This is an omnibus edition containing the first two (chronologically speaking) books in the Miles Vorkosigan Sci-Fi series: Shards of Honor and Barrayar. Shards of Honor tells the story of how Miles' parents (Cordelia Naismith and Aral Vorkisigan)meet and through unlikely circumstances fall in love. Barrayar narrates the first year of Aral and Cordelia's marriage, and the birth of Miles in midst of a civil war. Both books are also good inroductions to the planet and culture of Barrayar.
I am embaressed to admit that I JUST stumbled on to Bujold which seems silly as she is a prolific and award studded author from the upper midwest. After reading this and one of her straight fantasy novels (The Curse of Chalion), all the accolades she has earned are dserved. I am not usually much of a sci-fi lover as it tends to focus on setting and neat technological ideas and I am more interested in character, relationships and plot which is why I liked this book so much. Bujold's appears to be way more interested in her characters; their situation and relationships, while the setting, though well developed serves as backdrop. The plots in these two books follow a political intrigue theme which was also engaging. This was a great read.
So while I am embaressed I am very glad to have discovered Lois McMaster Bujold. She pretty much rocks.