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

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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  5,157 ratings  ·  850 reviews
Book fifteen in the best-selling Vorkosigan series. This time the story moves away from Miles Vorkosigan, the protagonist of the earlier books, to his cousin, Captain Ivan Vorpatril.

Captain Vorpatril is happy with his relatively uneventful bachelor’s life as a staff officer to a Barrayaran admiral, assigned to the planet Komarr, far from the Byzantine court politics of his...more
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 422 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Baen
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Community Reviews

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Sara
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
Eh?Eh!
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...more
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...more
Lightreads
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...more
Michael
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...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...more
Yune
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
Kerry
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...more
willaful
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...more
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
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...more
Jim
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...more
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?
1.1-YES-> [CONTIN...more
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...more
Michael
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...more
Maddalena
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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
Loki
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...more
Sean
The Vorkosigan saga is an odd duck. It ranges from military scifi to humorous romp to mystery to romance. What makes it so vibrant and enjoyable is its characters, but what makes it so powerful is its embodiment of deep and resonant themes. Honor and duty, identity, the boundaries we place around ourselves, who we really are at the most fundamental level. Bujold hits these questions straight on, and it's what makes the series so wonderful (and Hugo-winning).

Early on, the series sort of alternate...more
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
Kate
Oh this was funny, and really, really enjoyable. I've never been one of those Bujold fans who have longed to hear more about Ivan Vorpatril, to be honest, he irritated me a little as he was obviously lazy and, well, he's just Ivan "you idiot" Vorpatril....

But here, we get a whole book of him, and to be honest, Bujold has made him a far more rounded character where his motivations become clearer - essentially he's been all for an easy life because he's got first hand experience of what happens if...more
Kathleen
Set primarily on Barrayar, this is a fun, lightweight, suspenseful, and romantic story. Jolly good entertainment!

Happy for Ivan. He earned his HEA across the series, and when the chips were down in this book, he displayed courage, devotion, and intelligence. (He was never the idiot he played in prior books, but rather, a peaceful underachiever, happy to let cousin Miles — "the mutant" — prove himself.)

*Absolutely hysterical* chapters involving "cockroach central" (ImpSec headquarters). LOL!! Who...more
Libby
A thoroughly charming and highly amusing adventure starring Ivan "You Idiot" Vorpatril and his supposedly temporary wife of convenience as they navigate Komarr, Barrayar, and goodly number of people who want to kill them. This works well enough as a stand-alone book, though you will cackle easily three times as much if you've read the other books in Bujold's Vorkosigan saga, even though the famous Coz gets little screen time, and his formidable parents never actually make an appearance. This is...more
Lizzie
This was entirely too funny for words. 'Budget ninjas' will stick with me for quite some time, as will the plot point of instant breakfast groats. The structure of this book actually follows the Sharing Knife (Beguilement) series in miniature- romance, followed by reconciling with the two families, followed by mad adventure. Ivan's POV is well done- honest to previous characterization of his feckless youth but quite convincing of his very real adult smarts and talents. His role as aide de camp,...more
Daniel Brandon
This was an odd one. On the one hand, it's a Vorkosigan book by Bujold, so of course it was good. On the other...

On the other, it reminded me a lot of Anne MacCaffrey's Dolphins of Pern. (I think that's the one I'm thinking of; it's been a while.) And that's not a good thing.

You see, this book is practically a cozy. After books and books of war, invasion, intrigue, and various massive scales of destruction, here we have a book about whether or not Ivan can get the girl. Roughly half way through...more
Joy
A Vorkosigan book without anything more than a cameo of Miles? But this is the long-awaited Ivan book, so all will be well. Plus there is Byerly!

My favorite Vorkosigan books are set on Barrayar, and so this is, mostly. But it starts this book out in familiar romantic-comedy fashion when Capt. Ivan Xav Vorpatril, on a short tour of duty in Komarr, is told by ImpSec operative Byerly Vorrutyer to "pick up" the mysterious Tej who is persued by bounty hunter/assassins. One chivalrous act after anothe...more
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Sci Fi Aficionados: * Captain Vorpatril's Alliance 16 27 May 25, 2014 12:04PM  
This book is OUT! 25 93 Jan 05, 2014 09:22AM  
Sci Fi Aficionados: Lois McMaster Bujold (LMB) - new Vorkosigan book! 14 205 Aug 07, 2012 07:17AM  
SciFi and Fantasy...: Lois McMaster Bujold (LMB) - new Vor book coming! 3 43 Apr 08, 2012 03:24PM  
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One of the most respected writers in the field of speculative fiction, Lois McMaster Bujold burst on to the scene in 1986 with Shards of Honor, the first of her tremendously popular Vorkosigan Saga novels. She has received numerous accolades and prizes, including two Nebula Awards for Best Novel (Falling Free and Paladin of Souls), four Hugo Awards for Best Novel (Paladin of Souls, The Vor Game, B...more
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