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Captain Vorpatril's Alliance

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Sep. 3rd, 2012 | 01:53 pm

I read this book months ago, and forgot to post my feels about it.

My favourite parts and bits of the Vorkosigan series are when it is set on Barrayar, or when it is from outside POV about those crazy Vors.

Look, I was going to like the book from the outset, and here’s why:
- IVAN! A book about IVAN! I have wanted this for years!
- Barrayar! OMFG! BARRAYAR! And outside POV about the CRAZIES!

I nearly wept in joy when it twigged that it was set before Cryoburn. Just – guys, I’m overly invested in them, OK.

Tej is charming; she is also so very different from every other character so far. She is so different that I find myself not being able to love her. I think my main problem with Tej is that I feel as if she doesn’t get Barrayar, that she hasn’t gone through the baptism by fire that is Barrayar. I don’t think she ever understood the full extent of Barrayar’s brutality, the way it eats its own children. She hasn’t proven her mantle.

Then again, maybe this is the new Barrayar, the one that the Vorkosigans sacrificed so much for. Look, I don’t dislike her, I think she is lovely and charming, and she is really good for Ivan (and Ivan is really good for her), but I can’t imagine her operating on the same level as Cordelia, Alys and Ekaterin. Despite her galactic-ness Tej, at times, comes across as really naïve and innocent. She doesn’t understand the land mines she is walking into, she honestly doesn’t seem to even realise why being a descendant of a haut could be potentially politically suicide for Ivan.

Tej’s grandmother (Lady ghem Estif?) participated in the ground invasion of Barrayar, as in, she was there when the weapons were uses, and she is still so haut about the whole thing with no repercussions, this vexed me.

ImpSec’s way of dealing with Ivan because of his relations with Simon, and the way they deal with Simon because he is Simon fucking Illyan cracked me up on multiple levels.

Duv and his love of history, of course he was going to CONTRIBUTE to the history compilation.

This book has proven it for me once and for all that I find the Jacksonians completely boring and so very irritating. I pretty much started to tune out as soon as Tej’s family got introduced, sure, MORE SIMON was awesome, but OMFG! Tej’s family irritated me. It got so bad that I had to stop reading because I was about to throw my ipad into the wall. I just didn’t see the supposed cunning or intelligence. They kept on trying to alienate their only ally on a hostile planet, they tried to play Simon (really?), and they thought they could get one over Gregor Vorbarra. There is arrogance and then there is stupidity. Morons, the whole lot of them.

Actually, thinking about it, once Mark put his mind to it, he kind of took down a major house in about a day. So, um, shit. Miles and Mark can really take over the galaxy if they weren’t Aral Vorkosigan’s sons.

My love for Gregor Vorbarra is all consuming and really stupid.

IVAN XAV- HAHAHHAHAHAHAHA! BEST THING, EVER! What I loved about the depiction of Ivan in this book is how good he is at his day job, how behind the ‘idiot’ there is this line of ruthlessness and intelligence that is sort of scary. It takes a man with some very special skills to be exactly where he wants to be, job wise. Hell, it takes very special skills to be thought of as harmless and an idiot while being so close to the throne. I sometime wonder if people tend to forget just how many ears and how much influence Ivan actually have. He is, arguably, the step brother to the Emperor, his mother Alys is the controller of the Emperor’s life, and his step father is Simon Illyan. Yeah.

I really want to read that novel about how Aral Vorkosigan got the moniker of Gregor’s Wolf.

This was definitely a romance novel. Like, more romantic than ‘Diplomatic Relations’. It is not that I don’t’ like it, I just want more stories along the lines of ‘Memory’ and ‘Barrayar’.

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Comments {5}

Elizabeth McCoy

Your Feels, I Agree with Many of them!

from: archangelbeth
date: Sep. 3rd, 2012 12:21 pm (UTC)
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Yes, Tej is amazingly... sheltered. She's a Jacksonian Princess, and while she understands the Deal, and might be able to grasp when a Deal is deadly... She's sheltered. Mind, I think Ivan would've run away from anyone as... hm. As broken-and-reforged as Cordelia, Alys, and Ekaterin. (Because they all are, really. Cordelia and Ekaterin were marked by bad relationships, in their own way; Alys lost her husband and had her son in the middle of a civil war. Tej, though she lost some people, and was running for her life... Not so marked.)

I think her grandmother was getting a lot of protection from ImpSec that nobody saw. (Though Ivan probably should've thought of it... Then again, Ivan, third in line by that pesky inheritance theory, may just assume ImpSec the way people assume breathing.) If she'd gone down anywhere non-hypercivilized, there might've been... issues.

(I dunno about her family... They didn't actually irritate me for some reason. However, no arguing with tastes!)

I disagree slightly; it took Mark several days to get into position to take down a House. Several... really unpleasant days. *shudder*

I join you in your love of Gregor. Because. So awesome. (I also have way too much fondness for Simon, and have since Memory... And really, his Winterfaire present came early that year!)

Ivan Xav, YES, definitely awesome, and he doesn't even realize it. (I think I liked Tej perhaps more than I'd like her normally... because she liked Ivan, and I could root for that.) I was highly amused about how he would instinctively shift blame in his head.

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witty, somehow

Re: Your Feels, I Agree with Many of them!

from: naanima
date: Sep. 3rd, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
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Agreed, I think Tej is perfect for Ivan. I can’t imagine him going after anyone who is like Alys, Cordelia or Ekaterin. There is this innocence about her that would attract Ivan no matter what. She is so completely removed from the Vor or Barrayar that Ivan would have latched onto that if nothing else.

I get the feeling that Ivan takes a lots of things as given because it is so normal for him. ImpSec being so involved in his life is just what he knows. Hell, without it he’d probably start freaking out.

Tej’s grandmother and extended family annoys me on an intrinsic level. I know people like that, hell I have family like that, and everyday I that whichever deity is popular that my parents and I are separated from my extended family and several oceans and a large landmass. So yes, definitely personally tastes.

Mark is special… I honestly don’t have much else to say. My feels for Mark is pretty much that I love him, and that he will be perfect no matter what. ;)

I join you in your love of Gregor. Because. So awesome. (I also have way too much fondness for Simon, and have since Memory... And really, his Winterfaire present came early that year!)

GREGOR! SIMON! OMFG! That whole sequence with ImpSec sinking, and just, how much poetic justice was that?! Honestly, my hysteria was truly insane.

I think I liked Tej perhaps more than I'd like her normally... because she liked Ivan, and I could root for that. EXACTLY! On her own I would have not even gotten beyond the first chapter of a book, but in context of what Ivan feels for her. EEE! My love!

The best part about this book, beside seeing Gregor in action, was seeing how Ivan thought; the ways he justified things to himself, how it really is truly amazing how he has set himself up on Barrayar. Just, gods, it is like all of Miles’ brilliance but focused INWARDLY, and everything he does is to make himself disappear into the woodworks. Ivan is kind of a genius.

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Elizabeth McCoy

Re: Your Feels, I Agree with Many of them!

from: archangelbeth
date: Sep. 3rd, 2012 11:58 pm (UTC)
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If you know Real People like Tej's family... Eeee-yeah! *shudder* I suspect they are far more entertaining from a distance. (Like, if Tien had been portrayed at all sympathetically, I would have been hurling the book at the wall, because my sire was a Tien.)

Mark is complex! I like him too.

I burst out cackling at the Sinking of ImpSec. It was just so, so perfect.

Yes, Inward Ivan! Yes!

...I think my ability to do more than cheer has failed me. *giggle*

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baka_neko

(no subject)

from: baka_neko
date: Oct. 2nd, 2012 05:00 am (UTC)
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Aargh I'm so behind all my reading! Did not even know this was out! Must go hunt down immediately!

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witty, somehow

(no subject)

from: naanima
date: Oct. 3rd, 2012 01:33 am (UTC)
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I don't know if the hard copy is out yet. I bought the e verion of it because I just couldn't wait.

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