Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shards of Honor, by Lois McMaster Bujold

Lois McMaster Bujold has a new entry in the Vorkosigan series out, called Cryoburn.  It's the twelfth in the series, I believe.  I have not read much of the series--just Falling Free, set in the same universe but much earlier and not really connected.  I always have this dilemma with award winners--read the latest entry, or go back to the beginning?  This series has won a lot of awards and I've always wanted to read it.  What's more, the whole thing is now available for free through the Cryoburn link above.  So I started with Shards of Honor, from the Cordelia's Honor omnibus.

The series crosses several types of writing within SF.  The first novels are romances, stories of Miles Vorkosigan's mother and his Barrayaran father Aral.  I have to say that romances are not nomally my style, and don't do much better for me in the SF format.  This one is well-written and won't deter me from the series, but it didn't cure me of the dislike.  Cordelia swoons for her opponent in war and sometime captor, the honorable Aral Vorkosigan--seems like pretty standard romance stuff.  She is a strong and vivacious, beautiful woman, drawn to honorable, capable, strong, homely Aral.  Yep.  We even get a bondage scene thrown in.  It did keep me interested, though, and I'm planning to go on to Barrayar and get into the rest.  I'll go ahead and give this one 3 stars.

Read this one on my new Nook Color.  The Nook is a fine reader, a very reliable interface and no fumbling for where you are in the book, just like the Kindle.  I wouldn't miss print for it, though I'll continue to support reading free SF through libraries while they are still committed to dead trees.  The Nook is better as a general purpose device, and will get better yet when I'm able to root the latest version of the firmware.  But I like the reading experience on the Kindle just a bit better, I think.

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