First-time novelist Walter H. Hunt is surely a writer to watch, writing credible space opera that harkens to some of the finest I have seen from the likes of Gordon Dickson and Jerry Pournelle, to name but a few. Although Hunt isn't nearly as gifted a stylist as both venerable science fiction authors, he does a magnificient job in reviving time-worn space opera in his literary debut "The Dark Wing". This is a spellbinding tale of a scholar and military officer, Admiral Lord Marais, who becomes mankind's savior in the latest war against the zor, an ancient race of bird-like aliens. Marais seems to be the only one capable of understanding zor psychology and religion, which he uses effectively against the zor in a brilliant campaign after a zor sneak attack on the Solar Empire's key outpost of Pergamum. I liked Hunt's depiction of the zor and the internal conflict within their government as they realize that Marais thinks of himself as their destroyer, "The Dark Wing". Hunt does a fine job in creating several intriguing characters along with Marais, most notably the senior naval officers Torrijos, Hudson and Bell. With this novel, Hunt has established himself as a superb writer of military science fiction, with sufficient political and religious intrigue that is similar in scope to J. Michael Straczynski's "Babylon 5" television series. Anyone expecting to read a thin rehash of routine "Star Trek" fiction will be disappointed. But others, including myself, should look forward to Hunt's future efforts in military science fiction and space opera.