Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Shards of Honor, by Lois McMaster Bujold

Rating: 4.5/5
250 pages
Publisher: Baen
Source: Barnes & Noble

Description: 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 an outcast on her own planet and the Lady Vorkosigan on his. (from the back cover)

Review: This the first, published, work in the Vorkosigan saga and it seems to be an excellent starting point.

While it is sort of a romance, the romance itself isn't really that well explored, taking a back seat to action and political intrigue. I could buy that these two characters would get married by the end of the story, but the relationship felt a little rushed.

The action and politics are well handled and the later parts kept me guessing as to what exactly was going to happen.

It did bog down a bit between the end of the war and the actual ending, but there was still enough going on to keep me interested.

There are instances of attempted rape, torture, and abuse of a mentally ill character, which felt reasonably well handled, but there was a later implication that a character had raped someone, that seemed a bit glossed-over in contrast which didn't sit that well with me. It was a minor hiccup in the story however.

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