Deep Space Nine: The Never-Ending Sacrifice

The summer is finally over and autumn is on its way in. And with it comes a ton of new Star Trek books in more or less every series. Even though Simon & Schuster's new website makes it really hard to find new books, I managed to find one before the new Enterprise finds its way into my hands next week: The Never-Ending Sacrifice by Una McCormack.

The Never-Ending Sacrifice tells the story of Rugal Pa'Dar, somone DS9-fans might remember as a young Cardassian growing up as adopted son of a Bajoran couple on Bajor. In 2370 he and his father visited Deep Space Nine. Due to an incident involving Garak, Rugal's biological father learned of his existence and, without Rugal consent, it was decided that the boy should move to Cardassia, to his "real" family.

The book now describes his life since then, how he got around that strange and abhorred world, his biological family calls home, how he experienced the Dominion War and everything else up until a few months after the terrorist attack on the Federation relief efforts on Cardassia told in Cardassia: The Lotus Flower (also by Una McCormack).

The novel has a rather slow start. As with parts of the stories surrounding the Iliana Ghemor characters, there are quite a lot of introductions taking place to also help people not familar with the relevant TV-episodes to understand what's happening. But after all this is taken care of, you learn many things about the policial entanglements of the upper Cardassian echelons.

During the course of TNG and DS9 the Cardassians were mostly presented through their military, but naturally there are also normal people on Cardassia Prime and its colonies. For the most part The Never-Ending Sacrifice focuses on this non-military life on Cardassia during the first half of the book and later on also introduces to life on one of the farm colonies. All in all there is just a huge amount of variety here. Rugal's life is just full of twists and turns and after the slow start it never gets boring.

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