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Trapped behind the neutral zone – in the heart of the Romulan Empire!

Swordhunt is a Pocket TOS novel – #95 in the numbered series, and the third novel in the Rihannsu series – written by Diane Duane. Published by Pocket Books, it was first released in October 2000.


From the book jacket
The sword was the ultimate symbol of Romulan power, tradition, and pride. It lay in the Senate Chamber of the Romulan Star Empire, revered and untouched for centuries, until the day Dr. Leonard McCoy was tried for treason – and both were stolen during an attack on Romulus itself.
Now, to avenge that insult and save face in the eyes of their deadly enemies, the Empire must recover the sword at any cost. Their envoys to the Federation demand the return of the sword and the extradition of the Romulan renegades who aided the Starship Enterprise in McCoy's escape. If diplomacy fails, the Romulans will trap the Klingons and the Federation in open war.
In such dangerous times, the Starship Enterprise is assigned the most valuable – and volatile – element of all: the fugitive Ael, her stolen Bird-of-Prey Bloodwing, and the sword they carry. Ael will undoubtedly use ship and sword to foil her enemies and play her hand in the dangerous game that she's begun. But she will do it all under the watchful eyes of James T. Kirk, the Federation starship captain who knows her dangerously well…

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

Background information[]

  • This book was released thirteen years after the previous entry in the series, The Romulan Way. Duane noted that the novel "was originally outlined the year after The Romulan Way, and it was always intended to follow more or less directly on [from its] events". (Voyages of Imagination, p. 118)
  • Swordhunt and its follow-up, Honor Blade, 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]
  • The novel starts with an editor's note, explaining that the series "is meant to stand apart from established Star Trek continuity".


James T. Kirk
Montgomery Scott
Doctor Leonard McCoy
Hikaru Sulu
Pavel Chekov
Ael t'Rllailleu
Romulan fugitive, commander of the Bloodwing
Romulan antecenturion serving on the Bloodwing
Romulan antecenturion serving on the Bloodwing
Romulan officer serving on the Bloodwing
Giellun tr'Keiranh
Romulan chief engineer of the Bloodwing

External link[]

Previous novel: Series Next novel:
#94: New Earth: Challenger Pocket TOS
Numbered novels
#96: Honor Blade
The Romulan Way Rihannsu