Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Demands of Honor

Star Trek: Errand of Fury, Book 2: Demands of Honor by Kevin Ryan
Published January 2007
Read August 20th 2012

Previous book (Errand of Fury): Book One: Seeds of Rage
Next book (Errand of Fury): Book Three: Sacrifices of War

Previous book (The Original Series): Crucible: Spock: The Fire and the Rose
Next book (The Original Series): Crucible: Kirk: The Star to Every Wandering

Click to purchase Demands of Honor from!

Spoilers ahead for Demands of Honor and the Errand of Fury series!

From the back cover:
The United Federation of Planets and the Klingon Empire stand on the brink of war. Captain James T. Kirk and the Starship Enterprise are sent back to System 7348--site of a previous skirmish with the Klingons--for a confrontation with the IKS D'k Tahg under the command of Captain Koloth.
Even as the two great ships face each other, trouble is brewing among their crews. On the Enterprise, Lieutenant Leslie Parrish is pregnant with a half-Klingon child and must face a critical decision about her future, while Section Chief Michael Fuller still carries the wounds of the twenty-five-year-old Battle of Donatu V, of which he was one of the few survivors--not to mention his grief over the death of his son, recently killed in battle against the Klingons.
On the D'k Tahg, First Officer Karel finds himself trapped between the scheming, dishonorable Councillor Duras and his commanding officer, Koloth. While the stakes only seem to be the possession of a single star system, the ramifications may spread throughout the Klingon Empire, as they find themselves at a crossroads between conquest and honor!

My thoughts:

Demands of Honor continues the Errand of Fury trilogy from the previous novel, Seeds of Rage. In this novel, Kirk and the Enterprise square off against Koloth and the D'k Tahg, while the characters we have been following deal with the issues plaguing them.

Aboard the Klingon cruiser D'k Tahg, the brother of deceased Klingon spy Kell, Karel, must grapple with doing the honorable thing versus following the orders of Councillor Duras, whose machinations are intended to propel the Klingon Empire into a dishonorable war with the Federation. Meanwhile, on the Enterprise, Leslie Parrish continues to deal with the fallout of her discovery that she carries the unborn child of Klingon spy Kell. Finally, Michael Fuller (father of deceased section chief Fuller from Errand of Vengeance) struggles with his grief over the death of his son, while plagued by memories of his first-hand experiences with the Klingons at the Battle of Donatu V.

Like the previous novel, Demands of Honor feels like it could easily take a nose-dive into the overly-melodramatic, but Ryan manages to keep his head above water while crafting a compelling story that is truly touching. Parrish's internal struggle over what to do about the unborn child she carries inspired true sympathy; I can't imagine what the character must be going through in making her decision. In addition, Fuller's struggle is a difficult one. While I didn't completely buy Kirk's outrage and hatred of the Klingons in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Fuller's conflicting feelings about the Klingons really do ring true in Demands of Honor.

I also enjoyed the further exploration of the Klingon off-shoot race first introduced in Errand of Vengeance. I like that they are essentially Klingons as we know them in later series, concerned primarily with honor and loyalty without the corrupting influence that has plagued the Empire in the twenty-second and twenty-third centuries.

The Legacy of Duras:

Duras, Son of Toral: the first in a long
line of corrupt, dishonorable Durases!
Finally, just how many Durases must the Empire endure before they realize that they are just not a good lot? We originally had the infamous Council Member Duras, killer of K'Ehleyr, in Star Trek: The Next Generation. The second season of Enterprise introduced us to an earlier Duras, this time a starship captain bent on vengeance against Captain Archer. Now we have another, this time in the twenty-third century, using underhanded means to push a dishonorably-waged war against the Federation. I think we naturally tend to bristle at the idea that "the sins of the father" are visited upon his sons, but in the case of the Klingons, I'm starting to think that might be a truism!

Final thoughts:

A fine continuation of the Errand of Fury series. While the potential exists for the story to devolve into melodrama and pathos, Kevin Ryan manages to craft a realistic, compelling tale, setting us up for the final entry in the series.

Also by Kevin Ryan:

My next read:

The final novel in the Errand of Fury miniseries, Book Three: Sacrifices of War. Coming soon!

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