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Valor's Trial (Confederation #4)

4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,097 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
Unexpectedly pulled from battle, Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr of the Confederation Marines finds herself in an underground POW camp that shouldn't exist, where her fellow marine prisoners have lost all will to escape. Now, Torin must fight her way not only out of the prison, but also past the growing compulsion to lie down and give up-not realizing that her escape could alt ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published June 2nd 2009 by DAW (first published January 3rd 2008)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mike (the Paladin)
Well....shoot. I really can't go more than 3 stars on this one. I mean it tells an excellent story and it adds a good expansion to the story we've already begun.

So why the drop in rating from me? Well first off the romance that began building in the earlier books is reaching an annoying level for me. This began as a pretty good military science fiction series until our heroine met her space salvage pilot and became besotted with him.

Enjoy if it's your cup of tea.

We do leave our "love interest" b
It seems like "a strong female lead" is something that most writers are trying to give their audience these days, and yet, so many of them just manage to provide irritating, not-thinking, "even if it makes more sense to have the male lead to do this task, I'm going to do it, because I'm female and RAWR," Marysues. Huff delivers an ACTUAL strong female lead.

Kerr is a Marine. No two ways about it, in this character we enter the mind and spirit of what it means to be a Marine. Maybe my high school
Aug 17, 2014 Otherwyrld rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
There is a Star Trek Voyager episode called The Chute where some of the crew are trapped in an underground prison and are forced to survive their brutal environment and to find a way to escape.

There is a Stargate SG-1 episode called Prisoners where the team are trapped in an underground prison and are forced to survive their brutal environment and to find a way to escape.

There is a book called Valour's Trial where ... you get where this is going, I trust?

This was so thrilling I read it in one si
Lilia Ford
My favorite of Tanya Huff's Confederation series: basically a classic prison break story, which pits our intrepid heroine, Gunnery Sergeant Kerr, against some truly despicable people, and introduces possibly my favorite secondary character in the series, the young Krai, Kyster.

For a review of the series as a whole, see my review of Valor's Choice
Jun 20, 2009 Mya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
While this book blew me away, it's more like standing in the wave of a nuclear blast and watching everything blow away and I'm still standing by some unnatural stroke of luck. This book, which could be the last piece of the Confederation novels, isn't the weakest one but its not the strongest either. I am very much a fan of Book 1 & 2, but it was vital that for me to finish the whole series. Gunnery Sergeant Kerr is still badass, however and her feats in this book catapult her to legendary s ...more
Corry L.
Jan 05, 2011 Corry L. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-f
I love this series. The main character is kick-ass and the world is wonderfully, solidly filtered through her eyes. And the world? How can you not love a military composed of humans, aliens obsessed with sex, and aliens that can (and will) eat pretty much anything? Huff's ability to make me laugh in the middle of otherwise serious scenarios is amazing.

This book was more serious than book 3 (I can't remember books 1-2 very well, but I think it's more serious than them, as well), but in a good wa
Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr is missing in action presumed dead, her entire company seemingly blasted into the ground so thoroughly all that remains is glassed earth. Her paramour, civilian salvage operator Craig Ryder and her family don't believe it for one second. Rodent reporter Presit smells a big story and encourages an investigation.
The fourth installment in the military sci-fi series is a little bit different from previous outings. The ongoing plastic aliens plot begun on the Big Yellow ex
Dec 07, 2010 Chuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
85 out of 100 for 2010

In some ways my favorite novel of this series. Two of the novels were about military training exercises, and one was about a discovery expedition, so this was the first novel in which the reader sees Gunny Torrin Kerr in action with a platoon. She is also taken prisoner of war and finds herself imprisoned with some of those she is fighting against, only to discover there is a third side to the war that humankind has been embroiled in for centuries.

Although the reviewers of
Jamie Collins
ETA comments during a reread of this series in 2015:
This is the one where Torin fights to escape from a POW camp. I liked the action and the characters, and the individual plot for each book is satisfying, but I continue to be disgruntled by the direction of the series. It’s just a personal disinclination for this type of scenario, and I wouldn’t expect other readers to have the same objection.

Ranting and spoilers:
(view spoiler)
This series really does put itself on Gunnery Sergeant Torrin Kerr's back to be successful. In some ways, I don't have a problem with that. Torrin's snark, and her belief in herself and her ability to do her job really have won me over. The series fault, through four books now, is the supporting characters. The supporting characters are barely worth remembering.

Whereas the first book resembled the true to life events that became the movie Zulu, this one could be compared to the movie The Great E
Jul 17, 2014 Heather rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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.

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 diffe
Feb 17, 2015 Jacey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Continuing on from events in 'The Heart of Valor' in this book Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr, rough, tough marine, is sent into battle with her unit, only to be pinned down by artillery fire. After a blinding flash she wakes up in an underground prison camp with no apparent guards except for the formidable nature of the place itself and the sedative drug in the only available food.

Torin’s lover Craig Ryder, a civilian salvage operator, is still trying to discover the truth of Torin's reported deat
Kim Luu
Sep 23, 2010 Kim Luu rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I reread this recently and enjoyed just as much as the first time. This is the final in the series about Sergeant Torin Kerr and her adventures in the Space Marines.

I would recommend that you read the first three books before picking up this one.

I love how professional Torin is. She is a Marine's Marine with kick butt abilities and no nonsense attitude but she's also feminine without being girly. She rivals Honor Harrington as one of my favorite heroines. In this book, Torin was taken as a pri
Aug 20, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I bought and read this book accidentally. I don't mean the novel somehow slipped into my shopping cart at Barnes and Noble; I mean after I started reading it, I discovered I already own it and have already read it. I was disappointed; I thought I'd found a new Confederation novel.

I love the aliens in this universe. The deTraykien (sp?) provide comic relief with their innuendo (I'm sure there are many deTraykien jokes about the word innuendo alone). The characters are distinctive. The main charac
Carolyn F.
Fantastic book! Torin is sent to a battle and awakens in a cave prison where some of the Marines have turned evil. She kills the baddies and tries to bring back some order back, joining with two other groups of Marines. She finds out this isn't an Others prison when they run into a group of Others who are also prisoners. Now she's going to try to find a way for them to escape.

The ending was bittersweet, some good things and a lot of horrible things happened. Also a realization that (view spoile
Sep 05, 2015 Kate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely the best of the five Torin Kerr books as this has the most character development and the most complex plot. Love the way that it draws the previous three books together.
May 19, 2015 Gökçe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gunnery sergant (galiba topçu çavuşu) Torin sonunda birliğine geri döner. Ancak ilk muharebede tutsak düşer. Düşmanın tutsak almadığı düşünülmekteyken, esaretten asker gibi davranmayan tutsakların arasına düşen Torin işleri düzeltmek ve hapishanede kaçmak zorundadır.

Önceki kitaplarda (view spoiler)
Online Eccentric Librarian
I have really enjoyed all of the Valor books. This fourth book is just as good as the previous - proving that everyone is expendable, Torin is always going to get the short end of the stick, and never count the Gunnery Sergeant as dead until you see her body. The conclusion of this novel closes the story arc that began with the second novel dealing with the plastic alien life form. Fortunately, it is not the last book in the series.

Story: Torin is fighting a battle with her squad when her compan
Mike Finn
Mar 27, 2016 Mike Finn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series just keeps getting better. In her fourth book in the Confederation series, Tanya Huff pulls together the big picture that connects the four books into an original, unexpected and satisfying set of outcomes while continuing to deliver a tense thriller.

As with the previous books, "Valor's Trial" is filled with acts courage, witty humour, gripping fight scenes and characters that I learned to care about. Yet Tanya Huff does not repeat herself. Her characters develop, the ch
Lianne Pheno
Oct 08, 2015 Lianne Pheno rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pour moi ce tome est le meilleur de la série.
La série confédération est une série de science fiction militaire, ou l'ont suis le sergent chef des marines Torin Kerr, dans diverses missions mais toujours avec une histoire commune en arrière plan (que je ne peux pas trop révéler sans spoiler). On sens que l'auteur a été militaire elle même, le vocabulaire, le ton, les tensions/blagues entre les divers corps ... tout fait vrai et c'est un des gros points fort de cette série selon moi.
Dans ce tome
Kim Aippersbach
Sep 01, 2014 Kim Aippersbach rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
More love for Torin Kerr. Tanya Huff knows how to write gut-punching, fist pumping scenes. This prison-escape adventure has more intense action than the previous books (how is that even possible!) but also more character development, more emotion. Torin is more conflicted than she's ever been, but she does what she has to to Get Us Out Alive—she may be wrong but she's never in doubt.

Craig Ryder gets more screentime and I really like this guy; furry reporter is still annoying but really growing o
Sep 09, 2011 June rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci-fi buffs
Recommended to June by: Lisa
Strong female character, plus some things to think about. None of my libraries have the preceeding books in their system so I guess I will use birthday money to buy them from Amazon.

Reread to refresh my mind before starting the 5th. Torin finds herself in an enemy POW camp. Of course her job is to escape.
Sep 16, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i don't like the fact that the characters i like die, yet, it's reasonable to the story. serious, she's locked in a prison. more of that military hierarchy. not a happy - everyone lives happily ever after. again asks the questions, are lives sacrificed worth it?
Joshua Zucker
Liked it, enjoyed it, and it was a good prison escape story. A lousy mystery (the answer was obvious, and a foe with essentially limitless power is not interesting, and the attempts at allying with it are going to be stupid), and the ending was yet another deus ex machina.

The characters are still not very thoroughly developed -- the morality is very black and white sometimes, and the hero worship is rather overdone.

Still, the action is pretty good and the alien races are interesting. This one wa
Dec 20, 2015 Ryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This episode - because I realize there is almost a screen play-ness to these books and I being to assign people to the characters if it were a movie - reminds me of Star Trek Next Generation's Darmok episode - peace through learning the other's language only Torin has a tablet to handle some of the translation. And she has other challenges like being in a prison camp, having to take out the bad guys and then deal with more bureaucracy before getting to the point where she can do anything useful, ...more
Oct 06, 2014 Keith rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, wtf
Well, that was a disappointing and unbelievable ending. At least the female MC remained strong throughout the series.
Jul 28, 2014 Michelle rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2014
Another great installment in the Condederation series. The game totally changes in this book and not surprisingly, Gunnery Sargent Torin Kerr is pretty fed up with all the shenanigans. It was a very different look at her character but still full of all the snarky quips and heroics you come to expect from a bunch of tough space Marines. I'm super curious to see what Tanya Huff has in store for Torin's last adventure.

My only complaint was that we didn't get enough of Torin and Craig together in th
Rob Trans
The author created a competent well grounded non-comm and in the first three novels explored how the non-comm carried out her assignments in spite of deceit and limited information. I found this interesting. In #3 the author introduced a love interest for the main character and this appears to have changed the character and moved her away from her professionalism. She has also introduced a villain who seems too powerful for the character to cope with. I read the next novel, but that will be the ...more
Jan 17, 2011 Kathy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, thriller
Wow... Torin is in serious trouble... reunited with her unit, confronting the 'Others', there is a flash & she wakes up in a cave... found by Kyster, a Krai with a wounded foot, she finds she is in a POW type camp underground, that there are about 100 other (human, Krai, di"Taykan) marines... and that a dozen of them are terrorizing the other marines, controlling the food, and killing/stealing from anyone new transported in...

Torin, in gunnery sargeant style, takes control, killing the 2 rin
Blodeuedd Finland
I have been waiting for this book ever since I read book 1 (yes I read the blurbs for the rest of the books, I am too curious). Anyway, great premise so I waited.

It's starts with Torin getting ready for battle and then bam! (it takes a while for the bam but bear with me). So bam! Torin wakes up in a tunnel, she is now a POW. All while Craig refuses to believe she died in battle and tries to find her.

That was the premise I was interesting in. Torin in a POW camp, and not any POW camp. A weird und
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"Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia: Although I haven't actually lived "down east" since just before my fourth birthday, I still consider myself a Maritimer. I think it's something to do with being born in sight of the ocean. Or possibly with the fact that almost no one admits to being from Ontario…

Raised, for the most part, in Kingston, Ontario. It was the late sixties, early to mid seventies. Enough s
More about Tanya Huff...

Other Books in the Series

Confederation (6 books)
  • Valor's Choice (Confederation #1)
  • The Better Part of Valor (Confederation #2)
  • The Heart of Valor (Confederation, #3)
  • The Truth of Valor (Confederation, #5)
  • An Ancient Peace (Peacekeeper, #1; Confederation, #6)

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“I’m repairing alien tech with a sleeve, Gunny.” Torin glanced down at her cuff. “So, ten? Fifteen?” “Fifteen.” 2 likes
“Torin suspected Darlys was praying and only hoped she wasn’t praying to her—for she was a vengeful god, or, at the very least, a god who could use a few hour’s more sleep and a large cup of black coffee.” 1 likes
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