I first read this novel over twenty years ago & this is a reacquisition, having lost my original copy in the interim. The late & sadly missed John M Ford was notorious for never repeating himself & his two Star Trek franchise novels are no exception, his other ST novel 'How Much for Just the Planet' being a broad comedy pitting the Enterprise bridge crew against a sympathetic bridge crew from a Klingon cruiser. 'The Final Reflection' is serious, & told almost entirely from the perspective of Klingon orphan Vrenn as he progresses from a harsh gladiatorial training school through adoption by a senior Klingon admiral to distinguished service in the fleet, with his career taking a strange turn as he is required to escort a Federation diplomat to his homeworld & back, dealing with Federation machinations & meeting several well-known characters from the Star Trek canon. The novel repeatedly references the Klingon game for which the nearest human equivalent is chess, & allegedly had a significant influence on the more sympathetic portrayal of Klingons in the ST:TNG series which was released a few years after this novel. The Klingons are given a distinctive & convincing belief system, & their harsh militarised society & relations with other races such as the Federation, Romulans & Vulcans are rendered more believable. Several space battles are well described & show the influence of Ford's knowledge of wargames systems such as Star Fleet Battles (he also contributed to FASA's ST RPG) . Overall this book scores on several levels - as a story of personal progress & fulfilment, as a valiant attempt to make the Klingon culture comprehensible if not necessarily likeable, as a reminder that the Federation has its own faults, & also simply as a cracking read.