watervole: (books)
 I recently read "Tell Beauty how she Blasteth"  which was recc'd by espresso-addict (who tends to recommend a lot of stuff that I like in fandoms like Whimsey and Vorkosigan and Earthsea)

It's an AU to the Lord Peter Whimsey novel 'Strong Poison'

Reading it, I was struck by how much Harriet Vane reminded me of Cordelia Naismith in 'Shards of Honour' (Cordelia's Honour) by Lois McMaster Bujold - both characters have that strong inner sense of principle.  Harriet would not lie or burst into tears in an attempt to persuade the court to spare her life.

Cordelia likewise.  When taken prisoner, she retains her sense of duty and insists on burying Lt Rosemount before being willing to leave with Vorkosigan - which is one of the things that he later mentions as a reason why he came to love her.  

I've read Shards of Honour many times over the years - I'm just reading it again now.

One of the reasons I like it so much is that it is a romance, but a romance where the characters never act stupidly.  War forces them apart, they are on opposite sides.  However, they both understand that this is the case - and they both understand that the other will not betray their own people.  They both keep important military secrets from the other - but do not regard that refusal to share information as a betrayal of themselves.

Rather, they understand that ruthlessness in war can (depending on whose side you are looking at it from) can be part of an attempt to save lives in the bigger picture.

They don't talk about love.  They are in a situation where it is not realistic for them to do so.  Yet, when honour allows, they work together as an unspoken team.  They know each other's measure of worth and honesty and know the value of each other's word.

Many of you will have already read this book.  For those of you who haven't, I highly recommend it.

I went to look at Wikipedia to see if it mentioned Whimsey and Bujold together.  It did.  "The author (Bujold) has stated that the series structure is modeled after the Horatio Hornblower books, documenting the life of a single person. In themes and echoes, they also reflect Dorothy L. Sayers' mystery character Lord Peter Wimsey. "

PS.  I knew Ekaterin was inspired by Harriet, I just hadn't seen it with Cordelia before.

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Judith Proctor

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