and several unlikely coincidences, they finally can have a kiss and live happily ever after. At least until the sequel (¿Barrayar¿), which I¿m looking forward to getting. In addition to that main story, there is political maneuvering and space adventure. It¿s a space opera with a romantic core, played out by people who would otherwise seem to be anti-romantics. In fact, one of her comrades insists Cordelia¿s story must be false, since who could imagine a middle-aged middle-ranked woman becoming the love of an enemy commander¿s life? Too improbable for words, yet Bujold completely sells it. There is a lovely theme running through this of ¿common wisdom¿ being wrong. Most people think that Vorkosigan is a bloodthirsty killer, which is in no way true. Other Barrayans committed acts that went against his promises. They come to believe that Cordelia must have suffered intensely at the hands of such a horrible man, and when she protests, they simply assume that she must be ¿repressing¿ the trauma. The story is told with lovely prose, and great pace, and a good sense of humor. Cordelia is the sort of rock-solid, competent and sympathetic heroine that is a lot of fun to read about. The only false note is to wonder why exactly she is still in the middle ranks when she acts like a born commander. Also, don¿t think too hard about the coincidences needed to get Cordelia and her soul mate together. Just enjoy the ride.
cmbohn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A friend recommended some sci-fi writers recently, and I think this was one of them. I found that this was her first book, so I decided to start here. (Incidentally, I was happy to see that the book was dedicated to one of my favorite children's authors, Patricia C. Wrede.About the book - Captain Cordelia Naismith and Adal Vorkosigan are sort of stranded together on an unexplored planet. Their countries are not officially at war, but unofficially, they are on opposite sides. But they work together and fall in love. And there's some cool sci-fi stuff in there, weird aliens creatures, and a bunch of politics I didn't care much about. One really nasty bad guy, and then a happy ending.It sounds like I'm complaining, but it was a pretty fun book. Not super compelling, and sometimes confusing, but I liked the two main characters. I've heard this is not her best, so I think I will give her another chance before I make up my mind.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Shards of Honor is Bujold's first novel, and I think it shows. Her later works are stronger in every particular. I wouldn't have been very impressed had this been the first work of hers I'd ever read. Which is not to say this book is bad--I found it entertaining throughout, and I went on to read every Vorkosigan story I could get a hold of, and found it just got better and better. This first book tells the story of how Cordelia Naismith and Aral Vorkosigan met. Cordelia is a commander of a scientific survey from Beta--a world I'd describe as liberal/progressive in contemporary terms. An egalitarian, democratic pacifistic welfare state, as we learn in a later novel, girls at 14 get their ears pierced, their hymen surgically removed and a contraceptive device implanted in one office visit. Babies are born through artificial wombs that protect the child from conception to birth and free women from pregnancy and childbirth.In contrast, Aral Vorkosigan is from the aristocracy of the warrior culture of Barrayar--Beta's enemy and in many ways the opposite of that culture. It's the kind of culture which would euthanize anyone with congenital defects or who becomes severely handicapped and highly values discipline and obedience.The reason they meet is that his own crew mutinies and attacks Cordelia's crew down on the planet. Vorkosigan makes Cordelia his prisoner, and she gives her parole and offers to help him if he'll help her get her injured crewman to medical help. They find they both share a sense of honor that gives them more in common than they would have suspected. The novel is a entertaining mix of romance and adventure.
thombr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this and Barrayar after having read the rest of the series. What fun! I really enjoyed finding Miles' mannerisms evident in his mom and dad. I'm not sure I would have caught the inheritance without having Miles' behavior ingrained from all the subsequent books.
Neale on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Audio book review - being a fan of LMB's later fantasy work I was keen to listen to some earlier sci-fi. The reviews were all good for this audio book but I can't agree. The dialog was stilted, you couldn't get into the characters the story was all over the place and didn't flow - I can't see how a long series was started from this. I love sci-fi but this was only average.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Cordelia Naismith, like all inhabitants of Beta Colony, has heard the reputation of the Barrayaran military: efficient, soulless, and ruthlessly brutal. So when the base camp of her Astonomical Survey team is destroyed, and she is taken prisoner by Barrayaran Captain Aral Vorkosigan, the Butcher of Komarr, she has more than a little reason to worry. However, as the two make their way back to his ship, she begins to discover that reputations are not always all they¿re cracked up to be, and that the man behind the rumors is very different from what she¿d expected: a brilliant military strategist, yes, but also humane, loyal, and honorable.Although she¿s officially a prisoner ¿ Barrayar and Beta Colony are at war, after all ¿ Naismith is treated more like a guest¿ at least when she¿s under Vorkosigan¿s command. As the war progresses, she begins to return his respect, and even his love, but her feelings are not without their cost: even once she¿s repatriated, how can she go back to a world where everyone believes the man she loves is a war criminal? But, then again, how could she, a free-thinking, liberated Betan, make a life for herself on the rigid, political world of Barrayar?Review: Far be it from me to judge a book by its cover, but based on surface characteristics, I probably shouldn't have liked this novel. First, it's sci-fi (and more particularly, sci-fi on spaceships), a genre that I heartily enjoy on TV but have had only middling luck with in book form. Second, it's focused on the military, and again, while military/political strategy and big battles are fine on film, it's something that tends to put me off in books. So, a book that, on its surface, seems to be about military strategizing in space should have had me running for the hills. But I'd read Bujold's Chalion books (which are fantasy, my preferred genre of speculative fiction), and I trusted her enough as an author to pull an interesting story out from the depths of the spacefights, and, lo and behold, I was not disappointed.Shards of Honor is sci-fi, but it¿s character-driven sci-fi. The technology is not the point of the story; you could replace all of the ray guns with swords and the spaceships with boats, and the novel would work just as well as a medieval fantasy. That¿s because it¿s not about the spaceships, it¿s about the people, and Bujold does an excellent job of creating rich, multi-dimensional people who you care about from the first few chapters. It was also incredibly refreshing to read a speculative fiction story with a protagonist who is a mature female. No teenage angst, no desperation to prove oneself, no damsel-in-distress nonsense. Just a woman who knows who she is, what she wants, and what she believes, and is willing (and able) to fight for those things.While the protagonist was enjoyably original, the plot was slightly less so. At first, it seemed like it was going to be a simple star-crossed-lovers storyline, and to a large extent, it was. (No joint suicides here, though; Naismith and Vorkosigan are old enough to know better.) However, Bujold¿s plot does have a few tricks up its sleeve, and while I saw some of the twists coming, a few did effectively throw me for a loop.My biggest problem with the book was that I had a hard time keeping track of the characters - or, rather, a hard time matching characters to names. There are a lot of Barrayaran military personnel, most with a last name that starts with Vor. When they were present in a scene, they were easy to distinguish by personality (oh, that's the friendly helpful one) or by job (right, that one's the spy), and occasionally by voice. However, when a character was off-screen (or dead), and referred to only by name, I had the damnedest time remembering who they'd been... and with an audiobook, it's hard to thumb back through the pages scanning for the proper Vor_____ name.Grover Gardner did do hi
sheherazahde on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Captain Cordelia Naismith of the Betan Expeditionary Force was on a routine survey mission when her team was attacked by a Barrayaran military squad. Captain Aral Vorkosigan of the Barrayaran Imperial Navy has his own problems having been left for dead by traitors in his own crew. Together they have to survive on an unexplored planet and try to make it out alive. If you are following the "Vorkosigan Saga" this is the story of how Miles Vorkosigan's parents met. If you have never heard of the "Vorkosigan Saga" this is a great place to start. A fun little adventure story.
love2laf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great start to the series, I'm rereading them in chronological order, not in published order. Sparse, tight, and well done.
michaelcruse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bujold's first book - introduces Cordelia Naismith and Aral Vorkosigan
TadAD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Based upon an argument (outside LT), I decided to re-read the bulk of Bujold's Vorkosigan books in roughly series order; Shards of Honor is first up. I first read this book about 20 years ago and remembered thinking it wasn't the most shining component of the series. Unfortunately, a re-read has done nothing to change that opinion¿if anything, it has made it stronger. It's one of her earlier works and it shows.This book introduces us to Cordelia Naismith and Aral Vorkosigan, the eventual parents of the main character of the series, Miles Vorkosigan. The plot is pretty simple. Their planets are going to war with each other; they fall in love; he rescues her from a sadist when she's captured; once repatriated, she realizes she doesn't fit into her own world anymore; they get married. If that seems a bit simplistic it's because going into it any further exposes how trite and slight the plot really is.Just as an example: the book opens with his troops attacking her non-combatant exploration party on a neutral world, killing one of her friends and almost killing her; she recovers consciousness as his prisoner. Nonetheless, 30 pages into the book she's eyeing him thinking, "Even if the shape of his square strong hands was a dream¿" Wow, Stockholm Syndrome on steroids! Of course, in this, she's way behind him since he later confesses he fell for her when he first found her lying unconscious in a gully.At this point in the series, the world-building is extremely sketchy, the writing a bit stiff, and the characters quite flat. Though his series later falls off, Weber did the introduction of a strong female lead much better in his Honor Harrington books. Basically, this introduces the universe and a couple of the characters to the reader.This is not the book to start with if you want to see what this popular series is about (unless you're re-reading). Barrayar, which won the Hugo, is probably the right point and, coincidentally, is up next.
FrozenFlame22 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first time I read this book and came across the name "Vorkosigan", I was frustrated with trying to sound out the name and gave up thinking that it's probably a minor character anyway. Ha! This is the first book to one of my most beloved series of books. As I become older and closer to the age of the principle characters, I appreciate this story more and more with each reading. I find it especially remarkable that despite the book being written in the 80s, the technology is still entirely believable.
reading_fox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Officially not quite the start of the Miles Vorkosigan saga, this of course doesn't feature him at all, and is instead the story of one Cordelia Naismith, and her finding an attachment to Aral Vorkosigan. It's a great easy reading introduction to space opera lite, and perfectly readable as a standalone without the rest of the series.Cordelia is a Survey Commander explorng a new planet when she returns from a fieldtrip to find her basecamp in ruins. She also manages to find one of the 'invaders' who was left behind by his crew. He turns out to know the location of a supply cache, She is obviously not initially impressed with him, but over the course of their wilderness trek they learn about each other's societies. On both sides various misconceptions are explained away, however when they reach the supply cache, matters turn more serious. There' a couple of big timeline jumps as action in the wider universe moves on without our heros being involved. But it all hanfs togther quite well. The first person POV helps to keep it current, without the confusing character jumps that some authors employ. The action whips along,carried by dialog between Aral and Cordelia. There's no particular emphasis on technology, a few of the usual assumptions are made - wormholes for FTL, and various medical scanners. Some of the background politics is a little confusing when it's not quite clear how galaxy of humans is being organised - but it does resolve somewhat in due course. There are no wider thoughts or paralells drawn to contemporary society. Cordelia is well described, and although we only see Aral through her eyes, he too comes across sympathetically - although I feel that many of the problems he hs with his 'honour' could have been more clearly elaborated. However none of the supporting characters manage much more than cardboard status.It's fast, fun and enjoyable light sf fluff. Don't expect anything more from it, and it is one of the prime examples in the genre.
TheDivineOomba on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Out of the first three Vorgosagin books (Ethan of Athos, Shards of Honor, and the Warrior's Apprentice), this is my favorite one. We have Cordelia, a simple captain on assignment to survey a new planet. When her camp is ambushed and destroyed, Cordelia must trust her enemy to get her out of a bad situation. What I like about this book is that Cordelia is a very strong woman. Many authors go for strong, but end up with Whiny females that end up grating. Also, Lord Vorkosigan is a very worthy man, the romance makes sense, and both characters act like the people they are portrayed to be.I liked the plot, it made sense, although much of the bad characters blended in to each other and I lost who was who. I didn't like the ending. The psychiatry was heavy handed and didn't match the culture described in the book. I'd rather see more of a focus on the media. It's a fun romp, simply written but strong. I like the characters, I like the universe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Outstanding! A Sci fi romance between a woman & man that are older than the usual 30 & younger. Cordelia who is in her late 30's & Aral, in his forties, have dedicated their lives to serving their respective governments who are at odds with one another. This are two people who have seen, suffered, made horrible decisions but still believe in honor & humanness. 1
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Author Lois McMaster Bujold is not only at the top of her game as a writer of this series, she obviously understands war, leadership, and death with a depth of wisdom only given to those who know a lot about life and loss. I highly recommend not only this novel, but the rest of the series, too.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this story years ago and became totally hooked on the Vorkosigan Saga, waiting each year for the next book to come out. For a light SciFi read it also raises some interesting questions about honor in wartime, and how the glare of publicity can damage good and heroic people.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nice SF novel that takes the Russian/Soviet paranoia into the future. Superbly done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fantastic book. Now I have to read the series.
ramore More than 1 year ago
4.5 Stars! A man and a women from worlds in opposition. In their initial meeting, stranded on a survey world, Lord Aral Vorkosigan and Captain Cordelia Naismith are are obliged to work together to survive. Their circumstances allow them to see each other as more than enemies. But after they return to their own worlds, the war continues. Cordelia goes back to being a scientist while Aral is enmeshed in the politics of an empire who's leadership is in turmoil. But as fate would have it, they are reunited just before the determinative battle of the war. Shards of Honor is part romance and part action. On the romance side, Aral and Cordelia are characters that are rare in today's novels - mature adults. They have already lived a full lives and have true experiences to draw. Watching the romance develop between two commonsensical people such as Aral and Cordelia was half the enjoyment. Also key to enjoyment was witnessing Aral and Cordelia maintain their own honor in the face of much contention. Aral experiences turmoil when he contrives to end the war, save lives and salvage the Empire - in a most unpatriotic way. After the war, Cordelia's own world brands Aral a butcher. She struggles to get back to her routine while she remains true to Aral, who she has come to love and respect. In this book, the writing is informal, yet direct and not overrun with descriptive paragraphs. Most of the exposition is done via smart dialog. After I had finished the book, I realized there was no language that one could consider offensive. First published in 1986, I supposed that was more common for the time. I really enjoyed this style of writing. To put it simply, smart characters and a great plot are the basis of a moving story of romance and Shards of Honor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A terrific book.  A wonderful combination of science fiction and romance.  I am not a romance fan and I read this book because it was part of the Vorkosigan series.  And I loved it as a fan of science fiction.  But I was surprised how much I enjoyed the romance. I later found the Vorkosigan series classified in the subgenre "military space opera" - a blend of soap opera and military science fiction - quite right.  This book is worthy of 5 stars and your should ignore the person who gave it one star without any explanation.  I hope B&N would change their policy so that a review (or explantation) would be required with rating a book (especially if the rating a one or five  stars). It's a shame that some people might not consider this book because someone gave it a one star rating.    So don't let the rating deter you. You won't be disappointed by this book. You'll love it.