While we here at the Read@MPL try to keep our recommendations to mostly more recent works to keep you all abreast of the latest and greatest additions to the library collection, sometimes we find an older title that's just so good you have to recommend it. In this case, this humble reader recently took the plunge into reading Shards of Honor by Lois McMaster Bujold, the first novel in the author's Vorkosigan Saga. The series is epic, spanning novels and short stories, nominated for tons of awards and even winning four separate Hugos. While jumping in at the beginning of such a long series is daunting, let's just describe the set-up of this wonderful book.
Shards of Honor starts with a survey team from Beta Colony, a science-minded democratic and socialistic society. They are quickly put under attack by a ship from Barrayar, a militaristic planet that relies heavily on order and tradition. This leaves our protagonist, Captain Cordelia Naismith, stranded on a strange planet with a wounded crewmate, and worst of all captured by a Barrayaran who was also left behind by his crew: Captain Lord Aral Vorkosigan. These two people from different cultures are thrust together in a struggle to survive, forming a bond that will be tested repeatedly through intergalactic intrigue, war, and more. Bujold creates Space Opera at its very finest, its quality and brilliance holding up spectacularly over the almost thirty years since its original publication. Shards of Honor is definitely worth a read or even two, and then there's the rest of the series to get to. This book comes with a very enthusiastic recommendation from this humble librarian.
Tim @ Central