In star trek XI
, Nero said he is the last of the romulan empire.
Spock said there are only 10000 vulcans left, that the vulcans are an endangered species.
At the end of the movie, it is, again, established that the vulcans are experiencing a crisis due to severely limited numbers - which is not consistent with hundreds of millions of vulcans living in off-world colonies.
When they wrote the script, the scenarists' intent
was to have the vulcans be an endangered species
(10000 of them) and the 24th century romulans be all but extinct.
Of course, that does not really make sense when one considers the capabilities of an interstellar trek civilization.
Which is why many interpret the movie as "Nero was emotionally compromised and his words are not to be taken at face value" or "Spock was emotionally compromised and his words are not to be taken at face value".
Of course, this hand-waving interpretation
does not really fit the events as presented in star trek XI, is forced - and it shows
Nevertheless, it may be preferable.
About the rihannsu novels
- it is pretty much the same situation.
The rihannsu novels - most of the events depicted therein - do not fit the main trek lit conntinuity, they were not intended to fit this main lit continuity:
Huge romulan colony ships, strong enough to defeat, almost singlehandedly, the romulan military? No inkling of this in canon (or main lit continuity) depictions of the romulans.
Zero point energy romulan tech - far more advanced shields, weapons, etc - gained by the federation, at the end? Not really.
The romulans being friendly with the federation?
In star trek V, it was obvious nobody cared about the "planet of galactic peace".
In star trek VI, the romulans were a part of the plot to kill the federation president.
This so-called 'friendship' was pretty superficial - more like a frozen war.
The romulans calling themselves/being called rihannsu? Not really.
Many on this forum try to interpret the rihannsu books as being part of the main trek lit continuity - and, inevitably, their interpretations are forced
, they never quite manage to reconcile two different continuities; fuzzy logic and hand waving abound.