5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly entertaining romp
The question which naturally arises in introducing new readers to an author who has produced a substantial body of work is, "Where to begin?" My own preference is to start off with Falling Free, which is the earliest book according to internal chronology, and also the first of Bujold's work which I encountered. However, for many fans, the best part of Bujold's writing is...
Published on April 18 2007 by Greg Slade
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Apparently, quite a few people like the Vor series, so I picked this one up. I wasn't impressed. Yes, LMB's writing is good, but that doesn't automatically make a good science fiction. The plot simply isn't particularly exciting, the ideas are consistently stale. Worst of all, the story is driven by lucky coincidences and the fact that everybody believes/obeys the main...
Published on Jan. 24 2002 by Martin
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thoroughly entertaining romp,
This review is from: The Warrior's Apprentice (Hardcover)The question which naturally arises in introducing new readers to an author who has produced a substantial body of work is, "Where to begin?" My own preference is to start off with Falling Free, which is the earliest book according to internal chronology, and also the first of Bujold's work which I encountered. However, for many fans, the best part of Bujold's writing is the character of Miles Naismith Vorkosigan, and so they prefer to begin with this one, which is where Miles gets his start. (He does appear, briefly, at the end of Cordelia's Honor, although it can be argued that he is a central figure in the entire book.) I can't say that I disapprove of such a choice, either. The Warrior's Apprentice is a thoroughly entertaining romp across the galaxy, and introduces us to Miles as a brilliant, charismatic, natural leader who gets into the most amazing scrapes in the process of attempting to extricate himself from previous scrapes.
I should take this opportunity to point out that the original cover gave an entirely false impression of the story. (The helpless, almost-clad heroine type clinging to the bared chest of the jut-jawed hero type are particularly hilarious if you know the real characters.) The cover of the reissue is much closer to capturing the tale.
One of the many things which appeal to me about Bujold's work is the way she can evoke such a wide variety of emotions without being sentimental or melodramatic. Sometimes, the line between sorrow and hilarity is almost too fine to see:
Mile exhaled carefully, faint with rage and reminded grief.
He does not know, he told himself. He cannot know...
"Ivan, one of these days somebody is going to pull out a
weapon and plug you, and you're going to die in bewilderment,
crying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"
"What did I say?" asked Ivan indignantly. (p. 250.)
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb,
The Warrior's Apprentice is a typical Miles Vorkosigan adventure. To those who are not familiar with Miles that last sentence may look like a derogatory comment. That could not be further from the truth. The Warrior's Apprentice is typical because it is a fast paced, seat of your pants, romp through the universe adventure with the eccentric Miles Vorkosigan. Bujold's entire cannon set in this universe merits high praise.
The Warrior's Apprentice finds Miles breaking his leg and being unable to complete his training in the Barrayan military academy. A deeply depressed Miles feels he has let his father and grandfather down and becomes inconsolable. His mother, Cordelia, sends him to Beta Colony hoping it will take his mind off his troubles at home. Once on Beta Colony the fun begins. Miles saves a deranged jumpship pilot from Betan security forces and in the process purchases a jumpship. He then offers to use his new found toy to deliver armaments to a warring planet in a dead-end worm hole nexus. The catch is he must break through an embargo being enforced by mercenaries on the other side of the worm hole. In the meantime Mile runs across a deserter from the Barrayan military who he decides to take along with him. Miles, accompanied by a mentally unstable jumpship pilot, a Barrayan deserter, Sergeant Bothari, Bothari's daughter Eleni, and the agent for whom Miles is working, Daum, breaks the blockade and become embroiled in a battle between mercenary fleets. Miles, using the ingenuity he is now well know for, finds himself the captain of the a rag-tag group of mercenaries who he eventually dubs the Dendarii Mercenaries.
Unfortunately for Miles, the act of creating a standing army of one's own is a capital offense on Barrayar and he must go face the Council of Counts. In an emotionally wrenching scene Miles' father attempts to protect him from these charges.
This short sketch of events masks both the humor and sadness that accompany Miles on his adventure. Bujold has the ability to elicit both laughter and sadness in her writing and she does both here. There are few writers of any genre who are as good at characterization as Bujold. Even peripheral characters take on a complicated psyche of their own. And the interaction between Miles and his father, Aral, are superbly written.
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing and superficial,
This review is from: The Warrior's Apprentice (Mass Market Paperback)Having just finished "Shards of Honor" and "Barrayar", I simply couldn't wait to pick up the first book in the Miles Vorkosigan series. Unfortunately for me, it seems Mrs. Bujold has shifted tones when going from Cordelia to her son Miles.
Where Cordelia's novels were sometimes funny, sometimes inclined to the romantic, but as a whole well-crafted and dramatic, "The Warrior's Apprentice" feels more like a running joke. It seems Mrs. Bujold has decided she would show Miles is human by making him whine, cry, puke his guts out and tremble in fear most of the time, 'in aparté' for the reader. Oh, he also lusts after Elena a lot, and shows us his noble streak by going down the 'unrequited love' path. Bleh.
What is particularly irritating about the novel is the way things just fall in place conveniently for Miles. Miles' genius is that which comes forth in second-rate novels, where it is not so much the protagonist that is intelligent, but the rest of the Universe that is downright dumb. Miles recruits people by stuttering half-baked lies; he exposes imperial schemes by confronting admirals with his sharp wit; he outwits entire armies by concocting plans full of assumptions that his enemies conveniently fall into.
I realize this novel is intended as light reading, but so were "Shards of Honor" and "Barrayar". They were light reading, filled with drama, action and humor, and a certain dose of romance. "The Warrior's Apprentice" feels like a bad imitation of all that made the Cordelia books so great, and all the characters from these two books are here only as cardboard cutouts reminding us of the clichés at the heart of the vibrant characters we grew to love previously.
I wish Miles were more like his mother.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Fast-Paced Book,
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, Fast-Paced Book,
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite of the series,
Miles has failed - through his own fault, basically (he is usually more careful to circumvent his physical difficlties) - to pass the physical admission tests to the Military Academy and so is thwarted in achieving his only, and devoutly wished-for, ambition. He feels that the disappointment causes his grandfather's death and, depressed as all heck, flees to visit his grandmother Naismith in Beta Colony. Once there, however, he picks up a couple of'strays' and, taking responsibility for them, sets off on a crazy adventure ...picking up more 'strays' on the way. These 'strays' are molded, by sheer force of personality, into the Free Dendarii Mercenaries. It IS 'rip roaring adventure' but it is also about picking yourself up and getting on with your life and about taking responsibility for your actions whether or not you intended the consequences. It shows one of Miles' greatest (and, perhaps most endearing) talents; getting other people to overcome their handicaps and achieve their own full potential. I found it exciting and upbeat despite the dark side of the story and heartily recommend it.
While I may have enjoyed it more as the result of reading the other books, it is certainly 'stand alone' and it may well be that it will the book I recommend to Vorkosigan beginners to start on!
5.0 out of 5 stars The Definitive Miles Vorkosigan Story,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Read this.,
Shards of Honor
Now click on the bit where it says I was very helpful with this review, only it's a lie because I just got you hooked on something that's gonna take up a whole bunch of your time reading and make people think you're a complete geek when you want to do nothing but talk about how wonderful these books are.
5.0 out of 5 stars Newly edited by the author,
This review is from: The Warrior's Apprentice (Hardcover)Warrior's Apprentice provides a quality hardcover edition of a title which has been newly edited by the author, providing the second book in the Vorkosigan saga and introducing Miles Vorkosigan. Fans of Lois Bujold's science fiction series who want a fine keepsake edition of a classic need look no further than this important update/edition.
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed,
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The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold (Hardcover - Feb. 2002)
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