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Barrayar

(Vorkosigan Saga (Publication Order) #7)

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  24,319 ratings  ·  970 reviews
On opposing sides, Captain Cordelia Naismith and Admiral Lord Aral Vorkosigan marry and live in aristocratic splendor on his home planet Barrayar. Cordelia agrees with the dying old emperor that the Empire would be better if Aral would serve, but he knows secrets she does not.
Paperback, 336 pages
Published December 1st 2003 by Gardners Books (first published October 1991)
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Randy Well, if defined as meaning "the characters are flying about in space" - maybe only a quarter. But by a broader definition, I think you could say it a…moreWell, if defined as meaning "the characters are flying about in space" - maybe only a quarter. But by a broader definition, I think you could say it all is.(less)

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
Mar 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
4+ stars. Barrayar--a Hugo winner and Nebula nominee back in 1991--is a book that improved dramatically for me on reread. It's more interesting, subtle and complex than I initially gave it credit for. And it's fascinating to see the development of Cordelia and Aral's characters from their initial beginnings in Shards of Honor, and their growing relationships with each other and with the people around them.

The first half of Barrayar is a little on the quiet side, more deliberately paced, as Corde
...more
karen
Apr 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Evgeny
Feb 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
A buddy read with Choko.

After the events of the last book Cordelia ended up on Barrayar. She thought she would be able to get used to new life fairly soon, but Barrayar is always full of excitement and surprises - like assassinations, civil war, regicide, forbidden duels
Duel,
external conquerors and such. You are guaranteed to never have a boring moment, but such lifestyle surely takes quite a while to get used to. Cordelia however was determined to fit in as best as she could which means she had to
...more
Bradley
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Third read, update 12/6/17:

The love story between Aral and Cordelia continues, but it's really a tale about Barrayaran politics and cultural horrors. To cull genetic mistakes or not? To break from the hold of barbaric cultural practices or not?

Hell, it even goes a long way to toward teaching us forgiveness for the mentally ill. Although, to be perfectly fair, Cordelia's bulldog of a man has a lot of nobility in him for latching on to a truly noble mistress, but maybe that's missing a point somew
...more
Melindam
description


Barrayar - chronologically Book #2 in the series, the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold - is Space Opera at its best. Describing it in opera terms: it is bel canto ("florid and intricate, requiring supreme agility and pitch control") combined with powerful and dramatic storytelling and LMB just got what it takes to write a damn fantastic libretto. The first part seems restrained, introducing dramatis personae & laying the ground for further action. LMB is gradually raising the stakes or in
...more
Choko
Feb 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
*** 4.75 ***

A buddy read with Evgeny, because we love Sci-fi!


Wow!!! Just WOW!!! This is the third book in the chronological order of the series and I am already addicted to it!

It is Sci-fi, but this one was on a planet very similar to Earth, Barrayar. No space battles, no new monsters, if we don't count the Barrayar Vors, the planet's nobility, who all act like monsters most of the time. No robots and no new races of humanoids. Just the life of Vorkosigan and Cordelia four months after they got
...more
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
Lizzy
Oct 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
“I am afraid.” So simply opens Barrayar with Cordelia words. It takes places immediately after the events of Shards of Honor and starts out with low-key family strife that sets the tone along with political developments. All the time, Lois McMaster Bujold’s character build up takes center stage. All in all, it is much more than the science-fiction tag that describes it.
“My home is not a place, it is people.”
The beginning might be slow though not less significant, and it is preparing for what
...more
Trish
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am so sold on Cordelia and Aral as a couple. This might be an old scifi saga but it's one that has aged well in my opinion.

This is the third book, chronologically, and tells of Cordelia after she married Aral Vorkosigan and came to live with him on Barrayar. Naturally, a few things about this society are alien to her (and to us) but she also realizes some weird things about her own culture and that both aren't exactly perfect. Moreover, since the Emperor has appointed Aral regent, there is a l
...more
RJ from the LBC
Apr 26, 2020 rated it did not like it
Let's file this Hugo Award in the "Regrettable" category, along with those granted to The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber and Redshirts by His Grand Snarkiness John Scalzi. In this book, newly-pregnant Cordelia Naismith of the enlightened, progressive, touchy-feely Beta Colony settles in with her new husband and prior captor (insert eye-rolling emoji here) Aral Vorkosigan on the barbaric, warmongering world of Barrayar where, tragically, no one talks about their feelings enough; it's not too hard to se ...more
Justine
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read, audiobook
An excellent sequel to Shards of Honor, picking up right where things left off. At first this one moved a bit slowly for me compared to the previous book, but as always, there were many emotional and exciting incidents throughout. My favourite part comes near the end, when the intrepid Cordelia again takes charge and goes all badass on the Barrayarans.

The thing I love most about her character is that she is tough when she needs to be, but inside she experiences all the doubt that any sane person
...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 beca
...more
Conor
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Jumping around a bit in reading book 7 after book 1 in this series but it worked pretty well. This book started out brilliantly with some understated (well as understated as assassination attempts and high risk experimental surgeries can be) family turmoil, politics and character development taking center stage. While it wasn't particularly dramatic Bujold's masterful writing of interesting, nuanced characters kept me engaged. However about half-way through the focus turned into an isolated trek ...more
Althea Ann
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
The chronological sequel to 'Shards of Honor' follows Cordelia Naismith as she defects from Beta, in order to make her way to Barrayar and find her former captor Aral Vorkosigan - a man she has come to love and respect.

It's not incomprehensible that her Betan psychologists assume that she must be suffering from something like Stockholm syndrome, or some more insidious mental conditioning. The suspicion cast on her means that even though the war between Beta and Barrayar is technically over, Cord
...more
Milda Page Runner
Mar 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommended to Milda by: Caro M.
Shelves: science-fiction
3.5*
Similar to previous book the first half is slower – mainly focussing on family melodrama and politics with a few assassination attempts to spice things up. Half way though pacing changes dramatically and then we get all the action and suspense one could hope for from the book. Cordelia shines in it.

Whilst I loved second part of this book I also had few issues with this instalment. With all the time spent on Barrayar it becomes obvious that Barrayar is remarkably similar to Earth. The same
...more
Kathleen
Apr 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
...more
Gabi

As always LMB has a great hand with characters. It is easy to root for them and get immersed in their struggles within and without.

The story itself was good but not great, it felt in parts too much like a soap opera to me. I was missing the emphasis on SF elements that was present in parts of the first book.
Caro the Helmet Lady
Mar 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
UPDATED 2017.04.02 with Worst Cover Gallery -check down below and feel free to comment!
_________________________________
I'm reading it in order suggested by author, so after nr 1 comes nr 7, instead of nr 2. Barrayar is a sequel to Shards of Honor and a prequel to Warrior's Apprentice.

Cordelia Naismith becomes Cordelia Vorkosigan and as a Vor lady she must play by new rules of Vor class (call it military junta, call it samurai, depends on your feelings for army) and get used to life on Barrayar
...more
Lindsay
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This review is for my reread of the Vorkosigan Saga with SpecFic Buddy Reads during 2017/18. I read this for the first time sometime during the 1990s directly after Shards of Honour and as a follow-up after reading much later books in the series (Memory and onwards).

Masterful introduction to the planet of Barrayar and the foundations of the Miles Vorkosigan books with a strong theme of parenting, responsibility and legacy.

Cordelia is now Lady Vorkosigan and Lord Aral is the Regent of Barrayar. T
...more
Kara 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 g ...more
aPriL does feral sometimes
'Barrayar' is the sequel to Shards of Honor, the first novel in Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan science fiction series. Neither book is about the main character Miles Vorkosigan with whom most fans are familiar. Instead, we are treated to exciting wars of succession in which the two characters most responsible for raising Miles - his parents! - become unavoidably involved. In following novels (or preceding, depending on the order the reader chooses to read the series, because 'Barrayar' is act ...more
Oleksandr Zholud
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: vorkosigan-1
This is the seventh (by publication order; third by internal chronology) volume of Vorkosigan saga. The adventures of Cordelia Naismith continue as she tries to integrate with the culture of her new husband on Barrayar.

The book won Hugo and Locus awards and was nominated for Nebula. I read is as a part of Vorkosigan challenge at Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels group.

The story starts with what is a finale for most of the happy fairy tales: the couple gets married and lives happy ever after. Of
...more
Jim
Jul 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. It was perfect!

The
...more
Sarah
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
These characters are so wonderful that I'm regretting not buying every single book in the series when that Audible sale was happening a few days ago. Sigh.

One of the things that I appreciated about this book was the way that it dealt with pregnancy, birth, and motherhood. It was a small part of the book but I like that it was in there at all. It's just not something I've run across often. There was quite a bit of danger and some heart pounding situations, and then there's Cordelia herself. She's
...more
Stuart
Barrayar: An exciting mix of character studies, cultural clashes, parenting dilemmas and breathless intrigue
I really enjoyed the first few MILES VORKOSIGAN books back when I was in high school over 20 years ago, but somehow managed to miss Barrayar in 1991 as I got very busy with classwork and college applications, etc.

Now that the series has become so popular and extensive in the preceding decades, it’s fun to read one of the earliest installments, the story of Aral Vorkosigan and Cordelia Nais
...more
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
...more
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4.5/5; 4 stars; A

I first read this book 7 or 8 years ago and couldn't remember all the details. I'm glad I re-visited it. Cordelia is one of my favorite heroines. She is smart, courageous, snarky, and kind hearted. (view spoiler)

This book has political intrigue
...more
Beige
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: zread-1-scifi
Read for the 2019 MacHalo Splendiferous Book Bingo Thingie: Set in Another World

You really can't tell this was written years later, it starts 24 hours after the end of Shards of Honour and flows seemlessly. It is quite a different setting, having none of the alien planets or the space battles that I enjoyed in Shards. While it was set solely on Barrayer, it had oodles of political intrigue and culture clashing. What I enjoyed most was the societal pressures and ethical dilemmas the characters f
...more
Veronique
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: r2017, scifi, favourites, c20th
4.5*
“I don't want power. I just object to idiots having power over me.”

The previous two books in the saga were ok but this one finally got under my skin. We’re back with Cordelia, witnessing her efforts in trying to adapt to her new life as Aral’s wife and to the social rules of Barrayar. The couple seem to work well together but the stress and weight of the regency does put them into ever worsening situations. The narrative starts slowly, setting the scene, letting us get the lay of the land an
...more
C.T. Phipps
May 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lois Bujold follows up Shards of Honor with a work that actually makes me feel the series could have been solely about Cordelia and her husband instead of their ill-fated son Miles. The pair is a contrasting one of equals that gets along splendidly because of their differences rather than in spite of them. I also like how their marriage is not portrayed as something which is smooth sailing from beginning to end--something any married person will say is true to life.

Following her immigration to
...more
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Hugo & Nebula Awa...: Vokosigan 2 -- Barrayar 50 44 Sep 15, 2020 10:13PM  
Play Book Tag: Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold - 4 stars 3 16 Sep 17, 2018 06:37PM  
Science Fiction A...: Barrayar 38 92 Mar 03, 2016 01:06PM  
Romance Lovers fo...: This topic has been closed to new comments. Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold 74 34 Jul 30, 2013 12:56PM  

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36,058 followers
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

Other books in the series

Vorkosigan Saga (Publication Order) (1 - 10 of 16 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)

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