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Martyr: A Novel (Star Trek: New Frontier) [Kindle Edition]

Peter David
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)

Kindle Price: $6.18
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Book Description

With the fall of the ancient Thallonian Empire, civil war threatens the planet of Zondar. The arrival of the U.S.S Excalibur is greeted with relief and celebration by the anxious populace, and Captain Mackenzie Calhoun, fresh from his cataclysmic escape form the Thallonian throneworld, is acclaimed as their prophesied savior. But one believer's messiah is another's blasphemer -- and a prime candidate for martyrdom.
When Captain Calhoun is captured, Lieutenant Commander Burgoyne must find him before an alien fleet launched a holy war against the Federation!

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Peter David is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous Star Trek novels, including the incredibly popular New Frontier series. In addition, he has also written dozens of other books, including his acclaimed original novel, Sir Apropos of Nothing, and its sequel, The Woad to Wuin.
David is also well known for his comic book work, particularly his award-winning run on The Incredible Hulk. He recently authored the novelizations of both the Spider-Man and Hulk motion pictures.
He lives in New York.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

from The Prologue

"Get someone else," said M'k'n'zy.

"There is no one else," Sh'nab said. "You are the one. It is the appointed time, M'k'n'zy, and your responsibility. I can't believe that you would want to shirk it."

M'k'n'zy strode back and forth apprehensively within the confines of his fairly modest hut. His long black hair was tied back, although a few stray strands dangled around the twenty-year-old's face. The scar that ran the length of his right cheek had flushed bright red, as it tended to do when there was something truly frustrating facing him.

Sh'nab couldn't quite understand what M'k'ntzy's problem was. One of the tribal elders of Calhoun, Sh'nab had seen M'k'n'zy face down entire troops of Danteri oppressors. He had seen him command troops of men, send them into battle, fight for his life. He had witnessed M'k'ntzy dealing with every sort of challenge and problem under the Xenexian sun, and therefore could not wrap himself around M'k'n'zy's current problem. After all . . .

"She's just a woman, M'k'n'zy!" Sh'nab said, for what seemed to him to be the umpteenth time. "This should not be difficult for you. You are acting as if . . ." He shook his head in frustration. "I don't know how you're acting. I am frankly not certain what to make of it."

"Why can't D'ndai do it!" M'k'n'zy said, annoyed with the sound of his own voice. He sounded whining, petulant, and even -- gods help him -- scared.

"Because," Sh'nab said patiently, "D'ndai isn't here. You know that. He's on Danter at the moment, paving the way for the peace negotiations with the Federation overseeing the process. You know this."

It was true, of course. He had been there, after all, when the Federation had first shown up on Xenex in the person of Jean-Luc Picard, the man who had suggested to M'k'n'zy that he himself consider a career in Starfleet. Considering M'k'n'zy's frame of mind at that moment, perhaps the thing to do was to find out when the next shuttle was going to be available and to head straight out as soon as possible. But M'k'n'zy had not made up his mind yet as to whether Starfleet was the direction that he wanted to go with his life. Never before, though, had he regretted hesitating over a decision as much as he regretted it now.

"We can wait until he comes back, then," M'k'n'zy suggested.

Sh'nab shook his head. "The times are very proscribed for these matters, M'k'n'zy. Catrine's husband has been gone a year. She has not remarried; she has had no wish to, and that is her right by tribal law. But she maintains her husband's name, and her husband's fortunes, and she does not wish the family line to end with her. That is also her right."

"But I'm the warlord! I'm not the chief. D'ndai is the chief!"

"You are his brother. These responsibilities run along family lines. You know that?"

"Yes, yes, I know, I know," M'k'n'zy's purple eyes flickered with frustration. "Sh'nab, will you please stop telling me things I already know and reminding me that I know them? It's most irritating to me!" He paced back and forth. "Can she wait until?"

"We're going in circles, M'k'n'zy! Besides, she?" Sh'nab paused.

"She what?"

Sh'nab muttered something that M'k'n'zy didn't quite hear, and when asked to repeat it, said, "I said she asked for you specifically. If she wanted to be flexible, she could likely wait until D'ndai's return, but it would put her beyond her current fertile cycle and she'd have to wait three months. She said she did not wish to wait, and she made it quite clear that she found you more...desirable...than D'ndai. I would ask that you do not pass that information on to your older brother. He might be hurt."

"Fine, fine," M'k'n'zy said with an annoyed wave. "Not a word."

"M'k'n'zy," Sh'nab said, not unkindly, "I admit that I am so accustomed to seeing you handle virtually any situation, that I'm not used to seeing you act like...well, like a nervous young man. You are, after all, only twenty summers old, even though you have served to liberate your people from an oppression that has gone on for centuries. Catrine is older than you, granted, but she is a comely woman nonetheless. It's not as if the task that awaits you is unpleasant. And it is not as if you have not . . ."

And then his voice trailed off as he saw M'k'n'zy's back stiffen slightly. "M'k'n'zy," he asked, with growing suspicion in his voice, "You have been with other women, have you not?"

M'k'n'zy laughed contemptuously. "Of course I have. I have had...dalliances, if you will. Experience."

"How much experience?"

"More than enough."

"M'k'n'zy," Sh'nab said, beginning to fully comprehend the situation, "I'm not speaking now of simple pleasure-giving. Of groping beneath sheets, or stolen moments in the darkness of a tent. Have you ever actually . . ." He found the resolve of his question beginning to fail under the intense glare and scrutiny of the look that M'k'n'zy was now giving him. He cleared his throat loudly and said, "Have you ever fully...well...consummated?"

There was silence in the hut for a time, and then M'k'n'zy said slowly, "Define 'fully.'"

"Oh gods, you're a virgin," Sh'nab moaned, sinking into a large, ornately carved chair.

"Only partly," M'k'n'zy replied defensively.

"Partly! One cannot partly be a virgin, M'k'n'zy! I don't believe this!" said Sh'nab. "A twenty-year-old warlord virgin?"

"Say it a bit more loudly. I don't think they heard you on Danter," M'k'n'zy told him with undisguised annoyance.

"M'k'n'zy, I don't understand! Every time you'd walk through the village square, women's heads would turn! Do you think a village elder doesn't notice such things? I was knocked aside once by three young girls who were trying to get your attention! How can you still have no carnal knowledge of women? The average Xenexian male is sexually active by the time he has seen thirteen summers."

"It was my choice, Sh'nab."

"I...I see."

Sh'nab was silent for so long that M'k'n'zy turned to look at him with concern on his face. "Do you?"'

"Of course I do. It saddens me, I admit. But...perhaps it's understandable. Perhaps that is why you are so able to lead troops of men into battle. You are more...comfortable...with them."

It took a moment for what Sh'nab was saying to sink in, and when he realized, M'k'n'zy wasn't sure whether to react with outrage or laughter. His voice caught somewhere in between in a sort of strangled choke. "I do not prefer to have sex with men, Sh'nab!"

"Oh," Sh'nab said mildly. "I thought that was what you were trying to say."

"If I had been trying to say that, I would have said that! Kindly do not 'help' me with a pronouncement of that magnitude, if it is all the same to you! All right?"

"Well, then I do not understand, M'k'n'zy. If you don't...I mean...if . . ."

Sh'nab was still seated in the ornately carved chair as M'k'n'zy sank onto the floor opposite him. M'k'n'zy had known Sh'nab for many years, felt a closeness to the elder who had on a number of occasions schooled him in some of the gentler arts of Xenexian life and culture. M'k'n'zy was not comfortable discussing such matters with anyone, really, but if he was going to speak of it, then at least Sh'nab was someone he considered an appropriate sounding board.

"Sh'nab, I did not expect to survive the uprising. Do you understand? I did not think that I would manage to live through the rebellion. I thought the Danteri would catch and kill me, or that I would die in battle. I faced death a thousand times, and to some degree I still cannot believe that I survived it all when so many others who were just as brave, just as resourceful, and just as skilled in battle as I wound up losing their lives. I saw the way women looked at me, Sh'nab. If it wasn't lost on you, it certainly wasn't lost on me. I'd see the lovelight in their eyes, and I...I did not desire any woman to form an attachment to me, for fear of not being there for her. I did not want any loved ones because I did not wish to leave a loved one behind. It might have hampered me in what I needed to do, and it would have been unfair to her. So now we are faced with a possible peace, and I find the prospect of...of be somewhat daunting. For that matter, I am suspicious of women."

"Suspicious of them?"

"Well," M'k'n'zy shrugged, "it is unfair, I suppose, to single them out. I am suspicious of everyone. But now I have a reputation as our greatest fighter, our greatest warrior. What if a woman is attracted to my title and reputation, rather than to me, for myself? For that matter, what if she expects me to be skilled in the art of lovemaking as I am in the art of war? What if" -- and he lowered his head -"what if I cannot perform to her satisfaction? What if I cannot perform at all? Can you imagine that? Can you imagine the things that would be said as word spread? People calling out to me, 'So, M'k'n'zy, having problems getting your sword out of its sheath, eh?' The humiliation of the thought, the . . ." He shuddered, his voice trailing off in contemplation of such embarrassment.

"M'k'n'zy," Sh'nab said softly, "you are a strategist. That has always been your greatest strength. As such, it has been necessary for you to give a great deal of thought to whatever situation you might be faced with. In my opinion, you are treating the prospect of sex with the same gravity that you would plan a military engagement. You are trying to foresee all possibilities, plan for every possible contingency. Intimacy is not a war, M'k'n'zy."

"I know of some couples who might disagree with you, Sh'nab."

Sh'nab allowed a smile. "All right, I'll grant you that," said the elder. "But you are overthinking things here. Simply allow matters to develop naturally."

"That is not my nature, Sh'nab. I am one who feels the need to steer matters to a conclusion that I find satisfactory."

"Relationships do not work that way, M'k'n'zy. In war, you give instructions to your men and they follow orders. Women do not take to that. Except the most passive of women, and I doubt that you would be satisfied with someone ...

Product Details

  • File Size: 1136 KB
  • Print Length: 308 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B002BISKJW
  • Publisher: Pocket Books/Star Trek (February 18, 2003)
  • Sold by: Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0031OQ0NI
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,614 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Book 5 leads into book 6 from book 4, fantastic! April 11, 1999
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
After reading each book in the series, decided I really liked the story and character development in this book. The characters have feeling, depth, and comedy tastefully entwined. When are the next books coming out? For a 51 year old grandmother this is an excellent series. If they don't take away from the characters, this would also make a fantastic tv series or a few good movies. The handling of the romance issues are wonderful; after all, let's get real, what mixed group of people would go gallivanting out in space for up to five years with no romance? None! This is really must read Star Trek for the fans. Star Trek Voyager and Deep Space Nine got so boring I couldn't stay with those series, but will stay with this series if it stays as hip as the first 6 books in the series. Publish more! The Plots and action are excellent, too!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Star Trek New Frontier Book Five Martyr November 22, 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Martyr is the first full length novel in the New Frontier series. Peter David, as with all of his Star Trek work, does an absolutely great job with this one. One of the things I like most about the New Frontier books is how Peter David will, as in this one; start off with chapters titled "Five Hundred Years Earlier." He does a great job establishing the basis for the plot.
The premise: "Five Hundred Years Earlier" on the planet Zondar, a war torn planet. A prophet named Ontear prophesizes that a Messiah will come from the stars. A bird of flames will herald his coming. He will bear a scar and he will be a great leader. He will come from the air and return to the air. He will be slain by the appointed one. The appointed one will be an unknowing acolyte and he will slay the Messiah. The Messiah's death will unite Zondar. Upon pronouncing this prophecy, the prophet is taken by way of a mystical storm. Doe's this Messiah sound like anyone we know!
"Nineteen Years Earlier" on Xenex. The young warlord M'k'n'zy of Calhoun faces a challenge that he would prefer not to face. A widowed woman of his tribe has called on tribal law and preference. She wants M'k'n'zy to sire her child. An extremely interesting chapter to say the least!
"Now" Selar, she herself widowed is going through the agony of Pon Farr. Since she is a widow, this makes for a very interesting story as to who she shall seek out to assist her with relieving the Pon Farr. We are introduced to the Redeemers, who are from Tulane IV. They are a race of conquerors, which conquer in the name of their god Xant. Those who do not follow the word of Xant are basically not worth their time. Once they conquer a planet they leave behind one High Priest. This is where Peter David's talent as a writer shows up big time!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Picking up where the original four mini-book releases left off, Peter David gives us the first full-length Star Trek: New Frontier book with "Martyr."
I really enjoyed the results. The main plotline of the book, the A-Story, is that of the ship encountering a world where Captian Mackenzie Calhoun has been 'recognized' as the 'Savior,' of their prophecies. With some interesting diatribes on the notions of faith and spirituality, the book would have been a bit heavy and a lot less 'fun' than the other books without the B-Story: Dr. Selar, still in the throws of her Pon Farr.
The story reveals more tantalizing tid-bits of the characters assembled mostly from the mind of Peter David, and even those characters we already know gain a bit more depth (especially the aforementioned Dr. Selar). Peter David once again proves that the characters of the Star Trek world do not need a screenplay to stand on their own, and, indeed, be quite interesting in their own right.
This one definately ends with something that makes you want to keep going, and I picked up Book Six the day I finished Book Five.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrible misconception August 10, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I do not think this novel is too much about sex and Trek characters. I think Mr.David has done an excellent job in narrating a very character driven novel. As far as I know - and somebody correct me if I'm wrong - no one has treated Pon Farr like he has on the novel. And what about Calhoun and the woman in the beggining? Forget not that on the 20th.Century, people do worst things. Parents violate their children, and all these on National TV with no taste. I think he gives Trek the human breath that it deserves. And the characters all are well thought and prepared. About the mugato sec.officer, let me remind the gentle reader a couple of lines below that colored people were considered less than apes during the slavery period, and now you have prominent people like M.Luther King Jr, Colin Powell, Will Smith, Mike Jordan et al...Let's be tolerant people. Next time, If you don't like, don't read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Major Step Down From Previous Novels January 16, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have to say, I did not enjoy Martyr as much as the previous books in this series. First, there is the whole high school romance issues involving Dr. Selar, Burgoyne 172, Captain Calhoun, and Commander Shelby. The major disappointment here is the way Peter David chose to write Commander Shelby. In the two-part episode, Best of Both Worlds, in which Shelby appeared she was a strong, confident woman who was not afraid stand up for what she felt was the correct decision, and in the first four books, David really captured that quality. In this book, however, she comes off as a jealous, jilted lover and that diminishes her in my eyes. Second, the whole religion sub-plot, while original, just was not very interesting. Overall, this was an unnecessary addition to the New Frontier series.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great entry in the series
Star Trek: New Frontier had a bit of growing pains to go through with the first four books. While there were moments of great comedy and great adventure, they were interspersed... Read more
Published 4 months ago by CT Phipps
5.0 out of 5 stars New Frontier
This is by far my favorite Star Trek series. I absolutely love Mackenzie Calhoun. He's a wild adventurer born to find trouble and do great things. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book
Adding 20 words only because I have to to get my rating included in the ratings on the good book.
Published 14 months ago by Mark A. Arbogast
3.0 out of 5 stars good. not great
It was ok, but not as good as the first "4 books" (really 1 story), and leads directly into the 6th book with a cliffhanger. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars New Frontier
If you are a Star Trek fan and have not tried the New Frontier series you are missing out. The cavalier attitude of the captain will remind of you of Kirk while the first officer... Read more
Published 17 months ago by robert w.
3.0 out of 5 stars This was not read but given as a gift.
Never read. This was a gift.We hope they enjoyed it. It was a Christmas gift and it was something we could afford.
Published 20 months ago by Jude Flynn
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Star Trek Porn......but close.
Star Trek: Martyr covers a wide range of touchy subjects that humanity has struggled with since the beginning of civilization. Read more
Published on August 18, 2011 by Shane - AFR
3.0 out of 5 stars Where did I see this before?
Shelby's rescue of the ship... where did I see that before? Will not be saved by woman or man, was that from McBeth or King Lear? I can't remember. Read more
Published on March 2, 2011 by Galactus
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not great.
First up, I really like Peter David. He writes fun page-turners with great characters. And he comes up with some really cool ideas.

Martyr is a bit hit and miss though. Read more
Published on February 15, 2011 by Pat
5.0 out of 5 stars He did it again...
It seems to me Peter David, in this fifth book, has settled into the characters now... There was a great scene between Shelby, Calhoun and Admiral Jellico in the beginning... Read more
Published on September 1, 2003 by "sirtovin"
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More About the Author

Peter David is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous Star Trek novels, including the incredibly popular New Frontier series. In addition, he has also written dozens of other books, including his acclaimed original novel, Sir Apropos of Nothing, and its sequel, The Woad to Wuin. David is also well known for his comic book work, particularly his award-winning run on The Incredible Hulk. He recently authored the novelizations of both the Spider-Man and Hulk motion pictures.He lives in New York.

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