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Rihannsu is a series of five Star Trek novels by author Diane Duane, including one (The Romulan Way) written with Peter Morwood. Rihannsu is the name that Romulans use for their race in Duane's series of books and the name of their language. Rihannsu has never been considered part of Star Trek canon.

Book series[edit]

The series consists of five books:

Another book, Spock's World, makes reference to some of the events in The Romulan Way from the Vulcan point of view. Duane's Mirror Universe novel Dark Mirror also refers to the Rihannsu. The 2006 omnibus Rihannsu: The Bloodwing Voyages reprints the first four Rihannsu novels, with minor timeline and character rank tweaks for consistency with other novels.[1]

These books, as with most of the other Trek novels, are not considered canon.[2]

"Rihannsu" is also the name for the Romulan language invented by Duane.[3]

The main Rihannsu character in the series is Ael i-Mhiessan t'Rllaillieu. Her sense of honor and duty leads her, paradoxically, to violate her oaths to her government and crew, first helping Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise to destroy a secret research facility, and then stealing the most precious artifact of her people, the Sword from the Empty Chair, using it as a symbol to lead a rebellion against the government, which she comes to feel has betrayed the ideals of the Empire.

Rihannsu language[edit]

Rihannsu is a fictional language invented by author Diane Duane which is spoken by the Rihannsu (Romulans) in Duane's Star Trek novels. In The Romulan Way, as the inhabitants of the planet Vulcan turn to the philosophy of Surak en masse, the followers of S'task decide that they can no longer remain on Vulcan. As part of their exodus, they intentionally invent a new culture and a new language, based on Old High Vulcan and "aged" in a different direction. This language, described as sounding somewhat like Latin and Welsh, came to be known as Rihannsu.

Fan reaction[edit]

Duane's creation of the Rihannsu was generally well received by fans, with some going so far as to lobby Paramount to accept them as canonical.[4] However, Gene Roddenberry himself is said to have taken issue with the depiction, particularly Duane and Morwood's assertion in The Romulan Way that 'they [the Rihannsu] were never "Romulans."'[5]


  1. ^ ISBN 1-416-52577-7. "Pocket Promotes Anniversary Star Trek Books". Trek Today. March 21, 2006. Retrieved February 11, 2010. 
  2. ^ Anders, Charlie Jane (September 23, 2008). "What Did Diane Duane Think Of Star Trek: Nemesis?". io9. Retrieved February 11, 2010. 
  3. ^ Duane, Diane (January 6, 1996). "On Inventing a Romulan Language..." Archived from the original on 2003-12-12. 
  4. ^ "Duane discusses Romulan novels". Airlock Alpha. July 15, 2001. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  5. ^ Richard Arnold, by way of Scott Evans (March 3, 1994). "Richard Arnold responds". Newsgrouprec.arts.startrek.fandom. 

External links[edit]

  • Anderson, Joel. "Romulan language generator". Retrieved 2011-03-14.  (Using Curt Snyder's C language program based on Duane's original program)