Monday, September 8, 2014

The Klingon Art of War

The Klingon Art of War: Ancient Principles of Ruthless Honor
Translated from the original Klingon by Keith R.A. DeCandido
Release date: May 6th 2014
Read July 8th 2014



Hardcover: Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk
E-book (Kindle): Amazon.com | Amazon.ca | Amazon.co.uk


From the back cover:
Passed down from the time of Kahless, ten precepts have shaped Klingon culture and indoctrinated Klingons in the Way of the Warrior. With this new translation, people from all walks of life-and all worlds-can harness the ancient Klingon wisdom and learn to embody courage, discipline, and honor. 
CHOOSE YOUR ENEMIES WELL
STRIKE QUICKLY OR STRIKE NOT
ALWAYS FACE YOUR ENEMY
SEEK ADVERSITY
REVEAL YOUR TRUE SELF IN COMBAT
DESTROY WEAKNESS
LEAVE NOTHING UNTIL TOMORROW
CHOOSE DEATH OVER CHAINS
DIE STANDING UP
GUARD HONOR ABOVE ALL

My thoughts:

The Klingon Art of War
 (or qeS'a' in Klingon) marks an occasion I have been waiting for for some time: the return of Keith R.A. DeCandido to Trek lit... sort of. I mean, this book isn't exactly a Star Trek novel, but it is a work of fiction. An in-universe reference book, if you will. But boy is it tempting to call it non-fiction!

Using examples from throughout the history of the Klingon civilization, the book's "author," renowned novelist K'Ratak, dispenses sage wisdom for Klingons and non-Klingons alike, and for both warriors and non-warriors. The precepts and their implications are meant to be used by people from all walks of life, from the warrior on the deck of a Vor'cha-class attack cruiser to a well-known author dealing with his critics!

I very much enjoyed the "voice" of K'Ratak as he relays the original stories behind the precepts, as well as his own "author commentary" on each precept and the morals it conveys. I especially enjoyed the stories he told of his own life and times in which the lessons of the qeS'a' informed his behaviour. This was the perfect project for Klingon expert DeCandido. I have not yet read his I.K.S. Gorkon/Klingon Empire novels, but after reading this book, I realize that they have to be made a priority in the near future.

The references in the book to the wider Star Trek literature world are very welcome, including mention of the Typhon Pact, indicating that the book is written contemporaneous to the current post-Nemesis 24th century novel continuity. I love it when the lit-verse and canon Trek come together in these supplemental works. As much as I enjoyed Federation: The First 150 Years from a couple of years ago, I was disappointed when it didn't completely mesh with the modern novels. The Klingon Art of War does much better in this area.

Finally, the art work at the beginning of each chapter is very well done, and perfectly fitting for this book. The style and layout is fun to read, and I recommend The Klingon Art of War for any fan of Trek and the Klingons!

Further resources:

TrekBBS Discussion and Review Thread for The Klingon Art of War
Podcast: Literary Treks 62: From the Time of Kahless (Discussing The Klingon Art of War with Keith R.A. DeCandido)

Also by Keith R.A. DeCandido:

Star Trek: S.C.E. #2: Fatal Error (2000)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #6: Cold Fusion (2001)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #7: Invincible, Part One of Two with David Mack (2001)
Star Trek: S.C.E. #8: Invincible, Part Two of Two with David Mack (2001)
Gateways, Book Four: Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Demons of Air and Darkness (2001)
"Horn and Ivory" from Star Trek: Gateways, Book Seven: What Lay Beyond (2001)

Star Trek: S.C.E. #10: Here There Be Monsters (2001)
Worlds of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Ferenginar: Satisfaction Is Not Guaranteed (2005)
Star Trek: The Next Generation: Slings and Arrows, Book VI: Enterprises of Great Pitch and Moment (2008)
The Klingon Art of War (2014)

My next read:

Next up is my review of Seekers #2: Point of Divergence by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore!