I was reading DeCandido's alternate history novella A Gutted World in the Myriad Universes: Echoes and Refractions collection when my eye caught sight of something I hadn't expected to come across in the novels but a mention of Empress Ael, ruling the Romulan Star Empire at the time of the Khitomer Accords. It's an alternate history, but since everything else in that history seems to be the same apart from Spock and Thelin ... I take it that this most happy news, on top of Mangels' and Martin's Enterprise-era novels, is confirmation that as much of Duane's Rihannsu setting as can possibly be accomodated in the new novelistic canon as possible? If so, yay! and yay! again. And no, I don't think that Ael lost in the end. She managed to unseat a corrupt government that was quite willing Sol--and who knows what other star--hyperflare, establish a stable government that at one point seems to have been a Federation ally (how else could Ambassador Nanclus sit in on that confidential briefing in The Undiscovered Country), and then depart however from the scene, leaving an imperial dynasty related to her, her sister's-daughter Charvanek returned to her place, and a relatively moderate, if isolationistic and scheming, political culture afterwards. Yes, the Romulans did try to destroy Earth again, but a military faction had to kill everyone in the Senate to do so. Who knows? Maybe Donatra's following Ael's model with the Imperial Romulan State?