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2,907903,947 (4.15)1 / 297
This is the second book in the saga of the Vorkosigans and introduces Miles Vorkosigan. At age seventeen, Miles is allowed to take the entrance exams to the elite military academy; he passes the written but manages to break both his legs on the obstacle course, washing out before he begins. Blaming himself for the death of his aged grandfather, Miles leaves for the Beta Colony to visit his grandmother accompanied by his bodyguard, Sergeant Bothari and Bothari's daughter, Elena. Rumors of Miles's mercenary operations place his father Aral under political attack, and Miles must make his way home to stop the plot.… (more)
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» See also 297 mentions

English (81)  Spanish (4)  Italian (4)  Dutch (1)  All languages (90)
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)
I love Miles. That's all. ( )
  Luziadovalongo | Jul 14, 2022 |
I'm glad I added this to my collection of Bujold books. This is good, military-scifi. The Chronology of the Vorkosigan books in the back is essential for any fan of this series. In this one, Miles is just 17 and attempting to find his place in the Vor hierarchy. When he goes off to Beta Colony to try and do a favor for his friend Elena, it leads to a wild series of adventures. Great characters, good but not overdone action and well written. A great series. ( )
  Karlstar | Mar 22, 2022 |
This was another one of my series-sampling audio listens, to see if I might want to pursue it in print someday. In this case, I also listened to Shards of Honor, the first book published, which I reviewed earlier this month.

If anybody is in the same situation I was in, preferring to read The Warrior’s Apprentice first either because it’s on the Goodreads SFFBC group shelf or because they ended up with a copy of it, or for whatever reason, I don’t see why somebody couldn’t start with this book and understand it perfectly fine. The writing isn’t complex, and each book tells a separate story. Some of the characters’ back stories do affect parts of this book’s plot, but the author provides enough details to understand what’s going on. If one doesn’t have a compelling reason to read out of order, then I would of course recommend starting at the beginning, but there’s nothing to prevent a reader from evaluating this book fairly on its own merits. As I had planned to do, they might then choose to go back and read the series in its proper order someday if they like this one well enough.

Audio Narration
The narrator is Grover Gardner, the same person who narrated the previous book. I don’t have much new to say about him that I didn’t already say in my last review. He still sounds like he’s straight out of some 60’s television show, but he doesn’t have any annoying reading quirks. I don’t think his voice was particularly well suited for the main POV character from either this book or the previous book, but one gets used to it pretty quickly and I didn’t have any real complaints about listening to him. Maybe his voice fits better for the later books.

This story is set about 20 years after Shards of Honor. Some of the characters from Shards are in it, but it centers on a different POV character: Miles, (spoiler for Shards of Honor) the son of Cordelia and Aral Vorkosigan.

I had mixed feelings. Miles is a fun, likeable character. He grew on me more than did the main character from the first book. As with the first book, there was some humor that made me chuckle. It’s also a little less full of romance. There’s a heavy dose of romantic angst, and it does get annoying at times, but it is more of a side story here whereas in the previous book it was so dominant that it felt like the main story. I thought this provided some improvement. I also liked that Elena’s reaction to Miles’ cringe-worthy declaration of love (maybe more cringe-worthy in the audio) was in line with her platonic treatment of him up to that point. I would have been highly irritated if she had accepted Miles’ marriage proposal. Of course, the marriage she jumped into with Baz instead wasn’t any more logical, but that’s their problem and fortunately I didn’t have to read/listen to much about it, except when Miles was whining about it.

While the plot was often fun, this is one of those books where problems are solved through a lot of coincidences and luck and nick-of-time discoveries and solutions. This reduced the suspense for me. I was also frustrated with Miles who caused most of his own problems (and problems for other people) with poor choices. I know he was young and inexperienced, but I’m pretty sure I was better at analyzing risks vs rewards even when I was a toddler, although admittedly under different circumstances! Despite my frustrations with him, I did enjoy his personality and sense of ethics in general and I can see where he could become a great character if he matures.

A minor nitpick: there were a few occurrences of people (I think usually Miles?) whistling soundlessly. Soundlessly, not tunelessly. A whistle is by definition a sound, so that’s quite a feat. I think I get what the author was trying to convey: the character probably had lips pursed in an expression used to generate a whistle, but without actually blowing air to generate a whistle. Still, that is not a whistle, and my brain went on a little rant every time I heard the expression.

So in summary, I enjoyed it pretty well, but with some complaints. I think the series has potential, depending on which aspects of it the author emphasized in later books, and I can understand why it has so many fans. For me, it’s a “maybe” for whether I’ll pursue it in print someday. It’s just an awfully long series, and there are other series I’ve sampled that have suited my tastes better, so it will be a lower priority. ( )
1 vote YouKneeK | Jul 15, 2021 |
What with the drab Hemingway and one of my periodic reading funks, I thought the always entertaining Vorkosigan books would make for a great reread option. Imagine my pleasure when I discovered that I had somehow overlooked this book in my first read through!

Standard Miles Vorkosigan warning: Please park your sanity at the door.

So this book deals with some early Miles stuff and is pretty important in the way it sets up major recurring elements in the series.

The striking element of this book and in fact any Miles book is the scope of escalation. From some very small and one would imagine unimportant or inconsequential things, come world shattering explosions. An overheard quarrel at a spaceport somehow leads to an interplanetary escapade and the turning of the balance of a war. Miles' infamous forward momentum seems to envelope the reader and drag him along in a way that often you are forced to stop and ask "Wait, what happened from what?! How did we even get here?"

As always we get some excellent character work, all the more interesting as many of these will be embellished on later. But my admiration is again reserved for Aral Vorkosigan a character the author handles with great delicacy so that with his tiny gestures and little screentime he conveys a wealth of information.

( )
  Andorion | Feb 6, 2021 |
The Warrior's Apprentice shifts the focus to Miles Vorkosigan, who grows up in a conservative (but changing) Barrayaran society with two strikes against him--being physically lacking due to a birth defect, and being the son of an off-worlder. However, this story takes Miles away from that society in the form of an awkward vacation to his mother's home world. Here, Miles shows that his main positive attribute is fast-talking, and through his uncanny (and not particularly believable) powers of persuasion, along with some dumb luck, finds himself the leader of first a spaceship, then a fleet, and then an entire revolution. While as a reader I want to believe him to be clever or good-hearted, we have access to his internal dialogue which is filled with both teenage angst and complete trust in people he's known for a week who turn out to be loyal to him by some stroke of luck. The book does become a lot more interesting in the final chapters as he returns to Barrayar and is immediately thrust into a highly-charged political situation. However, I didn't really find this to be the best introduction to the main character of the rest of the series. ( )
  Phrim | Nov 10, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 81 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bujold, Lois McMasterprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ciampa, RaffaellaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Curtoni, VittorioContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardner, GroverNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gutierrez, AlanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jainschigg, NicholasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, SufordEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lippi, GiuseppeContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muir, DouglasForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruddell, GaryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The tall and dour non-com wore Imperial dress greens and carried his communications panel like a field marshall's baton.
"That's because I've got forward momentum. There's no virtue in it. It's just a balancing act. I don't dare stop."
"I guess it just doesn't look very heroic to sneak up behind somebody and shoot them in the back. I can't help thinking it would be more efficient, though."
But reason seemed to run backwards, conclusions swallowed in premises, and premises in silence, until in the end only silence and the unanswerable object remained.
More battles have been won or last by the quartermasters than by any general staff.
"A verbal agreement is the most binding of contracts! Your soul is in your breath, and therefore in your voice. Once pledged it must be redeemed."
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This is the second book in the saga of the Vorkosigans and introduces Miles Vorkosigan. At age seventeen, Miles is allowed to take the entrance exams to the elite military academy; he passes the written but manages to break both his legs on the obstacle course, washing out before he begins. Blaming himself for the death of his aged grandfather, Miles leaves for the Beta Colony to visit his grandmother accompanied by his bodyguard, Sergeant Bothari and Bothari's daughter, Elena. Rumors of Miles's mercenary operations place his father Aral under political attack, and Miles must make his way home to stop the plot.

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