Omg. Omg. Omg.
Barraryar is the first book I've read that is a sequel to one from the list. The first book in the series was Shards of Honour which as I said was friggin' adorkable. THE ADORKABLENESS CONTINUES.
The story starts from right after the end of the last book. Aral and Cordelia have a bun in the oven but Aral is now Regent to the Emperor of Barrayar. There's a delicious amount of palace intrigue, assassination attempts and then a full on PALACE COUP!
I think it does the same as the first book in terms of the test. Though, it's far more obvious about how backward Barrayar is in terms of equality AND there are waaay more women. Hooray! Still not 50/50 but better. Cordelia delightfully points out how unprogressive things are and stirs things up a bit. I love Cordelia. She is so immensely kick ass at the end of the book took - her and Drou.
Still ADORKABLE. From Aral and Cordelia still making moon-eyes at each other but even more so are Kou and Drou. It made me laugh out loud and giggle a lot. This happens all around the political intrigue and palace coup.
I really want to read the others in the series but the more or less center around Miles, the aforementioned bun in the oven...and I think I've already read some of them because I've definitely read something by Lois McMaster Bujold and Miles sounds awfully familiar. I'm pretty sure they are excellent but what I find so enjoyable is Aral and Cordelia.
I'm now reading Final Empire and it is so boring compared to Barraryar. Sigh.