Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “My Enemy, My Ally (Star Trek: Rihannsu, #1)” as Want to Read:
My Enemy, My Ally (Star Trek: Rihannsu, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

My Enemy, My Ally

(Star Trek: The Original Series #18)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,888 ratings  ·  85 reviews
Ael t' Rlailiiu is a noble and dangerous Romulan Commander. But when the Romulans kidnap Vulcans to genetically harness their mind power, Ael decides on treason. Captain Kirk, her old enemy, joins her in a secret pact to destroy the research laboratory and free the captive Vulcans. When the Romulans discover their plan, the Neutral Zone seethes with schemes and counter-sch ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 288 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Pocket Books (first published July 1984)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about My Enemy, My Ally, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about My Enemy, My Ally

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,888 ratings  ·  85 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A reread. I'd been meaning to pick it up for a while for one and reading a history of science fiction essay for Patreon that was really negative about tie-in novels was the impetus I needed. If you like Star Trek, this is a good Star Trek novel, and if you like Diane Duane's work, this is also a good Diane Duane novel, featuring many of the themes in her work including her central one of all different sorts of people (the Federation here is far, far less human-centric than on television, with a ...more
Dad was right, it was really fun. Diane Duane just gets it, she gets everything about what made Star Trek great. It was exciting, touching, and laugh-out-loud funny at all of the right times. The old characters were spot-on without feeling retread and the new characters were very interesting. I went into this reading (I'm pretty sure I read it at least 20 years ago, but I can't remember, I may be remembering Ensign Rock from other books) as a favor to Dad, but he was right and I was wrong, and n ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: star-trek
The professional fan fiction of Star Trek novels are useful for finding new authors, and the biggest find I've ever had from them is Diane Duane, who had written many very good books outside that universe. This is where I first discovered her, and it is also one of the best Star Trek novels I've read. Thirty years after I last read it, several scenes still stand out in my memory.

There are, perhaps, a few too many MacGuffins floating around. There's artificial ion storms, 4D chess (with a mini-tr
John Carter McKnight
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of my favorite rereads: I can't believe I've never reviewed it. Duane's Trek novels come from a parallel universe where Trek, and its classic characters, are better than they actually were - in a way, truer to canon than canon, pure Roddenberry.

There's a profound joy to her work: aliens are wonderful, exploration is amazing, everyone has the potential to become their best self.

My Enemy, My Ally came from an era of Trek novels when really good writers could be tasked with expan
David B
Dec 23, 2014 rated it liked it
Diane Duane has crafted a good basic story about a Romulan commander joining forces with the Enterprise crew to foil a despicable new weapon that she feels will be a permanent blight on the honor of the Romulan people. It has some nice suspenseful moments and builds to a satisfying climax.

However, it is also terribly padded. There are pages and pages of exposition that do little to advance the story and belabor the character points that are being made. Characters converse for pages about matters
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Some of the other Star Trek books have been mediocre at best, but Diane Duane usually does an excellent job in her writings...and this book is no exception. The story really drew me in, and I almost felt like I was watching the show instead of reading a book.
Melissa McShane
Back in the day, before there were sequel series to the classic TV show, before the reboot, there were the Pocket Books Star Trek novels. They built on the original stories, taking advantage of the novel format to create worlds and aliens and special effects impossible for TV or movies. This was where my fandom was--all these books.

So one of the things I resented about Star Trek: The Next Generation is that the show's creators completely failed to make use of Diane Duane's wonderful extrapolatio
Dec 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
My Enemy, My Ally remains one of the best classic Star Trek novels ever written, even thirty years after its original publication date. I want to give this one to everyone I've ever known who's been disappointed by a Trek book and say, "Read this. It will change your mind about Trek."

I will admit right up front that I have a rather large bias toward Diane Duane, who has written a considerable portion of my favorite books (her YA fantasy series, Young Wizards, is also very much worth your time to
Natalie Cannon
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I picked MY ENEMY, MY ALLY up for fun, and while it was a pleasant enough read, I wasn't enthralled.

There were good points. Duane lets her imagination run wild with aliens. Many diverse species, cultures, sexual orientations, abilities, colors, and body types roam the pages freely and happily. Duane's deft handling of science and the mechanics of the Star Trek universe made for a solid, high stakes adventure. Ael was a fascinating, fresh character, and her and Kirk's relationship was well-wrough
Picked this for cheesy vacation reading but was blown away by how great it ended up being. Everything you want a licensed tie-in book to be - feels right and familiar, but one that expands the world and tells a story in a way they wouldn't or couldn't on TV or in a movie - but then kicks it all up a notch by being a great, fast-paced, gripping story that you don't need to be a Trek fan to enjoy. I need to go track down some of Ms. Duane's other books now.
Dec 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Ael is a rather cool heroine and antagonist, much more interesting than two dimensional Khan. The Romulan full name bit is also cool. Nice book! I am hopeful this was left open in a way that we can somehow miraculously continue to see this character. Smart. Got to wonder if Kirk would do the same against Section 31??
Aug 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Diane Duane does SUCH great Star Trek. Her OCs are delightful and her investment in characters having complex backstories and personalities really shines here.
Hannah Givens
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is not a perfect book, but it is very good, and what's more it's fascinating. Yeah, it's got stuff that doesn't make sense, it's got buildup that turns out to not be foreshadowing, it's got starships moving at Warp 14, it's got conversations in untranslated Romulan for no particular reason. Not to mention a few exchanges of banter that might as well have been in Romulan for all the sense they made to me, 33 years after publication. But those are all pretty minor flaws, because the level of ...more
Keith Edwards
Aug 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it's deeply weird to read a Space Opera novel from 1984 that has more diversity of character and spirit than most books do now, 35 years later; it's profoundly disappointing that this unique gem of a book was ostensibly written as just another disposable piece of media whose purpose was just to keep people aware of the fact that this IP was still alive.*

Diane Duane deserves all the credit she's gotten and more for her work on the Rihannsu series. The characters are vivid and real; the details sh
Two-fisted History
Feb 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, sci-fi
A fantastic book! I'd wanted to read the Rihhannsu series for years, and finally found it at a HPB. I wasn't disappointed! Duane's take on Romulans is the best there is. If you like Romulans (and who doesn't?!), you need to check out this series!

Speaking of Star Trek, have you ever dreamed of serving aboard a Sovereign, Galaxy, Intrepid, or Excelsior class ship? How about a Starbase or Planetary Outpost. Ever want to attend Starfleet Academy? Do you like Star Trek and Roleplaying? Then the USF i
Oleta Blaylock
I had a hard time getting into this story, this maybe more a problem is mental attitude than anything else. This is a well written story by a very good author. Most the action doesn't happen until that last third of the story. Most of the story is build up and defining personalities as well as group dynamics. It was interesting to see how the two crews, Romulans and Federation, come together and work toward a common goal. There is also some traitors that try to gum up the works.

It would be nice
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
A truly wonderful experience - I read this novel with great enthusiasm, and I was never disappointed. Diane Duane's Star Trek universe is broader and deeper than the original. The canonical characters are more nuanced than their TV equivalents, but always true to their essential natures. Kirk is Kirk, Spock is Spock, McCoy is McCoy - but each is something more, as well.

The novel brings to life the richness of the Romulan culture. Today, Duane's Romulans are inconsistent with franchise canon; sti
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Romulans ... to the rescue?

An excellent introduction to the Romulans. I would particularly recommended it alongside SAREK, but both novels are great by themselves. If you saw BALANCE OF TERROR from the Original Series season 1 and wanted to learn more about them, you will love this book.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-trek
Well, it is Diane Duane, so there is not much to say. Very good in the first three quarters, lets up a bit in the end with the mass fighting scenes I think. But it treats the Romulans really well an introduces one of the iconic characters, Ael. Back in the day of the Trekkie*s 90ies we had a woman cosplaying her in our little fan club.
Jen Grogan
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, tie-in
Haven't read this book since I was in middle school, and I genuinely thought I'd lost my copy of it. Turned out I'd rebought at a used bookstore at some point and then lost it in a part of our bookshelf that was inaccessible (behind the sofa). I had a lot of fun revisiting it.
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, star-trek
I liked the character of Ael which was good because she was very prominent in the book. Should be interesting where Diane Duane takes her character through the next few books of hers. I've also enjoyed Duane's take on the way space battles happen as she did in The Wounded Sky and in this book.
Kyle Phillips
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots of fun. Not without its pacing problems near the end, but nothing that undoes all the good that comes before. Certainly one of the better entries in the massive library of ST novels. Highly recommended.
Jul 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Diane Duane is one of the best classic trek authors and My Enemy My Ally is one of the absolute best trek novels. It has an entertaining and fast moving plot and a great look into the Romulans. Duane also really captures the enterprise crew.
Wetdryvac Wetdryvac
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A longtime favorite, and easily in my top three nostalgia reads amongst the Star Trek TOS novels for a large swath of reasons from honor and ethics to outstanding characterization.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Thom by: Tony Ross
Shelves: fiction-series
The 18th in a long line of Pocket Books Star Trek novels. It is a bit slow through the first 2/3, finishing with an action packed 1/3 that includes treachery, discovery, and surprise maneuvers.

This isn't the authors first novel, or even her first Star Trek novel. She writes a solid story, with our heroes definitely the good guys. With several distinct characters, this Enterprise crew isn't just earth based. There is also a good description of other starship crews, including one native to Deneb,
Michelle Hanson
Mar 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brett Thomasson
Diane Duane took Star Trek's second set of major villains, the Romulans, and gave them an intriguing back story and history that would have been a lot of fun to explore. And the Romulan-focused episodes offered plenty of room to expand upon the tale of this race that seemed to resemble in no small degree the Vulcans that were a part of the Federation.

Duane gave the Rihannsu, as she named the Romulans in their own language, a culture not unlike later Rome. Although honor and courage had once been
Nancy Cousintine
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just read the whole Rhihansu series and thoroughly enjoyed it! I am a Trekker from way back. I began my"love affair" with Star Trek back in the seventies, and I have been a fan ever since. The Rhihansu series by Diane Duane is an in depth look at Rhihansu(Romulan)society, with lots of action, adventure, and strong characterization.

There are five books in the saga: My Enemy,My Ally, The Romulan Way, Sword Hunt, Honor Blade and The Empty Chair. The story arc is an ever deepening look into what
Mike Crate
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, star-trek
I love the writing of Diane Duane when she tackles original series characters of Star Trek and while her work falls outside of accepted tv/movie canon I take extreme delight in placing her creations above most of what has been served up on the small and big screen.
The Romulans were introduced to use as true warriors with integrity and intelligence in Balance Of Terror and this is the style of Romulan sorry Rihannsu Diane has continued to serve up, granted just as with Humanity the Rihannsu are n
P.D.R. Lindsay
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is another of those quality Star Trek novels. Author, Diane Duane, makes flesh and blood of the Romulans and does so in fine style. Her writing is good, her plotting excellent and her characters are the ones we know in glorious 3D. She doesn't put a foot wrong there.

The research the author does to make real the travel from star to star, her ability to create a very real Romulan culture, and make the reader understand the culture, is outstanding. Even the Romulan language is as real as our o
« previous 1 3 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Women At Warp Boo...: My Enemy, My Ally 1 18 Jul 04, 2015 10:02AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Uhura's Song
  • The Vulcan Academy Murders
  • Time for Yesterday (Star Trek: The Yesterday Saga, #2)
  • The Tears of the Singers
  • The Final Reflection (Star Trek: Worlds Apart, #1)
  • Ishmael (Star Trek: The Original Series, #23)
  • Dreams of the Raven
  • The Pandora Principle
  • Final Frontier
  • Mindshadow (Star Trek: The Original Series #27)
  • Dwellers in the Crucible
  • Rules of Engagement
  • The Entropy Effect (Star Trek TOS #2)
  • Killing Time (Star Trek: The Original Series, #24)
  • The Captain's Daughter
  • Black Fire
  • Mind Meld
  • Vulcan's Glory
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

Star Trek: The Original Series (1 - 10 of 113 books)
  • Star Trek I: The Motion Picture (Star Trek: The Original Series #1; Movie Novelization #1)
  • The Entropy Effect (Star Trek TOS #2)
  • The Klingon Gambit (Star Trek: The Original Series #3)
  • The Covenant of the Crown (Star Trek: The Original Series #4)
  • The Prometheus Design
  • The Abode of Life
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan (Star Trek TOS: Movie Novelizations, #2)
  • Black Fire
  • Triangle (Star Trek: The Original Series #9)
  • Web of the Romulans (Star Trek: The Original Series #10)
“This is why one must be careful with life," her father had said, in very controlled wrath. "Death is the most hateful thing. Don't allow the destruction of what you can never restore.” 2 likes
“Even in your world, people have died for words. Sometimes they've died of them. One learns to be careful what one says in such a world. And like anything so powerful, like any weapon, words cut both ways. They redeem and betray—sometimes both at once. The attribute we name as a virtue may also turn out to be our bane. So we watch what we call things—in case we should turn out to be right.” 2 likes
More quotes…