The Captain's Table series describes the story of a legendary bar that only captains can enter. Once inside, you have the chance to meet fellow captains from all over the universe, and from all over time. All drinks are paid with a good story to entertain the fellow captains.
Dujonian's Hoard is the second book in the series, however don't worry about reading it first. All of the books of the series, and this one is no exception, stand by themselves, so you can read them in any order you please.
The story starts when Admiral Gorton asks Picard an unusual request - to look for a missing person. That missing person is Richard Brant, ex-Starfleet officer, former 1st officer on board the USS LaSalle. Having left Starfleet a year prior, Richard was now missing.
After ruling out the Maquis as the reason for Brant's disappearance, the admiral assigns Picard to investigate the matter, and find him. A lead turns up that Brant was seized by mercenaries in the Caliabris sector, possibly in relation to the Hoard of Dujonian. The Hoard was part of a treasure unearthed on Cardassia Prime 200 years before, a time when the Cardassians excavated a series of large Hebitian tombs. Hebitians, cultural ancestors of the Cardassians, were a peaceful and spiritual people who are said to have loved justice and learning. Their burial chambers were magnificent vaults, filled with priceless jeweled baubles. What made the jewels priceless isnít the facial quality of the gems, but rather their hidden qualities. They were called glor'ya, and found to have qualities similar to Dilithium, but vastly superior. The Cardassians saw in it unlimited potential regarding propulsion systems, but also for weapons. According to the legend, a Cardassian named Dujonian, managed to steal all the glor'ya encrusted baubles and hide them somewhere off planet. He was never heard from again.
The risk of the possible finding of the Hoard, and Brant's disappearance, are more of a reason to investigate the matter. Picard teams up with Worf, and they both head under cover towards the lead, commercial Captain Red Abbey, Brant's sister. Red Abbey, gathering a crew for her ship, recruits Picard and Worf. Heading into the unknown as Red Abbey's crew, they must evade other pirates, greedy of the Hoard, Cardassians who might be looking for it, and even Romulans who've joined the race.
The Hunt for the Dujonian Hoard and for Brant's fate act as the foundation for the plot in this story. On the off axis themes, there is a lot of action, sparkled with a handful of tech data, and just a hint of a love story.
The author chose not to elaborate on the love story, and only spread hints for it in the plot. This is unfortunate, since the base for it exists. Furthermore, the entire story is told by Jean Luc Picard, and so he is the main character. You will not find the regular Enterprise crew in the center of things.
To conclude, these disadvantages are dwarfed by the well told plot, and every Star Trek fan, especially a Picard fan would relish this book. A worthy story, and one that I would recommend.
Title: Dujonian's Hoard
Author: Michael Jan Friedman
Review by: CL3 Scorger