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Cordelia's Honor (Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) #1&7)

4.36 of 5 stars 4.36  ·  rating details  ·  8,854 ratings  ·  439 reviews
In her first trial by fire, Cordelia Naismith captained a throwaway ship of the Betan Expeditionary Force on a mission to destroy an enemy armada. Discovering deception within deception, treachery within treachery, she was forced into a separate peace with her chief opponent, Lord Aral Vorkosigan - he who was called "The Butcher of Komarr" - and would consequently become a ...more
Paperback, 596 pages
Published September 7th 1999 by Baen (first published 1986)
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Community Reviews

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4.5 Stars

Cordelia's Honor is a fascinating novel, or rather a fascinating omnibus, having been split down the middle. Well not the precise middle but that middle we mortals all mean when we say middle. The middle that's a little to the left. However either way this novel was split into two novels, a sort of conjunctive novel, and as such I will discuss my reaction to the two different stories.

Shards of Honor
4 Stars

This novel flings its readers directly into the action, causing the two roman
Gail Carriger
The precursor to her Vorkosigan saga, this is an omnibus of two books featuring Miles's mother, Cordelia. It is amazingly well written and not only a wonderful sweeping Space Opera but quite romantic and sweet. The first installment is essentially a survival story on an alien world with enemies forced to survive, and uncover treachery, together. The second half is more political as Cordelia, now an outcast from her own culture, enters Vor politics in her own fierce and indomitable way.

Sep 05, 2009 Jon added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: Beyond Reality Book Club Series Miles Vorkosigan
It is a good thing that these two books are joined in one volume. The first book, Shards of Honor is by far the weaker book; however, when taken with Barrayar, it works.

Honor sets the stage by introducing the reader to Aral and Cordelia. These two would be lovers are from different, quasi warring, planets - Barrayar (a.k.a. Sparta) and Beta (a.k.a. Athens). I found Honor to be the weaker novel. The major problem I had was I just didn't by the fact that Aral and Cordelia were in love, deeply in l
Feb 19, 2009 Stephanie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans, Women
Recommended to Stephanie by: Lisa, Idahospud
I like science fiction. I read a lot of it. Cordelia’s Honor, on the surface, seems a standard science fiction novel with just a dash of romance. It has the customary interstellar war, political intrigue, and, of course, high-tech gadgets that we’ve come to expect from our sci-fi. What makes this book special is its title character, Cordelia Naismith.

Cordelia is not the clichéd woman you see in most science fiction. She doesn’t just cling to the arm of her leading man (which would be easy to do,
Let’s all agree on this right up front: the covers of the Vorkosigan Saga books are horrible. Just plain awful. The cover art for anything published by Baen is pretty bad, enough to make even the proud nerds of today cringe and place the book face-down whenever possible to avoid being snickered at. But these covers in particular, with their dramatic poses and odd retro fonts, seem to house a strange breed of quasi-historical space pulp that embodies everything that “serious readers” should avoid ...more
I very much enjoyed these early books in the Vorkosigan saga, despite the fact that there are plenty of new-author moments that occasionally jarred me from the narrative. These human civilizations feel very much designed to showcase the characters rather than showcase the author's world-building. Fortunately, this works very well for these books because the main characters, the titular surveyor-turned-soldier from Beta Colony, Cordelia, and Barrayan soldier-lord Aral Vorkosigan, are utterly enga ...more
Marjorie Friday Baldwin
Sep 22, 2012 Marjorie Friday Baldwin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Romantic SF readers who also like Space Opera - or SF readers who like mysteries in their SF
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (wish I could rate it higher)
Genre: Science Fiction, Space Opera, Romantic SF
My usual type of read? (yes/no) Yes, very much so!
Plot type: epic romance, galactic space war, incredible world-building
I just read this again for something like the 7th time since I first "discovered" the series in December of 2005, so I guess I've read it, on average, once a year for 6 years running. I remain astounded each time I read this book at just how much story Lois has managed to j
Amber Millter
Perhaps it's just the books I've been grabbing lately, but I've had a hard time finding lead female characters I like. They're either whiny, weak, and wishy washy or they're buttkicking Alpha females that make Demi Moore's GI Jane look like a pushover (I don't know many people like that in real life, and the ones I do... I can't stand. I'm not sure why there are so many proliferating the pages of fiction).

Cordelia is a strong competent character without being able to beat the snot out of platoon
Lois McMaster Bujold is an author I have been meaning to read for the longest time, she has won so many major sf awards it is clear that she must be some kind of major talent in the field. However it took me years and years to get around to picking up one off her books simply because the synopsis of her Vorkosigan series never seem all that interesting to me. Fortunately for me Lois has graciously decided to make most of her Vorkosigan books available for FREE in digital formats on her publisher ...more
Just arrived. Thank you, Amazon! I've read each of the novels years ago, probably more than once, and was reminded of them by a recent review. Cordelia and Aral are a good example of an adult couple. Theirs is a grown up romance, as one of my friends said. Here's my favourite quote from Shards of Honour.

They crossed another watercourse. Coming up over the lip of its valley, Cordelia nearly stumbled over a red-coated hexaped, lying quite still in a depression and blending perfectly with its backg
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
D. Jason
This is a collection of two novels which tell a single story, Shards Of Honor and Barrayar.

Shards Of Honor is Bujold's first book and, judged in that light, it's very, very good. Judged against the rest of the Vorkosigan series, however, it comes off less well. The ingredients are there, physical adventure and well-thought out characters bouncing off each other, but they don't jell the way they do even in Bujold's second book, The Warrior's Apprentice (in the Young Miles omnibus).

Cordelia Naism
5 stars for the omnibus edition, because these books really belong together, and because of her insightful afterword. I can tell this will be a volume I re-read multiple times.

4 stars for Shards of Honor
Cordelia is a wonderful character, and watching her relationship with Aral develop is a real pleasure. The contrast between Barryan and Betan world-views is a major element, with the awful price of honor the major theme. My only complaints are that in telling this story, Bujold is a little too e
Jared Millet
Shards of Honor

The first of the Vorkosigan books surprised me by being more of a romance novel than I was expecting, but I don't begrudge it. It was actually refreshing to read a romance plot that didn't fall into the overused "Pride and Prejudice" formula. Bujold doesn't waste any time trying to make us think her heroine despises the hero, and he doesn't waste the whole novel bending heaven and earth to impress her. They both have their own lives and their own problems - namely that they're m
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cordelia is on a planetary expedition when she is taken captive by Lord Vorkosigan. Their unexpected romance brings her to planet Barrayar where politics prove seriously life-threatening to them and their unborn son.

I have long heard that Bujold’s Vorkosigan series was a good series. I knew she wrote “military sf,” which never sounded good to me. But I thought that I should give Bujold a try; so many patrons and friends have mentioned her in glowing terms over the years. In creating a recent Fan
Elijah Spector
Every now and then a certain thing that I haven't yet read, watched, or otherwise experienced at all, will suddenly get itself lodged in my brain by way of a hook that I cannot even identify, and stay there, forcing me to get around to it very soon.

I can't say what it was, beyond the normal "I haven't read any Bujold" thing, that suddenly drew me to the Vorkosigan series, nor what it was that makes me especially interested in the two books combined here, when a lot of people say they're inferior
Jun 04, 2011 Estara rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: character-driven sf who enjoy strong females
Recommended to Estara by: auto-buy author
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cordelia's Honor is, I believe, what the introduction to the Vorkosigan Saga was meant to be - Shards of Honour and Barrayar as one complete story. I can not imagine reading the two, completely separated by numerous other books and short stories, as they are when read in publication order. I am curious as to how either made sense "alone", especially with Shards of Honour being so sparse in its detail and storytelling.

Hardly great literature, but a fun read.

Almost not science fiction. Bujold sets most of his tale(s) on the planet whose "backward" culture and technology reads a lot like contemporary earth, maybe even overlaid with nineteenth century attitudes.
I cannot deny in any way, shape or form that I loved these first two installments of McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan-saga. It really is as good as everyone claims it to be. It's got enough hard Sci-fi in it to not seem fluffy and enough philosophical questions to keep the meta-level interesting. On top of that, it also has a very well paced plot, interesting and compelling characters and a pretty neat character growth as well.

Further, it features something as unusual as a very muted and subtle love
Jun 14, 2011 Alexandra rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Alexandra by: Tehani
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is a wonderful sci-fi book written by a female author featuring a strong female main character. This compendium of two books follows the path of Cordelia Naismith through the story of how she meets her husband and how her son, Miles comes to be. It is a wonderful tale filled with difficult situations, confronted by a (mostly) wonderfully intelligent main character. What is so enjoyable about this story is the human reasoning that the author brings the reader through in each of the character ...more
Jul 08, 2015 Beth is currently reading it
This is an omnibus edition containing two novels.

Shards of Honor (3/5): How long has it been since an author could say their piece in 250 pages or less? Ms. Bujold managed it at least once!

This novel is about a battle over a wormhole--or so you're led to think--and tells the story of a pair of star-crossed lovers.

A lot of Barrayaran names and societal structures are thrown around in this book. Especially when someone or something gets only a paragraph or two, or even worse is only mentioned as a
David King
The first thing I am going to say here is that the book cover is terrible, I would probably put it face down on a table in shame if I was reading it in public and someone walked past. In all honesty, the publisher Baen Books seem to have some pretty diabolical covers but this one has to be one of the worst I have seen. It would probably have put me off picking up the book if it wasn't for the book club which would have been a shame as I found it really enjoyable to read. I just wish that Baen wo ...more
Michael Battaglia
If you're going to start somewhere, I suppose the beginning is a good enough place. Or, in this case, the pre-beginning.

The most famous of Lois McMaster Bujold's series is the Vorkosigan series, mostly focusing on young Miles and his many daring exploits in her future history setting. It's won her a truckload of awards not by being groundbreaking or stylistically daring but simply by being very, very good. It doesn't hurt that she sounds like a decent person, helpfully giving a new readers a clu
Full review:

Cordelia's Honor contains the first two chronological novels in Lois McMaster Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series, Shards of Honor and Barrayar. These books could also be viewed as prequels to the series since they are not actually about the life of Miles but instead tell the story of how his parents met and how Miles came to be disfigured before birth. Shards of Honor is Bujold's first published novel while Barrayar was released 5 years later aft
Katie M.
Nov 12, 2011 Katie M. rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, sci-fi fans, female geeks
People had been recommending the Vorkosigan series to me for years, but I kept putting it off. Foolish me. This book is fantastic.

Cordelia Naismith is exactly the sort of heroine I wish we saw more of: brave, resourceful, witty, and generally badass, but not some cardboard cutout drained of the emotions and flaws that make a character human. I adore her. I also like her relationship with Aral Vorkosigan, which is full of romance but very clearly a relationship between equals who respect each oth
Sarah Yoffa
Lois has written one of the best love stories in the little-known subgenre of Romance SF with this duology. Two halves of one book, IMO, this story anchors the entire series for the next 20 years of Lois's writing, Miles's life, and the universe's existence. Except at the center of this universe is Aral Vorkosigan and it is ONLY in this book (pair of books) that we really and truly get to know Aral's heart. Which is, of course, named Cordelia ;-) The Admiral's Captain, Cordelia Naismith and Admi ...more
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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
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)
  • Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7)
  • Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga, #8)
  • Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga, #9)
  • Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10)
The Curse of Chalion (Chalion, #1) Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7) The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2) Paladin of Souls (Chalion, #2) Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1)

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“The rule for finding plots for character-centered novels, which is to ask: 'So what's the worst possible thing I can do to *this* guy?' And then do it.” 33 likes
“Endure pain, find joy, and make your own meaning, because the universe certainly isn't going to supply it.” 23 likes
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