The Warrior's Apprentice
Cover of the first edition
|Author||Lois McMaster Bujold|
|Audio read by||Grover Gardner|
|Preceded by||Shards of Honor|
|Followed by||Ethan of Athos|
The Warrior's Apprentice is an English language science fiction novel by Lois McMaster Bujold, part of the Vorkosigan Saga. It was the second book published in the series, and is the fifth story, including novellas, in the internal chronology of the series. The Warrior's Apprentice was first published by Baen Books in 1986, and was included in the 1997 omnibus Young Miles.
The Warrior's Apprentice features the first appearance by regular Bujold protagonist Miles Vorkosigan. He flunks out of the Barrayaran military academy after breaking both legs, brittle bones being one of the legacies of a gas attack on his mother while he was still in her womb.
With his bodyguard Bothari and Bothari's daughter Elena, he goes to Beta Colony to visit his grandmother. There, he buys (using worthless radioactive land as collateral) an obsolete freighter to help its beleaguered pilot. In order to relieve the great strain on his finances, he undertakes to smuggle weapons through a blockade, maintained by the Oseran Mercenaries, to the losing side of an interplanetary war.
By a combination of fast talking, skill and luck, Miles captures one of the blockading mercenary ships, convinces the crew that he is the leader of the secretive (and entirely fictitious) Dendarii Mercenaries and recruits them. He proceeds to capture first a valuable mining facility, then a second, more powerful warship. Eventually, he undermines the relationship between the Oseran Mercenaries and their employers. In the end, he emerges triumphant as the commander of all of the mercenary ships, bringing the Dendarii into existence.
Jo Walton, writing for Tor.com, described The Warrior's Apprentice as having "about ninety percent more depth than you’d expect it to have", but also notes that "the series does get a lot deeper and more complex as it goes on from here."
- Bujold, Lois McMaster (1986), The Warrior's Apprentice, Baen Books
- Walton, Jo (April 1, 2009), Tor.com, "Forward Momentum: Lois McMaster Bujold’s The Warrior’s Apprentice", retrieved November 1, 2012