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By Singing Light

Pretty much everything here originally appeared at my actual blog: By Singing Light. I particularly focus on upper middle-grade and young adult books. I also enjoy adult genre books, especially speculative fiction.

Currently reading

The Lost Tools of Learning and the Mind of the Maker
Dorothy L. Sayers
The Seventh Bride
T. Kingfisher
Hope in the Dark
Rebecca Solnit
Outrun the Moon
Stacey Lee
Midnight Thief
Livia Blackburne
The White Hart
Nancy Springer
The Great Wall Of Lucy Wu
Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Jim C. Hines
Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics
Sarah Gristwood
Shards of Honour - Lois McMaster Bujold by Lois McMaster Bujold

Opening line: "A sea of mist drifted through the cloud forest, soft, grey, luminescent."

My fellow Sounisians tend to be a pretty canny bunch. I first heard about Elizabeth Wein from them, and that recommendation certainly paid off. So when they kept mentioning this "Vorkosigan family saga" I was interested, but also daunted by the sheer number of books* involved. Finally I heard that Shards of Honor was a good entrance into the series. I got it out from the library and fell in love.

Interplanetary politics! Sneaky alliances! Romance! Creepy people! Manipulative emperors! Clearly this book is awesome!

It really is great for any Megan Whalen Turner fan looking to fill the empty void between now and the publication of the next book. There is a healthy dose of cultural worldbuilding--without going into too much physical description or relying too heavily on slang Bujold manages to convey the different cultures of Barrayar and Beta and why they would be in conflict. Cordelia is a sympathetic main character, one not too overly afflicted with self-doubt, but also human.

There is a scene which creeped me out and hints at the horrific, but nothing is ever described in detail and in fact (spoiler) nothing happens.

I will definitely be reading the next book as soon as possible.

Book source: public library
Book information: Baen, 1986 (originally)

* This was also my problem with Redwall. Where do you start?


A reread. Very strange to go back to the beginning and see Cordelia and Aral so unfinished, as it were. The outline is there, but the details are far from filled in. Still, what a great beginning! And it’s so necessary if you want to understand Miles’s character. [Sept. 2011]