Barrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold

Barrayar picks up where Shards of Honor ends:  Aral Vorkosigan, Cordelia Naismith’s husband, has accepted the role of Regent.  For the next 16 years he will look after young Prince Gregor and rule in Gregor’s stead.  For the next 16 years, Aral and Cordelia will have to watch their backs carefully: Barrayar is a contentious society on the brink of civil war.

Cordelia supports Aral in his new role—and Aral supports her as she struggles against Barrayar’s rigid rules for class, gender and disability.  Things seem to be going well:  Cordelia is happily pregnant, she’s begun to earn the respect of some highly-ranked officials, and she’s even begun a friendship with Gregor’s mother, Princess Kareen.  Stability is but a fleeting moment, however—an assassination attempt on Aral fails but not without inflicting extensive harm on him, Cordelia and their unborn child.  Back in the palace, Gregor is just barely whisked away from danger and hidden before the would-be usurper takes control of the capitol.

Aral may have the military reputation and the nickname “The Butcher of Komarr” but the men of Barrayar would be advised to take Cordelia at her word when she warns them to not annoy her.  LOVE Cordelia!!!

Winner of the 1992 Hugo Award.  For more information about the Hugo Award, please visit http://www.thehugoawards.org/ .

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