Saturday, December 01, 2012

Book review: Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

Lois McMaster Bujold has hit home run after home run with her stories about Miles Vorkosigan.  Miles is a short man whose body doesn’t allow him to fight because of brittle bones.  Miles grew up in a warrior focused culture and he quickly learned to use his brain.  Ivan Vorpatril, a cousin, was a good foil for Miles.  Ivan would inevitably do something stupid, sometimes something really stupid, and Miles would save the day.  I came to think of Ivan’s full name being “Ivan the idiot.”

Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance is a novel about Ivan.  The story is fair to the character we’ve gotten to know over the years and while Ivan is not near as clever as Miles, he does have some redeeming points.  The book starts off with Ivan recusing two damsels in distress.  Ivan is at Komarran when he encounters these women.  He takes them back to Barrayar where he hopes they’ll be safe, but the danger and intrigue only ratchet up a level or two. 

On Barrayar we meet many of our favorite characters, but Ivan is always center stage.  It was fun to see the Emperor, Miles, Aral and so on, while the story stayed focused on Ivan’s adventure.

Maybe Lois McMasters Bujold is going branch out a bit more and write about some of the other characters in the Vorkosigan universe.  I would love to ready another story about Mile’s brother(clone) Mark. 

If you have enjoyed previous Miles Vorkosigan stories I’m sure you will like this novel.  If you haven’t read any Miles Vorkosigan stories, start with The Warrior’s Apprentice, work through the full series, and then read Captain Vorpatil’s Alliance.

No comments: