Book review–The Klingon Empire awaits you in new travel guide

The Klingons have always been the favorite aliens of legions of Star Trek fans.  For every new series of action figures it seems the toy companies always knew to include an extra Klingon variant to meet fan demand.  Whether you’re a fan of Kor, Koloth, and Kang in the original series, Worf, Gowron, Kurn, K’ehleyr, Klag, Lursa and B’Etor in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Martok in Deep Space Nine, B’Elanna Torres in Voyager, Kolos, Orak, and Duras in Enterprise, or Kruge, Kamarag, Korrd, Gorkon, Chang, and Azetbur of the movies, the Klingons have been an integral part of Star Trek.  And this year they return as the antagonists of Star Trek Discovery.  So what better time to get yourself ready for the new Klingons?  You can delve into the homeworld and beyond in the newest of the Hidden Universe Travel Guides–Star Trek: The Klingon Empire.

The second entry in Insight Editions’ new Hidden Universe Travel Guides series will prompt you to book your next vacation early, and brush up on your Klingonese.  Your travel guide to the Final Frontier, Star Trek novelist Dayton Ward scoured Qo’noS and beyond and the battle-filled history of those ridged-foreheaded aliens to target your second galactic trip–this time not to the planet Vulcan, as detailed in last year’s Hidden Universe Travel Guide–Star Trek: Vulcan (reviewed here at, but to the lands of the honorable Klingon Empire.  And yes, Klingon culture is just as much fun as you think it is so brush up on your Shakespearean Klingon and sharpen your bat’leth and dk’tagh.  Blood wine and gagh awaits you.

This in-universe book channels Ward’s Trek expertise from producing Star Trek novels and the artistry of Livio Ramondelli and Peter Markowski.  The travel guide follows the format of the Vulcan guide, which in turn followed the format of Earth destination books.  You’ll test your own knowledge of the planet, people, and culture, and learn even more along the way.  You’ll walk away knowing how to get around, what are the best sights and activities, where to shop and what’s happening, and what’s current in dining, nightlife, and lodging for select destinations.  Are monuments honoring the notable among the Klingon dead your thing?  How about some Klingon opera?  The pervasive and ever-expanding franchise of Quark’s Bar is here (you’ll want to check out the Klingon spin on a hot chicken wing eating contest).  But if anyone tries to sell you tickets to the local Tribble hunt, watch out (you’ll learn why).

Like the Vulcan guide, you’ll find information about local culture and customs.  And artists Ramondelli and Markowski continue to fill the pages of this guide series with imagery evoking the television series and films.  Their style is very much a mix of the concept art used in the films and the style of the matte paintings used as backgrounds throughout the franchise, full of illustrations from Rura Penthe to a Kelvin timeline Klingon helmet.  Many sidebar commentaries provide additional color for your trip research, from the likes of favorite Klingons Commander Worf, Chancellor Gorkon and his daughter Chancellor Azetbur, Lt. Commander B’Elanna Torres, Chancellor Martok, and General Korrd.  Sadly no commentary was available from the likes of great lost Klingon warriors Commander Kruge and General Chang.

Here are some excerpts from the book:

So what will be the next destination in the Hidden Universe Travel Guides series?  Romulus seems the obvious choice, but we haven’t heard yet where a follow-up may take us.  Maybe Cardassia Prime?  Sigma Tama IV?  The Delta Quadrant?

A fun read with plenty of references to the Star Trek series and films and some good culture for your favorite Trekker or Trekkie, Hidden Universe Travel Guides–Star Trek: The Klingon Empire is available starting this month here at Amazon.

C.J. Bunce

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