Daw, Jun 2008, $24.95
Humans, di’Taykan, and the Krai were invited into the Confederation by the Elder Races who turned their backs on violence long ago. When the Others went to war against the Confederation, the younger races were sent to fight the enemy. Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr has seen more violence in her years in the Corps than most people combined see in a lifetime. She and her squad are sent to the planet Estee where the Others are gathering for a large battle.
Upon landing on the orb, Torin is sent to the front line to pull back the troops, but an explosion knocks her out. When she awakens she is in an underground tunnel and quickly learns that corrupt “Colonel” Harnett and his goons are running things and the three younger races from different battles and places are too weake to fight him. Torin kills Harnettl and his cohorts; afterward she and some soliers in good shape seek a way out of this buried bunker. However they are stunned when they find Others as prisoners as well. They struggle to find the exit, but when they finally surface on the unstable planet, they have little hope for survival.
There is plenty of action especially battle scenes in this story, but the most interesting twist of VALOR’S TRIAL is survival is the mother of agreements as the Confederacy and the Others ally to live for another fight between them. The different species seem plausible and their wary cease fire to escape the imprisonment seems believable and reasonable. Tanya Huff has written a rousing “Valor” military space opera focusing on strange bedfellows that will appeal to Honor Harrington fans.