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Valor's Trial: A Confederation Novel (The Confederation Novels) Hardcover – June 3, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"Marquerite Gavin's no-nonsense narration is reflective of this tough heroine and her unfailing strength as she leads her fellow prisoners in an escape attempt." ---AudioFile --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

About the Author

Tanya Huff may have left Nova Scotia at three, and has lived most of her life since in Ontario, but she still considers herself a Maritimer. On the way to the idyllic rural existence she shares with her partner Fiona Patton, six cats, and a chihuahua, she acquired a degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson Polytechnic—an education she was happy to finally use while writing her recent Smoke novels. Of her previous twenty-three books, the five—Blood Price, Blood Trail, Blood Lines, Blood Pact, Blood Debt—featuring Henry Fitzroy, bastard son of Henry VIII, romance writer, and vampire are among the most popular. Tanya can be contacted via her website,

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: DAW Hardcover; First Edition edition (June 3, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0756404797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0756404796
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,127,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
With the price of books these days I always grumble when a favorite author goes hardcover. I think I waited to get the library copy when this series did that in the last book. This time, wanting a good read right now, I bought the hardcover as soon as I saw it was out and was not at all sorry. I savored the book and read it over a few days. Good suspense, great characters; makes you laugh, makes you cry. Kerr, the main character, a female Gunnery Sergeant is "magically" transported from the battlefield and ends up in a cave. (magic is my word, it's all technology) There Gunny is her amazingly competent self, both a killing machine and one-track minded leader of the escape crew, totally focused on getting the other prisoners she meets in these underground caves and tunnels out to freedom. She's ultra tough but has total understanding of newbie recruits' emotions and alien customs. It's fun to see her get around officers, getting them to unwittingly agree to HER plans. Meanwhile her lover, who is told she is dead, goes along with the funniest reporter I've ever read about to track what happened at the battlefield. Their story is juxtaposed between chapters of the attempted escape from the prison. Love the tech guys! What they can do with a sleeve will amaze you. Just a really good read. One that I'm glad now I have in hardcover because it will get read again.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After reading the first three Confederation novels, I was waiting with baited breath for this one and I was not disappointed. This novel has characters, humour, action, suspense and imagination. Unlike a few books I've read recently, like Jack Campbell's "The Lost Fleet" series, this one is of decent length and you can get lost in it for hours in order to find out how it all turns out.

The story is pretty much what it says on the back of the jacket. Gunnery Sergeant Kerr is MIA, declared dead, except that she isnt. She ends up in an underground prison camp. Being a sergeant in the Marine corp, she promptly plans to escape and in the process makes discoveries that could shake the Confederation to the core and end the war with the Others.

The Good:

- great humour with plenty of digs at all species involved, including the humans.

- Torin is well written in a consistent manner.

- plenty of suspense and action

- good thick book which never has a dull moment.

The Not So Good:

- towards the end I could see an obvious similarity with a scene from The Chronicles of Riddick. Please dont let this be a sign Huff is running out of ideas.

The Bad:

- none at all!

Cant wait for the next one.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good military sci-fi is remarkably hard to come by, once you get past the "universe threatened by bugs" stage of your reading. Ms. Huff has created a set of characters that are intelligent, complex and willing to think outside the box; a good representation of actual military professionals, in other words. While this volume stands well on its own, you'll get a lot more out of it if you go back and read the series. The heroine, Torin Kerr, is a bit larger than life but her responses and attitudes are dead-on for an NCO who understands that NCOs really run the military, that the politicians don't always tell the military what's going on and that top brass doesn't always think with its top knob. In this action, she's trapped in an alien prison and must think, as well as fight, her way out, leading not only her own marines but a group of the enemy soldiers as well. Torin's process in coming to understand the enemy military personnel is probably a little simplistic, and Ms. Huff's dependency on the deus ex machina of a sensient alien substance a bit far fetched, but this is overall an excellent read that leaves you considering what you would do in these circumstances as well as what Torin will be up to in the next novel.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Valor’s Trial is the fourth novel from Tanya Huff’s Confederation series. I read book five, The Truth of Valor, first and had to go back and read the entire series. Now that I’m done with the current books, I can only hope that Ms. Huff continues to publish more.

Valor’s Trial is a slower book than its predecessors with less initial complexity and thus fewer twists and turns. It has enough depth to its story of prisoners of war that it neatly deals with tropes (such as the bully who’s taken over one group of beaten-down marines) by layering on additional groups of prisoners with entirely different dynamics. It also adds depth by forcing Torin to deal with the bully’s surviving underlings, which isn’t a black-and-white situation.

One thing that has seriously impressed me throughout the series is the author’s treatment of aliens in her world-building. Aliens have stereotypes but come in a wide variety of individuals. Alien syntax differences vary amongst members of the same species, nicely taking into account the fact that different people learn a new language to differing levels of proficiency. Syntax errors also tend to worsen under stress–a truly nice detail! Humans have varying accents too, something that most authors lose when concentrating on how different aliens sound. Some of the aliens even have dialects and accents of their own that vary from that of other members of their species.

Huff’s Confederation novels have served to remind me of how much I enjoy good military SF. Her particular take on it is heroic and funny but also dark and poignant. It’s probably spoiled me for most of the rest of the genre, and I could easily read another ten books in the series!
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