Trading in Danger (#1)

Next: Marque and Reprisal

Kylara Vatta is the only daughter in a family full of sons, and her father’s only child to buck tradition by choosing a military career instead of joining the family business. For Ky, it’s no contest: Even running the prestigious Vatta Transport Ltd. shipping concern can’t hold a candle to shipping out as an officer aboard an interstellar cruiser. It’s adventure, not commerce, that stirs her soul. And despite her family’s misgivings, there can be no doubt that a Vatta in the service will prove a valuable asset. But with a single error in judgment, it all comes crumbling down.

Expelled from the Academy in disgrace–and returning home to her humiliated family, a storm of high-profile media coverage, and the gaping void of her own future–Ky is ready to face the inevitable onslaught of anger, disappointment, even pity. But soon after opportunity’s door slams shut, Ky finds herself with a ticket to ride– and a shot at redemption–as captain of a Vatta Transport ship.

It’s a simple assignment: escorting one of the Vatta fleet’s oldest ships on its final voyage . . . to the scrapyard. But keeping it simple has never been Ky’s style. And even though her father has provided a crew of seasoned veterans to baby-sit the fledgling captain on her maiden milk run, they can’t stop Ky from turning the routine mission into a risky venture–in the name of turning a profit for Vatta Transport, of course.

By snapping up a lucrative delivery contract defaulted on by a rival company, and using part of the proceeds to upgrade her condemned vehicle, Ky aims to prove she’s got more going for her than just her family’s famous name. But business will soon have to take a backseat to bravery, when Ky’s change of plans sails her and the crew straight into the middle of a colonial war. For all her commercial savvy, it’s her military training and born-soldier’s instincts that Ky will need to call on in the face of deadly combat, dangerous mercenaries, and violent mutiny. . . .


“Absorbing, fairly low-key complications and agreeable character development: an auspicious series opener.”


“Moon launches a new military sf series featuring a resilient heroine whose courage is equalled only by her personal integrity. Bound to appeal to fans of David Weber’s “Honor Harrington” series, this sf adventure is filled with fast-paced action and well-conceived characters. A good addition to most libraries.”

Library Journal

“Ky’s formidable, entertaining combination of intelligence, creativity, and naval-academy training, turn a potential disaster into a profitable triumph for the whole Vatta family.”


“Mercenaries, pirates, and her Aunt Gracie’s fruitacakes, a fun adventure full of thrills and touches of humor.”


“Moon’s reputation as one of the best female sci-fi writers will be enhanced by TRADING IN DANGER. Witty and well-intentioned yet a bit boneheaded, Ky is a heroine well-suited to the bumpy ride Moon takes her on. A mix of space opera, military science fiction and human drama, this is an exciting and often touching novel.”

RT Book Reviews

“Vatta is an appealing heroine, and Moon is a skilled writer, so TRADING IN DANGER is likely to be the first in an open-ended series, similar to Lois McMaster Bujold’s successful Miles Naismith Vorkosigan string of books. There’s nothing too deep here, but it’s a lot of fun, and a fast, entertaining read.”

Contra Costa Times

‘Will more than satisfy […] space opera a la Robert Heinlein, a family yarn that can please fans of Anne McCaffrey’s “Rowan” saga.”

School Library Journal

“A superior novel, and if there is any justice it will bring Elizabeth Moon the praise and popularity she deserves.”

“The plot is engaging, unpredictable and mostly quick-moving […] TRADING IN DANGER is a quick and easy read for when you’re in the mood for some non-challenging science fiction.”

Fantasy Literature

“A new epic chapter in space adventure has opened and Vatta’s War will bring delight to many readers in years to come.”

The Alien OnLine (UK)

“TRADING IN DANGER also excels because of Elizabeth Moon’s deft writing style, skillfully blending humor and emotional insight with P&Ls and hardcore ship terminology […] I thoroughly adored TRADING IN DANGER and wholeheartedly recommend it.”

The Book Smugglers

“Ky has no interest in the war, only in surviving it to make repairs to her ship and fulfill the terms of her contract. She’s a merchant captain with a job to do. Trade and profit. Read Trading in Danger and you’ll definitely do the latter. I loved this novel.”

Staffer’s Book Review

Awards & Accolades


#3 Locus Paperback Bestseller List