Years ago, in "Best of Trek", I read a fan's amateur reviews of pro Star Trek novels. Her critique of The Final Reflection: "I don't like any book that I have to read three times just to understand what's going on." I believe her comment says a LOT about the simplistic drivel which comprises most Star Dreck, compared with the richness of this novel. Author Ford, a respected science-fiction writer, gives us a fascinating vision of a very alien species, whose culture is based on a bushido-style code of honor and a chesslike Perpetual Game of personal advancement and power. This definitive novel about the Klingons is presented as a book within a book, and takes place some forty years before the famous five-year mission of Captain Kirk. The protagonist is an Imperial-race Klingon. An orphan raised in a militarily-structured Lineless House, six-year-old Vrenn makes his first sentient kill -- an adult Human male -- in the arena of the Years End Games. A skilled fighter in the klin zha kinta, the Game With Living Pieces, Vrenn is noticed by Thought-Admiral Kethas, who adopts him into his Line. He joins the Navy, and through battle-prowess and political maneuvering, rises quickly to the rank of Captain. He begins to make his Name in the service of Empire. Then Krenn is chosen for a mission of great secrecy and delicacy... This is a meticulously-developed novel of strategy, conspiracy, subtrafuge, diplomacy, betrayal, vengeance, and above all, honor. The plot is so intricate, the prose so precise, that the story can be read again and again, and can seem fresh each time. Even people who hate Trek will enjoy this one. By the way, this book also provides the reason why the Original Series Klingons look different from the ones in the modern series.