The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga, #2)
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The Warrior's Apprentice (Vorkosigan Saga in Publication order #2)

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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  10,625 ratings  ·  523 reviews
Between the seemingly impossible tasks of living up to his warrior-father's legend and surmounting his own physical limitations, Miles Vorkosigan faces some truly daunting challenges.

Shortly after his arrival on Beta Colony, Miles unexpectedly finds himself the owner of an obsolete freighter and in more debt than he ever thought possible. Propelled by his manic "forward mo...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published February 1st 1986 by Baen (first published January 1st 1986)
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The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le GuinGrass by Sheri S. TepperParable of the Sower by Octavia E. ButlerThe Adventures of the Stainless Steel Rat by Harry HarrisonThe Anubis Gates by Tim Powers
Most Under-rated Science Fiction
254th out of 955 books — 1,001 voters
The Ship Who Sang by Anne McCaffreyFalling Free by Lois McMaster BujoldThe Children Of Men by P.D. JamesThe Moon Is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. HeinleinBarrayar by Lois McMaster Bujold
Disability In Science Fiction
6th out of 50 books — 11 voters


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Community Reviews

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mark monday
so i was engaging in a favorite pastime on friday night, namely verbal one-upmanship slash sadistically using the power of my oh so mighty intellect to tease my poor innocent friends, when the very drunk birthday boy said "You know you are going to get smacked if you keep on talking like that." i couldn't help myself: i reached up and gave him a very light & friendly tap on the cheek with the palm of my hand while dropping another dazzling bon mot. sadly, in the middle of my witticism, birth...more
Clouds

Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my FINISHING THE SERIES! list.

I loves me a good series! But I'm terrible for starting a new series before finishing my last - so this reading list is all about trying to close out those series I've got on the go.


Is this my favourite book in the Vorkisgan Saga...more
Andreea Daia
I always thought that boys of Miles age (his age as in "The Warrior's Apprentice," that is) are particularly chafing in their self-centeredness, in their self-absorption which prevents them from understanding that their inoffensive acts of "proving themselves" are in actuality harmful to the people they love. Ms. Bujold creates such a believable character that two thirds of the book, I wanted to castigate and point out to him the consequences of his "quest." He is young, consumed by self-doubts...more
Stephen
5.0 stars. Absolutely superb introduction to one of the top 10 best SF characters ever created, Miles Vorkosigan. Highly recommended.
Kathleen
Note: Written in 1986, Bujold includes a hermaphrodite as a major secondary character. What's disturbing is how she refers to Thorne as "it" rather than "he" or "she" or some gender-neutral pronoun. In English, "he" is sometimes used to refer to male or female, but if she doesn't like that, why not invent such a pronoun? It's an invented planet, with invented technology and customs. Each time I read "it" I cringed. It's awkward. I wonder if the author would write it differently today, 27 years l...more
Jon
Aug 21, 2009 Jon added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: Beyond Reality August 2009 Series Selection
Jim
This is the perfect introduction to Miles. Ruined as his body is, his spry mind & motor mouth take him into & out of the most remarkable situations. His ambitions constantly war with his duties, his world with him, yet he finds answers that work, if not always the ones he wants. Quite possibly the most likable & heroic character, if not figure, in any book that I've had the pleasure of reading.

Of course, the world that Bujold built in the previous books is there to support it & t...more
Petertpc
Miles Vorkosigan is one of my new favorite characters. A dwarf with brittle bones from a people famed for their warriors and Miles gets by using his quick wit and incredible brains. He's awesome and extremely funny. I also really like the way Bujold writes. She keeps the story moving but provides enough details to paint a really vivid picture of her backdrop. This is a new favorite series.
Dirk Grobbelaar
Forward momentum. That’s the key here. Miles has it. So has this novel. It’s easy to see why this series is such a fan favourite. This is a story that tells itself – the reader is only along for the ride. And it’s a rollicking one too. Not many books have this kind of impeccable pacing.

The story is finely balanced between the scampering plot and the ridiculously good character development of the physically challenged Miles Vorkosigan / Naismith. The supporting cast, though not as thoroughly dev...more
Michael
A total delight. A space opera full of comedy while wrapped around tragedy, a social satire, and a coming of age tale. Though third in the Vorkosigan series, it is the first in the series with Miles Vorkosigan as the star. Son of a plantetary Prime Minister, Miles at 17 gets booted out of the Imperial Academy due to limitations of a birth defect affecting his legs and soon finds a secret pathway to fulfill his ambitions for accomplishments while on an interstellar excursion. From a small act of...more
Becky
*sigh* I really wanted to like this book, but...

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(That disappointed baby is effing adorable though, so I guess this review won't be ALL bad.)

Well, it wouldn't be ALL bad anyway. I wanted to like this so much. I liked the idea of this book much more than I liked the actuality of it, actually. I feel like I've been disappointed with almost everything I've read lately, and I was really hoping for this to just wow me, for it to make me want to put everything else on hold and read the series and just...more
Daniel Roy
Having just finished "Shards of Honor" and "Barrayar", I simply couldn't wait to pick up the first book in the Miles Vorkosigan series. Unfortunately for me, it seems Mrs. Bujold has shifted tones when going from Cordelia to her son Miles.

Where Cordelia's novels were sometimes funny, sometimes inclined to the romantic, but as a whole well-crafted and dramatic, "The Warrior's Apprentice" feels more like a running joke. It seems Mrs. Bujold has decided she would show Miles is human by making him w...more
Penny
This was not at all what I was expecting and it was awesome! Light, fun, easy reading. I was very fond of the narrator Miles and my enjoyment of his quick wit and sharp mind only grew as the story progressed. There were some wonderfully absurd situations which were always resolved in a manner that I found completely believable which surprised me. I'll be sure to read more of this series in the future but this book works well as a stand alone.
David Sven
Another quick easy read – though I read it slowly over lunch breaks. This time we are introduced to Miles as he comes into adulthood. He has a lot going against him physically. Brittle bones, curved spine, short – yet still somehow manages to make it to a final test to usher him into a proper Vor military career. Unfortunately for him it’s a very physical test. Unfortunately, strength of will, brilliant tactical and strategic ability, and courage aplenty just can’t overcome physics at times.

But...more
Mei-Lu
Goodreads tags this as Vorkosigan Saga #3, which number refers to where the book fits chronologically, rather than when it was published. Since it is the first book to feature Miles Vorkosigan as its protaganist, a lot of people suggest it as the first book you should read in the series. Lois McMaster Bujold is the best person to address this, which she does here: http://www.myspace.com/loismcmasterbu... I've been more or less reading the Vorkosigan books in Bujold's suggested order because I re...more
Amy Raby
One of my all-time favorite books. While this is an adult SF novel rather than a YA, it is essentially a coming-of-age story, and one of the many things I like about it is how different it is from most coming-of-age stories I read. In so many such stories, the parents are absent, incompetent, neglectful, or abusive.

Not so here! Miles's mother was exposed to a toxin while Miles was in utero. As a result, Miles is deformed and disabled. It would be easy to set up a story where the parents react ne...more
Leons1701
Despite the horrible generic mid 80's budget SF cover, this is anything but generic. I'm hugely tempted to give it 5 stars, but Bujold has done so much better later in the series that it seems unfair to the latter books. This is the official introduction of my favorite deformed dwarf (yes, I like Miles better than Tyrion)
Miles has "Issues". Lots of them. First of all, he's the son and grandson of two of Barrayar's greatest military heroes. In fact, his father is THE "Great Man" of his generatio...more
Sarah WebbiegrrlWriter
One of the slickest Comedies of Errors ever written--plus, hey, exploding spaceships! :) Lois is a master weaver of plots, characters, settings and extrapolation of science facts. There's a reason she's won enough Hugos and Nebulas to make a necklace out of them!! This book is not the "first" in the series but it is a really good starting point for new readers because it introduces the entire premise upon which the balance of the series is built. Much of the reference back to the earlier two boo...more
John Carter McKnight
You can't step in the same river twice, and this SF coming-of-age novel reads very differently in my 40s than it did in my 20s. Frankly, it's even better now than the beloved treasure it used to be. The Warrior's Apprentice is a comedy in the Shakespearian sense: while frequently laugh-till-you hurt hilarious, it's a rich study of character and culture.

Shakespeare would've loved young Miles, who's a goodhearted Richard III, if one can imagine, an off-the-leash lunatic with a gift for persuasion,...more
Evgeny
Miles Vorkosigan failed his physical test in a military academy - he has a lot of birth defects. He also happens to be a son and grandson of great military leaders, he is expected to excel in military field, and his expulsion from the academy is a huge disappointment for everybody, first of all: his grandfather. Miles decided to take a break and visit his mother's home-planet. Before he knows it, he is an owner of an obsolete spaceship and an imaginary mercenary company.

One of the best space ope...more
Kim
I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I wasn't sure what to expect but I got a light (for the most part), fun action-adventure novel. I thought Miles was a good character and the rest of the cast as well. There will hopefully be more to the background of his father and of Bothari in the other books.

What this book reminded me of more than anything was the Artemis Fowl books. I believe Eoin Colfer may have gotten a few ideas from this book. The characters are very similar although morally op...more
Nathan
Fantasy Review Barn

“Your forward momentum is going to lead all your followers over a cliff someday.” “One the way down, you’ll convince ‘em all they can fly.” “Lead on, my lord. I’m flapping as hard as I can.”

So this is the famed Miles Vorkosigan everyone has been going on about, staring in his first solo effort The Warrior’s Apprentice, henceforth to be known as A Series of Improbable Events. Talk about a snowball effect, escalation after escalation, climaxing into yet another escalation. Af...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay...this is a good book, really. I've read, I think five books by this author now. 3 of the 5 I've really liked...

Miles is a great character. That seems to me in my limited experience to be Lois McCMaster Bujold's "long suit". The characters in this book are very complete and have a depth that will make them "people" to you.

As for Miles...what can you say. Student, son, grandson, scion of a royal house, admiral, commander of mercenaries, master of finance (LOL), politician....conman.

I plan...more
Kent
Baudrillard's Simulacra and Simulation begins with a quote that he pretends is from Ecclesiastes: "The simulacrum is never what hides the truth-- it is truth that hides the fact that there is none. The simulacrum is true."

I expected a lot from The Warrior's Apprentice, but I did not expect a thoughtful meditation on the mutable nature of truth. This is a world in which illusion and reality flicker, sway, and meld.

Miles Vorkosigan is a crippled, manic, manipulative, often-cheery genius. His is a...more
Rosario (http://rosario.blogspot.com/)
I've mentioned before that many years ago I tried to get into this series. I read Shards of Honor and then, skipping Barrayar, started The Warrior's Apprentice. I can't remember why I didn't finish it. It may have been I was busy and my mind was on something else, it may have been that I needed to have read Barrayar first, it may have been that it just wasn't the right time in my reading life for me to meet Miles. All I can say is that this time around, it was a great success. I adored this book...more
Brian Rush
This book is the first volume of the Vorkosigan saga that actually has Miles Vorkosigan as a main character. Again, I rate books based on the three factors plot/theme/conflict, characters, and language. As usual, Bujold gets very high rankings on the first two. Of those two, characterization is her strongest point.

Miles Vorkosigan is simply a BRILLIANT fictional character. Absolutely amazing in his inner conflicts, his awesome talents, the issues he carries of his legendary father and his stunte...more
Neil
As the Vorkosigan Saga turns from the parents to the child, Bujold is in top form. This novel is just pure unadulterated adventure from start to finish. Miles Vorkosigan is eminently likable, a kid with brittle bones but a quick mind and almost manic personality. When his physical problems prevent him from getting into the military academy on Barrayar, he turns a trip to his grandmother's on Beta, a trip that is intended to distract him from his woes, into an ever-escalating adventure. Starting...more
Kelly
Miles Vorkosigan was born into a culture that has only just barely come to accept his birth defects and consider him a viable human being. Twenty years earlier he probably would have been aborted or not survived his birth. But due to his mixed parentage (his mother's culture is more forgiving) and changing political climate he gains a grudging acceptance, if only within his family and a close circle of friends.

Therefore the structure of his life is that he feels he must prove himself. Again, cu...more
Renée
Unlike a lot of people, I actually am glad I started the series back with the story of Miles's parents. I feel like that gives you a good solid foundation for his character and the history he's coming from that are integral to who he is and why he does what he does.
In fact, I enjoyed his parents's story so much I was actually very annoyed they were relegated to secondary characters immediately after the first omnibus. I still hold out hope that maybe we'll get story filler someday, but probably...more
Kathi
Miles Vorkosigan (going by Miles Naismith during most of this story) is an adolescent of long noble lineage, short stature, and a bone disease. He has galloping hormones that are outstripped by his ingenuity, capacity for risk, and sheer inventiveness.

Lois McMaster Bujold has written a rollicking tale with more than its share of lucky coincidences, yet it is a layered tale of characters trying to define or redefine themselves, of characters exceeding the expectations of others, of characters dea...more
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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
More about Lois McMaster Bujold...
The Curse of Chalion (Chalion, #1) Barrayar (Vorkosigan Saga, #7) Paladin of Souls (Chalion, #2) Shards of Honour  (Vorkosigan Saga, #1) Mirror Dance (Vorkosigan Saga, #8)

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“Oh, was that liquor of yours a stimulant?" asked Elena. "I wondered why he didn't fall asleep."
"Couldn't you tell?" chuckled Mayhew.
"Not really."
Miles twisted his head to take in Elena's upside-down worried face, and smile in weak reassurance. Sparkly black and purple whirlpools clouded his vision. Mayhew's laughter faded. "My God," he said hollowly, "you mean he's like that all the time?”
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“I've got forward momentum. There's no virtue in it. It's just a balancing act. I don't dare stop. ” 26 likes
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