As Kirk and crew attempt to renegotiate a delicate peace, and Romulans attempt to restore their tarnished honor, it becomes increasingly apparent that their only course of action is to prepare for war! Honor Blade picks up immediately after the events of Swordhunt. The talks are to take place aboard a neutral starship, and joining the negotiations are several familiar faces. Cogley, Attorney at Law " Court Martial " are in attendance. On the Romulan delegation is Senator Arrhae, who in actual fact is a Lt. As the negotiations get underway, it soon becomes apparent that they are just a front for the Romulans to capture or destroy Commander Ael and the sword and begin a war with the Federation.
As usual with Diane Duane's work, the writing and story-telling are superb. She has a particular talent for writing Commander Ael and Captain Kirk in a very compelling manner. There is much to like in the Rihannsu novels, not the least of which is the depth that Duane gives the Romulan culture, an element that was unfortunately missing in the on-screen incarnations of Star Trek.
One particular aspect of the story that I loved was Captain Kirk's and, by extension, the Enterprise's reputation and relationship with the rest of Starfleet. The idea that the Enterprise 's exploits have become so famous and numerous that the rest of the fleet would take her and her crew for granted is a very interesting idea.
Naturally, this attitude grates on Kirk, who doesn't like to be taken for granted. An interesting angle on the "larger than life" reputation the Enterprise has that I had not considered before. As mentioned in the previous review of Swordhunt , Honor Blade is simply part two of three, and the story won't be concluded until the final novel, The Empty Chair. However, I feel that Swordhunt and Honor Blade together make one fairly cohesive story, with a definite turning point at the end. Therefore, I have no problem making a full review of these stories, while still finishing reading the final book.
Great plot and characterizations, the Rihannsu saga has done much to hold my interest. I am a huge admirer of Diane Duane's writing talents, and look forward to reading more by her. I am of course! I can't wait to see how this all ends!
Monday, December 12, Swordhunt. Published August Read December 11, Previous book Rihannsu : The Romulan Way. From the back cover: The sword was the ultimate symbol of Romulan power, tradition, and pride. It lay in the senate chamber of the Romulan Star Empire, revered and untouched for centuries, until the day Dr. Leonard McCoy was tried for treason -- and both were stolen during a daring attack on Romulus itself. Now, to avenge that insult and save face in eyes of their deadly enemies, the Empire must recover the sword at any cost. Their envoys to the Federation demand the return of the sword and the extradition of the Romulan renegades who aided the Starship Enterprise in McCoy's escape.
If diplomacy fails, the Romulans will trap the Klingons and the Federation in open war.
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In such dangerous times, the Starship Enterprise is assigned the most valuable -- and volatile -- element of all: the fugitive Ael, her stolen bird-of-prey, Bloodwing, and the sword they carry. Ael will undoubtedly attempt to use ship and sword to foil her enemies and play her hand in the dangerous game that she's begun. But she will do it all under the watchful eyes of Captain James T. Kirk, the Federation starship captain who knows her dangerously well The sword, which traditionally sat in the "Empty Chair" of the Romulan Senate, reserved for S'Task, the man who led the Romulan exodus from Vulcan, is a beloved symbol of the honor of the Rihannsu Romulan people.
Honor which Commander Ael believes no longer exists in the current Romulan government. In a bid to get Ael and the sword back, the Romulan government decides to open negotiations with the Federation. However, the negotiations appear to be largely a pretense to begin a war. Assigned to the Romulan delegation is Arrhae, former housekeeper and now a Senator in the Romulan Senate.
Unknown to the rest of Romulus, however, is the fact that Arrhae is a deep-cover Federation operative, assigned to cultural studies of the Romulan Empire. Because I was reading on an e-reader rather than a "dead tree" copy, the end was completely unexpected. The novel seemed to meander for quite awhile. There is a lot of setup for the diplomatic mission, but by the end of the book, it has not yet begun. I love character development, and Commander Ael is a fascinating character, but I kept wanting the story to commence.
Instead, the action never really takes off for our heroes, and the novel ends just as things start to happen. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as the next book obviously picks up immediately after. However, I am curious as to why the novel was split into two parts to begin with. This entry isn't particularly long, and I think both books in one volume would have made more sense. Although, I suppose, the financial aspect of it means that Pocket Books can sell two volumes as opposed to only one.
I'd like to make a small note about the continuity of the Rihannsu series. In that time, many changes occurred in the Star Trek universe. However, by the time Swordhunt was written, the timeline had been revised and the second five-year mission had never happened. So, the decision was made to place Swordhunt and its follow-up, Honor Blade , during the original five-year mission of the original television series. However, this means that references to various details between this novel and the previous ones don't match up perfectly.
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Confused yet? The small discontinuities in the books are a little distracting, but don't impact the overall enjoyment much for me. However, readers who are bothered by these issues have another option!
In addition, Swordhunt and Honor Blade are presented as a single story in The Bloodwing Voyages , solving one of my issues with these novels. Click to order from Amazon. Therefore, I think I will reserve final judgement until I've had a chance to finish the follow-up story, Honor Blade. While I have been informed that Honor Blade doesn't complete the story, I would still like to chime in with my thoughts at that point.
To get the entire story, I will have to read The Empty Chair. I will, of course, post a review of the entire story once I have done so. But Sisko's bittersweet reunion with his old crewmates is cut short when an unexpected malfunction threatens the Defiant as well as the lives of everyone aboard. Even worse, evidence suggests that the accident was caused by deliberate sabotage.
Has one of Sisko's oldest friends betrayed them all? Sisko and Dax must uncover the truth before death claims the survivors of the Saratoga. Wof and Odo find themselves tested to the limit as they struggle to control the chaos that has consumed the station. But even greater danger faces Dax and botanist Keiko O' Brian when they must fly a runabout into the very heart of the storm - and encounter a stange new form of life!
But as the alien plague claims victims on "Deep Space Nine" itself, the secret of the virulent invader may hide deep in the shadows of Dax's past. It is. Pretty soon, Deep Space Nine is under fire from at least three different alien races, each accusing the others of theft, piracy, and worse. Then, angry Klingons get involved, and so do the Ferengi Odo wouldn't mind seeing one of Quark's schemes backfire, but not when it places the entire station in the middle of a shooting war that might consume them all!
Bashir, and Worf are left to defend Deep Space Nine. But Worf's loyalties are tested when he discovers that the invaders include his oldest friend -- and his own brother! Quark is even looking forward to making the deal of a lifetime -- when he suddenly finds himself stuck right in the middle of a major dispute between Bajor and the Ferengi Alliance.
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It seems that the Grand Nagus is refusing to sell one of the lost Orbs of the Prophets to the Bajoran government, which has responded by banning all Ferengi activity in Bajoran space With diplomatic relations between the two cultures rapidly breaking down, Quark loses his bar first, then his freedom. But even penniless, he still has his cunning and his lobes, and those alone may be all he needs to come out on top -- and prevent an interstellar war!
Left behind by Sisko, Major Kira expects the worst from the Kai's new regime, but even she is caught by surprise when a fleet of alien warships attack Deep Space Nine! But now, as alien warships fight to reclaim Deep Space Nine, she cannot help recalling those bygone days - and her own private war against the alien oppressors. Meanwhile, on the other side of the wormhole, Captain Sisko and the crew of the Defiant are stranded on an alien world overrun by ruthless invaders Captain Sisko and the crew of the Defiant cannot come to Kira's aid; they are too busy teaching an entire world how to fight back against a vicious invasion -- even if it means breaking the Prime Directive!
The Dominion: a ruthless planet-conquering race unknown even to those they rule.
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The Dominion: the most dangerous foe the Federation may ever face. At the edge of the wormhole, the space station Deep Space Nine and the planet Bajor sit on what will be the front line in any Dominion attack. To try and prevent the conflict, Commander Benjamin Sisko ant his crew take a never-tested Federation warship through the wormhole to track down and confront the Dominion.
If Commander Sisko fails, not only the Federation, but the Klingons, Romluans, Cardassians, and all the worlds of the Alpha Quadrant will face an interstellar war they cannot win.
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For centuries the famous Ferengi Rules of Acquisition have been the guiding principles of the galaxy's most successful entrepreneurs. Now the power and the wisdom of these rule are available to everyone. Now it's your turn. Already the Romulans and Cardassians have been decimated by the clandestine machinations of the Founders. Unable to learn anything from an elusive Klingon general, Sisko turns to Lt. Commander Worf, formerly of the Starship Enterprise and the only Klingon in Starfleet, to try and uncover the truth. What Worf learns will have a profound impact on the future of the Alpha Quadrant, and Sisko must risk destroying the Federation-Klingon alliance to prevent a full-scale war!
In addition, a series of murders has shaken everyone on board the station. While Security Chief Odo investigates the murders, Commander Sisko finds himself butting up against a new religious faction that plans to take over Bajor and force the Federation to leave Deep Space Nine. Odo soon traces the murders to a bizarre and dangerous form of holosuite technology--a technology that turns it's users into insane killers and now threatens Sisko's son, Jake.
As the situation on Bajor deteriorates, Sisko learns that the political conflict and the new holosuites are connected. Both are the work of a single dangerous man with a plan that threatens the very fabric of reality. The plot is darker than anything Sisko has faced before, and to defeat it, he must enter the heart of a twisted, evil world where danger lurks in every corner and death can come at any moment--from the evil within himself, from his closest friends, or even at the hands of his own son. During crucial negotiations on Deep Space Nine.
Gowron, leader of the Klingon High Council, tests human understanding of the Klingon way by sharing the powerful story of one warrior's quest for honor Pok is a young Klingon caught up in the dangerous complexities of clan politics. When his father is murdered in his own home on the day of Pok's Rite of Ascension, Pok must find the assassin and close the circle of vengeance.
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