Ut Sementem Feceris, ita Mete – As you sow, so shall you reap. The Latin titles continue to be extremely on-point in this series. Things have picked back up a bit since the lull in the last book as the war continues. The series has spent quite a few volumes focused on the Empire (not-Germany) fighting the Union (not-Russia) at this point. But it’s starting to seem like the end of that fighting is in sight. If for no other reason than both militaries are practically on their last legs. Until, of course, reality ensues.
The opening of this volume is fantastic because Tanya’s unit gets stuck babysitting an observer from a neutral country. This guy provides some outside perspective and reminds us, the readers, just how insane everything Tanya’s group now considers normal really is. War is hell but, apparently, you can get used to anything given enough time. And it is hilarious. Seeing this guy utterly horrified while Tanya just stands there with a “this is fine” face. While this all ties into the heavy diplomacy the last book really focused on, it mixes it pretty evenly with the action sequences of the earlier volumes. The action is more in the middle here while the politics are the book-ends.
Now for a lot of this series, the brass has been disconnected from the frontline troops in terms of thought. We’ve seen time and again how Tanya’s knowledge of Earth’s military history lets her predict how things will play out. We’re now to the point where the brass realizes they’re barely hanging in there. Manpower and resources are stretched to the limit; victory or defeat, the war will end soon. So, they better do their best to make sure it’s a victory. Unfortunately, the civilian leadership is of another mind and the aforementioned reality ensues.
In my review of the last book, I talked about how humans are rarely logical creatures. Even when there is an obvious logical choice, emotions often stop us from acting like Vulcans. In this case, greed is the motivating emotion. Seeing is believing and the civilian leadership has not seen the frontlines. Not to mention people tend to only see what they want to, in this case viewing small victories as bigger than they are. We see more of that here and there’s no question Tanya’s battles will be far from over in Volume 8.
5 stars for this book though. A great mix of the action and political elements I’ve come to love in this series.