The Privilege of Peace (Peacekeeper #3)

By Tanya Huff

Rating: 4 stars

First, and to get it out of the way, the cover (the one with Torin leaning over what appears to be a dying Alamber, and another di’Taykan slumped in the background) isn’t a reflection of any scene in the book. I don’t know where illustrator Paul Youll pulled that from, but we don’t have to suffer Torin having to watch Alamber die.

So what do they actually get up to, if not being shot? The first half of the book is spent mostly on setup, showcasing the widening of the Strike Team programme within the Justice Department and how the teams are integrating and working together, as well as the wider politics of the Confederation – now that the war is over, many people are clamouring for the Younger Races to be grounded (literally – at the bottom of gravity wells on planets) until they lose some of their violent tendencies. Alongside that, we get the continuing adventures of Humans First, as they pirate and pillage through a xenophobic strop that just points out the validity of locking them in their rooms until they grow up.

It’s only about half way through that the two big set pieces of the book kick in – an incident with the Silsviss, who Torin helped bring into the Confederation; and the return of Big Yellow. This is handled deftly, as they split the party and head to both situations at once. Huff is very good at interweaving the two stories, not spending too long with any one, and constantly shifting points of view to keep the action moving.

While I think that the final resolution to both the plot in this book and that of the wider series has a whiff of deus ex machina about it, and I’ve never been fond of the plastic aliens, I still enjoyed this a lot. It’s a satisfying conclusion to a series carefully built up over the previous seven books. We get to see different sides of Torin over that span and get to know the team around her in the last three. I’ve always had a soft spot for Alamber (hence my leading with him not dying) and I’m glad to see him getting a chance to develop and take a big step here as well.

It’s been a pleasure following Staff/Gunnery Sergeant/Warden Kerr over the course of her adventures and I’m pleased with how her story, her whole team’s story, has ended.

Book details

ISBN: 9781785656699

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