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The Romulan Way (Star Trek) Mass Market Paperback – August 1, 1987

4.2 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
Book 2 of 5 in the Star Trek: Rihannsu Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Star Trek (Book 35)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 247 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; First Edition edition (August 1, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671634984
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671634988
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,122,989 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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's also worked with Star Trek in more media than anyone else alive.)

Right now DD is probably best known for her "Young Wizards" series of young adult fantasy novels, featuring the New York-based teen wizards Kit Rodriguez and Nita Callahan. The series now enters its third decade with Nita's and Kit's newest adventure: "Games Wizards Play," the tenth Young Wizards novel, is scheduled for publication by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in winter 2015/16. Interested readers can find weekly teaser excerpts from the book at the blog at gameswizardsplay.com.

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, 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 DD gardens (weeding, mostly), studies German and Italian, chats with friends and fans on her Tumblr at dduane.tumblr.com, listens to shortwave and satellite radio, and dabbles in astronomy, computer graphics, iaido and amateur cartography... 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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Like many of the early TOS novels, this one really has some substance to it. Diane Duane has done an excellent job of developing the back history of the Romulan culture, explaining how and why they split off from the Vulcans at the time of Surak, etc. Her detailed description of the long generation-ship journey to the planet which would become known as Romulus is especially well done. During this journey, the Rihannsu (which is what the Romulans call themselves) consciously changed their language and social structure to reject the logical way of Surak and become an old-new version of the warrior society that once existed on Vulcan. (I found myself wondering if Duane had patterned this history on certain aspects of modern Israeli culture, which has consciously rejected the pacifist philosophy of European Jewry to go back to the biblical warrior mode -- but that's a whole other story.)
The plot itself takes place in the 23rd century, long after the Romulan-Vulcan split. The Federation has lost contact with an undercover operative on Romulus, and now fears for her life. Dr. McCoy is taken prisoner by the Romulans and ends up incarcerated at the same place where the Federation agent has infiltrated Romulan society and is passing for a household servant. Now she must be very careful about acknowledging McCoy, lest she blow her cover and get them both killed. Nahraht the Horta (a silicon-based lifeform who eats rock, and who also appears in several other Duane novels) plays an important, if at times humorous, role in the rescue of Dr. McCoy. To tell you more would be a spoiler, so let me just say that this book is one of the best reads in the TOS series. It also sets the scene for a number of characters and events in future books by Diane Duane.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
A great pity this is out of print, as it's one of the best examples of real world-building in a Star Trek novel. It holds up as a work of pure speculative fiction, as very few other works set in this universe do. Instead of reading a juvenile history of some Terrestrial civilisation and crudely imitating it, as appears to be the practice of many Star Trek writers, Duane creates a complete and believable culture. If the people who write scripts for the shows and films had any sense, they would regard novels like this as canon and dump most of the absurd tripe that the creators of the Old Show (largely from outside real, that is to say literary, science fiction) developed.
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By A Customer on June 26, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was one of the books, along with "Spock's World" (also by Diane Duane) and several others, that made me a Star Trek fan. It's fascinating and compelling reading.
All Star Trek novels are at heart fanfic, which can be a very bad thing, but which can also produce quite excellent results. This is an example of good fanfic---a creation of a totally original character (Arrhae, the human posing as a Romulan) who avoids becoming a Mary Sue; the exploration of Romulan history and culture; the discussion of how Romulans are changing as a result of contact with the Federation and the Klingons. It's fun to read, too. :-)
I personally liked the manner in which the Romulans created their culture: they formulated, discussed, and propagated it via their Internet while they were en route to a new home. It doesn't sound terribly unlikely to me.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book is the second of a (thus far) four book "series" by the same author involving related plotlines and characters. The first is "Star Trek #18: My Enemy, My Ally", the third is "Star Trek #95: Swordhunt", and the last is "Star Trek #96, Honor Blade". This is a very well-written book, with a reasonably plausible plot, excellent characterizations, and a very interesting back-history of the Romulans told alongside the current story.
The only real flaw is that, since this book was written, the "canonical" back-history of the Romulans has been created, and it isn't this one. Worse, the back-history of the first Federation-Romulan war she writes here involves contact between the Federation and the Romulans BEFORE contact was made between the Federation and the Vulcans, and that's CLEARLY wrong. But it isn't really fair to hold this author responsible for that; she wrote her history first, it simply wasn't accepted by the canonical writers.
The only other thing that needs to be mentioned is that some Star Trek readers will doubtless be unhappy with the fact that the ONLY Enterprise regular that we see in this book is McCoy. Some will doubtless consider this a failing; I found it kind of refreshing. Not that I don't enjoy the other characters, but there's no reason why ALL Star Trek stories have to include Kirk and Spock. They've had their share of books in which they get the lion's share of the action, and McCoy appears little or not at all. No reason not to feature him for a change.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
As others here have said, this novel does for the Romulans what SPOCK'S WORLD did for the Vulcans. It follows S.W.'s structure of alternate chapters telling the story of the Rihannsu (as they call themselves) with a plot taking place one year after MY ENEMY, MY ALLY (another of Duane's ST novels).
A couple of caveats. This is one of a handful of ST novels in which Kirk and Spock barely appear, so if they're your favorite characters you may be disappointed. Rumor has it that this novel brought on the Wrath of Roddenberry since it based its picture of the Romulans on D.C. Fontana's work in the original series rather than the vastly different Romulans of ST:TNG.
With these qualifications I recommend this novel highly, esp. if you're looking for something diffferent and challenging in the ST canon.
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