Captain Vorpatril's Alliance
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
|Author||Lois McMaster Bujold|
|Cover artist||Dave Seeley|
|November 6, 2012 (hardcover)
(e-book was sold from June 2012)
|Media type||Print (hardcover), e-book|
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance is a science fiction novel by Lois McMaster Bujold, part of the Vorkosigan Saga. The action centers on Miles Vorkosigan's cousin Ivan Vorpatril, now a captain, and a Jackson's Whole refugee called Tej. By internal chronology, the book is set a few years after Diplomatic Immunity (2002), about four years before Cryoburn (2010). The book has received a 2013 Hugo Award nomination for Best Novel.
Serving as aide-de-camp to the Chief of Operations of the Barrayaran Imperial Service, Captain Ivan Vorpatril reluctantly lets Imperial Security agent Byerly Vorrutyer (with whom he had uncomfortable dealings in A Civil Campaign) into his flat late one night. Byerly shows Ivan a photo of Tej, a young, attractive woman who is connected somehow with the subjects of his current undercover investigation. By believes that his subjects' interest in the young woman is not friendly, and asks Ivan to strike up an acquaintance with the woman to find out what she is up to, and possibly to supply some protection. Despite his strong misgivings, Ivan agrees to do what he can.
Ivan attempts to pick her up, but she proves immune to his charms. When he shows up at her building (without her giving him the address), she lets him into her apartment, so that her companion Rish, an athletic woman with bright blue skin, can shoot him with a stunner. They tie Ivan to a chair in their living room and go to bed. When the apartment is broken into by two men, Ivan manages to alert the women, who stun the intruders. Since the apartment is now clearly compromised, Ivan offers his flat as a refuge. The two women reluctantly consent.
Later, as misguided Komarran police and immigration officers close in, in order to save himself and his guests from a mixture of false and true charges, Ivan proposes a marriage of convenience to Tej. The impromptu wedding makes Tej a Barrayaran subject, sidetracking charges against her of being an illegal immigrant and Ivan of being her kidnapper.
It turns out that Tej is the youngest daughter of a deposed baron of Jackson's Whole, a lawless planet where what would be illegal activities elsewhere abound. Her family's House Cordona had been recently taken over by force by a competitor. In the wake of the apparent murder of their entire immediate family, they were trying to avoid bounty hunters sent by the new owners. Now part of the family of a High Vor lord, Tej and Rish travel to Barrayar with Ivan, where the two women can be more secure.
Then, unexpectedly, Tej and Rish are reunited with their entire family. Their relatives have come to Barrayar to acquire the financial resources needed to attempt to take back their House. Tej's grandmother knows of an underground Cetagandan bunker left over and forgotten since the Cetagandan invasion had been defeated generations before. The bunker is filled with looted treasure, but it turns out that Imperial Security's headquarters has inadvertently been built on top of the bunker's location. Ivan is drawn into the scheme to dig their way to the bunker (very quietly using an experimental biological organism). When the smuggler the baron had hired to transport the treasure trove proves to be more interested in the bounty on the family, the entire scheme falls apart, literally explosively, and they end up trapped in the bunker. Fortunately, Imperial Security digs them out and Ivan secures his future happiness with Tej.