Valour’s Choice by Tanya Huff

A strong female lead character but also strong supporting characters.
Valour’s Choice book cover

In the distant future, two alien collectives vie for survival. When the peaceful Confederation comes under attack from the aggressive Others, humanity is granted membership to the alliance - for a price. They must serve and protect the far more civilized species, fighting battles for those who have long since turned away from war.

Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr and her platoon are assigned to accompany a group of Confederation diplomats as they attempt to recruit a newly discovered species as allies. But when her transport ship is shot down, the routine mission becomes anything but, and Kerr must stage a heroic last stand to defend the Confederation and keep her platoon alive.

Valour’s Choice is the first novel in Tanya Huff’s Confederation series, and we are thrown into the world of Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr, a human fighting for the Confederation, which is made up of older non-violent races and younger races like humanity who are still willing to fight on what we can only hope is the side of right. Torin’s platoon is given a peace mission to accompany a group of diplomats hoping to recruit another younger race to join the Confederation. The Confederation’s army is fighting beings called Others, who do not want to share the same Space peacefully and instead seem intent on destroying the Confederation.

Torin’s Platoon is a mix of Human, Krai (who seem to have a stomach to withstand anything and di’Taykan (who are described as looking like Elves). Torin as Staff Sergeant seems to know everything about her platoon with almost a sixth sense, which may be because it’s her job to keep them alive in a combat situation.

The book itself feels slightly like Starship Troopers, the camaraderie between the troops reminds me of the downtime scenes in the film. As a sci-fi novel I found the book to be really interesting, particularly in how different races interact with each other in becoming a Confederation and what has to be given up or compromised for the mutual benefit of all.

I found the title of the book also to be interesting, Valour being great courage in the face of danger. Is the title describing the platoon, Torin Kerr or the choices you have to make in battle, either for right or wrong? I really enjoyed this book, mostly for the characterisation. Tanya Huff has not only given us a strong female lead character but strong supporting characters, who interact like a large family in a highly strenuous situation.

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