The Heart of Valor (Confederation, #3)

By Tanya Huff

Rating: 4 stars

The third of Tanya Huff’s Confederation series sees newly promoted Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr accompanying a convalescing officer on a training mission. One that suddenly turns more serious as the deadly kit on the planet Crucible starts turning against them in earnest. With nothing more than a platoon of very green recruits and her officer’s doctor with her, she has to survive the planet.

This is the first book in the series that Kerr starts to question the nature of the war that the younger races are fighting on behalf of the Confederation, and it’s implied that she’s not the only one. Until now, she’s been the model soldier, going where she’s told and doing what she’s told when she gets there. Although the thought is left tantalisingly open in this book, it’ll be interesting to see where (if anywhere) it goes in the remaining volumes.

There was another new set of cannon fodder other soldiers to get to know here as well (remarkably few of whom died. I know, right, I’m as surprised as you!), although I’m not sure “get to know” is the right phrase, since none of them really got much in the way of character development. I don’t think that’s really the draw with milSF stories though, and the constant slog of the platoon to keep together, to develop and stay alive until help can arrive definitely holds the book together, with the B-plot involving Kerr’s lover, trying to find out what happened to something he salvaged in the previous book that the military took off him, creating a good amount of intrigue.

A solid military SF story and one that is starting to expand the universe. I look forward to the rest of the series.

Book details

ISBN: 9781781169704
Publisher: Titan Books
Year of publication: 2007

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