Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance
Captain Ivan Xav Vorpatril is a dedicated and loyal officer of the Barrayaran military. He is tall and handsome and rarely lacks female company. While his relatives may address him as “That idiot Ivan” at times, he is not stupid. He avoids controversy whenever possible and keeps a low, almost slacker, profile while efficiently analyzing top secret information. Though he appears in the previous books mostly as a sidekick to his cousin Miles (whose manic life has plenty of forward momentum, with explosions and chases--despite being crippled in utero by an poison gas attack on his parents) Ivan is an endearing character, and readers of this series have often lamented that IVAN NEEDS HIS OWN BOOK! Well here it is, in its own gently humorous way.
Ivan is staff officer to Admiral Desplains on the planet Komarr. With Miles and his mother (who has been pressuring him to marry) far away on other planets, what trouble could he get into? Plenty, as it turns out--when Byerly Vorrutyer, an undercover agent in the Imperial Security corps, shows up at his door with a little favor to ask involving a beautiful woman.
The 14th book in the New York Times best-selling, award-winning Vorkosigan saga is a treat for space opera fans. For those new to the series, it could work as the first book read, as the other main character is introduced to people with an explanation of how they fit into Ivan’s life. This new viewpoint is interesting to the seasoned Vorkosigan Saga reader since we are seeing characters from Ivan’s perspective rather than that of his cousin.
For those who would like to read about the dynamic Miles, I would start with The Warrior’s Apprentice. Then backtrack to the stories of his parents in the volumes Shards of Honor and Barrayar. After that, proceed along the chronological list with The Vor Game, Cetaganda, and so on.
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