Where Peace Is Lost

Where Peace Is Lost

2024 Reading List Council honor title!

Where peace is lost, may we find it.

Five years ago, Kelana Gardavros lost everything in the war against the Pale empire. Now Kel Garda is just another refugee living on the edge of an isolated star system. No one knows she was once a member of an Order whose military arm was disbanded and scattered across the galaxy. And no one knows that if her enemies found her, they might destroy the entire world to get rid of her.

Where peace is broken, may we mend it.

Kel’s past intrudes in the form of a long-dormant Pale war machine, suddenly reactivated. If the massive automaton isn’t stopped, at best it will carve a swath of devastation that displaces thousands of people. At worst, it will kill every sentient creature on the planet.

Where we go, may peace follow.

When two strangers offer to deactivate the machine for a price, Kel and a young friend agree to serve as their guides. The journey through swamps infested with predators and bandits is bad enough, but can they survive more nefarious dangers along the way? And will Kel’s fear of revealing her secrets doom the very people she’s trying to protect?

Where we fall, may peace rise.

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“If you’ve not been reading Valerie Valdes, you’ve been missing out. Valdes is queen of the bold, exciting space romp… Where Peace is Lost is a high-octane story that you will absolutely fly through because you’re simply having too much fun to stop.”

—Christina Orlando, Tor.com

“Valerie Valdes’ Where Peace Is Lost is my favourite novel of the year… A refreshing and entertaining look at the ethical conundrum of armed pacifism.”

—Liz Bourke at Tor.com

“Valdes’ books are like a strong brewed coffee drink with a big layer of sweet whipped cream and froth. That first sip is sweet, but then a subsequent sip reveals the rich texture and darkness beneath that surface.”

—Paul Weimer at Nerds of a Feather

“Terrific action sequences do not detract from the emotional arc that Kel follows as a war survivor. Valdes (Fault Tolerance) delivers with her epic worldbuilding and characterizations in this sharp and poignant novel.”

—Library Journal

“Valdes is a delightful storyteller. Her characters are lively and detailed, and her worldbuilding is immersive without being confusing. The restorative justice culture of Loth is effectively contrasted with the violence of the Pale empire, and Valdes explores the complicated question of whether it’s possible to retain your values and ideals while fighting back against injustice and cruelty.”

—Kirkus Reviews

Content warnings: violence, sexual situations