Lois McMaster Bujold Fans discussion

Vorkosigan Universe > Favorite Vorkosigan book, and why

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message 1: by Kiri (new)

Kiri (kirious) | 147 comments Mod
I adore "Memory"... I'm pretty sure that's the one I'm thinking of... the one in which Miles essentially gets kicked out of the Dendarii because of his neurological condition, and then ends up in the difficult position of having to solve the issue of Illyan's memory loss and apparent dementia. As far as I'm concerned, nothing in the books beats the humiliation and pathos of Miles having a seizure in Illyan's office and then having to walk out into the civilian world.... but then confronting Illyan's own breakdown and apparent madness. Wow.

But I also love "Ethan of Athos"! So brilliantly plotted! Absolutely superb!

message 2: by vorbore, Ma Kosti's Apprentice (new)

vorbore | 284 comments Mod
My favorite Vorkosigan books are all of the Vorkosigan books. Joking. Not. :)
Seriously, No. 1 is Civil Campaign, and No.2 is shared between Memory and Mirror Dance. No. 3 are all the others.
Civil Campaign I love for The Letter and The Attic Scene.
Memory I love for the Ice Bath, and for the revenge of the little lord Auditor. Some of the best sentences and scenes are there - "You have no mass and cannot move me." And the calm place.
Mirror Dance I love for the deliverance and making of Mark. "Oh. So that's what integrity looks like. I didn't know." If he had not known where he belongs, he would never been able to outfight Ryoval.
All in all, these books are my faithful companions for the last eleven or so years, and I read them all at least once a year. And still they amaze me.

message 3: by Kiri (new)

Kiri (kirious) | 147 comments Mod
Yeah, Bujold rocks. All of the Vorkosigan books are simply brilliant. From the very first book. From the very first paragraph.

message 4: by Vorlady, ImpSec Tech (new)

Vorlady | 285 comments Mod
I love A Civil Campaign for the dinner scene!! I laugh out loud just thinking about it! :-D actually, there are several laugh out loud scenes in there *grin*

message 5: by Phoenixfalls (new)

Phoenixfalls | 69 comments So hard. . . but if I had to, this is probably the order I'd put them in:

1. A Civil Campaign
2. Komarr
3. Memory
4. Mirror Dance
5. Barrayar
6. The Warrior's Apprentice
7. Diplomatic Immunity
8. Shards of Honor
9. The Vor Game
10. Brothers in Arms
11. The Borders of Infinity
12. Cetaganda
13. Falling Free
14. Ethan of Athos

message 6: by vorbore, Ma Kosti's Apprentice (new)

vorbore | 284 comments Mod
Wow, this is a very specific list. I could not do something like that. Although, of the books I read *cough* times, I would say I like Brothers in Arms least. And Ethan of Atos and Diplomatic Immunity I read only once. Falling free I loved, but it is not a Vorkosigan book, really, and it would probably stay in "read once" drawer, but only because I do not have it on paper, just in electronic form, and I hate reading longish text from the screen.

message 7: by Gelis (new)

Gelis | 3 comments Hello, I am new here and of course I am a Vorkosigan fan. Although I am still wondering about the pronounciation, being German.
My favourite? Very hard to say, but I agree with Vorbore about the best three, A Civil Campaign, it is so outrageously funny how Admiral Romeo Vorkosigan tries to win his war... It is all sparkling, bubbling champagne of the best vineyards- intelligent and insightful humour does not leave you with a bad aftertaste in your mouth or a morning after headache ;-).
Next or even equal is for me Memory. A totally different kind of book. Much more "mature" in its topic- it shows what a breadth of experience LMB can share with her readers. It is about growing up the hard way, first Miles f.. up royally, then he has to face the man in the mirror, does not like him at all but still has to shave his face each morning. Tough. And finally he comes out on top. It is grim and sinister sometimes, but very honest and emotional- at least it feels so to me.
My third favourite is Mirror Dance, Mark is such an interesting person and the timing is this espionage story is very good. Plus the humour. Thinking about it, I guess what really attracts me to these books is that they are all different! Thriller, comedy, crime stories, whodunits, pure space opera...
the book I like least is falling free. It is very good but not one of the main characters kept stuck in my "friends" department.
Ehtan of Athos is very good as well with an excellent plot, but still - Eli alone is nice but not enough for one of the top positions.

message 8: by Rivka (new)

Rivka | 5 comments These books are so good. I love all of them. Not just the individual plots alone but the way she manages to weave threads from one plot to another book. Example how she weaves the bizarre Cetagandan genetic conspiracy into Diplomatic Immunity. And most especially her use of language,and painting of wonderful word pictures. Her sense of the human psyche. I love that she wrote about Miles' parents in Shards of Honor and Barrayar. And you get that sense from Miles of the mysteriousness that one's parents lives as young people take on for the child. I love Cordelia as the believable, fully realized woman in Barrayar, courageous and terrified, lopping off the head of Vordarian, the Pretender. (You GO Girl!)
The odd thing is that I can't get on with her other books at all. Which are completely different which is obviously a sign of her talent that she could create such distinct worlds. But don't dig em at all. Bring back Miles, Ellie, do a prequel anything!

message 9: by Tina (new)

Tina Memory is my very favorite with A Civil Campaign coming in a close second.

There are so many reasons why I love Memory:
1) It is the culmination of the trilogy I call the 'Intro to Marc Arc'(Brothers in Arms, Mirror Dance and Memory). Marc could have been a terrible, cliche addition to the series and yet his presence is a catalyst to so much especially in regards Miles. All the events of the two previous book lead with knifepoint precision to the events that play out in this book. This book is both an ending and a beginning for Miles.

2) It is a master class in storytelling. There are all these levels of betrayal and trust all with an undertone of emotional depth. And then there is the good old fashioned mystery aspect of it.

3) The prose, as in most of Bujold's books, is exquisite. One of my very favorite lines in the series comes from this book. The one thing you can't trade for your heart's desire is your heart.

4) And the villain is so deliciously villainous. Very subtle and very smart.

message 10: by Aileen (new)

Aileen | 143 comments Memory was the first I read, and remains my favourite. Reading it first, without ANY backstory, I was still fascinated, intrigued and completely caught up. I immediately went and read the rest in order.
I love Komarr and A Civil Campaign equally. Perhaps the best scene in all the books is when Ekaterine is in the shower pondering her relationship with Miles (A Civil Campaign). I also love Ethan of Athos sooooo much. Unbridled hilarity.

message 11: by Phoenixfalls (new)

Phoenixfalls | 69 comments Aileen: Wow, you read Memory first? I wouldn't've thought it would make any sense. . . glad it worked for you though!

message 12: by Aileen (new)

Aileen | 143 comments phoenixfalls: I know, I know. a lot of it was baffling, but the writing is so compelling, I just got hooked.

message 13: by Kiri (new)

Kiri (kirious) | 147 comments Mod
It would be amazing to read Memory first and THEN read all the backstory! Crazy! Aileen, I'm glad you love Ethan of Athos, too - how can one not? I mean, consider the plot! It's so complicated, and it seems so unlikely that things will work out for Ethan and then it makes so much sense when it does work out. And sure, he's no Miles, but he's a very compelling protagonist in his own way - quirky.

message 14: by Aileen (new)

Aileen | 143 comments Ethan is charming. he is so honest and sincere and open-minded, despite the narrowness of his up-bringing. His interaction with Elli Quin is priceless.

message 15: by Tina (new)

Tina Kiri wrote: "It would be amazing to read Memory first and THEN read all the backstory! "

I always recommend that people read at least the first few Miles books first and then go back and read Shards/Barrayer.. I read all the books in Chrono order (Shards first...) and always wonder how I would have felt going back to read about Miles' parents after meeting him rather than before. I think it would have been pretty cool.

message 16: by Aileen (new)

Aileen | 143 comments I would NOT recommend starting with 'Memory'. I just picked it up in a bookstore, liked the cover and had no idea it was Nth in a series. I'd never heard of Bujold before. I cannot believe she is not more mainstream popular. I have to go to a specialist bookshop in Sydney to buy her books. Yet she blasts most sci fi and fantasy writers out of the water. I don't get it...

message 17: by Vorrutyer (new)

Vorrutyer | 3 comments Surely the first one is Memory followed by A Civil Campaign.
I think i don't need to explain this choice, at least to
those that read all the books.

message 18: by Rivka (new)

Rivka | 5 comments There are really two main threads: the Shards of Honors, Barrayar which give you the backstory and which are really, really good. and of course the Miles books which start with the Vor Game and The Warriors Apprentice. She is just a really excellent writer. There are several books which you wish she would follow with additional books like Ethan of Athos. What a fabulous sequel that would be: A race of homosexual telepaths take over the universe.

message 19: by Jumana (new)

Jumana | 32 comments I read Memory when I was just about 30 and had had a couple of major life changes, and for a while I thought it was the best book ever written. Now if I go back and reread it, I feel like telling Miles to stop wallowing and get over it already... I think its great how Bujold can write books with such different feel to them while keeping the characters consistent.

message 20: by Starthrower50 (new)

Starthrower50 | 8 comments vorbore wrote: "My favorite Vorkosigan books are all of the Vorkosigan books. Joking. Not. :)
Seriously, No. 1 is Civil Campaign, and No.2 is shared between Memory and Mirror Dance. No. 3 are all the others.

I'm in the middle or a full re-read of the Vorkosigan series right now and enjoying them all over again, nearly as much as I did the first time. For those who like this type of series (although these are more fantasy than sci-fi, I find a lot of people who enjoy one also at least appreciate the other) I recommend Sharon Shinn's "Twelve Houses" series. I just finished rereading them all after a several year break and was amazed by how little I remembered of them from the first time. It was like reading all new books!

message 21: by Doc (new)

Doc Johnny | 1 comments A Civil Campaign
Shards of Honor
Mirror Dance

In that order.

message 22: by Joanne (new)

Joanne (jcronin) | 19 comments I saw Lois at an American Library Association conference many years ago. Immediately went out to the late great Coliseum Books and picked up Mirror Dance in paperback. I gobbled it down like popcorn. It was starting in the deep end, but I caught on very quickly.

message 23: by Susan (new)

Susan | 12 comments I came upon Barrayar as a series in Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine (I think). I was expecting and so was Cordelia! Then I went on to the Miles books as I could get them, not in proper order: The Vor Game, then Warrior's Apprentice, then eventually back to Shards of Honor. I finally got around to Ethan of Athos while I was waiting for the publication of Cryoburn. Well, I especially find Memory poignant and moving, but my favorite is the one I'm reading at the time!

message 24: by Marian (new)

Marian | 2 comments Falling Free is still my favorite even though I suspect not everyone has heard of it. It is both her first novel and introduces the universe Miles will be born into two centuries later. It's less complex than her later work but still superlative. Incidentally, it has won awards.

message 25: by Eric (last edited Jun 27, 2015 07:59AM) (new)

Eric M. (e_rocc) | 1 comments Captain Vorpatril's Alliance is my favorite book, by any author.

Among the Vorkosigan books, A Civil Campaign is next. Either Memory or Barrayar after that. Past there, it's hard to say.

The top two probably because of the humor. But the series as a whole because the characters are so well developed.

message 26: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 16 comments I love both the humor and the intricate, intertwining plots in A Civil Campaign.

message 27: by Skye (new)

Skye Thornton | 2 comments waiting on something new so i can reread the series

message 28: by Ellinor (new)

Ellinor | 1 comments Cordelia's honor is simply the best. It's the only book ever that I started reading from the beginning again when I had read the last page. Of the Miles books, I agree that Memory is the best. Maybe. Mountains of Morning is so good too, although I guess it's just a short story.

message 29: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 16 comments My favorite doesn't really belong here because it is The Curse of Chalion. I tried that because other members of an online book group were raving about it. And eventually started Shards of Honor and was again totally hooked. My favorite of the V. saga? The one I'm rereading at the time.

message 30: by Margaret (new)

Margaret | 16 comments I forgot to say why. I think in the Curse it was the fantastic but believable theology B. created. I had lived most of 1974 in Spain and could see how Chalion's culture and religion could have been created out of the world of Isabella and Ferdinand in Fifteenth century.
In the V. series she creates another whole universe with very human people you care about trying to deal with it.

message 31: by Angela (new)

Angela (angelic1ang) | 8 comments My favorite book is Shards of Honor, which is actually more than one book. I just love the character Cordelia. We have much in common with our personalities. She's like a great friend and I enjoy picking up the book to re-read it every other year or so.

message 32: by Katrine (new)

Katrine Cady | 3 comments My favorites are: Memory, Komarr, and a Civil Campaign. I love all of the Miles books, but those show him at the lowest and highest parts of his life & how he grows is magnificent to watch. I have the audiobooks & listen to them over & over again and never get tired of them. My VERY favorite scene? The ice water bath, without a doubt. LMB really has made these characters real in my imagination and I truly care about them. I hope she will still give us more of their adventures.

message 33: by Angela (new)

Angela (angelic1ang) | 8 comments Katrine wrote: "My favorites are: Memory, Komarr, and a Civil Campaign. I love all of the Miles books, but those show him at the lowest and highest parts of his life & how he grows is magnificent to watch. I have ..."
I agree with everything you said. Re-reading the books is like talking to an old friend. Never gets tiring.

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