Lois McMaster Bujold

Updated Saturday, 24 November, 2012

I really enjoy Bujold?s writing. I have read most of the Vorkosigan saga, and loved every book. She mostly stays away from the very technical side of science fiction, but she does have some fun inventions and whatnot. I guess you could say that she writes adventure stories in a galactic setting. Definitely fun reading. The two books about Aral Vorkosigan and Cordelia Naismith are listed in the order they should be read in. The Miles Vorkosigan Adventures are listed more or less in chronological order—not perfectly, since Borders of Infinity has episodes that take place at various times during Miles?s life (see the chronology at the bottom of the page for details). It doesn't matter too much, though. I started with Borders of Infinity and then went in more-or-less alphabetical order, and enjoyed every book, without having any book spoil another book. Don?t read Memory or Komarr before any of the books listed before it, though, that could spoil something. I highly recommend all of the books I have read by this author.

Books I've Read by Lois McMaster Bujold


The Spirit Ring (Paperback) or (Hardcover edition)
The Spirit RingFiametta Beneforte dreamed of making beautiful and enchanted objets d'art, but alas her magician-goldsmith father was more likely to have her scrub the kiln than study magic. After all, it was a waste to train a mere daughter beyond the needs of the moment.

Thur Ochs dreamed of escaping the icy mines of Bruinwald. But the letter from his brother Uri arranging his apprenticeship to Master Beneforte was not the only force that drew him over the mountains to the Duchy of Montefoglia...

A betrayal at a banquet plunges Thur and Fiametta into a struggle against men who would use vile magic for vile ends. Needs of this desperate moment will require all their wits, all their talents, and all their courage, if they are to rescue both Montefoglia and the souls of those they most love. (book description)
Women at War (Mass Market Paperback -- out of print) or (Hardcover edition -- out of print)
Women at War
THE FIRST ORIGINAL ANTHOLOGY OF MILITARY SF BY WOMEN


Lois McMaster Bujold, the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Barrayar, The Vor Game, and Falling Free, joins with Roland J. Green, author of the popular Starcruiser Shenandoah series, to present a ground-breaking, all-original collection of hard-hitting military SF by women. Here are tales of women at war: women as soldiers, queens, medics, civilians, victims, and survivors. Some of science fiction's most distinguished writers and most promising new voices have given us stories to trouble the mind and harrow the soul. From the horrors of Bosnia to high-tech far-future peacekeepers, from headhunters seeking wars to businessmen buying them, Women at War is a diverse, entertaining, and provocative anthology that will remain in the thoughts of readers for a long time to come.


Muster

Margaret Ball
P.J. Beese
Susan Booth
Juanita Coulson
P.N. Elrod
P.M. Griffin
Holly Lisle
Sydney Long
Gay Marshall
Adrienne Martine-Barnes
R.M. Meluch
Elizabeth Moon
Mickey Zucker Reichert
Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
Jennifer Stevenson
Judith Tarr
Jane Yolen

(book description)

Chalion

    The Curse of Chalion (Mass Market Paperback) or (Hardcover edition)
    The Curse of ChalionA man broken in body and spirit, Cazaril has returned to the noble household he once served as page, and is named, to his great surprise, secretary-tutor to the beautiful, strong-willed sister of the impetuous boy who is next in line to rule. It is an assignment Cazaril dreads, for it must ultimately lead him to the place he most fears: the royal court of Cardegoss, where the powerful enemies who once placed him in chains now occupy lofty positions. But it is more than the traitorous intrigues of villains that threaten Cazaril and the Royesse Iselle here, for a sinister curse hangs like a sword over the entire blighted House of Chalion and all who stand in their circle. And only by employing the darkest, most forbidden of magics can Cazaril hope to protect his royal charge--an act that will mark the loyal, damaged servant as a tool of the miraculous...and trap him, flesh and soul, in a maze of demonic paradox, damnation, and death. (book description)
  1. Paladin of Souls (Mass Market Paperback) or (Hardcover edition)
    Paladin of Souls

    One of the most honored authors in the field of fantasy and science fiction, Lois McMaster Bujold transports us once more to a dark and troubled land and embroils us in a desperate struggle to preserve the endangered souls of a realm.

    Paladin of Souls

    Three years have passed since the widowed Dowager Royina Ista found release from the curse of madness that kept her imprisoned in her family?s castle of Valenda. Her newfound freedom is costly, bittersweet with memories, regrets, and guilty secrets—for she knows the truth of what brought her land to the brink of destruction. And now the road—escape—beckons . . . . A simple pilgrimage, perhaps. Quite fitting for the Dowager Royina of all Chalion.

    Yet something else is free, too—something beyond deadly. To the north lies the vital border fortress of Porifors. Memories linger there as well, of wars and invasions and the mighty Golden General of Jokona. And someone, something, watches from across that border—humans, demons, gods.

    Ista thinks her little party of pilgrims wanders at will. But whose? When Ista?s retinue is unexpectedly set upon not long into its travels, a mysterious ally appears—a warrior nobleman who fights like a berserker. The temporary safety of her enigmatic champion?s castle cannot ease Ista?s mounting dread, however, when she finds his dark secrets are entangled with hers in a net of the gods? own weaving.

    In her dreams the threads are already drawing her to unforeseen chances, fateful meetings, fearsome choices. What the inscrutable gods commanded of her in the past brought her land to the brink of devastation. Now, once again, they have chosen Ista as their instrument. And again, for good or for ill, she must comply. (book description)

    Personal note: I really enjoy Lois Mcmaster Bujold?s writing. So it?s really says something about this book that I think it?s the best book of hers that I have had the pleasure of reading. It was even better than the first book in this series, and that also says something.

  2. The Hallowed Hunt (Mass Market Paperback) or (Hardcover edition)
    The Hallowed Hunt

    An acclaimed legend in the field of fantasy and science fiction, Lois McMaster Bujold returns to the vivid and perilous world of her previous masterworks, the Hugo Award-winning Paladin of Souls and Hugo and World Fantasy Award-nominated The Curse of Chalion, with an epic tale of devotion and strange destiny.

    Prince Boleso is dead—slain by a noblewoman he had intended to defile.

    Lord Ingrey kin Wolfcliff has been dispatched to the remote castle of the late, exiled, half-mad royal to transport the body to its burial place and the accused killer, the Lady Ijada, to judgment. Ingrey?s mission is an ugly and delicate one, for the imminent death of the old Hallow King has placed the crown in play, and the murder of his youngest son threatens to further roil already treacherous political waters. But there is more here than a prince?s degenerate lusts and the fatal retribution it engendered. Boleso?s dark act, though unfinished, inadvertently bestowed an unwanted mystical "gift" upon proud, brave Ijada that must ultimately mean her doom—a curse similar to one with which Ingrey himself has been burdened since boyhood.

    A forbidden spirit now inhabits the soul of Ijada, giving her senses she never wished for and an obligation no one sane would desire. At once psychically linked to the remarkable lady and repelled by what she carries within, Ingrey fears the havoc his own inner beast could wreak while on their journey, as he fights a powerful growing attraction . . . and an equally powerful compulsion to kill.

    The road they travel together is beset with dangers—and though duty-bound to deliver Ijada to an almost certain execution, Ingrey soon realizes that she is the only one he dares trust. For a malevolent enemy with designs on a troubled kingdom holds Ingrey in his sway—and without Ijada?s aid and love, the haunted lord will never be able to break free and realize the great and terrible destiny bestowed upon him by the gods, the damned, and the dead. (book description)

    Personal note: Wow. I don't know how it's even possible, but this book was even better than the last one. The world of Chalion keeps getting better, fuller, and more complex. This third installment shares no characters with the first two, which really opens up the possibilities for further development in this world.

The Sharing Knife

  1. The Sharing Knife, Volume 1: Beguilement (Mass Market Paperback) or (Hardcover Edition) or (Amazon Kindle Edition)
    Beguilement

    The first volume in an epic two-part fantasy of devotion, destiny, and perilous magic from one of the most honored writers in the field—multiple Hugo Award-winning author

    LOIS McMASTER BUJOLD

    Troubled young Fawn Bluefield seeks a life beyond her family’s farm. But en route to the city, she encounters a patrol of Lakewalkers, nomadic soldier-sorcerers from the northern woodlands. Feared necromancers armed with mysterious knives made of human bone, they wage a secret, ongoing war against the scourge of the "malices," immortal entities that draw the life out of their victims, enslaving human and animal alike.

    It is Dag—a Lakewalker patroller weighed down by past sorrows and onerous present responsibilities—who must come to Fawn’s aid when she is taken captive by a malice. They prevail at a devastating cost—unexpectedly binding their fates as they embark upon a remarkable journey into danger and delight, prejudice and partnership . . . and perhaps even love. (book description)

    Personal note: With this book, Bujold has introduced us to an exciting new universe, referred to as The Sharing Knife. I really enjoyed this book. It had an interesting premise, good character development, well-built-up tension, and left me looking forward to book 2 (The Sharing Knife, Volume 2: Legacy).

  2. The Sharing Knife, Volume 2: Legacy (Mass Market Paperback) or (Hardcover Edition) or (Amazon Kindle Edition)
    Legacy

    Acclaimed science fiction and fantasy writer Lois McMaster Bujold—five-time winner of the Hugo Award—brings us the next chapter in her New York Times bestselling romantic fantasy

    THE SHARING KNIFE
    VOLUME TWO: LEGACY

    Fawn Bluefield, the clever young farmer girl, and Dag Redwing Hickory, the seasoned Lakewalker soldier-sorcerer, have been married all of two hours when they depart her family’s farm for Dag’s home at Hickory Lake Camp. Having gained a hesitant acceptance from Fawn’s family for their unlikely marriage, the couple hopes to find a similar reception among Dag’s Lakewalker kin. But their arrival is met with prejudice and suspicion, setting many in the camp against them, including Dag’s own mother and brother. A faction of Hickory Lake Camp, denying the literal bond between Dag and Fawn, woven in blood in the Lakewalker magical way, even goes so far as to threaten permanent exile for Dag.

    Before their fate as a couple is decided, however, Dag is called away by an unexpected—and viciously magical—malice attack on a neighboring hinterland threatening Lakewalkers and farmers both. What his patrol discovers there will not only change Dag and his new bride, but will call into question the uneasy relationship between their peoples—and may even offer a glimmer of hope for a less divided future.

    Filled with heroic deeds, wondrous magic, and rich, all-too-human characters, The Sharing Knife: Legacy is at once a gripping adventure and a poignant romance from one of the most imaginative and thoughtful writers in fantasy today. (book description)

    Personal note: This book is an excellent continuation of the story that started with The Sharing Knife, Volume 1: Beguilement. This new universe has some interesting concepts, as well as prejudice, unwillingness to change, ignorance, and people who strive to overcome such shortfalls, just like we find in our own world.

  3. The Sharing Knife, Volume 3: Passage (Hardcover Edition) or (Amazon Kindle Edition)
    Passage

    Acclaimed science fiction and fantasy writer Lois McMaster Bujold—five-time winner of the Hugo Award—brings us the third installment in her New York Times bestselling romantic fantasy
    The Sharing Knife
    Volume Three: Passage

    Young Fawn Bluefield and soldier-sorcerer Dag Redwing Hickory have survived magical dangers and found, in each other, love and loyalty. But even their strength and passion cannot overcome the bigotry of their own kin, and so, leaving behind all they have known, the couple sets off to find fresh solutions to the perilous split between their peoples. But they will not journey alone. Along the way they acquire comrades, starting with Fawn’s irrepressible brother Whit, whose future on the Bluefield family farm seems as hopeless as Fawn’s once did. Planning to seek passage on a riverboat heading to the sea, Dag and Fawn find themselves allied with a young flatboat captain searching for her father and fiance, who mysteriously vanished on the river nearly a year earlier. They travel downstream, hoping to find word of the missing men, and inadvertently pick up more followers: a pair of novice Lakewalker patrollers running away from an honest mistake with catastrophic consequences; a shrewd backwoods hunter stranded in a wreck of boats and hopes; and a farmer boy Dag unintentionally beguiles, leaving Dag with more questions than answers about his growing magery.

    As the ill-assorted crew is tested and tempered on its journey to where great rivers join, Fawn and Dag will discover surprising new abilities both Lakewalker and farmer, a growing understanding of the bonds between themselves and their kinfolk, and a new world of hazards both human and uncanny. (book description)

    Personal note: I am really enjoying this series. While I don’t think this book was quite as good as the previous two, it was still an excellent book, and I am definitely planning on finishing the series. I found this book to be a little slower than the other two, with less action, although there was still plenty going on to keep me glued to the pages.

  4. The Sharing Knife, Volume 4: Horizon (Mass Market Paperback) or (Hardcover Edition) or (Amazon Kindle Edition)
    Horizon

    In a world where malices—remnants of ancient magic—can erupt with life-destroying power, only soldier-sorcerer Lakewalkers have mastered the ability to kill them. But Lakewalkers keep their uncanny secrets and themselves from the farmers they protect, so when patroller Dag Redwing Hickory rescued farmer girl Fawn Bluefield, neither expected to fall in love, join their lives in marriage, or defy both their kin to seek new solutions to the perilous split between their peoples.

    As Dag’s maker abilities have grown, so has his concern about who—or what—he is becoming. At the end of a great river journey, Dag is offered an apprenticeship to a master groundsetter in a southern Lakewalker camp. But as his understanding of his powers deepens, so does his frustration with the camp’s rigid mores with respect to farmers. At last, he and Fawn decide to travel a very different road—and find that along it, their disparate but hopeful company increases.

    Fawn and Dag see that their world is changing, and the traditional Lakewalker practices cannot hold every malice at bay forever. Yet for all the customs that the couple has challenged thus far, they will soon be confronted by a crisis exceeding their worst imaginings, one that threatens their Lakewalker and farmer followers alike. Now the pair must answer in earnest the question they’ve grappled with since they killed their first malice together: When the old traditions fail disastrously, can their untried new ways stand against their world’s deadliest foe? (book description)

    Personal note: Lois McMaster Bujold has created a whole new world with this series, and has hinted at many stories untold with which she can expand that new world. I hope she does, because I’d love to read the resulting books.

The Universe of Miles Vorkosigan

Here is a sort of chronology as it appears in her books:

MILES VORKOSIGAN/NAISMITH:
HIS UNIVERSE AND TIMES

Chronology Events Chronicle
Approx. 200 years before Miles's birth Quaddies are created by genetic engineering. Falling Free
During Beta- Barrayaran War Cordelia Naismith meets Lord Aral Vorkosigan while on opposite sides of a war. Despite difficulties, they fall in love and are married. Shards of Honor
The Vordarian Pretendership While Cordelia is pregnant, an attempt to assassinate Aral by poison gas fails, but Cordelia is affected; Miles Vorkosigan is born with bones that will always be brittle and other medical problems. His growth will be stunted. Barrayar
Miles is 17 Miles fails to pass physical test to get into the Service Academy. On a trip, necessities force him to improvise the Free Dendarii Mercenaries into existence; he has unintended but unavoidable adventures for four months. Leaves the Dendarii in Ky Tung's competent hands and takes Elli Quinn to Beta for rebuilding of her damaged face; returns to Barrayar to thwart plot against his father. Emperor pulls strings to get Miles into the Academy. The Warrior?s Apprentice
Miles is 20 Ensign Miles graduates and immediately has to take on one of the duties of the Barrayaran nobility and act as detective and judge in a murder case. Shortly afterward, his first military assignment ends with his arrest. Miles has to rejoin the Dendarii to rescue the young Barrayaran emperor. Emperor accepts Dendarii as his personal secret service force. "The Mountains of Mourning" in Borders of Infinity, The Vor Game
Miles is 22 Miles and his cousin Ivan attend a Cetagandan state funeral and are caught up in Cetagandan internal politics. Cetaganda
  Miles sends Commander Elli Quinn, who's been given a new face on Beta, on a solo mission to Kline Station. Ethan of Athos
Miles is 23 Now a Barrayaran Lieutenant, Miles goes with the Dendarii to smuggle a scientist out of Jackson's Whole. Miles's fragile leg bones have been replaced by synthetics. "Labyrinth" in Borders of Infinity
Miles is 24 Miles plots from within a Cetagandan prison camp on Dagoola IV to free the prisoners. The Dendarii fleet is pursued by the Cetagandans and finally reaches Earth for repairs. Miles has to juggle both his identities at once, raise money for repairs, and defeat a plot to replace him with a double. Ky Tung stays on Earth. Commander Elli Quinn is now Miles's right-hand officer. Miles and the Dendarii depart for Sector IV on a rescue mission. "The Borders of Infinity" in Borders of Infinity, Brothers in Arms
Miles is 25 Hospitalized after previous mission, Miles's broken arms are replaced by synthetic bones. With Simon Illyan, Miles undoes yet another plot against his father while flat on his back. Borders of Infinity
Miles is 28 Miles meets his clone brother Mark again, this time on Jackson's Whole. Mirror Dance
Miles is 29 Miles hits thirty; thirty hits back Memory
Miles is 30 Emperor Gregor dispatches Miles to Komarr to investigate a space accident, where he finds old politics and new technology make a deadly mix. Komarr
Miles is 31 The Emperor's wedding sparks romance and intrigue on Barrayar, and Miles plunges up to his neck in both. A Civil Campaign
Miles is 32 Miles and Ekaterin's honeymoon journey is interrupted by an Auditorial mission to Quaddiespace, where they encounter old friends, new enemies, and a double handful of intrigue. Diplomatic Immunity
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