Book Review – Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold

Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (Vorkosigan Saga, #15)Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Captain Ivan “You Idiot!” Vorpatril is busily doing his duty on Komarr, with a side of trying to charm the local women, when a friend from Barrayaran intelligence asks a favour. Suddenly Ivan finds himself in trouble as he attempts to protect a young woman, Tej Arqua, who’s much more than she appears.

Set initially on Komarr, then later on Barrayar, this is an enjoyable enough tale to warrant a place on the book shelf, but it doesn’t really stand out. While I enjoyed reading this at the time, the details have faded pretty quickly in the months since – it’s certainly no Civil Campaign.

I found the characters a bit flat, Tej in particular, Ivan a little less so. Ivan certainly didn’t occur as the dashing bachelor playing the field we’ve seen through Miles’ view point before. I’m not sure if this is a deliberate play on Bujold’s past to show Ivan very differently through his own eyes, or just a different level of writing or investment than in Miles. Off hand, I can’t recall any particular character development throughout the book, other than a somewhat predictable arc for Tej.

The plot was fairly solid with a few good twists, and it was a pleasure to see more of Simon Illyan and his intellect.

All up this was an enjoyable, if not memorable, read. It’s certainly not a good entry point for the Vorkosigan series, and could even be skipped if you weren’t interested in a spin-off that focussed on Ivan.


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