Saturday, January 11, 2014

2. Shards of Honour by Lois McMaster Bujold

As already mentioned in my last review, this year, at LibraryThing, we are doing a year long Group read of the Vorkosigan Saga by Lois McMaster Bujold. I have read 3 books in the series earlier, not in the chronological order though. This group read will be a time to make amends and with this hope I started with the first book in the series, one featuring Cordelia, mother of Miles, the protagonist in the latter parts of the series. We also meet another strong and fascinating character, Aral Vorkosigan, Miles's father, but it would be fair to say the book was more about Cordelia.

It would be difficult to define her characteristics, measure her with parameters, the character is so multi-faceted. She is a military woman, but the author has steered away from the temptation of making her a Wonder Woman. She is strong willed, smart and well, as others in the book would say, honourable. And yeah, she is not a love-sick teenager, but a mature middle aged woman, so is Aral (except the woman part!). She is also the one who with her smartness, resourcefulness and no small measure of luck, turns around difficult situations on their head, and supports Aral only like she could. I quite liked Aral Vorkosigan too, in all his military might, and yeah, he actually comes across more honourable than Cordelia even!

There is a war in the background and some really unpleasant incidents, but they all seem to be the setup for the Cordelia - Aral story. The author must again be applauded for exercising her good sense and not overdoing it with the romance part.

Needless to say, I will be starting with the next instalment, Barrayar, within a week.


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