25 January 2013

The art of wooing: A review of Captain Vorpatril`s Alliance

More of a love story than a review, this is my attempt at wooing you all into reading Lois McMaster Bujold.  Yes, her again.  In my defence  I do try to review  books that I am currently reading (my attempt at keeping it fresh).  As it so happens here I sit  reading Captain Vorpatril`s Alliance after so quickly chucking aside the book that I have been wrestling with these past months. Cloud Atlas you are my Waterloo.  Maybe a  peaceful understanding will be met but for now you can stay hidden under my bed nestled up to a triceratops and that random purple sock.   I am indeed speaking to a book.  Good lord, I might need a rum and coke.  Never have I struggled with reading a book more. And this comes with having had  to endure the dusty, depressive Steinbeck books in High School and the endless political ramblings found in 18th century English Lit  I took as a credit filler towards my B.A. 

Honestly, am I the only one on this planet who does not like Cloud Atlas?

Let me begin with a warning, do not read Captain Vorpartril's Alliance if you are new to the Vorkosigan Saga.  Of all the Vorkosigan books it is this one that would benefit most with some background knowledge.   It wouldn't surprise me to discover that Bujold penned this book as a thank you to her loyal addicts.    Only an entrenched fan of the Barrayaran  universe can fully appreciate the little hidden insights into a character that for the most part is foil to the charismatic hero of the series.  Lord knows Miles Vorkosigan has had his time in the spot light.  As with some of the earlier books that explore the lives of Miles parents, Cordelia and Aral,  Captain Vorpatril's Alliance is a great first book in hopefully a new branch to the Vorkosigan story.

Following Ivan has been fascinating especially since I have dismissed him as a truly developed character for all these years.  He was just always there.  Which is rather a revealing statement after having read this book and acquired a more thorough picture of who Miles cousin really is.   My hope is to see more of Ivan's unique world view.  Terrible to say but the last instalment with Miles at  the helm, Cryoburn was rather a bust.  I was a little tired of Miles getting into a tight spot, figuring things out, getting into a bigger mess and then saving the day again.   It is good to  see someone else be the hero.