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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...or how to take charge, in 3 easy lessons
Whilst not the first novel in the Vorkosiverse sequence, this is the first novel in which Miles plays an active role. He soon learns how easy it is for things to get out of control, but with his usual luck, bluster and desire to see the right thing done he soon has things sorted out. Extremely well written, good characterisation, and the epic scope required for stories...
Published on 16 Jan 2003

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3 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Only for the fans
Hypatia, the recommendation system of Alexandria Digital Literature, said I would like this book. As I had already found many books that I did like through the system, I tried it, but this one wasn't to my taste. Maybe in the future, when the system has 10s of thousands of patrons, the recommender will be right on, but for now, there's bound to be some things a...
Published on 26 Feb 2006 by Glen Engel Cox


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...or how to take charge, in 3 easy lessons, 16 Jan 2003
By A Customer
Whilst not the first novel in the Vorkosiverse sequence, this is the first novel in which Miles plays an active role. He soon learns how easy it is for things to get out of control, but with his usual luck, bluster and desire to see the right thing done he soon has things sorted out. Extremely well written, good characterisation, and the epic scope required for stories set in space. Miles Vorkosigan is the sort of character to inspire loyalty and a desire to wring his neck - usaully by turns, although sometimes at once. If you enjoy this novel, then follow the rest of his adventures. This one is probably a good place to start.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A page turner, 4 April 2001
By A Customer
Immediately after I red this book for the 1st time, I went back to page 1 and started reading it again, and the next book, and then the next, till I finally read the whole series. I can't remember the last time I read a book and laughed and cried on the same page. This is a series in which the caracters have so amny virtues and flaws and they are so complex, that everybody can find something about themselves in them and relate to them. I'm not an SF fan, but these books are just grand.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book to enjoy many times., 8 Dec 2008
By 
Mrs. J. Proctor (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
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I've read this book at least three times over the years, but I'd forgotten just how fabulous it was. Reading it for the 4th (ish) time while ill this week, I found myself laughing aloud in pure delight.

Miles is cursed with a hyperactive, intelligent mind in a body that forever lets him down. Brittle bones break all too easily, and in a culture that values physical strength and perfection, that's a big problem.

His resentment at being unable to do the things he really wants to do leads him to help another desperate man, and suddenly he's in a situation where one thing piles on top of another and he's juggling eggs in an evermore complex pattern as he accidentally 'acquires' a band of mercenaries.

Here's where his upbringing comes in handy. Miles has always wanted the military life, he's inherited his father's gift for tactics, but this military life is a trap of a kind that he fails to spot until it is almost too late.

Can Miles stop everything from crashing down around him?

Bujold's characters are wonderful - each of her books usually works as a stand-alone (this one included), but it's great to have extra glimpses of characters whom we've met in the past or will see more of in the future. Her female characters are intelligent and capable of challenging the cultures that surround them.

The book is also funny. Mile's thoughts about his idiot cousin Ivan, his efforts at playing matchmaker, and many other scenes besides.

In a nutshell, the book is wonderful space opera, with great characters. Read it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How Miles begins on his path of adventure, 9 Jan 2001
By 
Amazon Customer (Reykjavik, Iceland) - See all my reviews
The story of how Miles form the Dendarii Mercenaries. The plot is great, the characters are fun to read. This book is one of those that you can't put down and stay up reading long after you should have gone to sleep.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply the best, 21 Oct 2006
I am a great Bujold fan and this is definitely my favourite book. I stumbled on to the series half way through, reading this one first, and am glad I did because it still is a great introduction to the whole Vorkosigan saga and almost works out better that way, that you can read back and then see where he came from. The plot and action are great and it really inspired me to read the entire series! Scifi space opera at its best.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-crafted Sci-fi that won't boggle or baffle, 4 Feb 2002
By 
L. C. Jones (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
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Unlike many Sci-Fi authors, Bujold does not burden her readers with complex societal histories or baffle them with technobabble. Set in the indeterminately distant future where Earth seems to have been abandoned and humans inhabit a range of differing worlds (some inhabited by non-humans) linked by wormholes, Bujold's Miles Vorkosigan series are simple and accessible without detracting from sophisticated plotting and excellent characterisation. The central figure, Miles Vorkosigan, is a stunted half-Betan who makes up for his lack of height with attitude. In this particular novel, Miles fails to qualify to enter the Imperial Service and embarks instead of a chain of increasingly desperate moves than end up with him in accidental control of a mercenary fleet. It's cunning stuff from Bujold that will keep most readers very entertained and leave them wanting to read more of the Vorkosigan series, but part of the beauty her writing is that you could quite happily read her novels as one-offs, without losing a great deal; conversely, to read them in order is a real treat. Highly recommended.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A fun introduction to the Vorkosigan series, 23 July 2011
By 
H. M. Holt "souloftherose" (Tring, Herts) - See all my reviews
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Although this is neither the first book chronologically nor the first book published in Bukold's Vorkosigan series this was recommended as a good place to start by fans of the series and I think it works well as an introduction to the series.

Miles Vorkosigan has always wanted to serve in the military, unfortunately due to an assassination attempt on his mother while he was in utero, he was born considerably shorter than average as well as having something similar to brittle bone syndrome. After a bad fall on an obstacle course ruins his application to the military academy Miles is left with his hopes dashed and entirely at a loose end.

When he decides to help out a despairing pilot he starts a chain of events which ends with Miles desperately pretending to be an admiral of the entirely fictional Dendarii Mercenary organisation in the middle of an interplanetary war.

This was not really a book to take too seriously but it was a lot of fun and I am definitely looking forward to the other books in the series (I bought Cordelia's Honor (Miles Vorkosigan Adventures) immediately after finishing this.)
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3 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Only for the fans, 26 Feb 2006
By 
Glen Engel Cox (Columbus, Ohio) - See all my reviews
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Hypatia, the recommendation system of Alexandria Digital Literature, said I would like this book. As I had already found many books that I did like through the system, I tried it, but this one wasn't to my taste. Maybe in the future, when the system has 10s of thousands of patrons, the recommender will be right on, but for now, there's bound to be some things a little off. Why? With so few patrons, the number of books that have a large enough percentage of people who have read them is fairly small, so those few books that almost everyone has read (Tolkien, Shakespeare, Twain) will tend to rise to the top of everyone's recommendation list. Because the AlexLit clientele is decidedly SF oriented, this includes the favorites of the genre, such as Heinlein, Card, and, of course, Bujold.
The company of Heinlein and Card are apt for Bujold, for her style and plot are quite similar, if I can make generalizations based on one book. The Warrior's Apprentice is the "first" book about Miles Vorkosigan (I have to put first in quotes because on Bujold's timeline, she has actually written prequels which feature Miles' parents). Miles is your classic SF protagonist--a misunderstood young boy with a handicap who has a mind that can solve any problem. I call this the classic because a majority of the science fiction audience can easily project themselves onto Miles without difficulty (that demographic being young boys from 11 to 17, readers who likely excel at math or other problem solving areas, yet are inept at sports). I understand the pull; I was part of this demographic once. That is why I remember Heinlein fondly, because I read him at this particular time in my life. But this is also why I dislike Card's hugely popular Ender's Game and Bujold's equally popular Vorkosigan series, because I encountered them outside of that niche and thus recognized the obvious wish-fulfillment nature of the tales.
Aside from the simplistic plot structure, I continually stumbled on the poor prose. I realize that this was one of Bujold's first books, and she may have gotten to be a better writer in later volumes, but this was the particular one recommended to me. How bad is it? Let's look at some examples:
"That's right," Miles snarled. [pg. 5]
"That awful holovid," she glowered. [pg. 89]
"The last rate," Miles hissed. [pg. 199]
Try to hiss the words "the last rate." You can't. I doubt you can snarl "that's right," either, and don't even ask me how to glower words. These examples were picked by just opening the book at random--I could probably come up with many more in this vein. On style, things aren't much better. Most of the characters are little more than talking heads, who are necessary to pass information to Miles.
I can't continue. It was interesting to read one Bujold, to be able to discuss her with reason, rather than simply dismiss her out-of-hand. I'll put her over with Card; two writers who will continue to be popular, but who can safety be ignored by those wanting more than the Hardy Boys in space.
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The Warrior's Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold (Mass Market Paperback - Aug 1986)
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