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For 1500 years, the Klingons have revered him as their first emperor, the legendary warrior who united their people and taught them the meaning of honor, but the truth of his incredible life has been shrouded in myth and fables... until now. A clone of the original Kahless now reigns as emperor, but the discovery of an ancient scroll throws the legends into doubt and threatens to tear the Klingon empire apart. Surrounded by treachery and rumors of revolt, this new Kahless can trust no one - except Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Lieutenant Worf of the U.S.S. Enterprise.… (more)
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Michael Jan Friedman’s Star Trek: The Next Generation – Kahless takes place between the events of “All Good Things…”, the finale episode of Star Trek: The Next Generations, and the seventh feature film, Star Trek: Generations. At the beginning of the story, a cleric discovers a scroll which purportedly disproves the historicity of Kahless the Unforgettable, upon whose teachings Klingon society is founded and whose clone is the current Emperor, helping to legitimize Gowron’s power as Chancellor. Meanwhile, in the Federation, Worf finds his faith shaken as he had always looked to the stories of Kahless as a guide to help him with his crisis of identity, growing up on Earth and becoming the only Klingon in Starfleet. Captain Jean-Luc Picard worries about how this scroll might destabilize the Klingon Empire now that relations between the Federation and the Empire are normalized following his diplomatic efforts. The Kahless clone reaches out to Worf and Picard, seeking their help when he discovers a conspiracy within the Klingon Defense Force to overthrow Gowron.

Friedman alternates between the Heroic Age around the 9th century, in which he retells the legends of Kahless, and the Modern Age of 2371, where he follows the story of the conspiracy and the involvement of Picard and Worf as they investigate it. The two narratives examine nuances of Klingon culture while deconstructing the nature of myth and its power to shape societies as well as the essential truths it can communicate, despite the factual accuracy of the story. As Picard observes in the story, “Kahless was the Klingon Everyman, a mirror in which every last son of Qo’noS might find the noblest parts of himself” (pg. 292). To that end, Friedman’s narrative will appeal to those interested in Klingon culture and the power of myth. Though the Star Trek novels rarely impact the canon of the films and series, this one is particularly enjoyable and unlikely to find itself pre-empted by a later show or film. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Oct 20, 2020 |
I can usually get into Star Trek books pretty fast. I already know most of the characters, the situations and so generally I’m able get into the story and the plot pretty fast. That wasn’t the case with this book. I’m not exactly sure why it was harder, perhaps because it went back and forth between the ‘Modern age’, i.e. the present, and the ‘heroic age’ which was when Kahless the Main Character of this book was literally alive. I sometimes felt as though I would just get into the story and it would change to the other time period.

Both stories were about Kahless saving the Klingon Empire. Just, different Kahlesses, one the original, and the other the clone.

I’ve never really been into Klingon society, Language, etc., and how it complements the rest of the Star Trek universe, so I’m not sure how the Klingon stuff turned out, but, it seemed to work really well and when there were Klingonese words even though I didn’t know exactly what their definitions was, I definitely knew what they meant.

Overall a solid three star Star Trek novel, just a bear to get into, oh, and there weren’t in the narrative either. ( )
  DanieXJ | Dec 15, 2018 |
Even though the audio book says it's unabridged, it feels so short (only 3 hours) compared to full length books in audio for other companies. Yet this is what Simon and Schuster has done. The shortening and the narrator have thoroughly unimpressed me to this point. I think this would have been much better if Michael Dorn had read it. ( )
  gilroy | May 16, 2017 |
For the last fifteen hundred years, the Klingons have revered him as the first Klingon emperor, the legendary warrior who united their people and taught them the meaning of honor. Myths and fables have grown around the memory of Kahless, but the truth of his incredible life has remained a mystery...until now. A clone of the original Kahless now holds the title of emperor. He thinks he knows all there is to know about his might ancestor, until the... ( )
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  Tutter | Feb 23, 2015 |
A well-conceived plot highlights this "Star Trek - the Next Generation" novel which covers two ages: ancient Klingon, where the first emperor Kahless is forging his first conquests, and present time, where a clone of the ancient emperor has called upon Picard and Worf as the only people he can trust to help thwart a plot to tear the Klingon Empire apart. ( )
1 vote burnit99 | Jan 19, 2007 |
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Valerie Elyse,
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For 1500 years, the Klingons have revered him as their first emperor, the legendary warrior who united their people and taught them the meaning of honor, but the truth of his incredible life has been shrouded in myth and fables... until now. A clone of the original Kahless now reigns as emperor, but the discovery of an ancient scroll throws the legends into doubt and threatens to tear the Klingon empire apart. Surrounded by treachery and rumors of revolt, this new Kahless can trust no one - except Captain Jean-Luc Picard and Lieutenant Worf of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

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    KAHLESS TURNED TO PICARD AND WORF. "THERE IS TREACHERY AFOOT," HE SNARLED.

"Treachery which will tear apart the Klingon Empire if left to run its course."
"From what quarter?" Picard inquired.
"The Klingon Defense Force is undertaking a military coup deigned to unseat Gowron and the rest of the council." The emperor grunted. "i know because I overheard two of the conspirators whispering in a dining hall in Tolar'tu, during the festival of Maru'tek."
Picard looked at him skeptically. "But the leaders of the Defense Force were handpicked by Gowron. they have sworn to defend him with their very lives."
Kahless's eyes blazed. "That," he told the human, his voice thick with revulsion, "is why they call it treachery."
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