Two Stories In One
Set against the backdrop of multiple galactic civilizations, most of Cordelia's Honor takes place in relative backwaters, first the wild planet of Sergyar and then on Barrayar, which has been cut off from the rest of the universe for generations. By placing most of the story on these untamed worlds, Bujold shows us the more brutal side of civilized space, similar to the feeling of the original Star Trek series.
The protagonist is Cordelia Naismith, a strong female lead who is easy to like. She consistently chooses her own path through the narrative, moving the plot forward instead of passively responding to events, her actions often surprising the other characters, and mayhap even the reader too.
More Than Meets The Eye
While Cordelia's Honor and the rest of the Miles Vorkosigan saga has action, adventure, fantastic technology and space battles in spades, the series is really more about the relationships between people, which is really its strong point. The characters are fallible, complex, and engaging, their relationships evolving in unpredictable ways. It is a kind of space soap opera, the events and characters larger than life, but the emotions and connections still relatable, making it one of my favorite series.
Don't Be Disappointed If . . .
If you find yourself really attached to Cordelia, be prepared, for while she appears in the rest of the series, the other books focus more on Miles Vorkosigan - a brilliant, hyperactive depressive. This bummed me out at first, until I grew to love Miles as much, or more, than Cordelia, and met even more characters later who I really liked.