Review of Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold
Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance is Ivan’s story. Even though it was published after Cryoburn, it comes before it in the timeline, according to the author. If you have not already read Cryoburn, read Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance first.
Ivan finally has an adventure for which he cannot blame Miles, even though he tries. To not give away any plot points, let’s just say Lady Vorpatril raised Ivan to be a gentleman, and those gentlemanly instincts lead him down a rabbit hole. A very twisty, Barrayaran rabbit hole.
Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance pulls together numerous minor story lines from previous books and provides, if not closure, then updates on those character’s lives and situations. This is only one of the many reasons this book is such an enjoyable read.
If you are not already familiar with the Vorkosigan books I recommend you start with either Cordelia’s Honor, Cordelia’s story omnibus and the beginning of the series, or Young Miles, the first Miles story omnibus which includes “The Warrior’s Apprentice”, “The Mountains of Mourning”, and “The Vor Game”. While Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance is a good book as a standalone, it is an exceptional book as part of the series.
Lois McMaster Bujold is one of those writers who make me want to get to the end of the story as fast as possible and at the same time stretch the story out as long as possible.
The first because the twists and turns of the plot are so interesting! You are never quite sure where it is going. Following the storyline is like exploring a new city by taking random roads just because they look intriguing. You can find hidden gems of places, run-of-the-mill places, or outright scary places, and you never know which it might be.
The second because spending time in the Vorkosigan universe is like visiting old friends you don’t get to see often enough, and you wish the visit didn’t have to end so soon.
All in all, an excellent book, and a reminder of why Lois McMaster Bujold is one of my favorite authors. An absolute joy to read.
I give it 5 stars.
(See my previous post for an explanation of my rating system.)