Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Barrayar” as Want to Read:
Blank 133x176
Lois McMaster Bujold
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) #7)

4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  15,476 ratings  ·  456 reviews
With this second book in the Vorkosigan series the former space ship captain Cordelia Naismith marries her former enemy, Admiral Lord Aral Vorkosigan, and lives with him in aristocratic splendour and danger on his home planet of Barrayar.

It is a difficult time, the old emperor is dying, and a bloody civil war over the succession occurs. Cordelia is the protagonist of this
Published by ZETA (first published 1991)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Barrayar, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Barrayar

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
many thanks to eh and elizabeth etc, because i would never never never have read a book with a cover like this, but i did it for youse, and it has been wonderful, really.

but so if i am understanding this correctly (and i hope that i am not) ms. bujold created one of the most interesting and likable-while-still-being-flawed characters ever and then abandoned her to write books about this character's son?? and all the rest are about him??

so lame.

because i loved this book. i love cordelia. i love
mark monday
Barrayar continues and completes the story of former survey ship captain Cordelia Naismith and her husband Aral Vorkosigan, Regent of Barrayar. it is pretty enjoyable. is Bujold becoming one of my favorite scifi authors? i'm surprised at that realization. her style is not particularly striking, often rather plain and unadorned. i don't usually gravitate to those sorts of writers - the straightforward ones. but her themes, her careful way with characterization, her undramatic recognition of the c ...more

Christmas 2010: I realised that I had got stuck in a rut. I was re-reading old favourites again and again, waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works. Something had to be done.

On the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge, to read every book to have won the Locus Sci-Fi award. That’s 35 books, 6 of which I’d previously read, leaving 29 titles by 14 authors who were new to me.

While working through this reading list I got married, went on my honeymoon, switched career and became
Znaci wow. Odlicna knjiga, mnogo bolja nego ocekivano. Mnogo bolja nego prethodna. Prica kao prica je dobta mada nista posebno ali zato likovi i nacin na koji su prezentovani je savrsen. Drze paznju, dobri da za njih navijas, losi da ih mrzis. Isto tako niko nije savrsen, dobri prave greske, nekada i glupe, losi momci i nisu tolko losi kolko su vodjeni drugom ideologijom i kulturom u kojoj su odrasli. Nije sve suvese crno/belo ima i sivog.

Nacin pisanja je takav da me,a dosade, prica te stalno vu
Wow! Absolutely wonderful as an audio book & the story was much tighter than the previous one.More great history & expanding internal politics of Barrayar. A lot of tough decisions & some remarkable adventure. There are also some shining moments, especially by Cordelia.

Two of the things I loved; Cordelia goes off & completes her own adventure much to Aral's dismay & delight. He tells her not to do that to him again. She simply tells him to make sure she doesn't have to again
4.0 to 4.5 stars. I started reading the Vorkosigan Saga in chronological order (rather then publication order) with the first "Miles" story, The Warrior's Apprentice. I have gooten around to focusing on the first two books in the Saga and I must say that I really liked this one. I have always been a fan of Miles' mother, Cordelia, and she really shines in this story.

Opening right after the events in Shards of Honour (which I still need to read), Cordelia, who has recently married Aral Vorkosiga
David Sven
Barrayar is the sequel to Shards of Honour. As much as I enjoyed the first book, Barrayar is noticeably more polished.

There are no space battles this time round, but the political intrigue is really ramped up in the first half of the book as Aral and Cordelia Vorkosigan find themselves in the role of Regent of the Barrayan empire and protectors of the child emperor Gregor. The death of the former Emperor Ezar leaves a power vacuum that threatens to tear the planet as well as the new Vorkosigan
Ben Babcock
Immediately after finishing Shards of Honour , I jumped into Barrayar with gusto. I’d say this is the payoff to Shards of Honour, but that might give you the wrong idea. Both novels are good—but this is where it gets really interesting. Cordelia has married Aral Vorkosigan and left everything she knows behind to live with him on Barrayar, capital planet of the interstellar empire of the same name. Things are complicated: she’s pregnant and has very progressive ideas about raising kids; Aral get ...more
4.5 stars — it's even better on the second go-round. Chronologically, book two in this nicely-paced, militaristic space opera / romance, set centuries in the future on planets peopled by various descendants of Earth (two planets are Barrayar and Beta). I liked this book more than Shards of Honour. In sum, Cordelia and Aral Vorkosigan take no prisoners, protecting their marriage, their unborn son, and the empire.

Plot, major spoilers hidden: At the end of book one, Cordelia and Aral married. Now,
Apr 13, 2008 Melinda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: moms
My dh went to Iraq, I was expecting, and in the course of events I found this book at a thrift store. It is amazing. I found it life-sustaining at a time when I really, really needed help. I can keep going!
I don't even know what to tell you. This was perfect. Somehow Bujold takes my breath away. In the midst of all the madness, Cordelia makes me want to be more than I am. And the really beautiful thing is I think I could be, and she makes me believe that too.
Once again I feel like I have too many angles and thoughts to write this review, but I learned last time that waiting to do it doesn't make it any easier to do.

The best I can do is to tell you that thinking about this book is like looking in
Jack "Books & Bikes"
While I had read Shards of Honor for a book club discussion (and enjoyed it immensely), Barrayar was something I wanted to read of my own volition. It wasn't up for discussion, even if we did toss out a few tidbits here and there, but I really wanted to see how the story of Cordelia and Aral progressed.

Barrayar was written later on in Bujold's writing career, even though it's a direct sequel to Shards of Honor, and the jump in quality is immediately apparent. This is, in every way, a superior no
July 18-21, 2011 listen: this time around it really struck me how similar Miles' modus operandi regarding authority, getting things done, and working around realities really comes from Cordelia. Don't know why I didn't see that before. Is it just because we're looking at events from Cordelia's perspective? No, I don't think so. I can see Aral looking at Cordelia and saying something similar to Miles' comment on Ekaterin, like "I love effective women" (somehow that's not quite right, but I can't ...more
Sequel to Shards of Honor. Aral becomes regent, Cordelia becomes pregnant, and a civil war and personal violence threaten both.

Hmm. Yeah, okay, this one stands up much better than the prequel. Which, duh, she wrote it much later. This is one of those books where I think my ambivalence is personal rather than literary. This is a book about the price of parenthood – it's bursting with interlocked parental/child constellations, each revolving to different drums – and while I appreciate it as a nar
Ninety-two must have been a bad year in scifi-- or else, ninety-one was an especially good one because I think I might have chosen Shards of Honor over Barrayar for the Hugo. Granted, Barrayar was more sprawling and ambitious -a coup in the palace!- but Shards had more emotional appeal for me.

I liked both characters better in Shards. Cordelia was not forever condescending to the Barrayarans. Realistic, perhaps, to point out Cordelia's difficulties in adjusting to Barrayar. Some immigrants never
Angela James
Loved this--so much more than Shards of Honor. I felt it was much deeper and more dramatic, with a lot more emotional tension. In this one, I particularly warmed up to Cordelia and was glad to see her suffer both insecurities and doubts, go a little mad from all of the strain, but then also rise to her challenges.
Fantasy Review Barn

Minor spoilers of Shards of Honor are possible, you have been warned.

Wow, what a wonderful book. This just blows its predecessor out of the water. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed Shards of Honor quite a bit. (And I realize that technically this is not the second book of the series, but it was packaged this way in my omnibus and who am I to argue?) I thought Bujold’s first book was full of heart, with a protagonist that quickly was proving to be a favorite. It was a page turner,
Although Barrayar is strictly classed as the seventh in the Vorkosigan Saga series, it’s the second chronologically and follows directly on from Shards of Honor, which I recently read and loved.

This time around our leads, Cordelia and Aral, have married and are living peacefully at Aral’s home on the planet Barrayar. The peace is soon shattered, however.

Again, like in Shards, Bujold builds the tension in the plot beautifully. I’ll try not to spoil, but let me just say there are cliffhangers gal
Charlie George
Bujold's return to form. Terrific characterization and finale. I am still as conflicted about the lack of action as I was after my first Bujold book way back in the early mists of time (6 months ago). A blessing and a curse--great that her characters are clever enough to diffuse a fight, but that leaves me without my fix!

This was written ~5 novels later than the previous (first) novel in the Vorkosigan series, Shards of Honor, and it shows. The afterward explained that in fact Shards of Honor wa
This book is a "fill in the gap", and shows it a little in its structure. Bujold wrote "Shards of Honor" and then went on to write "The Warrior's Apprentice" and other books, then later went back and wrote "Barrayar" to complete the 'arc' of Aral and Cordelia's romance with the birth of Miles.

Cordelia Naismith, having many reservations about Barrayar's backward warrior culture, has come to the planet and married Aral Vorkosigan, a retired soldier with a chequered past planning a quiet life with
I live 90 minutes away from where I work. My commute involves a minibus, 2 MTR lines (Hong Kong's subway), and a company shuttle. I don't usually mind the trip so much, however, because of audiobooks. Print books make me queasy and they don't work with a packed metro car, but audiobooks are lovely ear-ambrosia for the weary traveler.

Recently I've been diluting my literary commutes by playing some iPhone games for work (I make games hooray) while I listen to books for pleasure. Some books don't
It goes against all logic that I don't love this book. All my friends love it and have pressed it upon me at all opportunities. It sounds like something I should adore. But Shards of Honour didn't get its claws into me, and I have to say, nor did Barrayar. It felt like a chore for me to read -- there were bits I enjoyed, like Cordelia's put-downs of people who sneered at Koudelka (clearly set-up for what happens to Miles), or the relationship between her and Aral.

But. Maybe this is a fault in me
This book really is "the rest of the story" of Shards of Honour. The main characters, Cordelia and Aral, are more fully developed and their relationship is more nuanced. The other central characters, Piotr, Drou, and Kou, really come to life. I found the history and culture of Barrayar to be more developed as well, and that helps with understanding the characters' attitudes and actions.

I'm looking forward to getting to know Miles as I read more of this series, but I will miss Cordelia and Aral a
I can't quite put my finger on exactly what it is that I love about the Vorkosigan books, but the author has completely drawn me into this world.

I think a big part of my enjoyment is the clash of the traditional values of old Barrayar versus the enlightened Beta Colony perspective of Cordelia and, in turn, her husband. I have to be honest, typically I have no interest in a book that dedicates so much time to a woman trying to saver her baby. However, just as the first book used the love story be
This is the second space opera for grown-ups featuring intelligent, capable, determined Cordelia Naismith, now Lady Vorkosigan since her marriage to aging warrior Aral Vorkosigan, and after all the multi-planet craziness of Shards of Honor it looks like Cordelia and Aral have finally been able to extricate themselves from government and military responsibilities enough to relax, semi-retire, and start a family. But of course that nice, quiet state of affairs doesn’t last.

Not long after Cordelia
Susan Marie
Re-reading the whole Vorkosigan series in a big comfort-reading binge; I had somehow, stupidly, not expected that Cordelia's worries over pregnancy and little Miles's health would hit me quite so hard. Me, with a ten-day-old baby at home. Go figure.
Shanshad Whelan
Fun. Exactly what I expected it to be--adventure, space opera (planetside), romance and humor. Nice light reading and pleasure to finally get to read some of the earlier Vorkosigan stories. Yay for Swaptree! A nice break in a stressful week.
Tudor Ciocarlie
A fascinating, fast-paced, gripping novel about motherhood and human nature.
First half quite boring political scheming with only one half-hearted assassination attempt and Cornelia not being herself. Second half ist non-stop action and Cornelia as we know her from Shards of Honour.
I don't enjoy Barrayaranian culture and the diverse domestic political maneuvers - it feels like 19th century imperial and royal Austria with all its drunk hierarchical militarism.
Style and tone of the first half where a letdown in comparison to the first novel.
Bujold's warm characterization
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Sci Fi Aficionados: Barrayar 37 74 Jun 19, 2014 02:01PM  
Romance Lovers fo...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold 74 29 Jul 30, 2013 12:56PM  
  • Cyteen (Cyteen #1-3)
  • Local Custom (Liaden Universe, #5)
  • They'd Rather Be Right
  • The Snow Queen (The Snow Queen Cycle, #1)
  • Dreamsnake
  • The Wanderer
  • Marque and Reprisal (Vatta's War, #2)
  • The Mule: From Foundation And Empire
  • The Shadow of Saganami (Honorverse: Saganami Island #1)
  • The Uplift War (The Uplift Saga, #3)
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.

Her fantasy from HarperCollins includes the award-winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife tetralogy; her science fiction from Baen Books features the perennially bestse
More about Lois McMaster Bujold...

Other Books in the Series

Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1)
  • The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2)
  • Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan Saga, #3)
  • Falling Free (Vorkosigan Saga, #4)
  • Brothers in Arms (Vorkosigan Saga, #5)
  • The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga, #6)
  • Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga, #8)
  • Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga, #9)
  • Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10)
  • Komarr (Vorkosigan Saga, #11)

Share This Book

“My home is not a place, it is people.” 96 likes
“But pain... seems to me an insufficient reason not to embrace life. Being dead is quite painless. Pain, like time, is going to come on regardless. Question is, what glorious moments can you win from life in addition to the pain?” 82 likes
More quotes…