OK, so, I knew Sgt. Major Hans Schuder wasn't dead when I wrote the review for "Fateful Lightning." But I didn't know it when I read the book so, hoping that you will read these books in chronological order, I think my review kept the spirit of the novel by not revealing everything. This one is absolutely different. "Battle Hymn" is a vision of the Gulag on an alien world. Whereas "Fateful Lightning" gave us the terrible sacrifice of the Cartha, "Battle Hymn" shows us the enslavement of the Chinese, and others, with whom Schuder is now living. Major new character is Ha'ark, the Redeemer and, very important as well, a Zulu warrior friend of Hans. There will be a bit of confusion with come names. As in ther past, with Vuka's brother, in this book a companion of Ha'ark is named Jamul, but in the future will be referred to as Jurak. I do not know the reason for this. It may be an oversight, or it may be that these new commers have chosen to make their names more palatable to the natives. Still, all books have errors. The soul of this series is its conflict, big as a planet and enduring as the machines that transported the Yankees to a New World of War. Most of the book concentrates on the efforts by Hans and his confederates in escaping, the help they get from the Republic, the problems that the traitor Hinsen creates, and the menace that Ha'ark, with his modern, futuristic vision of warfare, means for the survival of humans on Valdenia. Suspenseful, filled with the heroics and folly of war that Forstchen has turned into a trade mark, "Battle Hymn" also introduces the tank into the series.