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Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) #7)

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4.3 of 5 stars 4.30  ·  rating details  ·  14,305 ratings  ·  413 reviews
Second novel in the popular SF Vorkosigan series. Cordelia Naismith has deserted her home planet and a career in astrocartography for her husband Aral Vorkosigan, who has just been appointed Regent of Barrayar by the dying Emperor. As Lord and Lady Vorkosigan, they struggle to establish stability in a fragile government thrown into confusion by the transition of power. Whe ...more
Published by Fictionwise.com (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
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
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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
Clouds

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
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Jim
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
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Stephen
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
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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
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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
Kathleen
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,
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Melinda
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!
Trice
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
Lightreads
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
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new_user
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
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Jack
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
...more
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.
Becky
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
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Nathan
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,
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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
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Andrea
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
...more
Kent
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
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Nikki
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
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Kathi
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
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Valerie
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
...more
Jaylia3
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
...more
Lee
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
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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.
Andreas
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
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Mei-Lu
Barryar is chronologically the second Vorkosigan novel. I love Lois McMaster Bujold's Chalion books and I've been hearing about how great the Vorkosigan novels are. They follow the adventures of main character Miles Vorkosigan, who is an unconventional hero in a futuristic world. Supposedly, you can read the Vorkosigan novels out of sequence, but I read one and felt I was missing references. So I ordered Shards of Honor through my local library. Not only is Shards of Honor the first Vorkosigan b ...more
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Sci Fi Aficionados: Barrayar 37 71 Jun 19, 2014 02:01PM  
Romance Lovers fo...: Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold 74 24 Jul 30, 2013 12:56PM  
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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
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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)
The Curse of Chalion (Chalion, #1) The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2) Paladin of Souls (Chalion, #2) Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1) The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga, #6)

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