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Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Vorkosigan Saga (Chronological) #14)

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  9,478 Ratings  ·  1,087 Reviews
Captain Ivan Vorpatril is happy with his relatively uneventful bachelor's life of a staff officer to a Barrayaran admiral. Ivan, cousin to Imperial troubleshooter Miles Vorkosigan, is not far down the hereditary list for the emperorship. Thankfully, new heirs have directed that headache elsewhere, leaving Ivan to enjoy his life on Komarr, far from the Byzantine court polit ...more
unproofed e-ARC, various formats ebook edition drmfree
Published June 2012 by BAEN ebooks (first published 2012)
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Snow This only happens from Tej's perspective, I suppose because she used his middle name to distinguish him from many other Ivan Vorpatrils when she was…moreThis only happens from Tej's perspective, I suppose because she used his middle name to distinguish him from many other Ivan Vorpatrils when she was first finding out who he was. (less)
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Nov 11, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Feb 20, 2013 Algernon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

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 My lukewarm reception instilled by that title has been replaced by a happy glow of satisfaction in discovering there is still forward momentum and unexplored territories in one of my favorite space opera series.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
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
Apr 22, 2012 Marjorie Friday Baldwin rated it really liked it
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
Jan 29, 2012 Eh?Eh! rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 15, 2012 Kerry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, sf, 10, 2012
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 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
Jul 25, 2012 Yune rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
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
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
Laura (Kyahgirl)
4/5; 4 star; A-

Finally, Ivan gets a chance to shine, without his annoying cousin Miles around to steal the show.

I had quite a few laughs while reading this book but it also contained some drama, action, and the twisty schemes that this author specializes in. The people from Jacksons Whole are a terribly bloodthirsty and cunning lot with a value system reminiscent of Medieval times. Mixing them in with the strait laced Barrayarans gave the story a hint of "farcical romp". This was nicely balanced
Dec 09, 2012 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Aug 11, 2013 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 27, 2012 Li rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, this was satisfying on so many levels.

A new Vorkosigan book is a rare sighting, and is therefore accompanied by rather high expectations on my part. And this was Ivan's book. Ivan, who has been in Miles' shadow for so long, and always cast in the role of (very) unfortunate sidekick (summary version: "Ivan, you idiot"). Ivan, who we all knew had to have hidden depths - it takes incredible talent to be dismissed as amiable but useless when you're so closely related to the Vorkosigans, and a
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
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
Sep 11, 2012 Maddalena rated it liked it
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
Nov 29, 2012 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Genia Lukin
Jun 28, 2012 Genia Lukin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Carol Cooper
Jul 28, 2012 Carol Cooper rated it it was amazing
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
Nov 11, 2012 Laurel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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!
Jun 18, 2013 Marijan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prijevod nije ni upola toliko loš, koliko kruže glasine. 'Taj Gregor' malo bode u oči, ali neki pozitivni biseri ga zato nadoknađuju. U svakom slučaju, sama knjiga je toliko dobra da mi nije smetalo.
a sad...Jole!
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
Sep 23, 2016 Katie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this was the humorous adventure A Civil Campaign was pitched as. It started a bit slow in my opinion, but was just a great heartwarming, hilarious time overall.
Vicky Loebel
Nov 13, 2012 Vicky Loebel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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?
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
Althea Ann
Oct 03, 2013 Althea Ann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a romantic comedy - but it's an absolutely delightful, action-filled, silly-but-engrossing romantic comedy.

It concentrates on Ivan Vorpatril, Miles Vorkosigan's cousin. In many of the earlier books, Ivan comes off as a bit of a jerk and a buffoon - this book allows us to see things from his perspective.

Here, his gallantry (and, perhaps, his tendency to leap into things feet-first) leads him to instantly marry a lovely refugee, in order to protect her under the law.

Little did he reali
Sherwood Smith
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
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  • Dragon Ship (Theo Waitley, #4; Liaden Universe, #17)
  • The Vorkosigan Companion
  • A Beautiful Friendship (Honorverse: Stephanie Harrington, #1)
  • The Truth of Valor (Confederation, #5)
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 (Chronological) (1 - 10 of 16 books)
  • Falling Free (Vorkosigan Saga, #4)
  • Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1)
  • Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7)
  • The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2)
  • The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga, #6)
  • Cetaganda (Vorkosigan Saga, #9)
  • Ethan of Athos (Vorkosigan Saga, #3)
  • Brothers in Arms (Vorkosigan Saga, #5)
  • Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga, #8)
  • Memory (Vorkosigan Saga, #10)

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