Into the Fire (Vatta's Peace)
by Elizabeth Moon
Edited by Anne Groell
Review by Ernest Lilley
Del Rey Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781101887349
Date: 06 February 2018 List Price $28.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Following five books in the Vatta's War sequence, Ky Vatta now has a second book of peace, even if peace isn't all that peaceful. Long ago in book one, Trading in Danger, we met spunky Ky Vatta, the next generation of the Vatta transport and trading fortune. Ky had elected to not follow the family business, but to go to her planet's military academy, and just before graduating with honors got thrown out because she tried to help the wrong person. From there she went on to a brief trading career, and a longer military conquest, leaving that service at the rank of Admiral and hero of a war.
In the last book, Cold Welcome, Ky came back to her homeworld only to get captured by enemies of her family and held a prisoner in a secret facility for months until she managed to escape. That should have been the end of it, and she should now be relaxing with a small fortune in back pay with her fiancée Rafe and wondering what to do with the rest of her life.
Not so fast.
Into the Fire finds Ky hiding out in her cousin's house with her funds tied up by the courts, possible murder charges for the people she killed in her escape, and her citizenship revoked for being off-planet too long. Her fiancée has been deemed an illegal alien, and the soldiers she escaped with have disappeared into the military's medical system without a trace. Only the resources of the family's trading empire stand between her and getting thrown off the planet, or worse.
Ky may have escaped from her captors, but clearly, the conspiracy goes deeper than anyone imagined.
Political intrigue leads to numerous assassination attempts as Ky and her friends try to unravel the extent of the conspiracy and rescue the missing soldiers before they’re erased along with any other evidence of wrongdoing. The delightful twist at the end is seeing Ky wind up back where she started, at the academy trying to help people, but this time she's fighting to save the institution that cast her out.
Once you pick it up you won’t want to put it down, but readers of Vatta's War and other Elizabeth Moon titles hardly need to be told that. This isn't the place to start, but it may be the place to finish Ky's story, at least as the main player.