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An Ancient Peace: Peacekeeper #1 by Tanya Huff
Cover Artist: Paul Youll
Review by Jon Guenther
DAW Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780756409586
Date: 06 October 2015 List Price $24.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's LiveJournal / Author's Wikipedia / Show Official Info /

This is my first exposure to Tanya Huff's work. Despite the fact I'm unfamiliar with her Confederation universe, however, I have to admit I felt An Ancient Peace (Peacekeeper #1) was a worthy way to spend my time.

The heroine, former Gunnery Sergeant Torin Kerr, has assembled a rabble of friends and/or fellow veterans and is now taking on missions for the Intelligence Service of the Confederation Marines. I had to almost chuckle as my introduction to the characters in the novel reminded me of a literary, science fiction version of the television show Leverage, save these are mostly veterans and not really ex-thieves and con-artists... well, not entirely.

The basic plot is that Kerr and her people are hired to stop the Younger Races of the ancient, peaceful H'san from robbing tombs that contain powerful weapons and subsequently selling them on the black market. I had a wee bit of difficulty at moments understanding past references since I've not read any of the previous books, particularly the team's days in the war and the background on the H'san, but as I kept reading things began to make more sense to me. I felt this a little bit of a weak point of this novel.

Despite the knowledge gaps, the story is told incredibly well and the pace is frenetic once the mission gets underway. I also enjoyed the character interaction, particularly the banter, and the bonds that had been forged during the war between those involved. The end has a payoff of sorts, although I was left feeling a bit deflated as I didn't get the sense of impending peril to the entire galaxy or the Confederation for which I'd hoped. This may be something the author is saving for later books in the series, but in this book I wasn't really feeling it.

I was intrigued enough by this book that I think a reading of the earlier books in the Confederation universe (a.k.a., The Valor novels) is probably in order, which I hope will give me a better context. With that caveat, I still thoroughly enjoyed this fast-paced and fun "secret mission" type story, and look forward to reading the next book in the series. I definitely recommend An Ancient Peace (Peacekeeper #1) for fans of military sci-fi.

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