The Truth of Valour by Tanya Huff

Rating 8.9/10
An interesting novel without the military structure that we are used to.

This is the fifth novel in Tanya Huff’s Confederation series. Please do not read further than this paragraph if you haven’t yet read the previous books as there may be spoilers for these ahead. Reviews for the previous novels, starting with Valour’s Choice can be found here.

My favourite Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr has now left the marines after the events in Valour’s Trial. At this point she has uncovered the secret of the plastic aliens (read the books to find out more). Torin has decided to settle into civilian life and become a salvage operator with her partner Craig Ryder. Their relationship has been through lots of trials but living together could be there biggest test yet. Torin and Craig’s relationship dynamics are a very interesting part of this series and now that they are on relatively equal footing will this cause more tensions or will they become stronger together as they have so many complimentary skills?

The Truth of Valour gives us a wider look into Confederation space as the focus is no longer on the marines and the war with The Others, instead we get to see the groups living on the edge of the Confederation where they want to be free of bureaucracy. These are mostly made up of the younger races such as Krai, di’Taykan and Humans, although other races do appear. In The Truth of Valour this means that the focus is on the salvage operators and their families, these are the people Craig most identifies with. The others are pirates who have managed at this point to be beyond the notice of The Confederation.

As Craig and Torin start to adjust to their life together, we get to see how important knowing your place in the world can be and who you count as family. A few of the surviving characters from the previous books now also have larger roles in this story. This includes the ever driven Presit, still looking for bigger news stories and knowing that however she feels about Torin being near her will help in that search. I like that Presit is still as annoying as she was when we first met her and yet has become a character that I would miss if she didn’t appear in the story even if it was only for a small cameo. Her friendship with Craig gives her leverage which both she and Craig have used to their own advantage and if Presit and Torin will ever become friends is an intriguing notion.

When trouble visits Torin, she finds herself in need of back up to rescue Craig from pirates. Torin’s first call is to Presit, but she also reaches out to her friends that were in the marines with her; Mashona, Ressk and Werst who try to keep her as sane as possible in this trying situation. Torin as the story goes along has a moral dilemma on what is the difference between killing for a cause and murdering because people deserve it.

I found The Truth of Valour to be an interesting novel as without the military structure that we are used to from the previous novels there was a danger than Torin would lose the parts of her character that made her so unique, like her total belief that she will succeed, as failing isn’t an option. I can’t wait to see if Torin will ever have a normal life, but I can’t wait for every adventure between then and now.

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