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SERIES—List & Discussions > Miles Vorkosigan--THE WARRIOR'S APPRENTICE - any criticisms?

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message 1: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Was there anything about the novel you didn't like, or liked less than the first 2 books?


message 2: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments I found it a bit convenient that Elena's mother (the older Elena) was trapped on the planet that was blockaded. I also found it odd that she transferred her hate of Bothari to their daughter. Perhaps, if she never had any other children, she wouldn't have any innate mothering instincts, but it was just hard to swallow her nearly complete denial of Elena the younger.

And am I just not remembering Aral's rivalry with the other count? The whole grovelling and begging scene was just strange. I guess I'll have to re-read certain parts of Barrayar again to make more sense of it.


message 3: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (sisimka) It bothered me a little that Elena's character seemed directly modeled on the female bodyguard from Barryar - her name escapes me. She ends up married to Koudelka. They are both women that are scarily proficient in hand to hand combat and yearn to see real action.

Come to think of it, there didn't seem to be any mention of Koudelka's wife at all in this book, which seems odd when you think what she and Elena have in common. Perhaps the wife was added into the Barryar plot afterwards? (It was published later...)


message 4: by DivaDiane (new)

DivaDiane | 170 comments Jon, the begging and grovelling scene was a direct result of what happened in Shards of Honor: Aral condemned one of the other Counts' sons to death for duelling and then the other set the poison bomb, which damaged Miles, as retribution.

Sisi, I thought it odd too, about Koudelka's wife (I forget her name too! and can't look it up since I lent the book out), but I think it is because she must have been added to Barrayar, which was indeed published after The Warrior's Apprentice.


message 5: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments Diane wrote: "Jon, the begging and grovelling scene was a direct result of what happened in Shards of Honor: Aral condemned one of the other Counts' sons to death for duelling and then the other set the poison bomb, which damaged Miles, as retribution."

Ah, yes, now I remember. Thanks for reminding me of that.

I also missed Koudelka's wife but I didn't get the impression that the younger Elena was a stand-in (similar character) to the other woman. I connected very well with Ludmilla in Barrayar and liked her spunkiness. Elena I liked as well, but as a contemporary of Miles and Ivan and less constrained with ingrained conservative social customs. Where Ludmilla was reluctant to follow and act on her combat training opportunities, Elena accepted and pursued them. I see Cordelia's influence written all over that attitude difference, especially since Elena would have been around Cordelia from a young age.


message 6: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Right, Ludmilla, although she's more commonly called Droushnakovi - or "Droushie" by Gregor. (I loved it when Gregor asked "Droushie, can I have a lemon cake - and one for Stegie (his toy dinosaur)" ... typical toddler "reasoning" :)

Jon named the one thing I really didn't like --- the oh so convenient coincidence that Elena's mother was on the blockaded planet. Clumsy plotting like that would usually annoy me so much that I'd abandon the book, but I'm very forgiving with Bujold.


message 7: by Kelly (new)

Kelly (sisimka) I had been under the impression Elena's mother had died. So I was surprised to meet her, really.


message 8: by DivaDiane (new)

DivaDiane | 170 comments I agree, it wasn't the most elegant or plausible of plot points to have Elena Sr. show up like that. But sometimes the universe conspires like that and the most unlikely things happen. So, the rest of the book being as good as it was, I was willing to ignore those circumstances.


message 9: by William (new)

William (williamjm) Stefan wrote: "Jon named the one thing I really didn't like --- the oh so convenient coincidence that Elena's mother was on the blockaded planet. Clumsy plotting like that would usually annoy me so much that I'd abandon the book, but I'm very forgiving with Bujold."

Bujold does overuse convenient coincidences in her plotting in my opinion - I wasn't particularly bothered by Elena's mother showing up, but in some of the later books the coincidences got a bit unbelievable - The Vor Game had some particularly bad examples (but more of that later).



message 10: by Lareads (new)

Lareads | 16 comments It bothered me too that Elena Sr. would feel the degree of distaste that she does towards Elena. She seems quite irrational. I don't want to give anything away, but she kind of had to be psychologically unwell to advance the plot. LMB kind of had to have her be unbalanced I think. For sure, Cordelia in that same position would have reacted quite differently, I'm sure.



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