Aloha – It’s been a while since a reviewed a favorite science fiction book. A few weeks ago I was traveling and wanted something to read. Sadly, science fiction adventure titles are lacking at most airport bookstores. Lots of fantasy novels and vampire novels have taken up the shelves where I used to find some new book or author to explore. Realizing that the odds were against me I went to my personal library and ran across Barrayar, the second book in one of my favorite series. I could not locate its prequel Shards of Honor. We actually have our library scattered through the house. First editions, professional books, personal journals, and most of my science fiction collection is in my office. Multiple floor to ceiling book shelf units are also on the main floor and family room. I happened to be in a guest bedroom where we put shelves of childrens’ books, and found Shards of Honor sitting there. Not a good choice as the book is not really G rated.
We have two protagonists in this book, Cordelia Naismith an explorer from a very open society in almost every way. Meanwhile, Aral Vorkosigan is the yang of her ying. He is a military genius from the very feudal planet Barrayar. They meet and clash and survive on a hostile planet, then have the unfortunate destiny of being on opposite sides of a war. It has the danger of turning into a Romeo and Juliet soap opera, but never falls the low. It is more interesting as a clash of cultures with both action and romance underlying the entire volume. A great read that I go back to regularly.