Valiant Dust by Richard Baker
Sikander Singh North has always had it easy―until he joined the crew of the Aquilan Commonwealth starship CSS Hector. As the ship’s new gunnery officer and only Kashmiri, he must constantly prove himself better than his Aquilan crewmates, even if he has to use his fists. When the Hector is called to help with a planetary uprising, he’ll have to earn his unit’s respect, find who’s arming the rebels, and deal with the headstrong daughter of the colonial ruler―all while dodging bullets.
Sikander comes from a royal family, but entered the military. Some of his crewmates believe he gets special treatment or hasn’t earned his place. But he soon proves his worth and his skills with his new placement. And when Sikander and his ship are tasked with subverting a planetary rebellion, he finds his emotions get a bit involved as well.
Valiant Dust is the first in a new, military scifi series. Sikander is a likeable character with a sense of honor. The unique, future-worldbuilding of cultures and casts is strong and detailed but not overwhelming. And the characters are engaging. I enjoyed this fast-paced adventure with plenty of action, intrigue and a bit of romance. I definitely look forward to reading more in this promising new series.