Rereading the Vorkosigan Saga: Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, Chapters 2 and 3

Chapters two and three of Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance introduce the key characters. We’ve known Ivan for ages—he was born in Barrayar and appeared in eight of the Vorkosigan stories before this one. He’s always been a secondary character, and we’ve never seen his point-of-view before. It’s more complicated than I think readers might have suspected after reading The Warrior’s Apprentice . Later books have hinted at a more complex, deeper Ivan—Ivan is a rich tapestry. Rish and Tej are the new kids, and I love them. An attractive shipping clerk who won’t give Ivan the time of day and her sharpshooting blue-skinned companion? They had me at the quiet buzz of the stunner.

In chapter two, Ivan, Rish, and Tej (who is still going by Nanja, apparently with a straight face) escape from Tej and Rish’s apartment and head to Ivan’s apartment. After the last time he was kidnapped and tied ...