Cordelia's Honor

When Enemies Become More than Friends—

In her first trial by fire, Cordelia Naismith captained a throwaway ship of the Betan Expeditionary Force on a mission to destroy an enemy armada. Discovering deception within deception, treachery within treachery, she was forced into a separate peace with her chief opponent, Lord Aral Vorkosigan —he who was called "The Butcher of Komarr"—and would consequently become an outcast on her own planet and the Lady Vorkosigan on his.

Sick of combat and betrayal, she was ready to settle down to a quiet life, interrupted only by the occasion ceremonial appearances required of the Lady Vorkosigan. But when the Emperor died, Aral became guardian of the infant heir to the imperial throne of Barrayar —and the target of high-tech assassins in a dynastic civil war that was reminiscent of Earth's Middle Ages, but fought with up-to-the minute biowar technology. Neither Aral nor Cordelia guessed the part that their cell-damaged unborn would play in Barrayar's bloody legacy.

Publisher's Note: Cordelia's Honor is comprised of two parts: Shards of Honor and Barrayar. Together they form a continuous story following the life of Cordelia Vorkosigan nee Naismith from the day she met her then-enemy Lord Aral Vorkosigan through the boyhood of her son Miles. Barrayar won the Hugo Award for best science fiction novel of the year.

Cover art by Gary Ruddell

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This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

First mass market printing, September 1999

Distributed by Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN: 0-671-57828-6

Copyright © 1986 Shards of Honor; copyright © 1991 Barrayar; copyright © 1996 "Afterword"; all by Lois McMaster Bujold.

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

A Baen Books Original
Baen Publishing Enterprises
P.O. Box 1403
Riverdale, NY 10471

Production by Windhaven Press
Auburn, NH

Electronic version by WebWrights



"Superb . . . science fiction . . . adventure and war . . . hugely enjoyable." —Booklist

"This author is bound to becme a favorite on everyone's list." —Romantic Times


" . . . a tour de force of topnotch characterization and thrilling adventure." —Rave Reviews

"In the course of an often spine-tingling adventure, Bujold and her heroine deal with these crucial subjects: militarism, feminism, eugenics, and the dead hand of tradition, with a marvelous mixture of grace and cunning. . . . This is sf fully equipped with brains, humor, and heart." —Locus

"All the virtues, including prose that sings."—Chicago Sun-Times

"Bujold has a genius for blending technological speculation . . . classic military science fiction, and cultural anthropology . . . in wonderfully plotted stories. Cordelia is the most competent female protagonist I can remember in one of the most enjoyable books." —VOYA

". . . A phenomenal success. . . . Bujold's Barrayar series has it all . . . carefully plotted and full of action.—Cleveland Plain Dealer

". . . Her best book yet. This is not faint praise; her last novel, The Vor Game, won the 1991 Hugo, and Falling Free won a Nebula in 1989 . . . it's the swashbuckling that makes this story fun."—Philadelphia Inquirer

Baen Books by Lois McMaster Bujold

The Vorkosigan Saga:

Cordelia's Honor (Omnibus)
Young Miles (Omnibus)
Miles, Mystery and Mayhem (Omnibus)
Miles Errant (Omnibus)
The Warrior's Apprentice
The Vor Game
Borders of Infinity
Brothers in Arms
Mirror Dance
A Civil Campaign
Diplomatic Immunity

Falling Free
Ethan of Athos
The Spirit Ring