It’s time to continue going boldy with the next installment in the Pocket Books non-canon Star Trek series. The next novel in the collection is The Covenant of the Crown. It’s special because its author, Howard Weinstein also wrote an episode of the Star Trek: Animated Series, The Pirates of Orion.
This novel joins the crew sometime after the events of The Motion Picture, though it is not mentioned, nor are the new uniforms or refit, but hey, knowing when it takes place allows me to cast, and design it appropriately in the mind’s eye.
It’s a fairly simple story, falling, quite solidly into the quest genre. Kirk and company travel to a remote planet to ferry a dying king and his daughter back to their home planet, in the hopes of uniting the people once and for all. To do so, the young woman, Kailyn must reclaim the crown of the covenant, hidden away on the planet Sigma 1212, and pass the test it poses before she can properly lead her people.
To help her, Kirk is ordered to send McCoy (she has a medical condition) and Spock to work with her.
While the two banter and bicker, and these moments are nicely written, they help the young woman learn who she is. There’s also a nice touch in that Leonard McCoy is starting to feel a little old, he celebrates a birthday at the start of the book, but Kailyn’s presence lights him up, and then he realizes that the young princess is falling in love with him. It’s nicely handled.
Their journey to reclaim the crown is thwarted by having to crash-land their shuttle, as well as braving the elements, and the local population and wildlife… and there may be a Klingon scout ship following them as well, hoping to stop them, and seize the Princess’ planet for themselves.
While all this is going on, Kirk, back on the Enterprise, is trying to ferret out a spy amongst the king’s entourage, a spy who may be sending royal secrets and information back to the Klingon empire.
This one was a fairly quick and easy read, and went by fast. There’s nothing too revelatory in the story, but I will say that Weinstein has a good handle on the characters, there’s a tiny sub-plot featuring Chekov which is rather entertaining, and I could totally see something like that happening…
It was a cracker of a story, it was fairly basic, but back then, when it was tough to get new Trek, and there certainly wasn’t the wealth of it we have now, each adventure was new and welcome, so, as such, this one makes a nice addition to the collection.
And the human adventure is just beginning…