Tor.com content by

Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: The Warrior’s Apprentice, Chapters 10-12

This week, the re-read delves into chapters 10-12 of The Warrior’s Apprentice. The Dendarii go recruiting, and their new trainees have some very important questions. Miles does his best to distract them with an air of authority, a rigorous training schedule, and some fortuitous rumors about Betan rejuvenation treatments.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the re-read, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: The Warrior’s Apprentice, Chapters 8-9

This week begins as a screwball adventure and Miles and his variably-intrepid crew reach Tau Verde IV and encounter the Oseran Mercenaries. Miles is no longer high on green liquor, but he still has forward momentum, and he’s hoping to resolve the financial issues he created for himself when he mortgaged that radioactive land and then, I imagine, go back to Beta Colony with a thrilling story to tell. And for a little while, it looks like he might!

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the re-read, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: The Warrior’s Apprentice, Chapters 5-6

This week, Miles and his entourage head for Beta Colony. Some time has passed; Miles’s legs are now unbroken, and he has used them to trudge around some military cemeteries on Escobar. Miles and Elena do not find what they are looking for. That took about two paragraphs, and the rest of the quest for Elena’s mother will wait for a later chapter. We’re on Beta Colony! And we need to get to know it real fast, because we’re not here for long.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the re-read, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: The Warrior’s Apprentice, Chapters 2-4

Miles is probably never going to see Barrayar the way I do, but he’s not at peace with it this week. Following the debacle of his run at (and subsequent jump off) the Imperial Military Academy’s entrance requirements, Miles is willing to be persuaded of the merits of off-planet travel.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the re-read, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: The Warrior’s Apprentice, Chapter 1

This week, the reread jumps roughly 15 years from Barrayar to The Warrior’s Apprentice. First published in 1986, this is the first book in the series to feature Miles Vorkosigan, the fourth in reading order, and the second in publication order. At the time of publication, the only other book in the series was Shards of Honor, published two months earlier. I’m retroactively jealous of 1986 for getting two Vorkosigan books as beach reads, though I think that going straight from Shards to Miles’s adolescence must have caused readers whiplash.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the reread, the index is here, and a series of blog posts on The Warrior’s Apprentice by Jo Walton can be found by following the Warrior’s Apprentice tag. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: Barrayar Chapter 19 and Epilogue

With the Imperial Residence on fire, and a uterine replicator and Vordarian’s head under a blanket, Cordelia and crew drive through two security checkpoints. When the car breaks down, they switch to the monorail, which interests me because (a) Barrayar has a monorail, at least in one District, and (b) Vordarian’s head travelled on it, so it’s a monorail of historic significance. Everyone is reunited with everyone else, and the war winds down. Once Vordarian’s head is detached from his shoulders, we have time to dig deep into Barrayar’s needs and limitations.

I pre-reread The Warrior’s Apprentice this week and the end of the Gentleman Jole spoiler embargo is so close I can practically taste it. If you haven’t read Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen yet, put yourself on a library hold list today! If you have, remember to hold your thoughts until the human recruiting poster makes his debut. Previous posts in the re-read can be found here.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: Barrayar, Chapters 16-18

This is a very exciting week in the Vorkosigan reread. I started this blog post with no real idea how close I would get to Vordarian’s head before time and space suggested that it would be prudent for me to submit this blog post and start work on the next one. This is how I roll. If you’ve ever wondered about the reasons for the uncertainty about the chapters covered in next week’s blog post, it’s because I’m working it out as I go. They let me do this. #blessed.

(Also, Chris Lough showed me a graphic he made but did not use for the Horse Lover’s Guide to the Vorkosigan Series, and it is EPIC, I promise that you are jealous.)

As you probably figured out from the title, I got to chapter 18. I’m so glad. I like to think I’m a gentle, peace-loving person, but I prefer my pretenders headless.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

A Horse Lover’s Guide to the Vorkosigan Saga

Count Piotr Vorkosigan is not of this Earth. He has spent his life fighting the Cetagandans and the warring Counts on a planet with toxic vegetation over a thousand years in our future. But he still mounts his horse from the left, just like Xenophon told him to.

Horses don’t fit smoothly into most space operas, and encounters with them aren’t an everyday—or even an every book—occurrence in the Vorkosigan Saga. While they aren’t usually at the center of Bujold’s stories, horses play key roles in pivotal moments. Barrayarans love their horses like they love their fireworks, and Bujold clearly loves them too.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: Barrayar, Chapters 14 and 15

Welcome back to the Vorkosigan reread! Chapters 14 and 15 of Barrayar explore questions that have been haunting the comments thread for weeks. This section deals mainly with characters’ motives as Aral looks for ways to draw men to his side, and Vidal Vordarian looks for ways to turn up the pressure.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the reread, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: Barrayar, Chapters 11-13

At the end of last week’s post, Negri was dead on the lawn beside the lightflyer. Two Impsec men were performing CPR. Gregor was in Drou’s arms. Drou was accused of sabotaging the comconsole, and is consequently about to be arrested. Miles is gestating in the Imperial Military hospital in Vorbarr Sultana. Kareen is with Vordarian in the Palace. Cordelia is heading into the woods. Aral is going to Hassadar. Armsman Esterhazy is going to get the horses. Welcome to the the War of Vordarian’s Pretendership. Chapters 11-13 of Barrayar deal with the Backcountry Campaign—the effort to keep Emperor Gregor out of Vidal Vordarian’s hands.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the reread, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: Barrayar, Chapters 9-10

It’s very apparent from the comments on the last few blog posts that many readers are eager to discuss the coup. Me too! Chapters 9 and 10 lay the stage. This section is about children—Miles, Aral, Drou and Kou’s dreams, and Gregor. This section also represents a key moment for the comconsole in the library at Vorkosigan Surleau.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the reread, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

Mid-life Diplomatic Crisis: Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon’s The White Gryphon

The White Gryphon is the second book in Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon’s Mage Wars trilogy. It was published in 1997, in between Storm Warning and Storm Rising. While my current interests lie primarily with the Storm trilogy (which has calculus, shorthand, and sandwiches), I believe it is important to read these two series in the order they were published, because they deal with the consequences of the same cataclysm. That cataclysm took place at the tail end of The Black Gryphon, and it ended the Mage war between Urtho and Ma’ar.

The White Gryphon takes place approximately ten years after these events. The people of Clan k’Leshya have travelled far from Urtho’s tower (which is now either the middle of the Dhorisha Plains or the middle of Lake Evandim) to build a new city for themselves. The book’s cover features Skandranon rampant and Amberdrake in his Magical Indian costume: feathers, abs, and a very nice bathrobe. The city in the background uses a lot of blue on its roofs, which makes me think of Valdemar—and was probably the point.

[Read more]

Series: The Valdemar Reread

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: Barrayar, Chapters 7-8

Welcome back to the Vorkosigan reread! This week, we discover the charms of Vorbarr Sultana’s caravanserai, Bothari’s childhood home. And it is charming indeed, when compared to everything else that happens in chapters 7 and 8 of Barrayar. We’re going to very dark places in the reread this week.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the reread, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: Barrayar, Chapters 5-6

In chapter 5, it’s Gregor’s birthday! Now that he’s five, he’s put aside childish things and we never see Steggie again. He’s big enough for Judo lessons with Drou, though. Readers should also note that fireworks are strictly prohibited inside Vorkosigan House.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the re-read, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out. [Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga

Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: Barrayar, Chapters 3-4

We’re on Barrayar, so “life goes on” means someone tries to end you. In chapters 3 and 4 of Barrayar, Ezar’s death begins Aral’s regency, with some of the consequences Ezar worked so hard to guard against.

If you’d like to catch up on previous posts in the reread, the index is here. At this time, the spoiler policy permits discussion of all books EXCEPT Gentlemen Jole and the Red Queen. Discussion of any and all revelations from or about that book should be whited out.

[Read more]

Series: Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga