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Captain Vorpatril's Alliance…

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

by Lois McMaster Bujold

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,0918712,076 (3.99)1 / 137
"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)
Title:Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Vorkosigan Saga)
Authors:Lois McMaster Bujold
Info:Baen (2012), Edition: Book Club Edition, Hardcover, 432 pages
Collections:Your library

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



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English (86)  French (1)  All languages (87)
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
This year's Hugo nominated novel #2.

I love this series, for starters.

This book is light and fluffy.

Part of the book reminded me of a Fred and Ginger movie. Without as much singing and dancing, alas, but still. During one such scene, I noticed the reader on the audio book was reading the main character's voice to sound a lot like Fred Astaire sounds in similar scenes in the movies. LOL!

The rest of the book was a fun caper.

Overall, most things about this book entertained me quite a lot.

The only thing I'm disappointed about is that LMB is still sticking with the "weird little guy gets the exotic beautiful girl" fan service.

Five stars because this book made me happy. ( )
  CiaraCat | Jan 9, 2020 |
I love Lois. Love, love love her. I get one reading to enjoy the plot, another to revel in her skill as a writer. I don't think this could stand alone outside the Vorkosigan saga; you must have read the others, but having said that, it's a delightful story that stands its ground against the rest of the series. More, more, more! ( )
  laureenH | Aug 28, 2019 |
A good installment. I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars simply because it was a little too light. When I finished it I was wondering why this was written and published while the last Chalion book appears stuck in a black hole. ( )
  KateSavage | Mar 29, 2019 |
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.


I borrowed this book from the library. ( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (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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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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Average: (3.99)
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