Page name: Barrayar [Logged in view] [RSS]
2008-09-16 02:23:49
Last author: Orestez
Owner: Orestez
# of watchers: 1
Fans: 0
D20: 15
Bookmark and Share
An official Elfpack Page.





As Barrayar begins, the Vorkosigans are expecting their first child. When the crafty old Emperor dies, Aral takes over as Regent. An unsuccessful plot to assassinate Aral with poison gas seriously threatens the lives of him and his pregnant wife Cordelia. The antidote to the poison, while quite effective, is a powerful teratogen which attacks the bones of their unborn son, Miles. In a radical procedure for Barrayar, the fetus is transferred to a uterine replicator – an artificial womb to undergo an experimental recalcification treatment that may repair some of the damage to his bones.

While Cordelia and Aral are recuperating at the Vorkosigan country estate, Count Vidal Vordarian attempts a coup. Gregor is rescued by his loyal security chief Captain Negri and reunited with the Vorkosigans. Cordelia, Gregor, and various retainers escape into the hills on horseback and hide amongst the rural peasant population while Aral and his father organize the resistance.

After Cordelia rejoins Aral at a military base, they learn that the replicator containing Miles has been captured. Without proper maintenance, the fetus will succumb within two weeks, but Aral cannot bring himself to mount a rescue when there are greater concerns. However, Cordelia convinces her bodyguard and one of Aral's officers to help her rescue Miles and Gregor's mother, Princess Kareen. Once in the palace, Cordelia and her party are caught. They overpower their captors, execute Vordarian after his bodyguards accidentally kill Princess Kareen, and escape with the replicator. Returning to the military base, Cordelia barges in on her husband Aral and father-in-law Piotr as they are bargaining with a couple of Vordarian's senior officers about the latter switching sides, and interrupts these delicate negotiations by dumping Vordarian's severed head onto the conference table. The coup falls apart without its leader and peace returns to the planet. The enlightened Betan Cordelia is given charge of Prince Gregor's early education, with far-reaching consequences for Barrayar.

Because of his exposure to the antidote, Miles Naismith Vorkosigan is born with extremely fragile bones that tend to break under any stress, and his growth is stunted. On Barrayar, babies with birth defects are common, due to poisoning from native Barrayarian plant life and to lingering radiation from the earlier war between Barrayar and Cetaganda. Such babies were traditionally subject to infanticide, though this practice is illegal by the time of Miles' birth. So-called "muties" are still reviled and shunned, and Miles, though genetically healthy, must deal with prejudice throughout his life, starting with his grandfather Piotr.

Awards and achievements:

Hugo Award for Best Novel 1992


Back to:
EP Independent
EP Independent - Reviews
EP Books/Literature Reviews

Username (or number or email):


Login problems?

Show these comments on your site

News about Elfpack
Help - How does Elfpack work?