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Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) #15)

4.18 of 5 stars 4.18  ·  rating details  ·  7,268 ratings  ·  966 reviews
Captain Ivan Vorpatril, Miles Vorkosigan's cousin, is content with Barrayaran admiral on planet Komarr far from court politics, until he agrees to protect Tej Arqua and her half-sister servant Rish fleeing criminal syndicate who overthrew her homeworld.Tej may not even know her secret, but Ivan would make the ultimate sacrifice to keep her from harm. ...more
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 422 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Baen (first published 2012)
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This is not one of Lois Bujold's profound, heart-tearing efforts--but it's fun, and funny, and it's a joy to see Ivan, who is usually overshadowed by his brilliant (and crazy) cousin Miles, shine. Captain Vorpatril's Alliance builds on the glimpses we had, in Memory and in Civil Campaign, of the real Ivan Vorpatril: a man who is just as highly intelligent as his insane Vorkosigan relatives but...less insane. He likes a quiet life. He likes a job that does not require huge shots of adrenalin, or ...more

I'm glad I read this close after Cryoburn. My lukewarm reception instilled by that title has been replaced by a happy glow of satisfaction in discovering there is still forward momentum and unexplored territories in one of my favorite space opera series. With Miles largely settled into his relatively placid family life, with Aral and Cordelia semi-retired on a frontier planet, with Emperor Gregor enjoying an interlude of peace in his dominion, the author sets the plot crosshairs on the one remai
I am a boring person. As a child I obeyed my parents. I didn't sneak out of the house, never drank, never tried smoking, and did my utmost to be honest, friendly, helpful, and unbothersome. I guess if I had been a boy, I would've had so many playground beatings. Being a bookish girl in a nondescript suburban town, I made no ripples in any pools.

The benefits are that I'm disease-free, all my organs are in great shape, my teeth are my own with no fillings, and my bones are unbroken. My skin is onl
Or as I have been calling it for over a year, How Do You Solve a Problem Like Ivan Vorpatril?.

Which was a little bit snide of me. Apologies to anyone who was there in June when I co-modded a panel and have already heard me going on about Bujold’s tendency to solve people’s lives like equations. Who is your perfect mate, what is your perfect challenge? What is the thing that balances you? How can we write the equals sign, reduce you to a simpler function, and be done with it? Which is both true a
Marjorie Friday Baldwin
Mar 21, 2013 Marjorie Friday Baldwin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: stalwart fans of the Vorkosigan Saga
Recommended to Marjorie by: Ed Stalker (a friend and fan of the books)
Shelves: milsf
I've given this 4 stars but wish I had half-stars because this is a smidge more than a 3 but not as much as a 4. Since I cannot rate it 3.25 and don't want to go DOWN to a 3, I've knocked it up just for the sake of it being a Bujold. Her writing is just that good, always, but this story (unusually) left me wanting. Story gets a 3, writing quality a 4. Suprising since usually I rate her work a 5 without any reservations at all.

So how did this end up leaving me so unplussed? It started out implyin
I am a sucker for Bujold’s science fiction tales that combine thrills with humor and romance. The setting is in a future where distinct and competing human societies develop on different planets linked by wormholes. The ingredients of her space opera stew are heroes and villains, loyalty and treachery, ambition and greed, love and heartbreak. Great character development, superb plotting, and good doses of humor take a lot of the soap out of the opera.

Instead of her usual star Miles Vorkosigan, B
Oct 27, 2012 Kerry rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012, ebooks, sf, 10
I'm not up to a review, so some quick notes.

- Loved this.
- A slow build which seemed odd in a "Vorkosigan" novel, until I remembered it was an Ivan novel and realised it was just right.
- By setting the book earlier than the one before, there was a nagging worry right through that (view spoiler) but it was managed perfectly.
- I really liked the way absolutely nothing here was contradicted by Cryo
I bought the electronic advance reader's copy as soon as it went on sale; I am a little irrational about any book about Ivan that doesn't do a prompt nosedive into the carpet. For that reason, I originally thought this would be a terrible introduction to the series for a newcomer, since there wouldn't be any anticipatory build-up about Ivan, who played a supporting role in most of the Vorkosgian Saga. But Bujold makes a visible effort to let him shine in his own corner of the universe without to ...more
John Carter McKnight
One assumes you're already a Bujold fan. If not, what the hell's wrong with you?

It's been a long time since she turned out something truly amazing in the Vor universe. This is it. You know how good you want this book, focusing on Miles's long suffering straight man/cousin to be? It's better.

Bujold excels at the comedy of manners, and she's in prime form here. Technically, her handling of two POV characters who don't know what the other knows while subtly tipping off the reader is brilliant, and
Aldous Mercer
Ivan has grown up, and when not crouched in Miles's shadow, his heroism and versatility show through for a fun romp through the Barrayar we've come to know and love.

The book really starts when Byerley--no-goodnik cousin to Dono, Richars, Miles, Ivan, and half the High Vor--shows up to recruit Ivan's assistance in keeping a damsel-in-distress safe. Simple enough, except that Ivan's legendary womanizing abilities are not up to the task of getting on said damsel's good side. Stunners are fired, Imp
This is the long-awaited romance of Miles Vorkosigan's cousin Ivan Vorpatril; if you haven't previously encountered this character, you'll get a sense of him from the fact that many people half expected the title of his book would be Ivan, You Idiot.

I wondered how Bujold was going to turn iconically idiotic Ivan into a romantic hero -- would it be a Scarlet Pimpernel sort of thing, or maybe more like Loretta Chase's Mr. Impossible? There are elements of both: Ivan does sometimes deliberately pr
Lori (Hellian)
I just love the Miles books, even when Miles isn't in them much. I missed this series so it's always cause for celebration when a new one comes out. Quite honestly, this isn't one of the best, but I connected with it on a personal level. Our 2 leads are really the Joe Shmos of their over-achieving families, and they get pulled into the vortex and trouble. Both of them are smart and highly capable. Ivan doesn't want to be a real player, he's happy doing office job as a top-notch administrator to ...more
The first book that features Ivan as the main character. While Miles does put in a cameo appearance, he is simply another oddity in Ivan's family. As Tej soon finds out, Ivan is a lot more than he seems. He's self-effacing & slightly comical in his pursuit of a life of ease & the ladies. Everyone underestimates him, including himself. When things get tough, he shines, though.

It was fun seeing the series from this POV, but one book featuring Ivan is enough. Still, I'm glad I listened to t
K.V. Johansen
I am so, so looking forward to this. I've been wanting a story centred on Ivan since Memory, when he really came into his own. Ivan the Wicked is in fact named after Ivan Vorpatril; we were hoping he'd turn out a laid-back, Drones' Club kind of dog (Tales from the Drones Club , Eggs, Beans And Crumpets ). Unfortunately he takes more after Miles ...

And now that I've read it ...

Seeing Ivan's well-hidden depths was really satisfying. I knew he had them! When push comes to shove, he can take charge
Ben Babcock
This year’s Vorkosigan novel is up for a Hugo nomination. The previous book, also a Hugo nominee, was my first exposure to Lois McMaster Bujold’s sprawling and successful series, although I wasn’t as impressed as I wanted to be. I went on to read the first two books, though, and those provided a firmer grounding in the series, not to mention better stories. I’m also glad I read them before reading Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance. This book makes some allusions to the characters and events of the fi ...more
After fourteen books as a supporting character to Miles, Ivan finally gets his own entry in Lois McMaster Bujold's long-running space-opera Verkosigan saga.

While Ivan's life has never been quite as dramatic as his cousin, that all quickly changes when he agrees to do a favor for his old friend, By. All he had to do is protect a beautiful woman and her half sister from various enemies that would do them harm. But before he can turn around twice, Ivan is protecting two political fugitives via a h
Grace Yeo
Every time someone says that there are no good female authors in science-fiction I want to lock them in a room with the entire Vorkosigan saga (is that still right, now that Ivan has a book of his own? He's not a Vorkosigan, is he) and after they're done with the series say why, you're welcome, this has been a book appreciation post.

Ok, I can see why some people might not like Bujold. She's not as austere or sober as lots of other science-fiction authors, but to me, that just means that her boo
Carol Cooper
I'm not going to say a lot about this one, as almost anything would be a 'spoiler' at this stage. In case anyone is puzzled at seeing this title rated, when it's not being published until November, Baen have made available an 'e-ARC' or electronic Advance Reader Copy, which many of LMB's diehard fans have already purchased and devoured.

This is, after much prodding from fans, 'Ivan's Book' - a story in which Ivan is the main protagonist and Miles is very peripheral and even off-planet for some of
Genia Lukin
I try, usually, to judge Bujold's books relative to each other, rather than relative to all other sci-fi, if only because i enjoy them too much. As such, I really have only two rankings for her books: three- and four-stars. Which leaves a certain amount of room for gradients among said ratings.

This book is definitely above the three star tier (Cryoburn, Ethan of Athos, etc'), but does not quite stretch up to the calibre of books such as Memory, A Civil Campaign and Barrayar. Perhaps the fault is
Vicky Loebel
Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan series is a long-running character-driven quasi-feudal space opera (with cast of thousands). Because the question is less whether to read Bujold than whether to pick up this particular volume, I'm posting my review in the form of a decision tree.

1.Are you a fan of romantic comedy?
1-YES-> This is a wonderful example. [CONTINUE to 1.1]
1-N0 -> This one might win you over. [CONTINUE to 1.1]

1.1.Are you already a fan of the Vorkosigan series?
I gave this three stars because I'm a huge Bujold/Vorkosiverse fan, but I can't hide my disappointment.

The last two books (Diplomatic Immunity and Cryoburn) were still enjoyable but showed some sort of "weariness" in my opinion, as if Ms. Bujold had lost the drive and delight she shared with her readers in fleshing out this universe, so I greeted this new work with the hope that a change of scenery would infuse new life in the story. It was partially so, but still something was amiss.

Ivan Vorpat
Rachel Brown
I’m catching up on reviews; I read this some time last month. This is a bit unfortunate, because I enjoyed it while I read it, and if I’d reviewed it immediately afterward, I would have been more positive. One month later, I’m finding it un-memorable, which is not what I want from a Vorkosigan book.

In other ways, too, it wasn’t what I wanted. I always liked Ivan as a character, and what I probably would have liked best would be something with a tone along the lines of the early Miles books – fun
Sherwood Smith
Jul 04, 2012 Sherwood Smith added it
Shelves: sf
Well, I have no will power. First, I bought this book in e-form the minute I knew it was available. Then I tried to make myself portion it out . . . and lost that battle.

It would be inappropriate to discuss it when the book is not even out for several months, so I will confine myself to the general observation that even though I paid a stiff fifteen smackeroos for the e-book, Baen will also get me for the hardcover. Smart Baen.

Secondly, I felt like this one was coming ever since I first read the
Maggie K
Yay Ivan! I loved this one.... Ivan is so used to flying under the radar he doesn't even realize how effective he is with it!

In this longer than usual part of the series, Ivan is drawn into a political mystery when he is asked to 'guard dog' a beautiful girl...of course, that is all Ivan needs to hear and he is off to save the day, only to embroil himself in a spiderweb of intrigue!

I thought it was great how Tej was such a female version of Ivan....and the 'Freudian' solutions they come up with
Nov 13, 2012 Laurel rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2012
I can distinctly remember snorting, chuckling and guffawing nearly every time Ivan and Miles were on page together. At the time, I thought it was that Ivan made such a nice, bug dumb foil that Miles seemed even more humorous. Turns out, Ivan is rather a gem of a character! I won't say anymore, ruining such a book would be a sin. But let me assure you, this one is classic Bujold! Don't put it down!
Renee M
I am dong a happy dance right now! (Which, thankfully, you cannot see.) A happy, happy dance. It is the dance of the newly discovered series. How? How did this escape me for all these years??? Never mind. It doesn't matter. Because now it awaits me in all its multi-novel glory.

Don't have any excuse for starting in the middle. Wanted something scifi and my library had this on tap... Recognized the name from my days shelving bookstore inventory... Did a little quick research that suggested I'd be
Jun 14, 2015 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: sci-fi

I bought this book at about 9:30 pm last night, started it at 10 pm at the earliest and had it finished by 2 am. So yeah. It's good. And had me cackling on several occasions because Ivan.

Re-read it for like the fifth time this week. I love Ivan so much.
While the majority of the books in the Vorkosigan Saga are from Miles' PoV, there are other characters who are just as loved. One of them is Ivan Vorpatril. And after years of fans clamoring for his story, Bujold delivers. But do you have to be a fan of the series to enjoy this book? Nope.

Unlike Miles, Ivan doesn't seek out the adrenaline-rush of adventure and mayhem. He's happy being a desk jockey for the Ops admiral without any ambition above that; he's glad that the throne of Barrayar recede
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Nov 15, 2012 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Space Opera
This is the latest of (so far) 15 books in the Vorkosigan Saga, the 14th in chronological order. If you've never read a book in this space opera series, you're in for a treat--and arguably this could stand alone. (Though I think it is more fun if you get references to prior books, and I don't think this is among the strongest books in the series.) The reason this can stand alone is that this book changes its focus. The first two novels focus on Aral Vorkosigan of Barrayar and Cordelia Naismith, ...more
I just got the e-ARC off of Baen's ebook site.

I found it a pretty good read, and a lot of fun. Without posting many spoilers I can say that as the long-hoped for Ivan book, it works very well, shaking Ivan out of his rut. By also makes an appearance and contributes much to the plot, and the fun of the story.

Bujold does time travel a bit for this book, putting it comfortably before the action of Cryoburn.

Over all, I'd call it a farce, on several levels. And obviously, like A Civil Campaign, stro
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Goodreads Librari...: Captain Vorpatril's Alliance audiobook cover 2 14 Aug 21, 2015 06:21PM  
Sci Fi Aficionados: * Captain Vorpatril's Alliance 16 29 May 25, 2014 12:04PM  
This book is OUT! 25 96 Jan 05, 2014 09:22AM  
Sci Fi Aficionados: Lois McMaster Bujold (LMB) - new Vorkosigan book! 14 233 Aug 07, 2012 07:17AM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: Lois McMaster Bujold (LMB) - new Vor book coming! 3 44 Apr 08, 2012 03:24PM  
  • Carpe Diem (Liaden Universe, #10)
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  • A Beautiful Friendship (Honorverse: Stephanie Harrington, #1)
  • The Vorkosigan Companion
  • The Truth of Valor (Confederation, #5)
  • Fade to White
Lois McMaster Bujold was born in 1949, the daughter of an engineering professor at Ohio State University, from whom she picked up her early interest in science fiction. She now lives in Minneapolis, and has two grown children.

Her fantasy from HarperCollins includes the award-winning Chalion series and the Sharing Knife tetralogy; her science fiction from Baen Books features the perennially bestse
More about Lois McMaster Bujold...

Other Books in the Series

Vorkosigan Saga (Publication) (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1)
  • The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2)
  • Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan Saga, #3)
  • Falling Free (Vorkosigan Saga, #4)
  • Brothers in Arms (Vorkosigan Saga, #5)
  • The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga, #6)
  • Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7)
  • Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga, #8)
  • Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga, #9)
  • Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10)
The Curse of Chalion (Chalion, #1) Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7) The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2) Paladin of Souls (Chalion, #2) Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1)

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