01/02/2009. Contributed by Tomas L. Martin
pub: Del Rey/Ballantine/Lucasbooks. 392 page paperback. Price: $ 7.99 (US). ISBN: 978-0-345-47752-9.
check out website: www.delreybooks.com and www.starwars.com
In the third book in the 'Star Wars: Legacy Of The Force' series, the stage is set. Under the influence of Dark Jedi Lumiya, Han and Leia Solo's son Jacen is slowly becoming a Sith. With the prospect of civil war growing between Corellia and the Galactic Alliance, all friendships and relationships we thought we could rely on in the 'Star Wars' universe are under threat.
Enter Troy Denning for his first book in the sequence. The nine book series is being written by three authors but unusually instead of each writer doing a three book block, Aaron Allston, Karen Traviss and Troy Denning alternate one book at a time.
Allston and Traviss have their own little niches in the 'Star Wars' universe: Allston with his X-wing squadron pilots and Traviss with the Mandalorian sub-plot featuring Boba Fett. Denning doesn't appear to have quite the same pet subject and so a lot of the hard work on the main storyline seems to fall on him.
'Tempest' is set around Hapes, the rich confederation of planets where women rule and men are merely consorts. Tenel Ka, the ruler of the confederation, has secretly been in a relationship with Jacen Solo, producing a child.
The Corellian and Bothan rebels hope to assist a coup in Hapes, overthrowing Tenel Ka in the process. Jacen is caught in a terrible juggling act to save Tenel Ka without revealing his ties to her. He also hopes to take Luke's young son Ben Skywalker as his Sith apprentice but knows it is too early to reveal his darker desires.
Han and Leia are caught on the wrong side of the civil war, appearing to assist the Corellian coup attempts. Their souring relationship with their son is a core piece of this book and the uncertainty is handled well. We, the reader, know that Jacen is turning to the dark side and watching the characters slowly unravel that fact is very enjoyable.
Although this is an important step in the series development, 'Tempest' suffers a little for being a middle book without huge key plot events. Denning is competent and writes some excellent action sequences but doesn't quite have the humour or flair of the other two writers. Even so, if you are reading the full sequence, this book is essential.
Tomas L. Martin
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