The predicted sequel to A Hymn Before Battle (2000). The backdrop: the predatory, expansionist, centaurlike Posleen threaten a multispecies, pacifist galactic confederation. So the confederation's dominant Darhel race decides to enlist the help of warlike Earth against the Posleen, with humans doing most of the fighting, the galactics supplying spaceships, advanced weapons, etc. Why should Earth get involved? Well, a Posleen invasion fleet's in the offing—and in this installment it actually arrives. Another problem for the devious Darhel: if and when Posleen are defeated, how to stop humans from taking over the confederation? It's all plausible enough, with a ton of military style and stirring action: fans of the previous book will plunge right in. If you're merely curious—don't start here.