Part two of Duane’s novel of the Rihannsu Empire picks up where the previous left off naturally enough. The rest of Star Fleet’s task force is finally on hand for tense negotiations as events continue to spiral out of control in Romulan space.

The viewpoint characters are all outside the primary negotiating teams, so the main thing we see are some of the more public posturing, and a reception or two. Duane’s cast is large enough to show a lot around this, and she introduces a new secondary character, Gurrhim, who turns into a plot-point, and is a great character on his own.

The final part of the novel dissolves down into action, which is well handled. Duane does a great job of showing a lot of what was going on, and yet when it’s all over, it becomes apparent that, yes, other things were happening too. There’s also a very well-done tense emergency surgery scene right at the end. She describes things well enough so you know what’s going on even as a lot of unfamiliar terminology is thrown around; a neat trick.

However, while this is definitely the end of the novel, it is still not the end of the series. Things have come to a real head, and ‘middle of trilogy’ conclusion, but its not over yet.