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Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

(Vorkosigan Saga (Publication Order) #15)

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  15,023 ratings  ·  1,331 reviews
Captain Ivan Vorpatril is happy with his relatively uneventful bachelor’s life as a staff officer to a Barrayaran admiral. Cousin to imperial troubleshooter Miles Vorkosigan, Ivan 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 politi ...more
Hardcover, 1st Edition, 422 pages
Published November 6th 2012 by Baen (first published 2012)
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Tom Hudson One could say it's owing to Tej's unfamiliarity with Barrayaran cultural norms and her own family's penchant the grossly polynominal. However, I think…moreOne could say it's owing to Tej's unfamiliarity with Barrayaran cultural norms and her own family's penchant the grossly polynominal. However, I think that's the in-narrative reasoning. More to the point, Bujold needed a way to very easily distinguish which point of view she was narrating when Ivan and Tej are in the narrative together. When Ivan has the narrative point of view, Ivan is referred to as just 'Ivan'. When Tej has the narrative point of view, Ivan is 'Ivan Xav'.

In her previous multi-perspective novel, A Civil Campaign, there were several instances where multiple point-of-view characters were present in the same scene (Ekaterin, Miles, and Ivan among them) and it was often difficult to tell immediately whose point of view was in control of the narrative, sometimes taking a few chapters to gather enough subtle contextual clues to tell. I imagine she got some feedback on that challenge and devised this subtle differentiator to mitigate it here.(less)
Teri-K According to the discussion Ivan, Tej and Rish have after trying to get the divorce, for desertion there's a time limit of 3 or maybe 7 years, (Ivan i…moreAccording to the discussion Ivan, Tej and Rish have after trying to get the divorce, for desertion there's a time limit of 3 or maybe 7 years, (Ivan isn't sure), in which the spouse must be gone before the divorce will be granted. You can't get divorced for desertion while still living together. (less)

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Nov 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi
Ivan, you idiot!
Everybody in the known Universe.

A buddy read with Choko and Maria.

I always thought Ivan was a great character of the series who deserved more screen time. It seems to me I was not the only one who thought so. And thus Ms. Bujold yielded to her readers' demands and wrote a book with the guy being the main character and Miles making a very brief cameo.

From his childhood Ivan was smart enough to realize that playing dumb is a good way to get people to leave you alone and this w
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
*** 5 ***

A buddy read with my friends Evgeny and Maria, because we need some Forward Momentum in our lives!!!

It is not a secret nor a mystery that I am wildly fascinated and have very maternal feelings when it comes to our deformed undergrown and spastic adrenaline addicted Miles Vorkosigan!!! And who wouldn't be? He is brilliant, charming, loyal, and all the things you would want in a person who is on your side and a friend. However, it would take a saint (and I think Ekatherin is!) to be able
Aug 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Feb 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Marjorie Friday Baldwin
Apr 22, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Oct 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 10, ebooks, sf, 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
Dec 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
John Carter McKnight
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sep 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020-read, audiobook
As usual, the audiobook for this was very good. I was looking forward to a story where Ivan could reveal the depth of character he must surely have been hiding behind that shield of slight buffoonery he puts up in some of the other Vorkosigan books. I guess he did a bit, but not nearly as much as I had hoped.

The writing is solid as always, but I thought the story was just a bit lacking in comparison to previous books in the series. Overall, OK, but not near my favourite Vorkosigan Saga book.
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
It’s been a couple of weeks since I finished a Vorkosigan Saga book and I now realise that I’m dragging my feet with these last couple in the series because [as my darling Bill Adama said] I don’t want it to end.

This installment centres upon Miles’s cousin, Ivan. When they were younger, Miles often described Ivan as dumb and he was mainly used to show the discrimination Miles faces due to his disability, and LMB often had Miles going on about just how far he could have got up the ladder if he’d
Althea Ann
Oct 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
May 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kat-scifi
The first volume from the Vorkosigan Saga after a very long time for me. And … what shall I say? It was like coming home after an unduly long absence. I simply love this series to no end.

This time everything is about Ivan Vorpatril. He manages to get married by accident and gets stuck with his wife’s unusual and very strenouos relatives (no wonder, they are from Jackson’s Whole).

In the beginning I missed Miles a bit, but we meet so many old acquaintances here that I soon didn’t mind any more.
Maria Dimitrova
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Buddy read with Choko and Evgeny.

I've always suspected that Ivan is not as dumb as he likes to portray himself but after so many books of hearing "Ivan, you idiot!" bellowed by various members of the cast of the series, I had kind of started thinking of him in similar ways. There were always clues in the books that hint of him being smart but they were few are sporadic. Until the first time I read this book. After that I can safely say that I'm in love with Ivan.

This book shows the mastery of M
Jul 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Kara 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
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
Aug 11, 2013 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 this one.
Melissa McShane
Dec 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
6/23/17: Something my husband pointed out as we listened to this audiobook was how Tej fills the same role in her family as Ivan does in his: competent, bright, but utterly without ambition for anything her parents want for her. They are wonderfully well suited.

11/9/12: I really enjoyed this entry in the Vorkosigan Saga, since it's been increasingly clear that Ivan Vorpatril deserves more stage time. Or maybe I mean that I want him to have more stage time; he's gone from being that-idiot-Ivan to
K.V. Johansen
Mar 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
Sherwood Smith
Jun 24, 2012 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
Grace Yeo
Jul 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
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 rated it really liked it
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
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, humor
Bujold spins a wonderful, delightful, sweet, and let's face it: a romantic tale. I've always appreciated her novels for their wonderful characters and excellent plots, but I also have to say that the writing is always top-notch. This novel does not fail in any way. I laughed out loud many times, thanks to Ivan. Miles has always been a favorite of mine, but he shows up only briefly, here. It's been over a decade since I read all of those novels, but now I'm really motivated to dig into them and d ...more
Genia Lukin
Jun 28, 2012 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
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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

Other books in the series

Vorkosigan Saga (Publication Order) (1 - 10 of 16 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)

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