This is one of the ST:TNG book series that really epitomizes for me the best of what TNG is all about. High-stakes action abounds, but the real focus is the intellectual and emotional progress of Picard, Data, Crusher, Geordi, et al, grappling honestly with prickly ethical and philosophical dilemmas. Here these are questions of what kind of parameters to use in order to define personhood and ethnicity with respect to an organized group's right to use force in self-defense, as well as where in warfare to draw the line between desperation and terrorism.
After being caught in a severe space storm, the Enterprise finds another ship disabled nearby. The crew are a friendly group of humanoid refugees under the leadership of a man named Jared. They demonstrate remarkable physical powers and a particular interest in interacting with Data. But not long afterward an alien warship under the command of a woman named Alkrig pulls up and imperiously demands these "terrorists" be handed over.
When the Enterprise presses for details, they learn Jared's crew had seized their vessel by force, fleeing their home planet where the reigning authorities waged a genocidal campaign against their people. Asked to explain herself, Alkrig argues that Jared's people had been committing acts of terrorism and must be held accountable. When questioned on the genocide accusation against her government, she seems confused. Clearly Jared's side, not really being persons, had no right to self-determination, so acts of wholesale extermination committed against them were a matter of cleansing, not genocide.
Obviously such answer isn't going to fly with the Enterprise, but the Prime Directive is also in force. Alkrig wants Picard to stand back and allow her to destroy Jared's crippled vessel. Jared and his crew are willing to fight to the last, but plead with Picard not to leave them and their people to extermination. Only thinking outside the box will allow for the conflicting demands of compassion and non-interference to both be satisfied.