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It was the winner of a 1999 Silver Philon Award.
It was published in the print zine Scattered Stars #12.
"Young princes from warring tribes Kirk & Spock, betrothed in order to secure peace, meet in the desert not knowing each othersʼ identity."
Reactions and Reviews
I love this story, a vivid and sexy warrior tale with canon elements woven in perfectly, with creative use of characters and lots of imaginative details. It's written so simply and clearly yet expressively at the same time. I admire this author much.
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It was beautifully atmospheric, and I could easily picture the scenes and people. I don't think I need to spell out the details, but it involves two warrior societies, Vulcans and humans. Four hundred years of warring are finally coming to an end via a truce/alliance which involves bonding the sons of Lord Sarek and King George (Kirk). This is so cool.
Every aspect of the situation is fleshed out nicely but not overdone. I appreciate a very rich story that's not verbose without discipline.
The fun part, though perhaps predictable, is the two sons meeting up and spending time together, learning about each other's people...and falling in love...without knowing they are the two intended bondmates. I love this.
The scenes of Kirk's and Spock's separate reactions to learning of this necessity of bonding with a man from the other side, were done really well to express these characters. Basically, they will do their duty whether they like it or not. Each does have ingrained antipathy, though, for the other people, and misinformation. Vulcans are the superior force here, so that element colors the feelings, too.
The long-term plan is unique, too, involving the sons of the two sons, to insure the future. This makes it so the author can bring in more other characters such as T'Pring, Carol and David. Spock has a particular interesting problem with doing his duty because of his feeling mentally incompatible with anyone. He thinks there can never be peace between the peoples nor within himself. We learn later his mental discomfort is because of being half-human, which he had never known he was. It's a sweet love story Sarek now tells Spock about his mother Amanda.
Of course, the two men who meet up anonymously find themselves indeed compatible--no problem. And it's heartbreaking that they each are betrothed to another, supposedly.
I couldn't help thinking about how the story could have been structured differently so that we didn't know these two men who meet in the desert are the intended bondmates, so that it would be a surprise for us. But that would have been a challenge not really worth the effort, because of course we know exactly who a certain "two men" are who pop up in a story in a K/S zine, I mean really. There were many many moments and scenes I liked. Here's an amusing Kirkian thing, when his father the king is telling him he must just "adjust" to being bonded to Lord Sarek's son. Kirk says, "Why don't you marry Lord Sarek, and see how well you adjust?"
There's a jeopardy scene which is the way Kirk and Spock meet. Spock is out in the desert and goes to a cave, and a web-spinning beast has a human caught in it.
I think Spock's total instant enchantment with this human's handsome face is a bit much, that he is changed inside just at the sight of it. But hey, fine with me. Except that it's such an intense and dangerous scene here, a situation calling for immediate action, yet first we get Spock's feelings for this man, and then a detailed description of the beast. This beast, and the description, are really great, and creative, but the details stop the action in an intensively active scene.
The whole thing of Kirk and Spock getting to know each other is nice and leisurely and enjoyable, with some good H/C in there and then good sex, sigh. I did keep thinking, surely one or the other must have a clue as to the other's identity--how could they not? But I was willing to suspend disbelief.
I won't spell out the events leading to the ending, but first we get the heartbreak of their parting, and the shock at the bonding ceremony, then everything's wound up very satisfyingly. I love the men in veils.
Here's something that made me uncomfortable. Kirk's and Spock's sons are going to be almost brothers, yet will be bonded. This could seem incestuous; but that doesn't bother me in this situation. What does make it seem kind of unsavory to me was when Spock's son Sazan was holding little baby David Kirk. They're not equals, in other words. Can the young man be lovers with the one he took care of as a baby?I heard recently that Roddenberry's ideas for Kirk and Spock would not include death, but that they would be listed as "missing." I love this idea; and I particularly love how Deanna used this same kind of concept here. It's a beautiful fairy-tale ending; it almost made me cry. 
What a terrific, fun, involving romantic story! Written as a romantic fable, this story of two warrior princes (guess who?) set against a backdrop of two warring races and their kings who must seal a truce by marrying their sons.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story—no terrible difficulties or enormous angst, just a wonderful tale of these two strong, gorgeous (of course!) warriors who meet by accident unaware that they are actually the princes who have been betrothed by their fathers. I am a true Lord Sarek aficionado and this Sarek is strong, mysterious and brooding.
I especially loved all the reasoning for this bonding—all the wonderful explanations of their marriage to bring peace to Vulcans and humans. Lots of detail—all wonderfully done—about Sarek and George and their sons; about Spock’s son and Kirk’s son, David; all the supporting characters; and Kirk and Spock’s journey together.
I loved their idyllic time out in the beautiful forest with the waterfall and the birds—and their love-making was so romantic!
I didn’t much care for the overly lengthy description of the giant spider that attacked Kirk, but I did like very much the description of the Vulcan horse and the compatible link that the animals share with their riders.Hot, terrific love-making at the end wraps up this excellent story from an author whose stories I always look forward to reading. She is so prolific, but I could read a hundred of them and never get bored. Kind of like having my favorite food—pasta—every day! 
"Alliance Born" by Deanna Gray is a 50ish page a/u novella in SCATTERED STARS 12. For people liking long stories, SS 12 is the perfect buy because it only has three stories in its 172 pages. The other novellas are "The Edge of the World" by Chris Soto and "Music to Die For" by Karen Dates.
"Alliance Born" is an enjoyable a/u. For those of you who don't spoilers, you might not want to read this review because I give some things away. This is set back in the old times on some unnamed planet. The Vulcans led by Lord Sarek have been warring with some humans led by King George. In both instances, the older son has just been killed. This is the final straw and so Sarek and George forge a peace to save their remaining sons and to end the bloodshed. Part of the treaty is that they betroth their sons to marry. Each has already sired a son. The idea is that their sons will also marry, too. (So much for free will!) Both Spock and James don't like this idea, but will do their duty. You don't even need to guess that James who calls himself Jim and Spock (and I can't figure out what name he used, but surely there was one) meet accidentally and fall in love. What I cannot swallow is that they never figure out who the other one is. And this is a serious mar in the story for me. Well, maybe not so serious. I still enjoyed the story. So I guess it's a little niggle. The writing is smooth, and the sex is nicely done. There's plenty of angst and h/c. Of course, both men part to go fulfill their dreaded duty. And the story continues on a little while after their bonding/marriage. I'll admit that at the end of the story I was sniffling a little. This is a story for romanticists.I noticed the print was big and there was spacing between the paragraphs. Plus there were no double columns. Of course, all the SCATTERED STARS are like this. BUT, now I appreciate it. It's much better than the double columned zines with small print and no spacing which are nearly impossible to read without getting a headache. The B7 zines I read are very guilty of trying to cram a ton of words into a little space. I think the SCATTERED STARS/Merry Men format makes for a very easy to read zine, and I much prefer it. You get your money's worth, and you don't get a headache. 
- from The K/S Press #42
- from The K/S Press #40
- from The K/S Press #46