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The Empty Chair (Star Trek: Rihannsu, Book 5) Mass Market Paperback – November 28, 2006

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Product Details

  • Series: Star Trek: Rihannsu, Book 5 (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Star Trek (November 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416508910
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416508915
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #645,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Diane Duane is the author of numerous science fiction and fantasy novels, amongst them the fan-favourite Star Trek titles DARK MIRROR and the 5-volume Rihannsu series of novels exploring the world of the Romulans (the first four volumes of which are now available as the omnibus THE BLOODWING VOYAGES 1416525777) released together with the fifth volume (THE EMPTY CHAIR 1416508910) in January 2007.

More About the Author

Diane Duane was born in New York City -- a descendant of New York's first mayor -- and worked there as a psychiatric nurse before leaving the profession for the only one she loved better, the business of writing. Since the publication of her first novel in 1981, she's written fifty more, not to mention numerous short stories, comics, computer games and screenplays for TV and film, and has picked up the occasional award here and there. (She has also worked with Star Trek in more media than anyone else alive.)

Right now she's probably best known for her "Young Wizards" series of young adult fantasy novels, featuring the New York-based wizards Kit Rodriguez and Nita Callahan -- in business for twenty-five years now, their most recent adventure being described in the ninth YW novel, "A Wizard of Mars" (just released in paperback).

DD shares a two hundred-year-old cottage in the Wicklow Mountains of Ireland with her husband, the Belfast-born novelist and screenwriter Peter Morwood, a laid-back white cat named Goodman, and various overworked computers... an odd but congenial environment for the staging of epic battles between good and evil and the leisurely pursuit of total galactic domination. (And a lot of ethnic cooking: her own favorite foods come from the cuisines of central Europe and the Mediterranean.) In her spare time she gardens (weeding, mostly), studies German and Italian, listens to shortwave and satellite radio, and dabbles in astronomy, computer graphics, iaido, amateur cartography, and desktop publishing ... while also trying to figure out how to make more spare time.

Her favorite color is blue, her favorite food is a weird kind of Swiss scrambled-potato dish called maluns, she was born in a Year of the Dragon, and her sign is "Runway 24 Left, Hold For Clearance."

Customer Reviews

Great finish to series.
Darrell L. Burkhalter
Also, it got to the point where I just felt that so many secrets were hinted at that I did not really know what was going on.
R. Spottiswood
Diane Duane's Star Trek books are among the best and very true to the original series in characterization and plot flow.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Cassie Ogle on February 11, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Oh, God (Elements), how I love this series. Diane Duane is a marvelous yarnspinner when it comes to her characters.

I read "My Enemy, My Ally" probably about 12 years ago, but I never tire of reading it. When I discovered that "The Romulan Way" was a continuance of that story, I devoured the storyline (Arrhae is intriguing) that opened up the history of ch'Rihan and ch'Havran like no book had dared to before. The detailed yarn of The Declared as they left Vulcan those millennia ago and the setbacks they encountered... it explains a LOT about why the Romulans (Rihannsu) are "the way they are."

Discovery of "Swordhunt" and "Honor Blade" when they came out made life interesting until the cliffhanger, and now that I've read "The Empty Chair," I can safely say that I am going back to re-read the entire series again. When you do re-read it, you take great notice of all the intricacies of the characterisations of the original characters (Harb Tanzer, Freeman, Narhaht (a Horta), Arrhae, Ael, Aidoann, the list continues).

And I agree with the previous reviewer--that line by Ael to Kirk at the end successfully ties in this series to canon in such a way that I truly believe it is part of Trek History. The Romulans (Rihannsu) certainly did emerge in TNG quite different than we remembered from TOS... and this series explains how and why they appeared to change so drastically. *applause for Diane Duane*
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By George Wood on January 27, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Star Trek universe has been enriched by another book from Diane Duane.

The author of many books based on her own fantasy worlds (like Young Wizards, which my kids love), screenplays, etc. in 1988 Diane Duane also wrote my favorite Star Trek book, "Spock's World". In it, she expanded our knowledge of Spock's home planet of Vulcan, bringing together elements from several episodes of the original Star Trek series, including "Amok Time" and "Journey to Babel". She also gave us more about the Enterprise itself, giving it a recreational deck and a computer bulletin board reflecting those early PC/pre-Web days.

In 1984 Diane Duane had already taken on the task of adding more to our knowledge of the Vulcans' long-ago sundered brethren, the Romulans (or Rihannsu as they have come to be called in their own language) with "My Enemy My Ally". She followed this up with a sequel called "The Romulan Way" in 1987 (both co-authored with her husband Peter Morwood).

Now comes a new Romulan book, finishing up this particular saga, "The Empty Chair". Unfortunately when I started reading it I soon realized I'd missed something, which turned out to be the books "Swordhunt" and "Honorblade", both published in 2000. I had to go back and read what happened there to really make sense of "The Empty Chair" and discovered that Stockholm's excellent Science Fiction Bookstore no longer had the two books in stock, presumably because all of the prequels to "The Empty Chair" have just been published together in a single volume called "Rihannsu The Bloodwing Voyages".

(All this is part of the 40th anniversary of Star Trek celebrations, apparently.
Read more ›
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on December 21, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Empty Chair is the final book in a five-book series that began 22 years ago.

In 1984, Diane Duane wrote an original Star Trek series novel entitled, My Enemy, My Ally. This immediately became (and has remained) my favorite Star Trek novel, and one of my favorite books of all time.

My Enemy, My Ally builds the world of the Rihannsu, or Romulans, and introduces to fiction the most fascinating Star Trek "guest" character of all time: Commander-General Ael t'Rllaillieu, Captain Kirk's Romulan nemesis and long-time enemy, aunt to the Romulan commander from whom they stole the cloaking device (see the episode, The Enterprise Incident). Committing treason by doing so, Ael comes seeking Kirk's help, because her government has been kidnapping Vulcans and using their brain matter to enhance their own limited telepathic powers.

It's an amazing book, the first of a series to chronicle Ael, her struggle to bring honor back to the Rihannsu empire, and her relationship with Kirk and company.

After 22 years, the final book in the series was published this month. The Empty Chair brings to a close, by an extraordinary story that had me nauseous most of the time with anticipation and fear, this brilliant tale. I won't give the plot away, but I will say that I've waited six years for this book to be published (books 3 and 4 were published in 2000), and its release means more to me than even the release of the last Harry Potter book does. And that's saying something.

Diane Duane is a brilliant author, and has a way of capturing the characters of Kirk and company in a way no other author I've read has been able to do. If you're an original series Star Trek fan, you have to pick up her books. Start with The Wounded Sky, her first Star Trek novel, as its main guest character shows up in the Rihannsu series, which makes allusions to the events in The Wounded Sky, and it would be helpful (but not necessary) to understand what had happened.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By R. L. MILLER on December 14, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
It seems like a cliche, but this is the capstone of Duane's "Rihannsu" saga. The Empire is starting to come unglued. Political intrigue and infighting is hampering their ability to deal with their enemies, and they're headed in the direction of war with both of their major enemies--the Federation and the Klingons. If the central govenment listened to cooler heads, they'd know they can't fight both foes at once, but denial is the order of the day, and circumstances aren't exactly cooperating. Plus, the more remote regions of the Empire are disenchanted with the type of government that's less and less like the "good old days". Into the saga steps James Kirk, maverick Starfleet captain who ticks his bosses off and has survived only because you can't argue with results. At his side is increasingly "friendly enemy" Commander Ael, aunt of the lady Spock once put the moves on while his shipmates boosted her cloaking device. And in this volume of the tale, this unlikely "buddy team" meet the people of a colony that's moving in the direction of seceding from the Empire. They've just found out that a hawkish element of their people have a doomsday device headed for Earth that makes the Xindi attack on this planet a century or so earlier seem like a minor skirmish by comparison. Moderate elements back on the home planet just might not approve of anything that extreme or barbaric. Among them is a Romulan senator who has dreams about chaotic situations during which she sings "Take Me Out To the Ball Game". At Ael's side is her longtime first officer Aidoann, the Spock to Ael's Kirk. Where did Duane come up with that name, huh? I get a mental picture of her singing; "I'm a Rom'lan girl who cain't say no.Read more ›
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