This second (chronologically) book in what has become known as the Vorkosigan saga, is as brilliant as the first. It gives me the sense, though, that the best is yet to come. The final part describing the young child Miles Vorkosigan was the best part, I think: a very strong finish that makes you want to very much find out what this remarkable child is capable of. This was my second Bujold and she continues to live up to her reputation. Barrayar won both the Hugo and Locus awards for best science fiction novel.
Barrayar is again a thoroughly engaging read, weaving the elements of adventure, romance, war and politicking, into a seamless blend of science fiction drama. The psychology of the characters is dense and the plot extremely clever. The political strategies and twists are intelligent and believable.
As a male reader I did not find the undercurrent romance cloying or intrusive. No part of this book was over or underdone, and some of the violence and psychological aspects of the story were satisfyingly brutal and real. There are some lovely technologies in the Vorkosigan universe, too, so this book really does have everything required of good science fiction. Bujold also has a wonderfully easy and flowing style, a great sense of story, and wickedly intelligent plot lines....Continua