Wrath of the Prophets is the 20th book in the Deep Space Nine novel series. The story starts in the city of Sorshaq, somewhere downtown off the main boulevard. There is a small tavern there, called 'The Place'. It's not that it did not have a proper name, but more that the things that went on inside it led it to be known by its patrons as the place. Not many people knew the place, except those who wanted to look for it for a specific reason. Such a person was Varis Sul, leader of the village of Paqu. The Tetrarch was dealing with hunger in her village as the crops for several years have been bad, and even the livestock was deteriorating. Her calls to the Provisional Government unanswered, Varis was forced to turn to the black market. For the right sum of money, one could get replicators and raw materials for them that will last the village a long time.
The endeavor was a bold one. To find a black-market connection, buy the replicator and needed raw materials for it, secretly, and return to the village. Though that first part had gone by more or less according to plan, all seemed well. Upon her return the inhabitants of the Paqu village began a celebration that lasted for several days. Suddenly, there was enough food for all the children, parents could start eating again, and even the livestock was given its portion of replicated food. The rejoicing in the village was grand. That is why no one expected the Rintas (Bajoran version of a cow) started to die. Moreover, Rintas are known for the resiliency, and these Rintas had survived a great hardship. As if by a celestial sign, people soon started dying too. And a strange unknown illness that no one had seen before took over the Paqu villige. Before long, more villages down the river from the Paqu also reported similar cases. within a few days, the epidemic had spread to a plague, threatening the future of Bajor.
Upon hearing the news, Ro Laren returns home with supplies and hope. Hope she can be of any assistance. Though she has left Starfleet for the Maqui, and becoming a fugitive, Sisko lets her help Kira in an away mission to trace the source of the plague. Bushir quickly finds out that the source for the new virus is in fact from the raw material of the replicator itself, and now Kira and Ro have to find its source on the Planet.
All the while, Sisko takes Quark on a very unique away-mission to Orion space, in search of the origin of the raw material. Sisko's Starfleet bravado, along with Quark's slickness, are the two's best cards as they attempt to help save Bajor.
During this time Chief O'Brian faces engineering challenges, along with the threat to his family as both Molly and Kiko are down on Bajor when the Plague erupts.
Character wise, it was nice to meet Ro Laren again. Sometimes we forget the first Bajoran in Starfleet. The Sisko-Quark away mission remind me of the episode 'A Pale Moon', in the sixth season of DS9, where Quark tells Sisko: "Thank you, captain, for restoring my faith in the 98th rule of Acquisition: Every Man Has His Price". The dynamics between them are funny and witty- makes you wish there'll be a bit more of it.
The first Bajorian joke that I've heard is mentioned in the book:
Q: What's the difference between the Bajoran High Council and a black hole?
All in all, a good story, told by an unusual array of characters, entitle this book a rank of 4 pips.
Title: Wrath of the Prophets