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Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Vorkosigan…

Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Vorkosigan Saga 16) (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Lois McMaster Bujold

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Title:Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Vorkosigan Saga 16)
Authors:Lois McMaster Bujold
Info:Baen (2012), Hardcover, 432 pages
Collections:English novels

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Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold (2012)

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Showing 1-5 of 65 (next | show all)
This is fun, and it wants to be fun and for the most part it succeeds. Working as an aide for an admiral in Komarr, Ivan Vorpatril, the Wooster to Miles' Jeeves, if Jeeves fecked off out into the universe and did his own thing with Wooster waving him on from the distant sidelines because Jeeves is a bit of a trouble magnet whose solutions cause more trouble than the trouble as far as Wooster is concerned, finds himself in trouble when a cousin, no a different cousin, sends him off to pick up a woman and take her out for a night for unspecified reasons. The picking up is disastrous because the woman and her half-sister are refugees from a nasty coup on Jackson's Whole, and they promptly stun him and tie him up and ponder loudly about how to dispose of his body.

So, a comedy of errors, at least to start with, turning into something vaguely farcical as Ivan, the refugess and the cousin are trapped in an apartment with two types of duly authorised arresting officials trying to get in and nowhere to run, leaving Ivan with no choice but to do the obvious thing and marry her.

That sorts out their immediate problem Everyone returns to Barryar to contemplate the can of worms. There follows an extended middle section of the book where various sections of Ivan's rich, powerful, priveleged, aristocratic but also massively competent, capable, intelligent, over-achieving, highly moral and nice, but tough when they need to be, family, contemplate, with distant amusement and exasperation, Ivan's problem. They are arch, splendid, caring, shrewd, and let us not forget, the scions of a once-nasty, now-nice galactic empire, Bujold's ongoing happy ending for the Miles Vorkosigan series, the kind of equilibrium a comedy is supposed to throw into disorder, but this lot are so awesome, it doesn't look as if anything short of a nuclear bomb would ruffle their feathers.

We don't get a bomb, but just as you're about to build and throw one yourself, Ivan's new in-laws arrive en-masse, scheming, ruthless, haughty, on the run but still, somehow lovable in their own way, and things get interesting again.

So, yes, it's a science fiction rom-com, harmless and fun and inoffensive, wittily written, clever and warm-hearted. It's only real flaw is it's a bit too in love with the setting and the characters to really upset the apple-cart or do anything especially subversive or threatening. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
The story starts on Komarr where Ivan has accompanied his boss. Byerly Vorrutyer turns up at his door asking for a favor -- can Ivan help protect a young lady that Byerly thinks might be in danger? Even though Ivan knows that getting entangled with Byerly's affairs can be trouble, he reluctantly agrees. From there to Barrayar every move seems to bring more trouble ...

A good addition to the Vorkosigan series and one of the more light-hearted adventures. Although some have suggested that this novel can be read as a stand-alone, I believe that my enjoyment was enhanced by having read the others first.
  hailelib | Aug 9, 2015 |
Took a couple of chapters to shut up Miles, I must say. Loved it by the end, so totally Ivan in character details and plot. Works very nicely, hoping for more Ivan stories. ( )
  libgirl69 | Feb 22, 2015 |
A tale in the Miles Universe is always a fun read. Bujold has that way with her writing to make it so. These later tales though have given us more of what she has always woven, a way to link her secondary characters to the story more intensely and give them all happy endings.

As we look back over the course of the series we see that nearly all the secondary characters peripheral to Miles Vorkosigan have had their own stories tied up yet not with a full novel. That Bujold gives us one of Miles long devoted family members a full book shows that Bujold likes and respects that character and now fleshing him out totally, we see the Ivan Vorpatril is a character to be admired, except in the end when he decides on a course that seems completely at a tangent to what we have come to expect and what he had been groomed for.

At this point in the tale of the Vorkosigan Universe there may never be another story, yet one hopes that there are. There are plot twists a plenty here and all to make a truly exciting, thundering tale that hooks you and becomes a true page turner.

I almost rated this as one of my very favorite reads of all time, a perfect book, but I thought the very last bit a little disappointing as well as some solutions that seem trite instead of right. (Really, Mark making a play at the very end to do something just for the sake of a humorous smile did not fit with the nerve wracking set-up of the situation before that.)

So more in the universe, and with nearly everyone wed, perhaps as we see in the Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan universe, a way for the older generation, our heroes becoming that, and their children growing up to hit their teenage years of rebellion, and then their young adult heroic passing of the baton... ( )
  DWWilkin | Nov 4, 2014 |
Quite fun. I chuckled aloud, repeatedly. Not the place to start with this series. ( )
  AmphipodGirl | Oct 14, 2014 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois McMaster Bujoldprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carol Russo DesignCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Freeman, JoyPagessecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Seeley, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Ivan’s door buzzer sounded at close to Komarran midnight, just when he was unwinding enough from lingering jump lag, his screwed-up diurnal rhythm, and the day’s labors to consider sleep.
'I do not have a claustrophobia thing. I have a perfectly rational dislike of being locked up in small, dark, wet spaces by people trying to kill me.' (Ivan)
His eye fell on Simon, watching this with his mouth gone wry. 'And Simon. What the hell?' The Why was I blindsided? look was very clear in the Emperor's eye, which Ivan could only be grateful was not turned on him. Yet.

Simon gave him a beleaguered head tilt. 'You know that long lunch appointment I made with you for tomorrow?'


'I should have made it for yesterday.'
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"Captain Ivan Vorpatril is happy with his relatively uneventful bachelor's life of a staff officer to a Barrayaran Admiral. Ivan, cousin to Imperial troubleshooter Miles Vorkosigan, is not far down the hereditary list for the emperorship. Thankfully, new heirs have directed that headache elsewhere leaving Ivan to enjoy like on Komarr. But when and old friend in Barrayaran intelligence asks Ivan to protect an attractive young woman Tej Arqua his chivalrous nature takes over and danger finds him once again. Tej and her half-sister Rish are fleeing the violent overthrow of their clan but it seems Tej may possess a hidden secret that could corrupt the heart of a highly regarded Barrayarn family. But none of Tej's formidable adversaries have counted on Ivan Vorpatril. Behind his facade of wry and self effacing humor lies a true and cunning protector who will never leave a distressed lady in the lurch"--… (more)

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