“Love it, as I've loved pretty much everything Bujold has written; nice to see someone who's not a member of the Vorkosigan family get a full-length story again.”Sandy C wrote this review Sunday, April 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Woo-hoo! I didn't even know she had another one out! Fun fun!
OK, wasn't as great as some of hers, but I still enjoyed it. ”
“Big fan of the Barrayaran Universe. Can't help but like this book. Here is my review
“This cosy, indulgent, amusing and only a bit exciting volume (just like Ivan) in the Vor universe was very satisfying. Bujold really is very clever. I am so very impressed by how transported I was from my surroundings by the story. The characters stay so much in character that I was never jolted back to awareness of my role as a reader; Barrayar, the locations, rooms, buildings, tunnels (oops...bit of a spoiler there, sorry) were vividly painted; I was *there*, not merely reading about it. I am not sure if the experience would be so convincing for those who hadn't already had the foundational experience of having ready the many Vor novels that have gone before.
This adventure is not as nailbitingly gripping as the early Miles novels. It's tone is more comfortable and easy going, like the latter Miles novels. It reassures us that our old friends and planets are all still there, continuing on their own paths, growing, not cryofrozen nor gone stale in the literary universe. The humour is affectionate and knowing. The excitement (yes, there is plenty of excitement) is mined from the deep and fertile veins of corrupt, paranoid, conflict-ridden Barraryaran history. I recommend it, but (sorry, there is a but) if you're new to this universe, first start with Bujold's "Young Miles" compilation or maybe even go back as far as "Shards of Honour".”
“Loved it! Wasn't sure what to expect from a Vorkosigan saga book centered around Ivan, but it was a delight!”fuzzy_giraffe wrote this review yesterday. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Another book in the Vorkosigan series by Lois McMaster Bujold--it actually predates the last book in the series.
The story this time revolves around Miles' cousin, Ivan. Previously always in the shadow of his brilliant, erratic cousin, Ivan shows he has a bit more to him than even he suspected.
He gets asked to do the simple job of making contact with a beautiful, young woman--something right up Ivan's alley, but things go wrong right from the start and poor Ivan is the the target of beautiful maidens and criminals alike.
Miles does make a cameo appearance, but that's it.
This was quite an enjoyable story, but without the constant neck-or-nothing , life-on-the-edge style that Miles seems to bring to a story.
Grover Gardner, as always, is a superlative narrator.”
“When Byerly Vorrutyer asks Ivan Vorpatril to keep an eye on a young woman, Ivan agrees readily. What seems to be a rather pleasant off-duty assignment quickly becomes complicated. To save Tej from bounty hunters, Ivan marries the girl, only to discover he’s now related to one of the notorious families that rule in Jackson’s Whole! Ivan. And Tej is torn between loyalty to her clan, and a growing affection for her Barrayaran spouse.
When the Emperor of Barrayar gets involved, not to mention the former head of Imperial Security, a marriage of convenience soon turns into an affair of State. Will Ivan finally settle down, or will his new in-laws get him killed?
This is one of the few novels in this cycle that DOESN’T focus on Miles Vorkosigan, and I am glad to see more of Ivan and his family.”
“The ending of Cryoburn was considered to be the end of the Vorkosigan Saga. What do we know, because Bujold takes advantage of the universe she has created and takes the relatively minor character of Ivan Vorpatril and turns in a very nice farce.
Wait, you thought this was a science fiction book, space opera as is are most of the Vorkosigan books? Keep in mind Bujold has taken a turn at Jane Autsen stylings with a Civil Campaign (which I was not a fan of) so why not take a shot at a farce? And, farce, not slapstick, is the best way to describe this very amusing tale of Ivan maneuvering his way through Imperial Security intrigues, Jackson Hole financial wars (literally war), and oh yes he ends up married.
The perpetual bachelor gets married to keep the ImpSec plan from blowing up, and he finds he likes it. He is even discovering he might be more ambitious than he has let on in before (as much a surprise to the reader as it is to Ivan).
As for the style of humor, at one point after pummeling a villain, Tej, Ivan's bride says, "You told me you were a desk jockey!"
"Yes, but a Barryaran desk jockey," Ivan responded.
You'l have fun with this one. Its not great literature, but it is a nice companion to sit down with some coffee or tea on a rainy day.”
“I am a sucker for Bujold’s science fiction tales that combine thrills with humor and romance. The setting is in a future where distinct and competing human societies develop on different planets linked by wormholes. The ingredients of her space opera stew are heroes and villains, loyalty and treachery, ambition and greed, love and heartbreak. Great character development, superb plotting, and good doses of humor take a lot of the soap out of the opera.
Instead of her usual star Miles Vorkosigan, Bujold here tests the mettle of Mile’s cousin Captain Ivan Vorpatril, who has a reputation as a slacker and playboy from an aristocratic family. On a routine trip to the planet Komarr as administrative assistant to an admiral, his spy cousin sets him on a task that gets him involved in protecting a woman, Tej, and gene-engineered friend (blue with elf ears). Soon his chivalry and growing romantic interest in Tej leads him to get in trouble with his boss and the local police and puts him on the run from kidnappers hired by usurpers of their family’s commercial empire on the libertarian world of Jackson’s Whole. The troubles persist after Ivan transports them to his home in Barryar, including the complexities of dealing with his meddling family.
The trials and tribulations Ivan goes through to do right prove his reputation as a slacker to be unfounded. Most of my pleasure from the book comes from revisiting the cast of characters from previous book. It was not as exciting or as funny as the Vorkosigan saga, but time will tell if this tale represents the beginning of a new series with a different set of rewards for loyal readers.