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Warrior's Apprentice

A book by Lois McMaster Bujold

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Only for the fan

  • Jul 14, 1998
  • by
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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review by . July 07, 2004
Book Review by C. Douglas BakerThe Warrior's Apprentice is a typical Miles Vorkosigan adventure. To those who are not familiar with Miles that last sentence may look like a derogatory comment. That could not be further from the truth. The Warrior's Apprentice is typical because it is a fast paced, seat of your pants, romp through the universe adventure with the eccentric Miles Vorkosigan. Bujold's entire cannon set in this universe merits high praise. The Warrior's Apprentice finds Miles breaking …
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Glen Engel-Cox ()
Ranked #321
Glen is a forty-something communications professional living near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He grew up in Texas and has also lived inLos Angeles, Colorado, Washington State, and Washington, DC. Glen also … more
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Bujold's well-drawn characters are brought to life by the versatile voices of Hanson and Cowan. They skillfully adapt the pace and adjust tone and emphases to heighten the drama of this well-crafted, action-packed SF novel. --KLIATT, September 1998

First I want to tell you that the awards you have received are well deserved! NOBODY can tell a good story like Carol and Michael. The performances are exactly on par, if not better than, the works of art that are read. Audio book companies should place THE READER'S CHAIR as their goal. --M. P., 8/1/98

Greatly enjoyed Warrior's Apprentice from LMB. Thanks muchly for another great job narrating the book. Now the question... When is The Vor Game going to be available? --douglas.tillyer, 05/04/98

I am planning to put on my Xmas list some of the Bujold titles. The awards your company has are truly well earned. --DjacksonT, 7/10/98

I just *loved* "Warrior's Apprentice" (up to your usual excellent standard I was happy to hear!) and I can't wait for the next in the series..... --aknorth, 6/15/98

I just started re-listening to TWA. I can't believe how much I hear new each time! --Dwerning, 05/28/98

Michael Hanson and Carol Cowan probably are the best team of performers in the business. This novel has to rate among the award-winning author's most entertaining works. --St. Louis Post-Dispatch, May 3, 1998

Tell Michael and Carol "thank you" for doing such a superb artistic work. We appreciate it. Many many thanks. --jdprestn, 05/08/98

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ISBN-10: 067172066X
ISBN-13: 978-0671720667
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Genre: Science Fiction & Fantasy
Publisher: Baen
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