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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading
Tanya Huff rarely disappoints and - indeed - this is another page turner. I'm not particularly into Military SF but I like Torin Kerr, Huff's rough, tough Marine sergeant. She's already had two outings in `Valor's Choice' and `The Better Part of Valor' both of which I read in a Huff-binge when first I discovered her a few years ago. She's a storyteller with an eye for...
Published on 14 Jan 2009 by J. R. Bedford

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite combat ready
The third of Tanya Huff's Confederation series. For those who haven't encountered the series yet it's a boots' eye view military sci-fi, heavy on command structure but always viewed from the NCO/grunts on the ground perspective. Those looking for anything deep or meaningful should look away now. It has no noticeable political or philosophical agenda beyond war is hell but...
Published on 12 April 2011 by Michael Finn


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth reading, 14 Jan 2009
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J. R. Bedford (Huddersfield UK) - See all my reviews
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Tanya Huff rarely disappoints and - indeed - this is another page turner. I'm not particularly into Military SF but I like Torin Kerr, Huff's rough, tough Marine sergeant. She's already had two outings in `Valor's Choice' and `The Better Part of Valor' both of which I read in a Huff-binge when first I discovered her a few years ago. She's a storyteller with an eye for detail, a good insight into character and thoughtful world-building. One of the things that both attracts and repels me about Mil-SF is the alphabet-soup language. Did the NCO stay with the VTA or did she go back for the remains of the PFC? And when the gunny is off duty in the SRM should she be thinking about the CSO or worrying about getting the KC-7s safely back beyond the ZP? Combine this with a large cast of characters - some from previous Valor novels - that include three different races sporting unfamiliar name types and my head is in danger of exploding. I can just about keep up, carried forward by the tremendous pace of the action, but I do have the occasional WTF moment! Despite the totally believable but sometimes hard-to-remember military dialogue there's a good mystery in this book. A training exercise gone wrong turns into a nightmare and newly promoted Gunnery Sergeant Kerr, (only there as a temporary aide to Major Svensson who is on a field-test to work out regrown body parts after major battle trauma) has to more than babysit a bunch of untried recruits when the expected test scenarios turn lethal. In the end it's all fall-out from something that happened in the last book (so I recommend starting with the other two Valor books if you can and they're well worth reading, too). There's a new Torin Kerr book out in 2009 - Valor's Trial - and I look forward to seeing where the overarching story takes us.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better and better, 3 July 2008
I admit I am an unabashed fan of Tanya Huff. Whether she's writing fantasy - the "Quarter" series - witchlit - "Blood" and "Smoke" series or the Valor books, of which this is the third (you need to read the other 2 first to make sense of this one), Huff makes her characters come alive. Gunnery Sergeant Kerr is as tough a military scifi heroine as you could want; but all the backfills and quirks of a real personality are there, tucked away in mental asides. Its got all you would want if you like Davids Weber and Drake or Elizabeth Moon - plenty of action, blood, militech and surprises, but the secondary characters are fully formed, even if they are going to end up in a bodybag, which in this universe shrinks to a pocket-sized cylinder because "no marine gets left behind". Clever, gripping and as realistic as space opera is ever going to be - in this timeline anyway.
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5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book, 3 April 2014
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I really enjoy reading Tanya Huff's books! They are light hearted and fast paced with engaging characters. Heart of Valour is well worth a read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My Favorite Military SciFi series, 6 Aug 2011
I am still loving this series. Torin, newly promoted (though she really would rather stay away from being top brass) to gunny sargeant has agreed to accompany Major Svensson as an aide to Crucible. Crucible is the training planet for the Marines. That's where they put all their learning to practical applications. The planet sounds kind of cool - the marines have a few different training situations complete with terrain and weather variations;winter with below zero temperatures or tropical with all the accompanying bugs and heat. There are drones and other dangerous things that are programmed to run certain scenarios to put the marines through their paces - it's supposed to be dangerous, but non-deadly.

At the same time Torin's new man - Craig Ryder - is wondering where that escape pod is. The one he used to escape Big Yellow and bring help back to the others. Weirdly, it seems that only ones who remember this escape pod are him, Torin and Presit (the reporter). Strange. In fact, Torin was almost in trouble over asking questions, something that makes her think she's being used,making her angry.

Back on Crucible, Major Svensson (who has recently regrown almost his entire body and nervous system - I love futuristic sci-fi) seems just a bit odd to Torin. She's being his aide, managing him and protecting the civilian doctor who is monitoring him while the recruits they are accompanying are being put through the beginnings of a training program. The Staff Sargeant in charge of the recruits is the same staff sargeant that Torin trainined under years before, and she's surprised that he's still in the marines (something to do with Di'Taykan culture and his age). In fact, she finds something off about him also....

Things go from a bit off to that incredibly descriptive old anachronism - SNAFU. Yep - situation Normal-All F-d Up. Love that phrase. The training drones are suddenly deadly, the major is behaving strangely inconsistantly, the staff sargeant in charge suddenly is incapacitated and things go horribly wrong.

I enjoyed the return of a few characters from The Better Part of Valor - Craig Ryder (the man for Torin), Presit (the reporter who irritates Torin and who doesn't really like Torin), and General Morris in all his pompous glory. The man tries so hard to be a good general, but he's....well he's a bit pompous - he had a smaller part to play in this book, but important. I also really enjoyed a few new characters from the recruits and the Navy spaceship. There is a recruit that is so enthusiastic that she packs everything on the suggested list - something that the other recruits thought unnecessary. She's the first to volunteer answers and actions, and she has developoed a crush on Torin. There's the tech whiz, who's good at all things programming and hacking. The Di'Taykan cultured is almost a character in itself.

Ms Huff has written a great series and I've enjoyed this third novel very much. After finishing this novel, I grabbed the fourth novel off my shelf right away.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not quite combat ready, 12 April 2011
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Michael Finn (Blackburn, Lancashire, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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The third of Tanya Huff's Confederation series. For those who haven't encountered the series yet it's a boots' eye view military sci-fi, heavy on command structure but always viewed from the NCO/grunts on the ground perspective. Those looking for anything deep or meaningful should look away now. It has no noticeable political or philosophical agenda beyond war is hell but someone's got to do it. It follows the career of Torin Kerr, a female career military NCO. The first time we meet her in the first book she's already pretty much god on legs to the rank and file of Sh'quo Company. Imagine Ellen Ripley if she'd signed on with the Colonial Marine Corp rather than the Space Merchant Navy and add a few extra cans of kick-ass. She's good at what she does, quick thinking and dedicated to keeping her people alive.
The Confederation is at war with another bunch of aliens called The Others. Both groups are made up of many different types of aliens. The Confederation is a peaceful alliance of cooperation whereas The Others are made up of conquered species. Unskilled in the arts of war The Confederation recruits several species who can beef up their aptitude for combat. Top on their list of potential cannon fodder *cough* allies are a bunch of skilled bruisers called Humans. Also recruited are the di'Taykan who are sort of like sex mad Vulcans with emotionally influenced hairdos. Lastly are the Krai, an arboreal species who will eat anything ... apart from stones.
This one suffered a bit from its own plot set-up. In the first couple of books one of the most entertaining aspects of the book was Torin's talent at riding herd on the local wet behind the ears or glory seeking brass. This one has none of that. She starts off promoted to Gunnery Sergeant, pretty much bored to tears with endless debriefs and instructional talks to whoever the brass point her at, be it visiting officers or groups of raw recruits. She jumps at the chance to accompany one of her former Sh'quo commanders Major Svennson (reduced to a brain in a jar sometime before book one), as an observer on a 20 day Marine recruit training exercise. He needs to road test his new force grown body. Svensson's doctor, two drill instructors and 37 raw recruits make up the rest of the party, commanded by Staff Sergeant Beyhn (a di'Taykan acting weirder than Spock in `Amok Time'). The recruits never come alive in your mind though. Huff sticks to characterising only a handful but none of them spark and the snarky to and fro from the first two books gets replaced by some pretty stilted and repetitive dialogue. Lots of wide eyed recruits yelling `sir, yes sir,' repeatedly. The combat is a bit flat too, pitching AI drones, fliers and tanks against Torin's savvy is too one sided a contest. I'll not give up on the series yet but it had better be up for the fight next time.
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, 2 Aug 2009
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I purchased 4 books in this series, largely because someone said it was a similar style to the Death Head style books.
Couldn't be more wrong, these are not written in the first person, they are not page turners, and they are not constant action, instead, they are a boring monotonous account of useless information used to pad the books. The plots develop for the most part in once place and there is no interweaving of characters, there is simply this bland style in third person mode.
Guess the plot now wait for the author to catch up...300 pages later, sheer boredom skipping pages.
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The Heart of Valor (Confederation)
The Heart of Valor (Confederation) by Tanya Huff (Hardcover - 5 Jun 2007)
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