01/02/2009. Contributed by Tomas L. Martin
pub: Del Rey/Ballantine/Lucasbooks. 337 page paperback. Price: $ 7.99 (US). ISBN: 978-0-345-47753-8.
check out website: www.delreybooks.com and www.starwars.com
Aaron Allston has long been a favourite of mine in the 'Star Wars' tie-in universe, with his quick wit and playful dialogue lighting up the 'X-Wing' series. This fourth book of the 'Legacy Of The Force' sequence follows on from Troy Denning's 'Tempest', foreshadowing the cataclysmic events of the series middle book, Karen Traviss' 'Sacrifice'.
Jacen Solo is becoming stronger in the Dark Side of the Force. Taught by Dark Jedi Lumiya, Jacen has convinced himself that the only way to keep the galaxy together is by his becoming a Sith Lord and ruling with a tight fist, like his grandfather, Darth Vader, before him. As his victories against the rebel Corellian faction grow, Jacen rises further through the Galactic Alliance ranks, expanding his power into the political and military spheres.
Meanwhile, Han, Leia, Luke and Mara are beginning to suspect of a dark involvement in the civil war and Lumiya's involvement begins to grow clearer. Her manipulation of both sides of the war into a deeper conflict is frightening and Luke realises he must act to stop her.
Ben Skywalker, Mara and Luke's son, has gone missing on a secret mission for Jacen. It is Ben's relationship with Jacen that forms the core of this book and even the nine book series. Ben is a kind, good soul at his heart, just like his father. He looks up to Jacen and believes his cousin is doing the right thing.
Jacen's attempts to convince Ben that his ever more extreme actions are justified are at the core of the dark emotions driving Jacen to ruin. The decision to take one of the main new characters and turn him evil was a great one and the series is laid bare to far greater dramatic tension than the 'New Jedi Order' often possessed.
Allston injects the dialogue and action with his typical wit and even cameos a few of his favourites. This is a good book in an excellent series, although its significance is overwhelmed by the events of later books. I would have liked to have seen more of the war itself across the early segments of the 'Legacy Of The Force' sequence but other than that it remains very entertaining indeed.
Tomas L. Martin
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