Staff Sergeant Torin Kerr is a professional – good at her job, and well respected by her company.
It turns out that the larger galaxy is populated by a bunch of fairly peaceful species, and when a warrior group called the Others starts to invade the Confederation’s territory, they’re completely unprepared to fight back. Instead, they’re forced to give membership to some younger races they’d been keeping an eye on, but had previously judged as too immature for Confederation membership. That includes the humans, and two other species, because they’re the only show around that can run an army.
This is an omnibus, with two books that run through two different missions that Kerr’s thrown into. They really are all about Kerr and her colleagues – we barely learn anything about the Others. I’m not a regular follower of the military side of sci fi (I read these because they’re by Tanya Huff), but I can see the appeal. The first book is based on an actual battle that happened during the Zulu War in South Africa in the late 19th century. There’s plenty of strategy, and camaraderie, and the real consequences on the line of the sweeping actions of the higher ups that usually feature in adventure stories. It’s nice to see the side of the grunts for a change.