The Vor Game (Vorkosigan Saga)
by Lois McMaster Bujold
Cover Artist: Paul Youll
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Baen Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781476782232
Date: 01 November 2016 List Price $16.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The sequel to The Warrior's Apprentice continues the tale of Miles Vorkosigan. After successfully starting the Dendarii Free Mercenaries and saving the life of Emperor Gregor, Miles is given the opportunity to train and become an Imperial officer despite his physical limitations. But his first assignment isn't what he expected it to be.
Never able to leave well enough alone, Miles sticks to his honor creating problems and risking his life. His next assignment takes him into a different type of danger where he can use his influence to affect the standoff developing between empires and planets. He needs to reconnect with the Dendarii in order to tilt the balance.
The Dendarii were left in the hands of people he trusts. Unfortunately, sometimes even the best leaders trust the wrong people. Miles will need to find a way to seize power back before he can get back to a mission nobody knows he is on, saving Gregor again.
This is the direct sequel to The Warrior's Apprentice in the Vorkosigan Saga. Baen is rereleasing the series following the 30th Anniversary of the first publications. New readers to the series will want to go back and start with The Warrior’s Apprentice or Shards of Honor the first chronological novel in the series before taking on this novel. There is a lot of back story which readers need to understand before truly appreciating this novel.
Miles Vorkosigan was a hero before his time. He is gifted but carries a deep flaw related to his birth. His bones are very weak because of an attack on his mother before he was born. It isn't genetic and won't be passed on, but it does make things difficult for Miles to be the prototypical hero. He is small and physically weak, but he can overcome those limitations through determination, hard work, and intuition. When this series started, this was not a hero which was written. His flaws are what make him greater.
The Vorkosigan Saga is classic military SF. Space battles, plots within plots, and reluctant heroes keep the action moving towards the final battle. As a long running series, you know Miles is safe, but those around him fall. The question is always, "Who will it be?"
I am enjoying my journey through the Vorkosigan Saga thirty years after original publication. Each volume I read is my first time through. It is weird finally getting to a series that I have multiple friends who have read it long before I got to them. It is a reminder that good things can come from the past as well as new publications. So sometimes we need to take a chance on something which is new and old at the same time. The length of the series can seem a bit daunting, but just think of it as more to enjoy.