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Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Miles…
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Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Miles Vorkosigan) (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Lois McMaster Bujold

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1,0458412,134 (3.99)1 / 133
Member:mrklingon
Title:Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Miles Vorkosigan)
Authors:Lois McMaster Bujold
Info:Baen (2012), Hardcover, 432 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:vorkosigan, vorkosigan

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

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English (83)  French (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
I gave this three stars because I'm a huge Bujold/Vorkosiverse fan, but I can't hide my disappointment.

The last two books (Diplomatic Immunity and Cryoburn) were still enjoyable but showed some sort of "weariness" in my opinion, as if Ms. Bujold had lost the drive and delight she shared with her readers in fleshing out this universe, so I greeted this new work with the hope that a change of scenery would infuse new life in the story. It was partially so, but still something was amiss.

Ivan Vorpatril has always been a delightful character, the perfect foil for his ebullient, almost-crazy cousin, and I always had the impression that once out of such a huge shadow he would sparkle on his own, and yet here he seems to let things happen to him, rather than being the protagonist he deserves to be. It's as if the character, once free of his constricting barriers (Miles, his own strong-willed mother and assorted relatives) did not know what to do with himself. Which to me sounds like a waste of good material.

There are a number of good moments, granted, including several cameo appearances from Miles, Cordelia and Aral Vorkosigan; we see a new side of the formidable Simon Illyan – now retired – and the peeks into Barrayaran society are fascinating as ever. For his part, Ivan comes out as an intelligent, brave and capable person (and officer, as well) and the parade of interesting characters that surrounds him makes for an entertaining reading, yet the overall feeling is one of... remoteness. As if Bujold's heart were not entirely there, not anymore.

I liked the book, and I will certainly read anything else Ms. Bujold will write about this universe because her fresh, quick style is captivating and entertaining, but this one – like the preceding two – will not prompt me to re-read it as it happened with the rest of the Vor saga that for me, sadly, stopped being compelling with "A Civil Campaign".

Despite everything, I can't shake a sense of loss, and it saddens me a bit...

( )
1 vote SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
I've waited for years for Ivan Vorpatril to get his own story. He's been playing the not-overly-bright clown for long enough, and it's good to see him get a little bit of the attention he has carefully avoided.

As the quietly capable but unambitious staff officer to a Barrayaran admiral, Ivan has been enjoying his bachelor life. Both his cousins, Emperor Gregor and Imperial Auditor Lord Miles Vorkosigan, have cooperated by producing heirs that make Ivan much less a target of interest. All is going smoothly, until Byerly Vorrutyer shows up at the door of his temporary apartment on Komarr, asking him to please go charm and protect a young woman whom Byerly believes may be on the hit list of a crime syndicate he's investigating.

The young woman, Tej Arqua, and her half-sister Rish, are fleeing the capture of their home at Jackson's Whole, and they don't know who, if anyone, from their family has survived. They're hoping their brother who went to Escobar for medical training will still be there and safe--but they've been unable to reach Escobar, and now they're nearly out of resources. They don't find it easy to trust Ivan, but when a hit team catches up with them and Ivan helps dispatch it, they reluctantly accept his offer of temporary shelter in his apartment.

At this point, they think he's just another Barrayaran military officer, and Ivan has no idea what Jacksonian House they're from. But when the local police want to talk to Ivan about the apparent kidnapping of Tej, and the bad guys report Tej to Immigration, they quickly find themselves between a rock and a hard place, and Ivan comes up with the brilliant idea of marrying Tej.

And then, of course, the real complications start.

This is not one of the more serious entries in the series. This is a comic romp, with added light romantic comedy, Barrayaran style. It might not be the best place to start the series, but if you've enjoyed past entries, Captain Vorpatril's Alliance is a lot of fun.

Chronologically, it fits between Diplomatic Immunity and Cryoburn.

Recommended.

I borrowed this book from the library. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance is told from Ivan Vorpatril's point of view (the first novel-length Vorkosigan instalment that doesn't feature Miles as the lead character although he puts in a brief appearance). Ivan has accompanied his boss, Admiral Desplains to Komarr on an inspection tour. While there, he meets up with Byerly Vorrutyer who asks him to do a favour - there's something fishy going on and By has been asked to kidnap a mysterious young lady so he asks Ivan to met her and protect her. In order to do this, Ivan ends up marrying her - temporarily - to lend her the protection of his name and social position. It seems the young lady, Tej, is the youngest daughter of a Jacksonian House who have suffered a hostile takeover, and there is a price on her head (she appears to be the remaining member of her family).

Ivan takes the new Lady Vorpatril back to Barryar, where she is met with approval by his mother and other members of his family, including Emperor Gregor. However, when they try and dissolve their marriage, they encounter an unexpected hitch - Count Falco Vorpatril refuses to dissolve the marriage on the grounds that there are no grounds to do so.

Further complications ensure when it turns out that the reports of Tej's family deaths were premature, and they turn up on Barryar with a scheme to recoup their fortunes to take back their House. It turns out that Tej's grandmother was a Cetagandan who was married to a ghem-Lord during the Cetagandan occupation, and she knows the location of a bunker stuffed with loot - under Imp.Sec HQ... This produces the funniest scene of the book!
  Maddz | Aug 19, 2018 |
I've read many, if not all, of the volumes about Captain Vorpatril's cousin, who is frankly a far more interesting fellow. This book seems to have been written in part to explain all of the family trees of the various colonies in Bujold's future universe. Most of the characters were somewhat less than fully fleshed out -- and some of them would have been fun to know more about. The plot was also beyond absurd even compared to the wild exploits of Vorpatril's cousin. What a shame. I expected so much more. ( )
  abycats | May 11, 2018 |
It was a great read, really enjoyable. It was nice to not have Miles at the centre for a change... Vorpatril could have potential as a future protagonist. ( )
  Douglas_K | Feb 16, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lois McMaster Bujoldprimary authorall editionscalculated
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.
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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"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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