Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold

March 28, 2004 at 12:00 am | Posted in 4 stars, Book Reviews, Science Fiction | Leave a comment

Warrior’s Apprentice is some of the best “light SF” I’ve ever read. A lot of people disdain this subgenre as juvenile, but as long as one has the proper attitude and expectations it can be quite enjoyable. By reputation I knew what to expect from the Miles books. My sister gave me Shards of HonorCordelia’s Honor and Barrayar collected–for Christmas in 2002, but I wasn’t impressed. The plot and characters were OK but the writing was clunky and weighed down by a lot of the more embarrassing tropes of the genre. Those books may precede Warrior’s Apprentice chronologically, but I would recommend giving them a pass and reading WA. There’s no point in reading things in order if it will cause you to give up before you get to the good stuff. And Warrior’s Apprentice is good stuff. It’s smoothly written, and while it isn’t even remotely believable if you let go it will take you for an enjoyable ride. What elevates it over the rest of the military genre is in its ability to combine fun adventure SF with a little bit of a values system. This isn’t a deep psychological exploration, so the hero’s reservations sometimes come off as a bit whiny, but that’s far better than the gunslinger who plows through dozens of faceless enemies without a second thought.

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