Friday, 30 September 2016

The Rihannsu Novels of Diane Duane

Back in the 1980s, I was a big Star Trek fan, and one of my favourite authors (in that time when there was very little commercially available apart from novels and re-runs of the classic TV series) was Diane Duane. I saw her several times at conventions, and she was always great fun. She even gave me some good writing advice once.
Her aliens were inventive (like the spider character in The Wounded Sky, and the rather sweet Horta Starfleet lieutenant) and her female characters were rounded, interesting characters who did interesting things.

So yesterday on Twitter, she shared her outline for the last two (which became three) novels in her Rihannsu series of Star Trek novels. I'd read the first two - My Enemy, My Ally and The Romulan Way, but never knew there were any more. I spent a lot of time outside fandom for various reasons, and moved house several times, so I had to part with a lot of my belongings along the way, including most of my collection of Star Trek novels. But I still have The Romulan Way. I couldn't quite bring myself to part with that one.
So I was quite excited to find that the story continues and reaches a satisfying conclusion. Rihannsu, by the way, is what the Romulans call themselves. It may only be a term used in the novels, but it's canon as far as I'm concerned.

The Romulan Way involves a Federation agent in deep cover in Romulan/Rihannsu society, Terise Haleakala-LoBrutto, who uses the Rihannsu name Arrhae ir-Mnaeha t'Khellian, and who finds herself in a position to save Dr. McCoy's life. There's lots of meaty information about Rihannsu society, and intrigue, and adventure - and I really need to re-read it before I settle down to the sequels! But the main character over the series is Ael i-Mhiessan t'Rllaillieu, commander of the Bloodwing, who joins forces with Kirk and the Enterprise to stop some unethical Romulan research in My Enemy, My Ally. I understand great things are in store for her in the sequels - if she can stay alive!

The sequels are: Swordhunt, Honor Blade and The Empty Chair - and I can see why I missed them coming out so completely! Swordhunt and Honor Blade came out in 2000, and The Empty Chair in 2006, and in 2000 - well, let's just say that the new millennium was not a fun time for me, so the last thing I was thinking of was Star Trek novels, though I was aware of Diane Duane's Young Wizard series at the time (also very good!).

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