Book pak The Reader's Chair 1996
CS ISBN 1885585004 $42.00 Seven cassettes
When I first started listening to Carol Cowan, who performs all the female voices in this science fiction novel, and Michael Hanson, who does the male voices, I thought to myself, "Why they sound nothing like Cordelia and Aral." But then as their voices spun out the magic of this adventurous combination of science fiction and romance, I was ensnared in their interpretation. It's quite like seeing a new performer play the lead role in one's favorite play: It's different and strange but sometimes can even be an improvement or at least a welcome addition. Shards of Honor is a wonderful choice for dual performance. Cordelia Naismith, leader of a Betan scientific survey team, is a citizen of a world in which equality is so important that many decisions are made by committee, rather than by chain of command. Somehow Cowan's voice manages to convey both Cordelia's self-assured competence and her sense of humor. Michael Hanson ably portrays Aral Vorkosigan, who is a proud but disgraced warrior, a member of the Vor class from the feudal planet of Barrayar. The romance in Shards of Honor is not the blistering heat of lust, but rather a quiet wellspring of enduring passion that has its beginnings in earned mutual respect and genuine friendship. On the surface the two are complete opposites, but, in truth, they both base their conduct on a bone-deep sense of honor. When Aral's honor is compromised because of a no-win situation resulting in many deaths, Cordelia exhibits mental distress at having to preserve her own honor without betraying Aral, which manifests in a stutter convincingly done by Cowan. D.T.H. ©AudioFile, Portland, Maine [Published: JUN 97]
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