Captain Vorpatril's Alliance
Set in the universe as Ms Bujold’s popular Miles Vorkosigan, this novel follows the life and times of Ivan Vorpatril, Miles’ cousin and resigned sidekick. It’s set a few years before ‘Cryoburn’, her last novel. Ivan has followed his boss, the head of Operations, Admiral Desplains, to Komarr where he’d taken a set of rooms and spent his time in sorting out the boss’s mail until By Vorrutyer, one of his more distant cousins and apparently dissolute character turned up. By was an agent for ImpSec as well and if Ivan hadn’t thought much of his cousin before learning of his ImpSec connections, those connections made By’s presence even less welcome but Ivan had always been a sucker for a damsel in distress and By asked him to look into the mysterious Nanja Brindis allegedly of Olbia Dome. Now By recommending a girl probably wasn’t too far out of character but in this case the introduction was just a bit short on actual detail...
After a stunning start to the relationship, Ivan finds himself swept up in an interstellar conspiracy that had roots going all the way back to the Cetagandan occupation of Barrayar over a century ago.
Now, this isn’t a Miles novel, so you don’t have massed shutouts or spies crawling out of the woodwork (except By. And ummstepfather Simon Illyan, ex head of ImpSec). Instead we have Ivan’s gradually less muddleheaded approach to life - actually he’s not really muddleheaded but he’s really keen on his easy life and it was really great to see how he changed over the course of the story. And this time he gets the girl!
Althought the Miles books have had their own brand of humour, the overall tone of this book was quite amusing even allowing for some rather grim and poignant scenes.
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