The Warrior's Apprentice PDF/EPUB » The Warrior's

The Warrior's Apprentice Between the seemingly impossible tasks of living up to his warriorfather's legend and surmounting his own physical limitations, Miles Vorkosigan faces some truly daunting challenges Shortly after his arrival on Beta Colony, Miles unexpectedly finds himself the owner of an obsolete freighter and in debt than he ever thought possible Propelled by his manic forward momentum, the everinventive Miles creates a new identity for himself as the commander of his own mercenary fleet to obtain a lucrative cargo; a shipment of weapons destined for a dangerous warzone

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 372 pages
  • The Warrior's Apprentice
  • Lois McMaster Bujold
  • English
  • 12 October 2017
  • 9780743468404

10 thoughts on “The Warrior's Apprentice

  1. Evgeny Evgeny says:

    Review updated on 16.02.2017.

    A buddy read with Choko and Maria.

    We finally meet the main hero of the series, Miles Vorkosigan. In the beginning of the book he failed his physical test in a military academy - he had a lot of birth defects; their origin was explained in the previous installment. He also happened to be a son and a grandson of great military leaders, as such he was expected to excel in military field and his expulsion from the academy was a huge disappointment for everybody first of all his grandfather. Miles decided to take a break and visit his mother's home-planet. It began innocently enough, but before he knew it, he was a happy owner of an obsolete spaceship
    and an imaginary mercenary company.

    This is one of the best space opera I read lately - and it so happened that I read quite a few good ones this year. It has everything: action, betrayals, romance, intrigues, space and ground battles, more action. It also has great characters and character development. Miles himself matured a lot and so are some of his friends. I would like to mention his cousin Ivan as a great newcomer (he was just being born in the previous book). This is book #3 in Vorkosigan saga, but it can be read as a standalone.

    It was my first exposure to Ms. Bujold, definitely not the last. Somehow it reminded me of the following well-known space opera in another media:
    Highly recommended for any SF fans, 4 solid stars. Seriously if you have not read it, you missed a lot. I would like to make a long story short, say again that the novel is great and shut up right now.

  2. mark monday mark monday says:

    so i was engaging in a favorite pastime on friday night, namely verbal one-upmanship slash sadistically using the power of my oh so mighty intellect to tease my poor innocent friends, when the very drunk birthday boy said You know you are going to get smacked if you keep on talking like that. i couldn't help myself: i reached up and gave him a very light & friendly tap on the cheek with the palm of my hand while dropping another dazzling bon mot. sadly, in the middle of my witticism, birthday boy enacted a decidedly non-verbal response and proceeded to smack the shit out of me. later, as i walked drunkenly home, ear still ringing from the horrific attack, it occurred to me that this would never happen to one of my recent heroes, Miles Naismith Vorkosigan of the the space opera lite The Warrior's Apprentice.

    ah, Miles. what a great creation he is! clever and sharp-tongued, vaguely ambitious, shorter than most, the opposite of a physical threat, kind and even-tempered, clear-eyed in his self-assessments, a little bit self-sacrificing but not in an eye-rolling way, queasy at the thought of causing others harm, full of both self-doubt and ego, always the girl's trusted best friend rather than the object of her passion, the wittiest man in the room and he knows it but he is going to try to keep that to himself so that you don't get upset and take it out on him in surprise smack-attacks. and he talks and he talks and he talks. i love Miles. his character is usually the supporting character, the hero's best friend, the brother who dies, an amusing cameo. it's a great thing for me to know that there is a whole series practically devoted to this lil' guy. he's endearing i suppose, but i personally don't see him as endearing because i don't see him as a cute character type. he feels very real to me. part of that may be due to reading all about his parents in the prior books - i know where Miles comes from, i understand the context, i get how his background informs his present. part of that may be due to how much i empathize with him and his various personal travails.

    the novel itself is about Miles leaving his home planet of warlike Barrayar and inadvertedly creating a mercenary army. oops! for me the plot is really secondary to just sitting back and enjoying Miles. the writing is fine, nothing special but certainly nothing problematic either. Bujold veers towards the bland. style is not the selling point in her skill set - readers come to her for the surprisingly grounded and rich characterization. and so The Warrior's Apprentice may have space battles, mercenaries, revolutionaries, mechanized war-suits, etc, but that's almost besides the point. Miles is the point.

    Miles - and Bothari. the latter character - a former brainwashed rapist and sadistic torturer who now acts as Miles' bodyguard - is the other big selling point of the novel. Bujold does not downplay his past or excuse it - although in some ways it can be excused (i would say that brainwashing excuses many things) - nor does she overplay his redemption. she gets the character right, she doesn't leave out the ugly or disturbing parts, and yet she still allows the character grace and dignity within his tragic arc. Bujold definitely knows how to write characters that the reader can feel. i felt Bothari, i felt Miles, i felt Elena and Ivan and i am looking forward to feeling the rest of the characters that will be introduced to me in this saga.

  3. Choko Choko says:

    *** 4.44 ***

    A buddy read with Evgeny and Maria, because we need some FORWARD MOMENTUM in our lives!

    I have a new favorite Sci-fi series and this is it! I have been remiss in not picking it up sooner and I am repenting. By reading it a book a week with my friends ☺!

    I was already in love with the Count and Countess Vorkosigan and I should have known that their progeny would not disappoint either. After all, Miles Vorkosigan is a combination of their genetic material complimented by the influence of their character and upbringing. He should be perfect.... And he is, in ways that truly matter, but neither he nor others see it that way. Miles is smart, charming, born to high nobility, privileged, and is even in line for the Imperial throne. He is well taken care of, had a happy childhood and parents who love and respect him. But despite all of that, Miles is pitied and excluded by most, finding himself always on the outside looking in... Because when Cordelia was several months pregnant with him, a political enemy of her husband's poisoned her and the baby, the poison destroying the newly forming bones. Only a miracle of medical science and an experimental testing kept Miles alive and gave him a chance to grow. The growth was extremely painful and despite the constant surgeries and top care, Miles is deformed, undergrown, and his bones break all the time, even by just a firm grip or a forceful step. Despite the constant physical suffering, Miles has a great personality and a bright outlook on life, never giving up or falling under depression or outside negativity. His sharp mind and photographic memory serve him well in all situations, particularly at the times he decides to throw himself into adventure.

    Being the son of a Count, Miles is given a chance at trying out for the Imperial Military Academy but fails fast and decisively. He returns home morally defeated and in order to give him something to do, his parents send him, his bodyguard's daughter Elena Bothari and the giant Sargent B. to visit his grandmother in Beta Colony for a vacation. Miles is secretly in love with Elena and wants to help her discover more about her mother, hoping this will make her love him too. Things don't go as planned, since at the moment they reach Beta Colony, Miles finds himself the owner of a junk Freight spaceship and a liege Lord to its jump pilot. In order to pay for the ship he takes on some dangerous cargo and gets himself and his friends involved in a war... One thing leads to another and at one point Miles is feet deep in complex issues, having to worry not only about his own life, but being responsible for the lives and payroll of many, many more... The boy has FORWARD MOMENTUM, brains and balls!!!! The situations he falls into are so unlikely, but Miles character is such that you can't help but accept and root for the cause!!!

    There is some romance, one very difficult scene with Bothari and his daughter's mother, which just broke my ❤ for all involved, and some romantic disappointment. There was a ton of character development and still our protagonist is given plenty of space to grow. The writing is delightful and the plot has the pacing of a fast developing adventure. I was glued to it from beginning to end and was won over by the flowing storytelling and surprisingly touching details, which made the tale relatable and enjoyable. I would recommend it to everyone, no matter of genre preference!

    Now I wish you all Happy Reading and may you always find what you need between the pages of a good book!!!

  4. Samir Samir says:

    Are you bored? Are you looking at your evergrowing pile of books to read and can’t decide what to read next? Well, let me help you with that, start reading this book and kill two birds with one stone.

    It doesn’t matter if you’re not a fan of sci-fi or space operas, this book will give you an opportunity to meet your new favorite character, or at least a new addition to your favorite characters list, Miles Vorkosigan.

    If I had to compare Miles to a contemporary fantasy character I would compare him to Locke Lamora; physically weak with combination of audacity, wit, cunning, assertive nature and sharp intelligence enabling him to improvise his way out of any bad situation just to find himself neck-deep in the next one.

    Miles comes from a family of warriors and to continue the family tradition, Miles applies himself into the Barrayaran Military Service Academy and aces the written portion of the entrance exams but unfortunately, due to his weak bones, he fails to pass an obstacle course resulting in breaking both of his legs and ending his military career before he even started it.

    Not really knowing what to do with himself, Miles decides to travel to Beta Colony and visit his grandmother, taking with him his bodyguard Bothari and his daughter Elena.

    Shorty after their arrival Miles manages, completely by accident, to meet a jump pilot about to have his ship scrapped and that sets in motion the series of events which will make him a leader of a mercenary company, and for Miles, an opportunity to make his father proud.

    The story itself is very fast paced with a character driven and emotionally powerful narrative. It offers a plenty of exciting action sequences and unpredictable, and often very funny, situations ensuring not one moment in this book to be classified as boring.

    Side characters are giving more depth to this seemingly simple storyline, infusing it with energy which goes hand in hand with Miles's forward momentum making this book next to impossible to put down.

    Simply said, this book is pure fun, it’s addictive, it will make you grin the whole time reading it and when you’re done, you’ll want more.

    P.S. No birds were harmed while reading this book.

  5. Bradley Bradley says:

    Update 1/18/18, Read #3:

    On some rather belated reflection and tears after this latest read, I have to say that I'm in love with this series. As if three reads wasn't proof enough, right?

    The beginning and the end is completely scaled back from the wild as hell middle, but that's as it should be. Miles is a brilliant and very flawed character, showing signs of megalomania and depression, or perhaps just being a brilliant bipolar case. :) In that respect, he's a lot like Sherlock.

    It sure as hell makes for an interesting read when you bring up all the great world-building juxtapositions. His parents and their homeworlds. Miles's desires versus his honor. His momentum versus the pressures. I include both history and gravity for the sake of his poor bones.

    I did cry for Bothari. Such a complicated character deserves a bit of silence and a lock of hair. I also cried for Miles. A lot of that was for joy, but not all of it. When he succeeds, it always feels like a house of cards. It's always like he's dancing on the tripwire of a Bouncing Betty. :)

    And what a tongue he has!

    Miles is just one of those characters that will remain in the annals of memory. :) This is the foundation. The rest of what comes relies even more on that tongue and less from fighting, but that's even more impressive when you think about it. :)

    Here comes trouble. If he wasn't so charming, he really should be shot.

    And this one is still one of my favorites in the series. Or at least in the top five. :)

    Original Review:

    It reads as a great YA with the best elements of the best space opera. How do you get back into the military of your homeworld if they don't want you? Start your own army, show them you've got what it takes! It's mostly clever and light, and then it wasn't. It was much more poignant for having read the books in the order of the timeline, although Falling Free doesn't align yet.

    This novel was very fast paced and fun, for the most part, and memorable. He's got to begin his fame somewhere!

  6. Lizzy Lizzy says:

    Impossible or preposterous are words Miles Naismith Vorkosigan neither understand nor wishes to master. I found The Warrior’s Apprentice incredible, hilarious and poignant all at the same time. With every page turned, you will live a spectacular adventure along with Miles (only offspring of Aral and Cordelia Naismith of Shards of Honor) and a delightful group of supporting characters. It’s a perfect example of Lous McMaster Bujold brilliant, inspired writing.

    Instead of suffering and limiting himself by his physical deficiencies, he bounces into a momentum that goes beyond any idea of triumphing over it all. Everything began by he catastrophically flunking the physical officer’s entrance exam of the Barrayaran Imperial Military Service. The discouraged but never beaten Miles Vorkosigan goes on to visit Beta Colony with his faithful bodyguard Bothari and daughter Elena, soon taking possession. But here is where I stop telling you his story, for every reader, should be granted the pleasure of discovering, unprepared, all that is to come.

    I was conquered by Miles from the start. He is the heir of a royal house, a flunked officer but also a commander by his very nature. Always kind and sharp-tongued, ever trying to compensate his disadvantages, he is always brilliant and thrives on proving himself equal to anyone else. But he knows when to give up. He collects followers naturally, and actions tend to heat up around him.

    If you haven’t met him yet, I strongly recommend The Warrior's Apprentice.

  7. Caro the Helmet Lady Caro the Helmet Lady says:

    UPDATED 2017.04.02 with Worst Cover Gallery - check down below and feel free to comment! Nature was generous with this one...
    I always knew I'll love Miles Vorkosigan. I only met him once and very long time ago in The Mountains Of Mourning and I recall I liked what I read, but it wasn't a full picture. It still isn't one, considering I have whole series ahead, but The Warrior's Apprentice gave me a nice teaser into what I'm going to get on my plate.

    Miles Vorkosigan is his parents' true son - while physically challenged, he's precocious, brave and intelligent, and he's immature enough to take crazy irresponsibilities and lead his people into one trouble after another. I enjoyed it very much, but I missed Cordelia and Aral a little bit, although I know this is not about them anymore. But Bothari was around (at least till some point) and it was also, well, interesting...

    Oh, by the way. Am I here the only one who's feeling like there's a shadow of Tyrion Lannister lurking around the place all the time? I'm not implying anything, but there are so many similarities between these two that you simply can't not notice.

    Back to Miles - I'm highly enjoying the series and I'm planning to read it all. I absolutely love the world McMaster Bujold created, the diversity of civilizations, the Barrayaran traditions and all.

    4.5 stars, only because I expect even better further instalments.
    Worst Cover Gallery
    The The The The L'apprentissage El The Ученик Kario Učedník L'apprendista
    My personal fav - Der

  8. Trish Trish says:

    This unfortunately didn't do it for me. Oh, sure, it's a heist novel (sort of) that is still better written than many others and it was only really slow at the beginning I guess (well, the first 30-40%). However, nobody is criticizing Bujold's craftmanshift.
    No, my beef is with with the characters, mostly. Even the (former) military personnel was stupid beyond belief. To say nothing of the rest. I can make allowances, of course - initially, for Elena, who simply wanted to get off planet ONCE in her life; or for Bothari, who considers it his duty to stay with Miles. But for every single other person to stay with Miles, to eat up the bullshit like that, to go along with what must be THE stupidest con ... there is only so much suspension of disbelief before I roll my eyes, snort, bang my head against the wall, then get REALLY annoyed because I'm supposed to go along with this nonsense.

    It's a testament to Bujold's writing that I didn't DNF the book. Granted, I don't like to DNF books in general and I did like the previous volumes very much so I wanted to allow a fluke.
    Nevertheless, it's always a bad sign when even a space heist that turns into some war effort gets so unbelievably out of hand that I get antsy despite the action and just want it to be over.

    I just couldn't warm to the crippled rich kid that had never learned any boundaries, was (occasionally) pretty smart but exasperatingly stupid when it counted. Initially, I thought it would be the typical story of a physically disabled person making it his way regardless. I could have warmed to that. But this wasn't that kind of story for me. Sure, Miles is young, but how about him accepting THAT instead of acting like God's gift to the universe and then making everything worse for everyone?!
    Not to mention Elena. Since I don't want the rest of this review to get peeped out or for someone to flag it to the GR overlords, I shall refrain from going into details. Suffice it to say that she's an ungrateful litte bitch (not just towards her father but also when she doesn't get from Miles whatever she wants like a spoiled little brat) and I still hope she will die slowly and painfully. Seriously, that ruined what little I liked for me.

    On top of the problems I had with the story and characters, there was also no humour in this. There have always been comical situations in the previous books, not here.

    Maybe the novel tried to do and be too many things at once: novel with a disabled MC; an adventurous heist / space battles; the story of female empowerment (that went downhill VERY quickly); a coming-of-age story of not one but two people (one male, one female, probably for emphasis); a slight tinge of politics / cultural differences the people are caught between.

    So yeah, there's enough rage and exasperation and I gave this 3 stars solely for the writing (especially when considering the book's age). But I didn't enjoy it much. Nevertheless, I'll continue with the series for now and hope Miles will change for the better (and soon). Oh, and I better not have to see Elena again anytime soon!

  9. Veronique Veronique says:

    “I've got forward momentum. There's no virtue in it. It's just a balancing act. I don’t dare stop.

    Carrying on with my reading of the Vorkosigan Saga by internal chronology (could also be a good starting point to the series). This fourth instalment changes the focus from Cordelia and Aral to their son, Miles, who is now seventeen and making do with the consequences of the poisoning attempt on his parents when his mother was pregnant with him. Having a boy with brittle bone disease and of a very short stature in a patriarchal and military society where physical prowess is prominent, is quite an endeavour, but a very interesting one. It took me a little while to get used to this new narrator, having loved Cordelia’s voice so much, but quickly I was charmed.

    Miles is an intriguing combination, displaying characteristics from both his parents. As a child of two societies, he tries to make sense of both, especially in light of his weak body. However, as difficult as his situation is, being often seen as a freak on Barrayar, he still has many huge ‘assets’, being male and heir of one of the highest Houses. Throughout the novel, we see him dealing with this, making many mistakes, but learning from them too. I must admit, it was so much fun to see him jumping from one problematic situation into a worse one and yet keeping the momentum. I guess this book could be seen as a Young Adult one since the main character is a teenager trying to find his identity and place in the world. Elena goes through the same journey with her own set of difficulties, being female in a misogynist world that kept curtailing her freedom. Following Miles, she escapes this, and with her horizon widening, finds out she is much more than her gender.

    Bujold also adds a much darker strand in this novel, mainly revolving around Bothari. He is a difficult character and yet so fascinating! There is no denying that this is not a good man, but he is also much more than this. The author makes us look at something many wouldn’t want to and thus make us consider that things are not just black and white. There is a certain poetic justice, but at the same time, I could well understand Cordelia, Aral, and Miles connection to this man, as well as both Elenas.

    Looking at the title, I’m still not sure who is the warrior and the apprentice since many combinations would work, the author once more making you think. I am however getting more and more invested in this universe. The first two books were good but felt very old fashioned and it was only with Barrayar that I overlooked this and finally connected. Bujold wrote these in the mid-1980s, which is probably why she set her narratives mostly on the planet/society with the most prejudices. Again, I do wonder how contemporary readers reacted to this. Right now, I can’t wait to see where she is going to take Miles - he has a lot to learn still :O)

  10. Clouds Clouds says:

    Following the resounding success of my Locus Quest, I faced a dilemma: which reading list to follow it up with? Variety is the spice of life, so I’ve decided to diversify and pursue six different lists simultaneously. This book falls into my FINISHING THE SERIES! list.

    I loves me a good series! But I'm terrible for starting a new series before finishing my last - so this reading list is all about trying to close out those series I've got on the go.

    Is this my favourite book in the Vorkisgan Saga so far? Good question.

    Let’s start with the ‘so far’ part. This is book 2 in the publication order, book 4 in the chronological order, but book 8 in my scattershot order.

    We’re currently running at:
    3 x five-star ratings
    5 x four-star ratings
    – from which you may deduce that this is a damn fine series, whatever order you read it in.

    I loved The Warrior’s Apprentice – it’s Miles at his best.

    Normally, if someone’s clock-watching at work, it’s because they don’t like their job and can’t wait to go home. For the nine days I had this book on the go, I found myself clock-watching every morning (and I like my job at the moment) because I couldn’t wait until my lunch break when I’d have half an hour with Miles!

    This is a classic ‘lie-that-gets-out-of-control’ story. Miles heads off to Beta Colony to visit his maternal grandmother. He takes along his bodyguard, Sergeant Bothari, and the sergeant’s beautiful daughter, Elena. In a bid to impress Elena, Miles blags his way onto a repossessed jump-ship being held hostage by the distraught pilot and ends up buying the whole damn ship. To try and make good his purchase, he agrees to a double-or-quits mission to deliver ‘agricultural equipment’ into a warzone. It’s obviously an arms smuggling mission, for which Miles acts the veteran, but when mercenaries at the blockade try and take Elena hostage Miles has no choice but to take their ship (obviously), and then the next crises rushes up...

    Fast paced, quick thinking, backs-to-the-wall, turning strategy on its head – pure, poor, genius Miles! Miles is all about brain over brawn, and the bigger the odds the faster his thinks.

    This is very much of the same ilk as The Vor Game , which won the Hugo award. If I didn’t know any better I could easily believe it was the other way around – they’re both excellent. I’d still put Mirror Dance a smidgeon ahead of them both as my favourite, because I think Marc adds a little extra dark spin to Miles madcap world.

    If I had to be mega critical, I’d say that first leap Miles takes to get involved with Mayhew (the pilot) is a little weakly motivated – but once we’re past that hurdle, the rest of the books rolls on majestic and unstoppable.

    There are some great scenes with Bothari, the last of which left all the hairs on the back of my neck standing up. For such a light hearted romp, that ability to suddenly tug on the heart strings is part of what makes me admire Bujold so much as a writer. That and her wonderful way with loveable characters.

    There are many points at which you can join this series – but The Warrior’s Apprentice has to be one of the most accessible volumes. If you like a great space adventure, grab a copy today :-)

    After this I read: Gillespie and I

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