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Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Vorkosigan Saga) Hardcover – November 6, 2012

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Product Details

  • Series: Vorkosigan Saga
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; Book Club (BCE/BOMC) edition (November 6, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451638450
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451638455
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (405 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #482,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Set a few years before the most recent Miles Vorkosigan story (Cryoburn, 2011), this may be one of the most anticipated and long-awaited entries to Bujold’s acclaimed Vorkosigan saga. For years fans have clamored for Ivan Vorpatril’s story, and at last Bujold delivers something that will both thrill the devoted audience and entrance new readers. For many years, Ivan has been perfectly content to live a quiet bachelor life and serve as a staff officer to a Barrayaran admiral. With no desire for the imperial throne or the types of death-defying adventures that his cousin Miles so adores, Ivan has become a master at avoiding political intrigue and entangling alliances. Asked to look after a young woman during a brief trip to Komarr, Ivan is happy to oblige. But when his attempt to ask the woman out ends up with her handmaiden knocking him out and tying him to a chair, Ivan realizes that something very bad is going on. It quickly becomes clear that the only way Ivan can save himself and his charge is to marry Tej Arqua and bring her home to Barrayar. Longtime readers will love seeing a new side of Ivan as well as hearing his views on many of the series characters. New readers can enjoy Ivan’s story on its own but will miss many of the nuances that add depth and character; best to begin at the beginning. Essential for all SF collections and a must-read for Bujold and Vorkosigan fans. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: In the SF world, a new release doesn’t get much bigger than this one. The wait is finally over for Bujold’s followers. --Jessica Moyer

About the Author

A science fiction legend, Lois McMaster Bujold has won six Hugo Awards and three Nebula Awards. Her Miles Vorkosigan saga is a hugely popular science fiction mainstay with multiple New York Times bestsellers including previous entries, Cryoburn and Diplomatic Immunity. The mother of two, Ms. Bujold lives in Minneapolis.

Customer Reviews

Have enjoyed all Lois McMaster Bujold Vorkosigan novels and this one is another good one.
Hans Mortl
This story is the winning blend of action and adventure, heroism & romance, and fabulous characters that Bujold does so well.
If you haven't read the Vorkosigan series, there are a number of good books waiting for you.
Teresa McCullough

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Teresa McCullough on November 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm a fan of the Vorkosigan series, so for me, this was a five star book. I bought the electronic version through Baen and have already reread it.

For non fans, I'm not sure how it would go, but probably 4 stars. Would people who don't know Ivan understand the complaint of Ivan's boss? The boss asked why Ivan's mother asked him about Ivan's personal life instead of asking Ivan. Ivan responded, "Experience, maybe."

There are gems all the way through the book for fans and non fans. It is mentioned that on Barrayar people were subjects, not citizens. Someone notes that the emperor is the only one on Barrayar that isn't a subject and wonders if that makes him an object. Humor abounds and all sorts of characters from previous novels make cameo appearances. Bujold sensibly keeps Cordelia, Miles, and Mark largely out of the picture, because they tend to dominate. The plethora of minor characters would be a problem for a new reader of the series, but are enjoyable to people who've met them before.

Bujold had a difficult task in this book. She has a hero that is not an overly ambitious man, and she made him sympathetic and enjoyable. Ivan is shown at his best. He is brave, loyal and chivalrous. He comes through when he needs to. He's not as bright as Miles or Cordelia, but he isn't stupid.

I would not advise people who haven't read Bujold before to start here, although her writing has never been better. If you haven't read the Vorkosigan series, there are a number of good books waiting for you.
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82 of 87 people found the following review helpful By R. Ault on November 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
It's really hard to discuss this tale without including spoilers, but I'll try. The only summation that I'll provide is an indirect one; this book takes large parts of the plots of Komarr and A Civil Campaign, mashes them together, turns them inside out, and twists - hard. This is not the first Barrayar story that has been centered on someone other than her main protagonist, Miles Vorkosigan, though he has been the focus of most of them. The events of Cryoburn left Miles with a very much restructured life, however, and it may be difficult for Bujold to write more about him entertainingly, so it's not surprising that she has shifted to Ivan here. He has been a background character since early on, and this is where he finally comes into his own. He's getting respect, he's lost his customary middle name (it has been a running gag across many volumes that he's usually called 'Ivan-you-idiot'), his career is solid and stable - and then Byerly Vorrutyer drops in to ask for a favor. That's where the toboggan run starts, and this one's got more than its share of unexpected turns. Along the way, we get a hefty dose of the ever-treasured one-line zingers that have increasing marked Bujold's writing, and some surprising supporting character development as well. It's clear that Bujold is not done with adding to her Barrayar series, and if this is any indication of what's to come, I hope there are many, many more!
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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By L. Roth VINE VOICE on November 9, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It has been observed that most human males die before reaching maturity.

Lord Ivan Xav Vorpatril has nearly managed that several times in his short life. The earliest such occasion occurred about an hour before he was born, during an attempt on the throne of Barrayar in which his mother and father were caught by forces loyal to the pretender. His father died while friends tried to rescue them; his mother managed to escape with them and give birth to Ivan while in hiding afterwards.

So, given that early pre-natal conditioning as it were, Ivan has spent most of his life trying to avoid politics or attracting too much attention to himself while attempting to live a comfortable life. Not an easy task for someone potentially in line for the throne, and made even less easy by his manic cousin Miles Vorkosigan, who has an absolute genius for attracting chaos in his wake - and dragging Ivan into it. And it doesn't help that Ivan's determination to avoid living up to all of his potential too visibly is made all the more conspicuous by contrast with the friends and family around him.

By age 34, Ivan has managed to work himself into a fairly comfortable position: a taste for good food and drink, comfortable lodgings, and a job as Captain and aide to a high ranking admiral in the Barrayarran armed forces where he serves ably. A certain amount of status, a job challenging enough to be interesting without the headaches of high rank, enough leisure and status to attract a fair number of bedmates on a regular basis, and distance from his mother, who is still waiting for Ivan to get on with his life. True, most of Ivan's old girlfiends seem to have all gotten married. Even his cousin Miles has managed to settle down and start raising a family.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Cathexis on November 6, 2012
Format: Audible Audio Edition
I think this was the most enjoyable Vorkosigan Saga book since "A Civil Campaign", for many of the same reasons that book was fantastic. It is a light-hearted look at family and balancing the obligations of family, friends, and society. Ivan had not been doing a good job of balancing those obligations, and he receives his long-awaited karmic reckoning.

The last 30 or so pages are an absolute riot.
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