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The Romulan Way (Star Trek: The Original Series #35)

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  942 ratings  ·  34 reviews

They are a race of warriors, a noble people to whom honor is all. They are cousin to the Vulcan, ally to the Klingon, and Starfleet's most feared and cunning adversary. They are the Romulans -- and for eight years, Federation Agent Terise LoBrutto has hidden in their midst.

Now the presence of a captured Starfleet officer forces her to make a fateful choice -- between exp

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Published September 22nd 2000 by Pocket Books/Star Trek (first published 1987)
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As "Balance of Terror" is one of my favorite Star Trek episodes, in my youth I followed Diane Duane's collection of novels avidly as they explored who and what the Romulans really were.

I do not "agree" with her version of the Romulans (I have my own "private" Star Trek universe with my own take on these Vulcan offshoots; you can see some of it on my blog:

Ms. Duane is, nevertheless, a pretty good author and I like the character of Ael. I'm not so taken with Duane'
The Romulan Way is widely considered one of the best classic Trek novels for good reason. Written before Star Trek: The Next Generation began to form a more solid canon interpretation of the Romulans, the novel gives an insight into the culture and history of a race millennia old, similar to Duane's treatment of the Vulcans in Spock's World . The Romulans are rendered in careful detail as a powerful, passionate, honorable, and highly independent people who are at the same time extremely distrus ...more
This is a horribly written book, fan fiction at its worst. There is honestly nothing of merit here, it is a ponderous read, like trying to run with your feet glued inside the trainers AND then glued to the ground. YECHHHH.

Do you want to know what's really embarrassing? my copy is signed by the authors.

I wonder, could I get a refund as my copy as been scribbled in?

P.S. It really is signed, I am not joking.
Daniel Kukwa
Rich prose, exquisite cultural detail...this is one of the best anthropological works of science fiction I've ever read. It's only flaws are (1) the truncated nature of its Romulan history, and (2) the sudden speed with which everything is wrapped up in the final chapter...errors that would be fixed by the time Ms. Duane wrote "Spock's World". In spite of the fact that Romulan history has been revised & retconned in our post-TNG/DS9/Enterprise world, much of the emotional make up of what is ...more
Nice look at the Romulon empire through the eyes of a deep cover spy for the Federation. Makes them come alive and feel like more than token bad guys.
Back in the day, when there was only about a half dozen people writing Trek novels, Diane Duane was one of the ones that I'd always buy. You knew you'd get a solid read.

Diana Sanderson
The Romulan Way is actually 2, maybe 3, novellas in one. One, this is a fascinating, absolutely astonishing building of the world of the Rhiannsu, the Romulans--why this part of the Vulcan species split off, how their culture, language, customs, religions developed; their journey across many light years to find a planet, 2 planets, to call their own. Duane builds their linguistics, their code of honor, their government and does it in a well-written, detailed historical account. Two, a Starfleet ...more
The Romulan Way is actually 2, maybe 3, novellas in one. One, this is a fascinating, absolutely astonishing building of the world of the Rhiannsu, the Romulans--why this part of the Vulcan species split off, how their culture, language, customs, religions developed; their journey across many light years to find a planet, 2 planets, to call their own. Duane builds their linguistics, their code of honor, their government and does it in a well-written, detailed historical account. Two, a Starfleet ...more
I enjoyed the Romulan culture stuff (as usual, Duane should've been asked to write anything in the movies involving the Rihansu), but found the premise of the McCoy plot and the ending to be rather implausible and over the top for my personal taste. But, well, it's Star Trek.
Mind-numbingly bad, but a must-read for Star Trek: TOS fans anyway.
Mikael Kuoppala
"The Romulan Way" is the second book in Diane Duane's Rihannsu series, following "My Enemy, My Ally". The book is an original piece of Trek lit bacause it's set completely in the Rihannsu homeworld and has only two clear main characters: McCoy and Arrhae; an ORIGINAL character, who's written as well as an apparent Mry-Sue character can be written. Believe me, I abhore Mary-Sue characterization, but you don't even notice it in this particular novel, so cleverly is it hidden among all the cultural ...more
[These notes were made in 1987:]. Of recent years, it seems to me that Star Trek writers experienced enough to get published have also, paradoxically, been exhibiting signs of stiflement and boredom in the classic ST universe, as set up by Roddenberry. Here is a prime example -- a novel set, essentially, in an entirely different cultural framework (the Romulans) -- a whole new imaginative creation with little or nothing to do with the good ship Enterprise as we know it. The heroine is a Federati ...more
Either my first or second Star Trek book ever, this is phenomenal. A fantastic book on the origins of an offshoot race (Romulans from the Vulcans), I found the backstory chapters (interspersed with the 'modern time' chapters) far more interesting. Its also when I ran into the difference between "canon" and "non-canon", as well as my first introduction into the mind-bogglingly lame and obnoxious Trekker tendency to worship TV canon (to the point of needing to actively disparage book stories). Tha ...more
This book mostly detailed the origin and history of the Romulans. There was a little action towards the end that felt somewhat hurried. Kirk and Spock are not present in this one. There was also more advanced tech than in the original series. Overall, this book didn't excite me or hold my interest.
This is probably my favorite ST novel. Duane put a lot of work into constructing the Romulan world (or, more properly, re-constructing it as the Rihannsu), and it is a lot more effective than any of the canon portrayals I have seen of the Romulans.

The plot is workable as well, I enjoyed it very much. The main character, while original, wasn't a Mary Sue for once--she's fallible and uncertain, and even though she generally comes out on top, it's never a sure thing. I liked her.

And McCoy being a m
This is one of the few Star Trek novels to have survived in my collection.

I've re-read it several times, mostly I think because the Romulan world building is so intriguing.
Michael Hanscom
Continuing what she began in My Enemy, My Ally, Diane Duane does an incredible job fleshing out the backstory of the Rihannsu -- more commonly known in the Federation as the Romulans. The framing story surrounding the historical data isn't as impressive, and is more of your average enjoyable-but-not-mindblowing Star Trek adventure, it's really the chapters of Duane's exploration of Romulan history and culture that makes the book stand out.
Amelia Defield
If I could give this no stars I would. I couldn't even get past the first chapter and I usually love anything with McCoy in it.
4.5 stars, but I can not quite stretch to giving it five. It was well written, and it wasn't so much a sequel to the first book as it was a "Keep this mind while reading, but the story line is completely different." I loved the Romulan history that was interspersed throughout and the main storyline progressed nicely with no real surprises or plot twists. The ending was good as was the reconciliation at the end of the book.
This book, first read in those "formative years" of 12 or 13, may be responsible for my love of spies. It is absolutely responsible for my love of Romulans. The story has little to do with the Enterprise or even with the Federation. It is closest in scope to another of Duane's Star Trek novels, Spock's World, but I prefer this one. I don't like her Vulcans half as much as her Romulans.

I've read this one several times.
Diane Duane has a number of Trek books that are generally very good. In this one, she does a very good job of painting an alien civilization. I liked the detail they go into as the main character Arhae goes through her daily life. For a space traveling civilization, the Romulans are very feudal.
Rebecca Huston
I have to say that Diane Duane is one of my favourite authors in the ST fictional universe. Somehow, she's managed to peg the Romulans right, and give the best interpetation of them. Too many times authors just fall back on the stereotypes of bad guys, and never really get into the reasons why they got there. A keeper for me.
Very enjoyable and a fascinating read. The Romulan Way has made me very excited to read the remaining books in the Rihannsu saga! A few continuity issues briefly took me out of the story, but that is, of course, due to no fault of the author.

Full review:
Trae Brookins
Okay, we're not talking great literature but credit where it's due for genre, particularly series spin-off fiction. I read this one when I was a teenager (yes, I was that my defence, no Harry Potter when I was a tween to teen). Anyway, if you're a Trekkie, this one's fun.
One part history of the Romulan/Vulcan schism, and the other a decent story involving McCoy as a prisoner on Romulus.

The McCoy plot is a bit thin with several weak areas, and the History has a lot of depth. Overall it was a very good read.
Star Trek novels, one of my many guilty pleasures. This is one of the best Star Trek books although I do have to admit a potential source of bias, Romulans are my favorite Trek race.
Excellent book, especially for lovers of Vulcan and/or Romulan culture. The OFC in this book is fantastic, and provides an excellent gateway into an alien culture.
May 18, 2013 Joshua rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Science Fiction Fans and anyone who has Book1 of this Series
Second part of "Rihannsu: My Enemy, My Ally". If you llked the firt one then you really are a sadist if you don't read "The Romulan Way".
Jo Graham
This was a deeply formative book for me as a teenager, and remains the penultimate tie-in, the perfect example of everything a tie-in novel can be.
Benjamin Plume
This was I think my favorite of the series. I wish there hadn't been such a gap between installments.
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
Again this is perhaps inflated by a half-star or so. Date of first reading approximate and probably wrong.
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Diane Duane has been a writer of science fiction, fantasy, TV and film for more than thirty years.
Besides the 1980's creation of the Young Wizards fantasy series for which she's best known, the "Middle Kingdoms" epic fantasy series, and numerous stand-alone fantasy or science fiction novels, her career has included extensive work in the Star Trek TM universe, and many scripts for live-action and a
More about Diane Duane...

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