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Captain Vorpatril's alliance (2012)

by Lois McMaster Bujold

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Vorkosigan: Publication Order (16), Vorkosigan: Chronological Order (15)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,2419912,007 (3.99)1 / 154
"Book Fourteen in the best-selling Vorkosigan series. 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 his life on Komarr, far from the Byzantine court politics of his home system. But when an old friend in Barrayaran intelligence asks Ivan to protect an attractive young woman who may be on the hit list of a criminal syndicate, Ivan's chivalrous nature takes over. It seems danger and adventure have once more found Captain Vorpatril. Tej Arqua and her half-sister and servant Rish are fleeing the violent overthrow of their clan on free-for-all planet Jackson's Whole. Now it seems Tej may possess a hidden secret of which even she may not be aware. It's a secret that could corrupt the heart of a highly regarded Barayarran family and provide the final advantage for the thugs who seek to overthrow Tej's homeworld. But none of Tej's formidable adversaries have counted on Ivan Vorpatril. For behind Ivan's faÇade of wry and self-effacing humor lies a true and cunning protector who will never leave a distressed lady in the lurch-up to and including making the ultimate sacrifice to keep her from harm: the treasured and hard-won freedom from his own fate as a scion of Barrayar. About Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga: "Fans have been clamoring for Hugo winner Bujold to pen a new Vorkosigan Saga novel. her deft and absorbing writing easily corrals the complex plot."--Publishers Weekly on Cryoburn "Bujold mixes quirky humor with action [and] superb character development...[E]normously satisfying."--Publishers Weekly. "One of sf's outstanding talents. an outstanding series."--Booklist ". an intelligent, well-crafted and thoroughly satisfying blend of adventure, sociopolitical commentary, scientific experiments, and occasional perils. with that extra spicing of romance."--Locus About Vorkosigan series entry Diplomatic Immunity: "Bujold is adept at world-building and provides a witty, character-centered plot, full of exquisite grace notes. fans will be thoroughly gripped and likely to finish the book in a single sitting."--Publishers Weekly"--"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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» See also 154 mentions

English (98)  French (1)  All languages (99)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
Ivan as the protagonist is reluctant, competent, and adorable. ( )
  kcollett | Nov 25, 2021 |
Captain Vorkosigan's Alliance centers around Miles's cousin Ivan, who we previously knew as a hapless womanizer who true ambition is to avoid any real work. While this book doesn't exactly contradict that impression, we get get to know him a lot better, we readers can sympathize with a character who, despite everything, just wants to stay out of the limelight. The book revolves around Ivan saving a woman named Tej, a refugee noble from the Jacksonian system, from would-be assassins and local authorities by protecting her with a fake marriage. In the first half of the book, the characters get to know one another, which at times felt like a "greatest hits" montage of past Vorkosigan novels. Ivan and Tej get closer, but then Tej's family shows up with plans to take back their Jacksonian throne, even at the expense of Ivan's own nation Barrayar. What follows is a test of loyalty for our new couple, as Tej's family get deeper and deeper into their crazy scheme. All in all I enjoyed this one quite a bit, and was very impressed with the author's ability to make a character like Ivan so sympathetic. ( )
  Phrim | Sep 3, 2021 |
I'm a huge fan of Bujold's Vorkosigan series. She is one of only three authors whose books I pre-order in hardback (and I only order her Vorkosigan books, not her other series). To give this book three stars saddens me, because her past stories in this series have been so wonderful.

Other reviewers (especially Marjorie) have already provided through, in-depth reviews, so I'll just hit the main reasons for my low rating.

First, there is no sense of urgency. From "Cordelia's Honor" (one of my all-time favorite books) through "A Civil Campaign" the Vorkosigan books have always been a bit of a thrill-ride -- especially those featuring Miles. The stakes have been high, for the characters and their worlds, and I as a reader have been on the edge of my seat. This story -- like "Cryoburn" before it -- takes its time. We are told Tej is in danger, but it seldom feels that way. The plot meanders along, with Ivan getting to work on time often the most urgent element.

Two, Ivan is short-changed. He's always been a delightful supporting player, and this was his chance to shine. He doesn't. He's charming, loyal, honorable, even smart -- but he's not allowed to really be a hero, nor even a great lover.

Three, Tej, the female lead, is a sweet person, but not particularly interesting. Several other female members of her family could have been fascinating stars of their own stories, but are kept firmly subordinate.

The best parts of the story were those featuring Simon Illyan, and those which referred back to earlier events, such as the memorial for Ivan's father.

This story would have been vastly improved by taking place in Jackson's Whole -- and probably by bringing in Mark and his own peculiar brilliance. Virtually a Jacksonian himself, he (and maybe his Black Gang?) would have added a level of complication which the story sorely needed.

Sadly, this book is not even staying on my shelves, with all the other Vorkosigan books. I'm taking it to the used book store.
( )
  jsabrina | Jul 13, 2021 |
Decent fare. ( )
  wetdryvac | Mar 2, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bujold, Lois McMasterprimary 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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First words
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.
Quotations
'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?'

'Yes...?'

'I should have made it for yesterday.'
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

"Book Fourteen in the best-selling Vorkosigan series. 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 his life on Komarr, far from the Byzantine court politics of his home system. But when an old friend in Barrayaran intelligence asks Ivan to protect an attractive young woman who may be on the hit list of a criminal syndicate, Ivan's chivalrous nature takes over. It seems danger and adventure have once more found Captain Vorpatril. Tej Arqua and her half-sister and servant Rish are fleeing the violent overthrow of their clan on free-for-all planet Jackson's Whole. Now it seems Tej may possess a hidden secret of which even she may not be aware. It's a secret that could corrupt the heart of a highly regarded Barayarran family and provide the final advantage for the thugs who seek to overthrow Tej's homeworld. But none of Tej's formidable adversaries have counted on Ivan Vorpatril. For behind Ivan's faÇade of wry and self-effacing humor lies a true and cunning protector who will never leave a distressed lady in the lurch-up to and including making the ultimate sacrifice to keep her from harm: the treasured and hard-won freedom from his own fate as a scion of Barrayar. About Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga: "Fans have been clamoring for Hugo winner Bujold to pen a new Vorkosigan Saga novel. her deft and absorbing writing easily corrals the complex plot."--Publishers Weekly on Cryoburn "Bujold mixes quirky humor with action [and] superb character development...[E]normously satisfying."--Publishers Weekly. "One of sf's outstanding talents. an outstanding series."--Booklist ". an intelligent, well-crafted and thoroughly satisfying blend of adventure, sociopolitical commentary, scientific experiments, and occasional perils. with that extra spicing of romance."--Locus About Vorkosigan series entry Diplomatic Immunity: "Bujold is adept at world-building and provides a witty, character-centered plot, full of exquisite grace notes. fans will be thoroughly gripped and likely to finish the book in a single sitting."--Publishers Weekly"--"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"--

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