Sunday, February 27, 2011

Barrayar (Book)

Alas, a commando raid could not knock off for breakfast. This was it. Go or no-go? Was it bravery, or stupidity that drove her on? .... If I do not act, my child will die. She would simply have to do without courage.
Cordelia is witty, wise, courageous, and honest. Barrayar, the third book in the Vorkosigan Series by Lois McMaster Bujold and the winner of both the 1992 Hugo and Locus Science Fiction awards, continues on where Shards of Honor left off. After moving to Barrayar and marrying Lord Aral Vorkosigan, Cordelia becomes pregnant. Alas, her domestic bliss is short lived. Aral soon takes over as regent for the future emperor. An attempt made on Aral’s life, poisons both Aral and Cordelia. The antidote interferes with the bone development of the developing fetus. In desperation, Cordelia has her future son transferred into an artificial womb for an experimental treatment. Cordelia must also protect him from her father-in-law, who doesn’t want a mutant as an heir, and from Aral’s political enemies, who are involved in an attempted coup.

Alongside all the adventure of the political coup are moments of bungling romance and parental love. Bothari is an emotionally damaged man who would protect Cordelia at all costs. He struggles to be a good parent to the child he fathered in the war (Shards of Honor). Koudelka is a physically damaged man who struggles with his self-esteem on a planet hostile to those with any disability. Droushnakovi is a woman with a talent for being a good warrior on a planet where such skills are frowned upon in women. And, of course, there is Cordelia, perpetually amused by her adopted planet. She is sometimes fearless warrior, sometimes advice giver—domestic and military, and sometimes dutiful political wife.

From what I can determine, Cordelia will only have a minor role in the rest of the series. I will miss her. I close with one last description of Cordelia:
If she could not keep him safe, perhaps the next best thing was to teach him competence in living dangerously.

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