My all-time favorite television series is Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, so I’ve greatly enjoyed the books from Pocket that continue the series’s story past season seven. They’ve been doing them for a long time now, too, long before continuing a canceled television series in comics or whatever was A Thing. But, it’s also been a while since I read one. It was time I got caught up!
The last one I’d read was The Soul Key by Olivia Woods, so up next was The Never-Ending Sacrifice by Una McCormack. (Die-hard fans will note the book carries the same name as the in-story novel that Garak once described to Dr. Bashir as Cardassia’s finest piece of literature.) This one wasn’t a pure post-TV series story. It started in the series’s second season, after the episode “Cardassians.” In that episode, the station’s crew discovered that a Cardassian orphan raised by Bajorans had in fact been kidnaped by Cardassian political enemies of his parents. Commander Sisko and his crew returned him to his biological Cardassian father over the boy’s objections. That boy, Rugal, is the protagonist of The Never-Ending Sacrifice, and his story is used to take us on an intriguing journey.
While the Cardassians as a race were critical to the plot of DS9, we rarely saw life inside Cardassia. This book explores the entire series of DS9 from the perspective of that world. All of the series’s major events are seen from this angle. And after the Dominion War ends, the book continues documenting the adventures of Rugal as Cardassia tries to rebuild from the mind-numbing destruction it experienced in the war.
It’s almost like several books in one. The first part is the story of an outsider trying to fit in. Later the book becomes the tale of a young man attempting to make a life for himself. Later still it becomes an examination of the hells of war and the trials of reconstruction. In the end, it’s a biography of both Rugal and Cardassia.
I enjoyed this book, and I’m sure any other DS9 fan would as well.