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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Never Ending Sacrifice
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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Never Ending Sacrifice (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  446 Ratings  ·  55 Reviews

Continuing the post-television Deep Space Nine saga, this original novel shows the fall of the Cardassian empire as seen through the eyes of a young man with a foot in two worlds.

Rugal is an orphaned Cardassian who has been raised by the people his race once conquered, the Bajorans. Reluctantly repatriated to Cardassia as a teenager, Rugal becomes the living witness to t
Mass Market Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Pocket Books/Star Trek (first published August 20th 2009)
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Rating details
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Feb 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
(I'll be waxing poetic about DS9 as a series in this review and I apologize for that, but I would like it understood as to why I loved this book so very much)

I won't mince words--my fascination with Cardassians stems from the complicated portrayal of them in DS9. Garak at the forefront, but Damar (Dukat's 2nd in command), Tain, Ghemor...even Dukat, they were by far one of the more intriguing races. This book, which serves not only as a (mostly canonical) continuation to DS9, but a direct sequel
Mar 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek
There aren't enough superlatives. At least, none that I can use without causing the reader to assume that I'm some callow reader who is quick to throw out the "best book evah!" response to any book that I've enjoyed. I don't; this is the first time I've ever been tempted to do so, and I won't even do it here. But while this may not be the best book I've ever read, it is unquestionably the best Star Trek book I've ever read, and I suspect that I've probably read in excess of three hundred at this ...more
Crystal Bensley
Aug 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amazing Cardassian story about Rugal- loved it!
May 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Not just good for a Star Trek novel, this is honestly one of the finest novels I have ever read.
Tony Laplume
Jul 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The very best Star Trek fiction I've ever read. Period.

The difference between this book and every other Star Trek book I've ever read (and I've enjoyed a few) is the author's approach. Instead of writing fairly generic genre material and sticking Star Trek characters into it, Una McCormack writes the way the best of the screen material has always approached Gene Roddenberry's vision, as an examination of the human condition.

This is not just great Star Trek literature, but reflective of the best
Una McCormack has such a deft hand for writing Cardassian characters and it is a total delight to read her exploration of the cultural and political scene of war-time Cardassia. Although Rugal is a character she makes entirely of her own, her characterizations of the canon characters are similarly spot-on. I was honestly surprised by just how irresistible I found her original characters to be: Erani and Tekis in particular, as well as the rest of their band of student revolutionaries, were uniqu ...more
Nicole Pramik
May 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Never Ending Sacrifice, a “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” novel by Una McCormack, chronicles the teenage and young adult life of Rugal Pa’Dar, one of many Cardassian orphans who were originally displaced on Bajor. But when Rugal is essentially forced to be reunited with his birth father, he quickly discovers that Cardassia Prime is far from paradise: its people have been subjected to the watchful eyes of a police state and endure the consequences of constant conflict from within and without. Ye ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: military, sci-fi
This had promise as a story of a struggle of someone in a foreign land and not fitting in, but it just couldn't seem to hold the thread for long. Then as it progressed through time, the tie-in to DS9 (which I'm unfamiliar with) must have been more pronounced as there were time-shifts and reference to large events (wars, deaths, etc.) with little backstory. Also, there is an apparent expectation that you will know the races of people involved because they are rarely given any description or backg ...more
Boom Baumgartner
Jun 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
( Actual review with images and proper formatting found here )

It's really hard to talk about this book in a professional manner with things like proper grammar and punctuation because all I really want to do is this:


But I need to calm myself. Though, I'm not really sure how to do that when the last twenty pages or so are almost completely Elim Garak.

You know... T
Feb 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Wavering between four and five stars for this one, actually. Very, very well-crafted, not just as a Trek novel, but as a novel. I'd be interested to have someone who didn't know anything at all about the setup read it and tell me what they thought. A must-read for all my fellow niners, and of interest to anyone with any taste for SF that explores character and culture.

No, we aren't taking Ursula LeGuin here, but McCormack's prose is solid and her handling of character deft*. The plot, on one lev
Mar 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was everything I could have hoped for in a Star Trek novel. This book manages to take several characters we see in only one episode and expand on their lives and character to the point where it feels like Rugal and his family always existed as fully realized characters in the Star Trek universe. It also effortlessly ties in other existing characters from the show without that making the world seem smaller-- in contrast the new characters and settings it introduces serve to make the Star Tre ...more
Feb 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction

This boook starts off a bit slow, with a lot of exposition. But the main character is quite likable, and some of the characters he interacts with even more so.

The novel has a satisfying conclusion, but with tons of loose ends. I think this was deliberate. It's a war story, and so you just don't know what happens to certain characters.

On the whole, I was impressed with how well the story was written, and how thoughtfully it was plotted.

I'd say it's a must-read for DS9 fans (especially those who l
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: its-trekkie, faves
when i picked this up at the library i didn't read the summary - i assumed somebody had written up the cardassian classic, and i was thrilled to death to read it. but i liked this a lot better.
Wendy Darling
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Finished this today. Enjoyed it and gave it 4 of 5 stars, meaning above average, and Star Trek books are generally average.

A few notes on it, deliberately written to leave out spoilers.

Things I liked:

Hearing the full story of what happened to Rugal after he was ripped away from his adoptive Bajoran family (“Cardassians”)

Getting a glimpse of the dissident movement that existed in connection with Tekeny Ghemor and Natima Lang

Seeing Rugal adapt to all the various situations he’s thrust into as wel
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: star-trek, st-ds9
No Star Trek series rivals Deep Space Nine for its moral drama, for its stationary setting meant that characters had to live with the consequences of thir decisions. It told rich stories, and put characters into hard positions. Decisions and their consequences are the story of The Never Ending Sacrifice, which tells the story of a young boy whose life changed radically when Commander Sisko had to make a hard choice about him, The boy, Rugal, was a Cardassian orphan thought dead by his father, ad ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I would consider this a must-read for Deep Space Nine fans. I've read a lot of popular-media tie-in novels over my lifetime, and this is by far the most thoughtful and exploratory. Yes, and I'm including "Spock's World" in that.

This is "Spock's World" for Cardassia, and with a more modern, polished narrative style.

If you are like my hubby and can't remember what happened in an episode you just re-watched less than a month ago (srsly we are actively re-watching this portion of the show and I coul
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I always wondered what happened to Rugal after he left Deep Space Nine. So when I saw that there was a book about just that, I had to read it. I love this book so much. I enjoyed reading about Rugal, how he lived on Cardassia, and how he survived all the insanity that comes with that. I also enjoyed getting to see other characters like the professor who was in the sci-fi version of Casablanca episode, and Ziyal. Garak shows up and is wonderful as ever. The story itself is well told. I think thi ...more
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle-purchased
I must admit, Rugal's story wasn't an episode I was particularly attached to and I wasn't all that interested in finding out what happened to him. But I've liked Una McCormack's worldbuilding in other Trek novels, so I thought I'd give this one a shot. I'm very glad I did. The novel took me from apathetic to quite liking the character, and was a fantastic vehicle for showing stories about different times and places during the Dominion War that the show never touched on. Una's Cardassia is vivid ...more
Timothy Sussman
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was everything I hoped it would be. Politics, war, displacement and one mans adventure to find out what he truly is. 5 stars from start to finish.
Sarah Roberts
Jan 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: star-trek-novels
No one writes Cardassians like Una McCormack.
Mar 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Gentle Read

A sad tale of a boy taken from his true home and adoptive parents. The ending was well played and felt comfortable. I enjoyed the book. Una is a favorite author.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A quite engaging look at Cardassia during the DS9 era from the point-of-view of a one-off character from early in the show's run.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it liked it
3,5 stars
Joshua Hernandez
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Phenomenal. An incredible read that takes what feels like a sort of one off episode of DS9 and uses the characters and themes to. build deep into the mythos in new and surprising ways. Beyond recommending this title not just to sci fi fans or trekkies, but to readers in general.
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The Never-Ending Sacrifice by Una McCormack This novel covers the story of Rugal, the Cardassian boy who was raised by Bajorans and remanded to the custody of his birth father by Sisko in DS9's season 2 episode "Cardassians", following the next roughly 10 years of his life, and turns it into a powerful tale of loss, being lost, being the pawn of powers above, and ultimately taking charge of your own fate and coming home. And curiously, this doesn't just pertain to Rug ...more
Jul 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Similar to the "Worlds of Star Trek Deep Space Nine" series, this story focuses on almost one character exclusively, in this case Rugal. If you've seen the television episode "Cardassians" you know how this story begins. Rugal is a war orphan hidden away by Dukat to use against a political enemy on Bajor. A visit to DS9 causes him to be sent, against his will, back to his biological father on Cardassia Prime. Compared to the rest of the novels in the DS9 relaunch, this one has a different writin ...more
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of the best books I have read in a while. This is not only a good Star Trek book, but a good example of what science fiction can and should be. The story of the book follows Rugal, a Cardassian boy seen in the DS9 episode "Cardassians" after the events of the show. Rugal was a Cardassian born and raised on Bajor, a "war orphan" left behind when the Cardassians left Bajor. In the original episode, he was returned to Cardassia Prime to live with a father he has never known, to liv ...more
Oct 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, read2011, startrek
Most of all, this is a beautifully crafted novel. I was so moved by the thoughtful exploration of family and by the symmetry of Rugal's journey. Almost as an afterthought, McCormack handles the Star Trek universe deftly. She pulls deeper truths out of an episode that never made sense on the surface. Truths which are nicely subversive to the Federation Knows Best bent of the show. Given the heavy political shit going on, I was really impressed by how accessible this is to the lay reader, though I ...more
Aug 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I'm a HUGE Star Trek fan and everyone who knows me knows this. As a consequence, my brother or mother will occasionally pick up a ST book from a clearance bin if they happen to see one. Sometimes they're Part 4 of an ongoing story featuring regular characters from one of the series. That's why this book has sat in my physical 'to read' pile for a few years.

This book, on the other hand, is a stand-alone story from within the Star Trek universe, with some well-known planets and species featured an
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
There are plenty of Star Trek episodes that introduce characters and circumstances the series will never address again, and usually, that's no disappointment. For me, Rugal, the Bajoran teen of Cardassian descent forced to return to Cardassia Prime with his long-lost biological father, was an exception. Sisko's atrocious decision to send Rugal to a harsh world of oppressors was fascinating- it is such a unique idea, with so many possible long-term consequences.

I was SO EXCITED when I checked Mem
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Una McCormack is a British writer and the author of several Star Trek novels and stories.

She has also written a number of Doctor Who novels and short stories.
More about Una McCormack

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