07/10/2014 um 21:16
Books of 2014 #4 – Barrayar; Lois McMaster Bujold
“Barrayar” is the second book of the Vorkosigan Saga, starting right where the first book “Shards of Honor” ended. I fell in love with Aral and Cordelia, and their unlikely love, during Shards and was dying to know how fate was going to treat them.
While Shards was a bonafide romance in a setting of two worlds at war with each other, Barrayar’s main theme is parenthood. There are a lot of different parents in there, from single and broken soldier dads to heteronormative parents, mothers who bear their child the natural way and mothers who use advanced technologies. This by the way made me realise that I wouldn’t mind being a mother, but the idea of being pregnant sort of gets me out of the deal. I would love to have one of those artifical uterus things the Betans invented. Anyway – another major theme is how a society treats the less healthy ones: be it disabled babies or soldiers wounded in battle.
This all weaves into a story of a planet trying to come to terms with progress, technological and social, told through the eyes of an out-worlder, from a way more “civilized” (or so it seems) world.
I enjoyed Barrayar immensely. Not only does it give you food for thought, it’s also beautifully written and features a lot of different characters, which I liked a lot. Especially the budding love between crippled Kou and valkyrie-like Drou had me in a constant panic that one of them would die. The relationship between Aral and Cordelia passed the test of time (the books were written eight years apart) and was still awesome. It’s so wonderfully sober and unromantic and yet written in sentences so beautiful that they punch you right in the guts. My favourite one: “Aral merely grinned, and made love to her as if she were spun glass.” Aaaaaaah, spun glass! SPUN GLASS!!! How gentle must he’ve been? I seriously wish she would write a bit more than single sentence sex scenes though, because she has the right words fo’ sure. On the other hand, being able to put everything into one sentence is the true art, so there…
As I loved Shards and Barrayar so much that I wanted to own them outside their Kindle prison, I had to realise that it’s not so easy to aquire books that came out some twenty years ago. But I succeeded in the end, and I’m looking forward to thumb through them and find my favourites scenes much easier from now on. The Kindle prooves again and again that it can’t deliver for me when it comes to that, to loving books and knowing where certains things hide inside.