This is a fairly basic, but entertaining story set on the planet Lorca, which is reminiscent of Earth's own medevial period.
The story starts with Captain Picard about to embark on an away mission to Lorca with the rather dodgy Federation Ambassador Fenton Lewis. On Lorca, it is customary for the local inhabitants to wear masks. Different masks represent different social status. The Captain's interest in archaeology is picqued. So, he and Deanna Troi set out with Fenton Lewis wearing old Halloween masks; a harlequin, a pig and a devil.
The away mission goes horribly wrong when the Enterprise looses contact with the away team on the planet and Riker, being very protective of his Captain, sets up another away team to go find them.
Both away teams meet up with the local Lorcans, who are very colorful and interesting characters. CaptainPicard encounters Piercing Blade, a female warrior who takes his away team under her wing as they travel along with her entourage. They are in search of the people's leader, Mighty Slayer. Whilst Riker joins up with Day Timer, a peddler, in his search for the Captain. Both teams have very interesting adventures along the way, and Picard finds out that Fenton Lewis is a lot more dodgy than they realizes. He has plans to become the ultimate ruler of the planet, by seeking out the ultimate Wisdom Mask.
I found this story amusing and entertaining, with a nice twist at the end as the Enterprise crew must stick to the Prime Directive while on the surface, and live the way of the Lorcans. A very different lifestyle than what they are used to aboard ship. If you are a Star Trek fan interested in the technical side of the Star Trek Universe, this book may not suit you. I give this book 4 out of 5 pips.
Unfortunately, this book is out of print, but those nice folks at Amazon might be able to find a copy for you - just click on the book cover and they'll take it from there.
Author: John Vornholt
Review by: CL4 Leeta