Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

by Lois McMaster Bujold

Story summary: Now it's finally the turn of Miles's cousin Ivan (known as "Ivan, you idiot.") to have his own book, his own story, and his own adventure.
See the others in this series: Shards of HonorBarrayarThe Warrior's ApprenticeThe Vor GameCetagandaBrothers in ArmsMirror DanceMemory, Komarr, and A Civil Campaign.

Thoughts: I've always loved Ivan. It was so refreshing to finally get a book where he gets to have the adventure. Of any of the non-Miles characters so far whom I would have wanted most to get their own book, it would have been Ivan. (Well, also Cordelia, but she already got a book.)

This book wasn't as mindblowing and fast-paced as some of the past in this series. But it would be like that. This is Ivan, not Miles. The romance between Ivan and Tej was sweet, and if not ideal for my taste (Ivan is a bit too much of a womanizer for that), it is at least significantly better than my taste overall for the romance in A Civil Campaign. And Bujold does seem exceedingly good at creating people that suite each other very well. Every single romance in her books so far is unique and well done, even the ones I wasn't fond of.

And then there's Tej's family. LMB does family relations soo well, and I loved their chaotic presence. You also got Tej introduced to all of Ivan's extended family, and it was immensely amusing to see their reactions to Ivan, Tej, and her family.

Altogether, great fun.

Note: The cover to the left is the one I read. Generic, but not horrible. But there's another one--and this one features on the back cover of the one I read--and it made it horribly embarrassing to read this book in public. Sigh. LMB does NOT have good luck in covers. None of them (at least in the English versions) manage to portray all of the uniqueness, sci-fi elements, and character study elements of this series at once.

Grade: 3 1/2 stars

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