A series of five novels in the Star Trek Novel Verse. Continuing on from the events of Star Trek: Typhon Pact and Star Trek: Cold Equations, the series is set over a sixty day period, with each novel telling a fairly self-contained story as various characters in different locations live through the tumultuous time period in question. The series primarily concerns itself with the Federation and Starfleet's sense of identity, at a critical juncture in their history. The decade since the end of the Dominion War has been a rough one - things might be stabilizing, but where does the Federation go from here, what lessons should it have learned - and which should it not have learned?
Alternate Aesop Interpretation: An In-Universe example - The Crimson Shadow is a Cardassian What If? novel where they conquer the Romulan Empire, the Klingon Empire and ultimately the Federation. Parmak sees it as a horrible book, full of the militaristic Cardassian jingoism that destroyed the Union. Garak believes it's a more thoughtful and subtle story, that ultimately presents the Cardassian domination of the Alpha Quadrant as a bad thing, and offers hope in the form of a Federation citizen who doesn't give in.
Authority in Name Only: After President Ishan gives direct orders to a few Starfleet Captains and officers, Admiral Akaar reminds him that while he is the President of the Federation, Akaar is the CIC of Starfleet. Therefore, anything Ishan wants Starfleet to do must go through him. The fact that the Capellan reminds him of this while scowling and towering over the much smaller Bajoran makes it very clear exactly how pissed Akaar is that he was circumvented.
Blood on the Debate Floor: In A Ceremony of Losses, the Parliament Andoria finally boils over and its members start fighting in a mass brawl. At a later point in the story, they pelt the Presider and Speaker with thrown objects after the former issues an unpopular executive decree and the latter seconds his call for immediate recess.
Book Ends: A Ceremony of Losses opens and closes with a short piece involving an Andorian family.
By-the-Book Cop: Senior Investigator Arati Mhevet. All she wants to do is solve her cases, enforce order, and keep the revived Cardassian constabulary honest. Anything that doesn't further those goals is irrelevant to her.
Dark Secret: Ishan Anjar is really a Bajoran named Baras Rodirya, who collaborated with the Cardassians during the Occupation and was given Ishan's identity to allow him to continue to serve as a spy.
Donut Mess with a Cop: Ikrit buns are the Cardassian constabulary's equivalent, described as having a fruit filling and being dusted with icing sugar.
Dramatic Sitdown: When Admiral Akaar finds out about Nanietta Bacco's assassination, he collapses into his chair in shock.
Earn Your Happy Ending: The Andorians, whose long-running arc in the 24th Century Trek novels is finally resolved in this series, after much grief and tribulation.
Arguably also applies to the Cardassians, who are left in a much better place than they've been for a long time, and who - like the Andorians - have really been through the wringer.
Exact Words: The Crimson Shadow introduces the Cardassian character Rakhat Blok by saying that if any one asked him, which they didn't, he would have told them he was born on a client world of the Union... and so on for three paragraphs of exposition, all of which is what he would say, not the truth.
Fictional Political Party: The party system on Andor is once again of great relevance. As is the relatively recent Cardassian system, including new reactionary party "Cardassia First".
Gunboat Diplomacy: Fearing that Andor will be swayed into joining the Typhon Pact by Tholian-supplied medical aid, Galif jav Velk makes the "insane notion" that the Federation should resurrect Genesis technology to cower the Tholians. Others call him out on it.
A Handful for an Eye: Bashir gets a faceful of theragen (a nasty Klingon nerve agent) during a fight with his assassin. The only thing that kept him from being blinded permanently was that he was already in a sickbay for treatment.
If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: In The Crimson Shadow, a working-class Cardassian who's got mixed up with an anti-Federation group is asked to come along as muscle when they teach some "collaborators" a lesson, and realises this is at least partly a test of how far he would go for the cause. He's actually a Cardassian military officer, seconded to the Enterprise, officially on leave and working undercover for Garak. He does go along with it, since the alternative is breaking cover, although he's deeply disturbed by what he was part of.
I Take Offense to That Last One: Bashir finds out the charges against him - high treason, espionage, assault on an officer, theft of Starfleet property, and desertion. He vehemently objects to the last one, claiming he can't be accused of desertion as he resigned his commission first.
In-Joke: How many Starfleet admirals named Bennett have there been? A few, although one should keep their mouth shut about that when Akaar's in a bad mood, it seems.
Kicked Upstairs: Subverted. Admiral Akaar promotes Riker to admiral and assigns him to Starfleet Command - not because he's dissatisfied with Riker's performance, but because Riker is someone Akaar knows he can trust. He needs someone who hasn't been touched by the President pro tempore's administration. Riker, however, initially has the suspicion that this trope is indeed in effect.
Literary Allusion Title: Played with in one case. As was true of her former Cardassian-centric novel ''The Never Ending Sacrifice'', Una McCormack's The Crimson Shadow takes its inspiration from the title of an in-universe Cardassian novel. The Cardassians are noted as being immensely proud of their literary tradition. Similarly, A Ceremony of Losses is apparently a quote from an Andorian religious text.
Make It Look Like an Accident: When Seth Maslan comes to assassinate Julian Bashir, he says that he'll set it up so that it looks like he was protecting himself from a dangerous rogue officer who broke loose.
Mangst: Odo. With Kira Nerys missing and presumed dead-or-with-the-prophets, Odo has become a near-hermit. Believing (or reasoning) that the Dominion might be better off developing on its own, now that the Great Link has abandoned it anyway, he turns down multiple offers to be carried home via quantum slipstream and spends his time alone around Bajor, returning to Kira's dwelling at irregular intervals. Mangst is a very good description of what he's been getting up to.
Mood Whiplash: A fair amount in Revelation and Dust, as the title would seem to promise. From the leaders of the Federation, Klingons, Cardassians, Ferengi, Romulans and Gorn gathering for the dedication of the new Deep Space Nine to President Bacco being assassinated, and from the aftermath of that act to a fitting tribute for the character that's enhanced by the timely return of the Bajoran Wormhole.
The series as a whole has a lot of this; the events regarding Cardassia and Andor involve quite a bit of mood whiplash.
Morality Pet: Dr. Parmak is Garak's Morality Pet. He openly refers to Parmak as his conscience, and seeks his presence when wrestling with awareness of his own personal history (which is questionable).
Mundane Made Awesome: "Risk is my business" is (more or less) one of Kirk's most famous lines, here appropriated by the captain of a one-man civilian freighter and not a mighty starship.
My Country, Right or Wrong: Cardassia First, although Castellan Garan reflects on how it took the horrors of the Dominion War to change her own beliefs regarding Cardassian exceptionalism.
Noodle Incident: The Ascendants conflict, Raiq's Heel-Face Turn, Taran'atar's ultimate fate and the rest of that whole affair remain this...although we're slowly getting more of a sense of how it went down. Slowly. It may involve timey-wimey stuff, if that helps.
Our Presidents Are Different: President pro tempore Ishan Anjar seems to be a cross between President Scheming and President Jerkass. By Peacable Kingdoms it's revealed he's not even the real Ishan Anjar at all.
Place Beyond Time: The Celestial Temple has been sealed off from the space-time continuum for two years by this point, but it's definitely still there...wherever there is... And the wormhole makes its return in Revelation and Dust.
Reassigned to Antarctica: When Admiral Akaar finds out that a Starfleet Intelligence analyst has been circumventing the chain of command and feeding intel directly to the President's Chief of Staff, he has her reassigned to a desk job on Luna.
Right Behind Me: Seth Maslan aboard the Lionheart, talking about temporary captain Vale and how she might be "up to something". He even says "and she's standing right behind me, isn't she?"
The Right of a Superior Species: Cardassia First represents the remnant Cardassian Supremacist demographic, and mocks Castellan Garan for her state visit to the Bajoran System, accusing her of "prostrating" before a lesser species.
Running Gag: Nog's insistence that the concept of a half-sibling makes no sense - "how can you have half a sibling?" - has apparently become this.
Shout-Out: A little bizarrely, there's a notable Pinky and the Brain reference in A Ceremony of Losses, likely because the characters in question - scientists - are denounced by some as screwing with nature:
"So, what are we going to do today, Professor?"
"The same thing we do everyday, Shar. Trying to save the world".
The debate Garak has with the leader of Cardassia First includes a line reminiscent of a famous American political soundbite.
Garak: "I knew Corat Damar. I knew Alon Ghemor. You are no Corat Damar. You are no Alon Ghemor."
Space Romans: Commander Atia's people, the Magna Romanii, who are descended from a Roman colony transplanted by the Preservers (as seen in the Original Series of Star Trek)
Super Powerful Genetics: Sisko is watching his daughter Rebecca closely, alert for any possible sign that she's inherited powers or abilities from the wormhole aliens, due to Sisko himself being "part Prophet". The idea that she might have is disturbing to Sisko, to say the least.
Taking the Heat: Bashir tells the other people working with him on the Shedai Meta-Genome that if they're caught they are to put all the blame on him.
To Be Lawful or Good: Bashir, who has struggled with this before, finally makes a decision in A Ceremony of Losses It's "good", obviously.
Appears to be a growing problem for a lot of Starfleet officers under Ishan's interim term.
Wham Line: The entire series hinges on one: "President Nanietta Bacco is dead".