white_hart: (Default)
[personal profile] white_hart
The Warrior's Apprentice is the third of Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga, following Shards of Honour and Barrayar which I read in the autumn. It's set seventeen years after the events of Barrayar and the focus shifts from Cordelia and Aral to their son Miles, whose physical disabilities (the result of a teratogenic antidote to an attack on his parents with poison gas while Cordelia was pregnant with him) prevent him from following his dream (and the normal path for a young man of his class) of gaining admission to the Barrayaran military academy. Instead, he goes to visit his grandmother on Beta Colony, where he ends up buying an obsolete spaceship, triggering a sequence of events which ends up with him accidentally becoming commander of a mercenary fleet.

Given that one of the things I really liked about the first two books was that they were about adults, I wasn't entirely sure I was going to find a novel with a seventeen-year-old protagonist as enjoyable, but Miles is basically a less-whumped and slightly less infuriating Francis Crawford of Lymond in space and the story is great fun, and also very funny (there was one scene which reminded me irresistably of The Million Pound Radio Show's Pirate Training Day sketch, and was just as funny). There's also quite a lot about the nature of leadership, which I found particularly interesting given some of the discussions on the management development programme I'm currently on at work (not that I think Miles Vorkosigan is a particularly good role model, but there's one bit where Miles is reflecting on how he's the one person who doesn't do anything and yet without him there the organisation falls apart which particularly struck me). It felt like comfort reading without beign fluff, which I think is probably a very good thing.

(Also, I was startled to realise that I had somehow misosmosed Bel Thorne as a disembodied entity, possibly an AI, from other people's mentions of the character...)

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-12 08:00 am (UTC)
serriadh: (Default)
From: [personal profile] serriadh
In terms of management training, I look forward to when Gregor starts to become a more major character...

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-12 10:41 am (UTC)
antisoppist: (Default)
From: [personal profile] antisoppist
Miles is basically a less-whumped and slightly less infuriating Francis Crawford of Lymond in space

Ankaret once warned me that Young Miles might give me "a touch of the Lymonds" and she was quite right. They both make me want to run away screaming in exactly the same way. Warrior's Apprentice stalled me on Bujold for a few years. I had to read older Miles before I could go back to him. But these days I can manage to view him with detachment rather than horror. I do like him working out how to manage people when they won't just do what he tells them.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-12 10:46 am (UTC)
sillymouse: Plum Blossom (Default)
From: [personal profile] sillymouse
I remember emailing [personal profile] caulkhead complaining that I was having to read Miles with my hands over my eyes. I think Lois McMaster Bujold is an avowed Dunnett fan (as is Chelsea Clinton).

Oh god, I have just realised. Ulysses (which I have not read but which I follow a Twitterbot of) has a Miles Crawford in it.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-12 11:22 am (UTC)
sillymouse: Plum Blossom (Default)
From: [personal profile] sillymouse
I think my brain has translated "Lots of sci-fi/fantasy authors are Dunnett fans" into "ALL ... etc".

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-12 03:18 pm (UTC)
alithea: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alithea
You are not the only one, I was convinced I'd read somewhere that she was a fan too. It was Ellen Kushner and another author I was reading at the time mentioning their love of Dunnett that got me reading her and I was SURE the other author was Bujold!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-12 03:53 pm (UTC)
sillymouse: Plum Blossom (Default)
From: [personal profile] sillymouse
All of which makes me think it is really time I re-read Ellen Kushner.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-12 04:00 pm (UTC)
sillymouse: Plum Blossom (Default)
From: [personal profile] sillymouse
I don't think of it as very Dunnettian, but I do so love it for itself.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-12 04:01 pm (UTC)
alithea: (Books)
From: [personal profile] alithea
Have you heard about Tremontaine? It's a serialized, multi-author prequel to 'Swordspoint' -https://www.serialbox.com/serials/556fb8faada6e270f8e264d5
They've done two 'seasons' so far and while it's been a bit patchy in places, it has some great characters and it is lovely to have more diversity in the setting. I'd recommend it if you're a Riverside fan, I've probably enjoyed most of it more than I did 'The Fall of the Kings'.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-12 04:02 pm (UTC)
sillymouse: Plum Blossom (Default)
From: [personal profile] sillymouse
I bogged about halfway through Season One - not at all the series' fault, I was rather overtaken by Life. Must get back to it!

(no subject)

Date: 2017-04-12 11:26 am (UTC)
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
From: [personal profile] nineveh_uk
I rather enjoy TWA. It's preposterous, but I like its high jinks nature, and I think I prefer Miles flying by the seat of his pants in this sort of way to later when he gets serious (and more self-righteous).

I'm baffled as to why he would be allowed back on Beta in later life, but perhaps they consider him a minor and not responsible. Or it's just claimed that Bothari kidnapped him or something.

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