Rules of Engagement by Peter Morwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Rules of Engagement is a Klingon centric novel set well within the worldview I believe created by John M. Ford or at least that's where I first came across this variant of the Klingon culture.
Kasak sutai-Khornezh has had the "honour" of taking out the first ship of any new class and when the ground breaking vessel IKS Hakkarl is set for her first flight he seizes the opportunity to do a little privateering with a goal to claim a Federation world for the Empire and as it turns out take epic revenge upon Captain Kirk for a certain incident with Tribbles years previously.
The Enterprise is assigned to oversee the removal of Federation personnel from the planet Dekkanar after a change of administration has made it anti-Federation, strict policies prevent the three Starfleet vessels and crews from making for use of the capabilities leaving them open to aggression, not the ideal time for a Klingon Battle Cruiser to turn up regardless of motivations and of course with the Organians always looking over everyone shoulder.
This is a very entertaining novel set in the time after Kirk had regained the Enterprise after his stint at the Admiralty, it also adds the deeper story element of how the Federation/Starfleet has to deal with worlds who turn their back on membership along with the balancing act of an enforced peace with the Klingons. The Klingon characters are well written and time and time again we see a good solid antagonists can make all the difference to a movie/tv show and even a novel. In Kasak sutai-Khornezh we have a fellow commander who is intelligent and cunning and makes the most of his advantages to manipulate the situation and that makes our "heroes" all the better for it.
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