Shelfari edited the summary of The Warrior's Apprentice Tuesday, March 23, 2010.
Seventeen-year-old Miles fails to qualify for the Barrayaran Service Academy, breaking both legs during a run over an obstacle course. On a visit to Beta Colony, in quick succession, he obtains a ship, a pilot, and a smuggling mission, running guns to a beleaguered government. He captures another ship from the blockading Oseran Mercenaries, somewhat unintentionally, and representing himself as
"Admiral Naismith",commander of the non-existent Dendarii Mercenaries, co-opts the crew through improvisation, sheer audacity and luck. Under Naismith's brilliant leadership, the Dendarii eventually take over the rest of the Oseran fleet and win the war.
The unexpected arrival of Miles’ cousin Ivan Vorpatril brings the realization that a political faction in the Council of Counts is attacking his father back on Barrayar by charging Miles with maintaining a private army—an act of capital treason. He returns home posthaste, uncovers the real plot behind the charges, and escapes trial by gaining the Emperor's approval to recast the Dendarii (secretly) as Imperial forces. He is rewarded with admission to the Academy, which all in the know agree might help keep him out of trouble for a while.