Cast No Shadow is the continuation of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. It occurs seven years after the destruction of the Klingon moon Praxis which precipitated the events in the movie. I strongly suggest people to watch the movie first before reading this book. Otherwise, you might be lost.
In the movie, there is a conspiracy to assassinate Klingon Chancellor Gorkon after he made peace overtures to the Federation. Gorkon realized that the Klingon Empire will collapse on its own weight if the war between the Federation and the Empire continued. The loss of Praxis only accelerated the events. The movie was released in 1991. This is a highly important date/year because it reflected the Cold War where the Klingons represented the Soviet Union. The destruction of the moon Praxis was not due to war but economics and lack of environmental control which is very much like another disaster in the Soviet Union: Chernobyl.
The conspiracy included high ranking members of the Federation, especially those who believe that they could win the war, and the Romulans who joined for reasons of their own. The Romulans believed that the victor would be too weakened to challenge the Romulans when they made their move. The conspiracy was defeated by Kirk and Spock.
Federation Admiral Lance Cartwright and Valeris are arrested; Cartwright conveniently has died in prison, leaving Valeris as the lone survivor of the Federation conspiracy. The Klingons cleaned their own house: General Chang is killed over Khitomer and his fellow Klingons conspirators are also purged.
So when a bomb goes off at the Da’Kel III system and the code word for the original conspiracy is heard, the Federation has no choice but to get Valeris out of prison and send her into the field to uncover the last remnants of the conspiracy. You probably can guess who is the mastermind if you remember the Latin principle: Cui bono? Who benefits?
The book also ties into the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode: The Mind’s Eye which introduced the planet Kiros. Kiros was under Klingon control and there had been a long rebellion. You don’t have to watch this episode but highly recommended.
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