The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold

After flunking the physical portion of his battle school exams, Miles Vorkosigan heads off looking for glory and winds up the admiral of a fleet of mercenaries, making it look like he’s about to declare war on the emperor.

I am a huge fan of Lois McMaster Bujold’s fantasy, and many people have recommended the Vorkosigan saga to me. I figured I’d start with The Warrior’s Apprentice, since it’s the one that started it all, if not first chronologically.

Space opera is pretty low on my list of preferred genres, and I was worried that The Warrior’s Apprentice would contain too much nerdy humor. While the book wasn’t free from some pretty cringe-worthy moments, the fast-paced story and enjoyable characters more than made up for it. I liked that Bujold wasn’t afraid to take Miles to some dark places–despite the overabundance of such annoying wrylys as “blandly” and “sardonically.” Her writing has been so strong in the other books I’ve read that I was surprised to find such a dependence on adverbs here.

I also appreciated that she didn’t give us a straight coming of age story; rather, she got Miles out of school pretty quickly and then shoved him into a very complex real life situation. The plotting was super inventive.

I’m glad I know what Miles is all about, but I’m not going to keep going in the series. I just don’t really have the taste for space opera.

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