The Truth of Valour (Confederation, #5)

By Tanya Huff

Rating: 4 stars

Former Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr has now left the Marine Corp and is making a life in civvie street with her partner, Craig Ryder. Although the war with the Others Primacy is more or less over, space is still a dangerous place, as she discovers as their ship is attacked and Craig is taken by pirates, and she is left for dead. Unfortunately, the pirates made a big mistake in not making sure of it, as Torin gathers together some of her former colleagues and goes after them.

I think this is the first book not to be told exclusively from the point of view of either Torin or Craig, as we get into the head of Mackenzie Cho, the pirate captain who took Craig. And that’s not a pleasant place to be. Interestingly, Cho’s deep sense of entitlement and anger at supposed denial of his rights are reminiscent of the kind of man who frequents the worst areas of 4chan and the ‘manosphere’, coupled with ruthlessness and cruelty that make him an incredibly unpleasant person, and you look forward to him getting his due at Torin’s hands.

Torin is outwith her comfort zone here, with no chain of command, and without the resources of the Marine Corp at her back, and we see the strain that this puts on her, and her colleagues see it as well. Perhaps not burdened with a direct involvement and also still delegating to her, they see the situation more clearly than she does at times. No longer soldiers, but not fitting into a civilian life, they jump at the chance to be doing something as a unit again.

The ending is somewhat intriguing, as the Confederation acknowledges that their current structures aren’t suitable for post-war civilisation and Torin is asked to pull together such a fast-response team. That leads into a new trilogy which I look forward to investigating in due course (and I’m sure those plastic aliens will be back as well…).

Book details

ISBN: 9781781169742
Publisher: Titan Books
Year of publication: 2010

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