Click here to return to the main site.

Book Review

Book Cover

Star Trek
Klingon Empire
A Burning House


Author: Keith R.A. DeCandido
Pocket Books
RRP: £6.99, US $7.99, Cdn $9.50
ISBN-13: 978 1 4165 5647 3
ISBN-10: 1 4165 5647 8
Available 03 March 2008

Battered, bruised but victorious the I.K.S. Gorkon is returning to the heart of the Klingon Empire, returning home to Qo’noS. For some it is a welcome chance to return to their families, but for others it is the start of another kind of battle...

A Burning House, by Keith R. A. DeCandido, is the first in a new series of novels detailing the next evolution of the Klingon Empire.

Normally the Klingon’s are depicted as purely a dictatorship of warriors. During the various Trek shows stories we were given little in the way of a glimpse behind the curtain to see other aspects of Klingon life. With A Burning House DeCandido has cleverly taken the opportunity to give us a glimpse of the more pastoral aspects of the Klingon way of life. That said, it wouldn’t be a Klingon book without intrigues and mayhem within and without the high council.

Virtually every surviving Klingon appears in the book, which should please fans, but one of the things that I was most impressed with was the way DeCandido has been able to introduce each character as necessary to the plot. It is no secret that one of my bugbears with Trek novels it the little universe syndrome, where the same people crop up again and again - usually contributing little towards the impetus of the plot. In this latest novel Bashir and Dax appear, however their appearance is both logical and necessary, the same holds true for the inclusion of Worf and Martok.

If you have not been following the Star Trek: I.K.S. Gorkon series of books, and I have to admit neither had I, don’t worry, as previous knowledge of this series is not needed to enjoy A Burning House. Although the crew have a back-story together, anything pertinent to the tale is given a full explanation - even to the point of providing all the information about Rodek’s background. So, you don’t even have to have seen the television series.

There is little to criticise about DeCandido’s writing. It is unlikely he would have been as successful as he undoubtedly is without a great deal of talent, so you know you’re in safe hands. Characterisation and character development remains good. The plot is both intricate, believable, engaging and a little sad in it conclusion; I particularly enjoyed B’Oraq, the ships doctor, and her attempts to force an evolution in Klingon medicine. No easy task for a people who view any change as revolution.

I won't give too much of the plot away - though name dropping Rodek should give any Klingon fan a big hint about one of the plot strands - to do so would be to ruin a very enjoyable novel.

The only thing I didn’t get was the title of the book. Having read the novel, A House Divided, would have been more descriptive of the book's contents. Still, that small point aside, this is definitely a book to buy and enjoy.


Charles Packer

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£4.04 (
£5.49 (
£5.99 (
£5.59 (
$7.99 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.