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The Warrior's Apprentice Hardcover – February 15, 2002
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Shards of Honor
(these two books are also combined into "Cordelia's Honor")
The Warrior's Apprentice
Short Story: The Mountains of Mourning
(all short stories are contained in "Borders of Infinity")
The Vor Game
Ethan of Athos
Short Story: Labyrinth
Short Story: The Borders of Infinity
Brothers in Arms
The Borders of Infinity
A Civil Campaign
Now click on the bit where it says I was very helpful with this review, only it's a lie because I just got you hooked on something that's gonna take up a whole bunch of your time reading and make people think you're a complete geek when you want to do nothing but talk about how wonderful these books are.
Miles is one of the classic characters of modern SF - Bujold has created someone who is exceptional in many ways (brilliant strategist, painfully intelligent, lucky as hell) and who is still likeable, because she allows him to have flaws and weaknesses - quite a few of them, in fact. Unlike, for example, Honor Harrington in David Weber's series, Miles is fully three-dimensional, and such a fascinating guy that it would be interesting to read *anything* about him.
In Warrior's, Miles' character is still developing. He's on a trip to his mother's homeworld after failing the entrance exam for the Imperial Military Academy when he decides to intervene in a Betan police problem. This leads, inevitably, to his involvement in another system's civil war. Will Miles be able to hold together his fictious group of mercenaries, keep track of his prisoners, earn enough money to redeem his mortgaged land, win the girl, and get back to Beta Colony before his parents find out what he's doing? (He gets himself into situations like this all the time - that's Miles for you.)
In my opinion, the best Vorkosigan books are those that focus on character development rather than plot - ones like Shards of Honor, Warrior's Apprentice, and Memory. In these, the plot is still strong, but it is interwoven with the building of a new character or a new aspect of a familiar one, and that is where Bujold really shines.
If you're just starting out with Lois Bujold, Warrior's Apprentice is a good place to start, despite its chronological position. And if you haven't read this book yet, I envy you - you've got quite a treat in store.
I should take this opportunity to point out that the original cover gave an entirely false impression of the story. (The helpless, almost-clad heroine type clinging to the bared chest of the jut-jawed hero type are particularly hilarious if you know the real characters.) The cover of the reissue is much closer to capturing the tale.
One of the many things which appeal to me about Bujold's work is the way she can evoke such a wide variety of emotions without being sentimental or melodramatic. Sometimes, the line between sorrow and hilarity is almost too fine to see:
Mile exhaled carefully, faint with rage and reminded grief.
He does not know, he told himself. He cannot know...
"Ivan, one of these days somebody is going to pull out a
weapon and plug you, and you're going to die in bewilderment,
crying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"
"What did I say?" asked Ivan indignantly. (p. 250.)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of my favorite books of all time--an incredibly sympathetic main character--a young man whose wit and brilliance get him and everyone around him in and out of trouble with... Read morePublished 12 days ago by Aunt Hill
Not as good as Barrayar but still an excellence read. I really like Miles as a character. But sometimes found the plot a stretch. Looking forward to future books in the series.Published 1 month ago by Silvio Pellas Martinez
I'm new to the Vorkosigan saga, having read Shards of Honor and Barrayar. Miles is now the central character, not his parents. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Quickbeam
So. This has been me, for the past few days, as I listen to the Miles Vorkosign books, having read them once already:
<img... Read more
The Vorkosigan series is extremely enjoyable affording hours of hilarity. This book serves as a great introduction to Miles and his family and friends. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Juliana L. S. Lee
The second book published in the Vorkosigan saga, the fourth in chronological order, is the entrance of Miles Vorkosigan – the young, deformed yet brilliant child of Aral... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Red Eagle's Legacy
I'd never heard of this series or author until last week. A friend recommended starting with book four and now I'm hooked. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Bought it to reread it, borrowed it from a friend originally. Love the seriesPublished 3 months ago by Kelly Taylor