A 1988 Star Trek novel by Diane Duane. The Enterprise crew's shore leave is interrupted when Kirk, Spock, and McCoy receive an invitation to speak at a referendum. The topic? Whether or not Vulcan should secede from the Federation. As the trio make their way through the discussions, they encounter prejudice and secrets and an old enemy makes a surprising return. Can even the crew of the Enterprise keep Vulcan from withdrawing?In addition to this, there is a side plot about the history of Vulcan, climaxing with the marriage of Sarek and Amanda and the birth of Spock.
Don't You Dare Pity Me!: the Big Bad has this reaction toward McCoy at the book's conclusion. He retorts that he's got no time for pity and that the Big Bad needs to pull herself together.
Driven to Suicide: T'Thelaih, who's been struggling with suicidal thoughts from her introduction, finally kills herself after purposefully using her deadly Psychic Powers for the first time to avenge her husband.
Fantastic Racism: Many Vulcans think humans are little more than dangerous, disgusting animals.
Fantastic Slur: The Vulcan insult tviokh... which actually means "neighbor" and predates Vulcan contact with aliens by a great deal.
First Contact: We learn the history of the Vulcans' First Contact during the Surak backstory chapter. To say it went poorly is an understatement - it was with the predecessors of the Orion Pirates, introduced the concept of xenophobia to the Vulcans, and triggered a fifty year long war against those pirates as well as the split between the Vulcans and the Rihannsu.
Know When to Fold 'Em: Taken with the Big Bad's last appearance, this applies to said character. The Big Bad got what was supposedly said character's goal the last time. However, the Big Bad reveals that the same began brooding over things not going precisely according to plan. The Big Bad ultimately loses mate, remaining good name, and freedom.
Little Green Men: after Amanda marries Sarek, she responds to a tabloid running the headline "I Married a Little Green Man" with the retort, "There is nothing little about my husband."
The Needs of the Many: a Vulcan drags this up during Kirk's discourse. The captain, of course, doesn't buy it and turns it around on him by arguing that just because there are more people doesn't mean their needs are more important and that in any case, the "many" is composed of numerous "ones" who must accept responsibility for what the "many" is doing.
Manipulative Bastard: the Big Bad, T'Pring, who cunningly stirs up the anti-human attitudes on the planet using nothing more than words and the small estate left by the spoilered character's mate.
Misplaced Retribution: The Big BadT'Pring is doing this to punish Spock for a death in the family...except it's hard to see how he is responsible.
Never My Fault: The Big BadT'Pring. After the events of "Amok Time", she slowly began to brood about how things had not gone according to plan. Stonn grew jealous and artificially induced plak tow in himself to make their bonding 'real'. When he died, T'Pring decided it was Spock's fault.
Oh Crap: McCoy gets a huge one when during his research into the groups behind the secession movement, he spots a name that stuns him ...T'Pring.
Our Phlebotinum Child: Sarek and Amanda had to rely on Vulcan science to create Spock, owing to the difference in their biologies.
Perfectly Arranged Marriage: T'Thelaih and Mahak... although the people who arranged it not only didn't care about their feelings, they were expecting and even hoping that she would kill him with her Psychic Powers.
Side Bet: Apparently, Spock and McCoy had one on the outcome of the vote on secession. Spock won.
Silver Fox: The silver-haired Amanda is described as being even lovelier than before.
Slap-Slap-Kiss: parts of Sarek and Amanda's courtship followed this pattern, albeit playfully more than seriously.
Thanatos Gambit: McCoy theorizes that T'Pau pulled this, given that she passed on her katra to Amanda and that the spoilered character made it clear to the newspapers that said character had heard about the plot before dying.
Two Lines, No Waiting: in addition to the plot about the possible secession of Vulcan, there is a second plot about Vulcan history, which winds up with the story of Sarek and Amanda's courtship and marriage.
Two out of Three Ain't Bad: When a Vulcan asks about Kirk's readiness, for the referendum, the Captain answers, "Ready, willing, and able." McCoy mutters, "At least two out of three ain't bad."
Understatement: Kirk's comment on his last visit to Vulcan: "Being strangled with an ahn-woon can ruin your whole day."
Wham Line: McCoy's question at the end of Sarek's discourse counts as this in-universe: "What do[es the government] think of the scheme to sell off formerly Federation-owned property on Vulcan, after the secession, to secret buyers with strong anti-Federation leanings, who have already made substantial payoffs to Vulcan officials to ensure that the property will be sold to them at 'lowest bid' before anyone else hears of it?"
Followed seconds later by another such line. Sarek says that the government can't respond to that scheme without seeing solid evidence of it, and McCoy says, "Sir, I await your convenience." The author describes the reaction thusly: "And the room went mad."