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The Warrior's Apprentice (1986)

by Lois McMaster Bujold

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,700863,640 (4.16)1 / 268
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)
  1. 83
    Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card (EatSleepChuck)
    EatSleepChuck: Both main characters are kids who make up for their meek physical stature with cleverness and perception to rise up the ranks of military. Ender's Game is noticeably darker, however.
  2. 30
    The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Two unusual protagonists who rely on their tongue, wit and ingenuity to get themselves out of tight scrapes.
  3. 10
    Valor's Choice by Tanya Huff (BeaconsBright)
    BeaconsBright: Another great space opera
  4. 21
    The Pride of Chanur by C. J. Cherryh (Aquila)
  5. 11
    On Basilisk Station by David Weber (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For arguably unusual persons in command.
  6. 01
    The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both young protagonists are dealing with a disability.

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English (75)  Spanish (4)  Italian (4)  Dutch (1)  All languages (84)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
Pretty good 3.5. Miles is nice but not a very believable hero. A bit young to be a real leader. ( )
  ReneeNL | Jun 29, 2020 |
Update 1/18/18, Read #3:

On some rather belated reflection and tears after this latest read, I have to say that I'm in love with this series. As if three reads wasn't proof enough, right?

The beginning and the end is completely scaled back from the wild as hell middle, but that's as it should be. Miles is a brilliant and very flawed character, showing signs of megalomania and depression, or perhaps just being a brilliant bipolar case. :) In that respect, he's a lot like Sherlock.

It sure as hell makes for an interesting read when you bring up all the great world-building juxtapositions. His parents and their homeworlds. Miles's desires versus his honor. His momentum versus the pressures. I include both history and gravity for the sake of his poor bones.

I did cry for Bothari. Such a complicated character deserves a bit of silence and a lock of hair. I also cried for Miles. A lot of that was for joy, but not all of it. When he succeeds, it always feels like a house of cards. It's always like he's dancing on the tripwire of a Bouncing Betty. :)

And what a tongue he has!

Miles is just one of those characters that will remain in the annals of memory. :) This is the foundation. The rest of what comes relies even more on that tongue and less from fighting, but that's even more impressive when you think about it. :)

Here comes trouble. If he wasn't so charming, he really should be shot.

And this one is still one of my favorites in the series. Or at least in the top five. :)

Original Review:

It reads as a great YA with the best elements of the best space opera. How do you get back into the military of your homeworld if they don't want you? Start your own army, show them you've got what it takes! It's mostly clever and light, and then it wasn't. It was much more poignant for having read the books in the order of the timeline, although Falling Free doesn't align yet.

This novel was very fast paced and fun, for the most part, and memorable. He's got to begin his fame somewhere! ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Well, folks, here we go: it’s the first of the Miles Vorkosigan books. Some of you will look at the rating and squeak with indignation. Others warned me, wisely as it turned out, that it might take me a while to warm up to Miles. And don’t despair: after all, I thought Lymond was a complete swine when I first encountered him, and look how that turned out. Miles is not a swine, but he is implausibly brilliant. I need to spend just a little more time with a character before I can suspend disbelief to the amount required in certain sections of this novel. If Miles Vorkosigan at the age of seventeen can provoke such disruption to the galactic order, then heaven help us all, say I. This is undoubtedly the most impressive ‘What I Did On My Holidays’ report ever compiled, not just on Barrayar but throughout the known universe...

For the full review, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2020/04/14/the-warriors-apprentice-1986-lois-mcmaster-b... ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Apr 16, 2020 |
3.5 stars ( )
  the_lirazel | Apr 6, 2020 |
I see why this series is so popular. So interesting to see the impact of the previous events on the next generation. ( )
  MargaretAnnC | Mar 23, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (15 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
Lippi, GiuseppeContributorsecondary 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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Seventeen-year-old Miles Vorkosigan has a lot to live up to, as the son of the Butcher of Komarr and grandson of General Count Piotr Vorkosigan, hero of the Cetagandan Invasion. Unluckily for him, his biology isn’t up to the challenge. After failing the physical for the Barrayaran Military Academy, he takes a trip to visit his grandmother and accidentally becomes the leader of a small mercenary fleet.

While neither the first published nor the first chronologically of Bujold’s award-winning Vorkosigan Saga, this book is one of the generally accepted starting points for the sixteen-volume series.
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Average: (4.16)
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1 1
2 16
2.5 6
3 129
3.5 39
4 316
4.5 47
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