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Can the Starship Enterprise prevent the Second Romulan War?

Honor Blade is a Pocket TOS novel – #96 in the numbered series, and the fourth novel in the Rihannsu series – written by Diane Duane. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in October 2000.


From the book jacket
At last, the United Federation of Planets and the Romulan Star Empire have agreed to meet on neutral ground to attempt to resolve the tangle of intrigue and conspiracy that began with the hijacking of the USS Intrepid many years ago – but the meeting may be as dangerous as the war they hope to prevent.
As a show of good faith, the crew of the legendary Starship Enterprise has been ordered to attend the talks. In their informal charge is Romulan renegade Ael, the wanted fugitive who, with Kirk served as a catalyst to the current troubles. Kirk must represent the interests of the Federation first and foremost, but the best approach to an agreement remains muddled in the ever-shifting Romulan order.
And the visiting Romulan party is as fractious and divided as their troubled world. Among the Romulan nobles in attendance are the hero and popular Senator Arrhae, who secretly helped rescue Dr. Leonard McCoy from a Romulan execution, and the very men and women who put McCoy on trial for treason – and tried to carry out the sentence.
As Kirk and crew attempt to renegotiate a delicate peace, and Romulans attempt to restore their tarnished honor, it becomes increasingly apparent hat their only course of action is to prepare for war!

Excerpts of copyrighted sources are included for review purposes only, without any intention of infringement.

Background information[]

  • Honor Blade and its predecessor Swordhunt, were originally intended to be a single volume. However, when the story began growing far beyond its planned length, and Pocket editor John Ordover found his publishing schedule with an unexpected two-novel hole, the decision was taken to divide it up into two separate novels. As Duane noted, "[if], when I turned in Swordhunt at its 110,000 word length, I had been saddled with a more restrictive or crankier editor, the thing could well have been forced into print at its scheduled length – i.e., gutted. Now I can let [The Empty Chair] properly handle the 'extra' issues raised in the first part." [1] As a result of the split, this novel starts at chapter six, where Swordhunt left off at chapter five; likewise, both novels end with To be continued.
  • Although the original intention was for the concluding novel in the series, The Empty Chair, to be published at the same time, it would not be released for another six years.
  • This is the first chronological (though non-canon) mention of the Romulans using a quantum singularity to power their starships instead of using a warp core.


James T. Kirk
Montgomery Scott
Doctor Leonard McCoy
Hikaru Sulu
Pavel Chekov
Joseph M'Benga
Ael t'Rllailleu
Romulan fugitive, commander of the Bloodwing
Romulan antecenturion serving on the Bloodwing, Ael's second-in-command and cousin
Romulan antecenturion serving on the Bloodwing
Romulan officer serving on the Bloodwing
Romulan chief engineer of the Bloodwing
Bloodwing officer
Robert Fox
Samuel Cogley
Hloal t'Illialhle
Praetor of the Romulan Senate, and widow of the commander of the Battlequeen, destroyed by the Federation in My Enemy, My Ally – easily the most militant delegate sent to the talks with the Federation


Lake Champlain
Federation ship, destroyed in battle
the flagship of the task force sent to negotiate with the Romulans, the second of the new Constellation-class starships
the third of the Constellation-class starships built
a Romulan battle cruiser
a nomadic spacefaring culture made up of several different species, trusted to act as neutral hosts for the negotiations
The Lailaru previously appeared in Duane's Pocket TNG novel Dark Mirror.

External link[]

Previous novel: Series Next novel:
#95: Swordhunt Pocket TOS
Numbered novels
#97: In the Name of Honor
Rihannsu  The Bloodwing Voyages