Lois McMaster Bujold Fans discussion

Vorkosigan Universe > Women of the Vorkosiverse

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message 1: by Vorlady, ImpSec Tech (new)

Vorlady | 285 comments Mod
In Komarr we meet Ekaterine Vorsoisson for the first time. I don't know about anyone else, but I admire Ekaterine (yes I know she's fictional) very much. My screen name VorLady is in honor of her in fact. What makes her such an admirable character? What makes her human?

Another great lady we meet in the novel is Ekaterine's Aunt Vorthys. Does she have any special qualities that you admire?

message 2: by Kiri (new)

Kiri (kirious) | 147 comments Mod
Ekaterin is highly principled; she knows what "right" and "proper" behavior is (not just manners, but morals) and she's not going to deviate from what she feels is proper behavior. This is both her strength and her failing, when that belief leads her to subservience to Tien (because that is how a good wife is supposed to behave) even when she suspects there's something wrong. But it is her strong moral base that gives her strength to leave him.

Aunt Vorthys rocks; a strong, intelligent woman with a career and a long, happy marriage!

message 3: by Karl (new)

Karl Voguart (voguart) | 1 comments Personally, I absolutely adore Cordelia. I think she is one of the strongest and funniest woman in sci-fi universe : she follows Aral, raises Miles, lives in Barrayar and manages to keep her sanity !

This is partly why I love McMaster Bujold's books, she shows us women who made their own choices without fearing them and never fulfil stereotypes.

message 4: by Kiri (new)

Kiri (kirious) | 147 comments Mod
How can one not adore Cordelia? She just rocks, always.

message 5: by Aileen (new)

Aileen | 143 comments I have just reread Ethan of Athos and was reminded how much I love Elli Quinn. That book really brings her personality into focus. Smart and tough. Funny and self-aware. I love that she is portrayed thru the eyes of Ethan, who resents her but can't help admire her.

message 6: by Kiri (new)

Kiri (kirious) | 147 comments Mod
to Aileen: Yeah! I love that book for exactly that reason; because Elli is so great, and she gets to step out from Miles' shadow and just be unadulterated Elli.

message 7: by Aileen (new)

Aileen | 143 comments Yes, otherwise she just seems like a hot female version of Miles
She has less distinct personality of her own in the other books. I've always found Elena a very opaque and dull character. We know miles has a huge love for her, but I've never found it all that explicable. All the Koudelka girls, on the other hand, have distinct personalities, especially Martya.

message 8: by Kiri (new)

Kiri (kirious) | 147 comments Mod
I agree with you re: Elena! That relationship seems to be all about Miles. Well, Miles is such an overwhelming personality that anything involving him tends to be all about him!

But Elli obviously is her own person, evinced by the fact that she knows she can't give Miles what he wants and have what SHE wants.

message 9: by Phoenixfalls (new)

Phoenixfalls | 69 comments I always felt like there was a good story about Elena somewhere. . . I mean, she had BOTHARI as her father. She just did all the interesting stuff off-screen because after she turned Miles down in The Warrior's Apprentice we practically never saw her again. . .

For instance, I'm sure her marriage to Baz (?) was not what she expected. . . and I wanted to see her return to Barrayar in Mirror Dance from inside her head, rather than from the outside (and a true outsider) with Mark. . . and we know that being a soldier ended up being terribly disillusioning for her, because that was why she LEFT. But we never got a chance to see any of that happening. . .

message 10: by Aileen (new)

Aileen | 143 comments That's so true. But because miles presented his own idealized picture of her, we have never really had any insight into her. She is just a cipher - beautiful, honorable, courageous, caring, perfect in every way *yawn.

message 11: by Kiri (new)

Kiri (kirious) | 147 comments Mod
Maybe someday Lois will write a great Elena book! That would be cool! Plus a book about what Elli ended up doing - could totally go for that.

message 12: by Aileen (new)

Aileen | 143 comments Just to go back to the earlier comments about Ekaterin, her portrayal in Komarr is one of the most insightful pieces on abusive relationships That I've ever read. Ekatarin is frustrating in her reactions to Tien, then we are shown how frustrated she gets with herself. It is masterful. Her self-doubt, her dithering, her eroded self esteem - it is exquisite but agonizing to read.

message 13: by Phoenixfalls (new)

Phoenixfalls | 69 comments Totally agree about Ekaterin. . . it's one of the reasons I always want more of her perspective! I really think Diplomatic Immunity would've been a better book for it. . .

message 14: by Jumana (new)

Jumana | 32 comments But by Diplomatic Immunity she is healed and no longer such an interesting character..

message 15: by Phoenixfalls (new)

Phoenixfalls | 69 comments That's what I don't buy! Healing isn't like some magic wand. . . she's still got the scars of her family's devaluing her for being female and the youngest, and all those years with Tien. . .

And even if she isn't going through hard character growth, I just really liked her perspective. She didn't suffer fools gladly, and had the standing to tell Miles when he was being an idiot.

And for purely selfish reasons I wanted to sit in on her lunch with Bel. . . ;)

message 16: by Kiri (new)

Kiri (kirious) | 147 comments Mod
Agree - Ekaterin becomes a secondary character very quickly; and sure the books are always about Miles, but in Komarr she holds her own as a complex and very real person, and then she fades into "the wife".

I think I need to reread the early Cordelia books! What a pleasant task ahead of me...

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