Barrayar is my favorite Vorkosigan novel to date, though I would recommend reading Shards of Honor first. Barrayar is a planet-bound story, instead of a space-faring one, and the early focus is on politics, culture shock, and personal troubles instead of galactic war. While it starts out with a seemingly aimless, everyday life quality, it builds to a very fast-paced, action-packed finish. I enjoyed the amount of character building packed in this novel, particularly for the many minor characters. My main complaints have to do with the characters of Aral and Cordelia. I was surprised at the lack of any conflict within their relationship, and I was a little irritated by the unstoppable action hero aspect of Cordelia’s character. Overall, I feel like the cast of the Vorkosigan Saga is starting to really come together, and things will only get better from here on out!
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