I liked Shards of Honour more than I did the first time I read it, even though I’m sticking with my original three star rating. It’s fun, and this time I did get more wrapped up in it, in following the politics and in following Cordelia and Aral as they get to know each other. I still don’t quite get the enthusiasm over the whole series, but I’ve heard at least a dozen times that I’ll get along better with the Miles books.
Still, I got along pretty well with this one. The concept of honour is a thing that will usually get to me with a character — honour and loyalty in general. Juubei in GetBackers; Simon Tam in Firefly; Joscelin Verreuil in Kushiel’s Dart; Steve Rogers in Captain America — and if they can be tortured, make mistakes, and still be people you root for, that’s all the better. I know a lot of people love the mischievious tricksters with a heart that might just be gold after all, but I prefer the straight-forward ones, like Steve Rogers. And Aral is definitely one of those. Realising that helped me warm to him, even when he starts off not terribly sympathetic — and you realise that he did kind of have a point, too: he suggests to Cordelia that they should end the suffering of a man who will never walk or possibly even think coherently ever again. Now, it sounds barbaric to her in the moment, but it occurs to her later (and to me almost immediately), that maybe the guy wouldn’t have wanted to stay alive in the dependent existence that was his only chance. Certainly, I wouldn’t — and I’ve taken some pains to make sure my loved ones know it.
So I think the characterisation was more subtle here than I remembered, and I have grown sympathetic to Aral — and to Cordelia, and what she goes through to get back to him. I remember liking Barrayar much less than this, but we’ll see. And even if I still don’t like it, I’ll go on to read the Miles books, because I trust my partner’s judgement there!
Readathon time! It doesn’t seem like it’s been long since the last readathon, but here we are again with the event coming up on Saturday-Sunday of this weekend. Naturally I’ve been working on my stack and trying to decide what to read. For once, I’m actually at my partner’s flat in Belgium for the readathon, which means a) I’ll probably be up for the whole thing because I have chronic insomnia here, and b) I only brought my ereader with me, no dead tree books. On the other hand, I have comics to borrow and a whole stack of library books too, so it’s not as though I’m short of reading material.
-Robin McKinley, Rose Daughter.
–Lois McMaster Bujold, Shards of Honour.
-Guy Gavriel Kay, A Song for Arbonne.
–Mary Stewart, The Crystal Cave.
–Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park.
–Keri Hulme, The Bone People.
-Robert MacFarlane, The Old Ways.
–Kurt Vonnegut, Galapagos.
-James Morrow, This is the Way The World Ends.
Comics: -Loki: Agent of Asgard.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is ‘top ten books everyone’s telling me to read’. Which really isn’t hard, because everybody’s always on at me to read something, heh.
Republic of Thieves, Scott Lynch. I love Scott Lynch’s first two books, and I actually got this one back when it was an ARC. I’m just terrible. I’ve bought it since and still… Mum and my partner both reaaaally want me to get on with it.
The Vorkosigan Saga, Lois McMaster Bujold. Again, so many people want me to read these. I’ve actually read Cordelia’s Honor, and I wasn’t that impressed? But I was also cranky and feeling a bit harassed. If nothing else, Jo Walton’s recommendations mean I should really get on with it…
Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas. I read the prequel short stories way back before the first book was out, and wasn’t really interested enough to read more. But I hear so much about the trilogy, and Leah was urging me to read it, so.
Pantomime, Laura Lam. I’m going to read this reaaaally soon, or that’s the plan at least. It’s the only book I can think of, other than arguably The Left Hand of Darkness, with an intersexed protagonist.
The Enchantment Emporium, Tanya Huff. This has been recced me a couple of times, and it’s the book I happened to pick up for Tanya Huff to sign for me at Worldcon, so there y’go.
A Song of Ice and Fire, G.R.R. Martin. My first rec for this came from Robin Hobb when I was about fourteen, and I still haven’t got round to it — and the recs are mounting up. It’s actually one of the books in a reading challenge I’m doing, so I’ll get round to it soon.
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making, Catherynne M. Valente. I’ve been meaning to read it since it came out, and now there’s a whole trilogy. Also in my challenge list.
Fangirl, Rainbow Rowell. I’ve read part of it. I have the special edition, signed. I’ve read Attachments and Eleanor & Park. And yet. I’ll get there eventually. Sorry, Leah, and everyone.
Yendi, Steven Brust. I read the first book of the series at Jo’s recommendation, promptly bought a whole bunch of the omnibuses, and then… got distracted by so
The Healer trilogy, Maria V. Snyder. I like Snyder’s work as a casual fun read, and my sister will kick me if I don’t hurry up and read these. And probably many other books too; she likes kicking me.