01/01/2012. Contributed by Tomas L. Martin
pub: Del Rey/Ballantine Books/Lucas Books. 380 page hardback. Price: $27.00 (US), $31.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-345-50910-9) .
check out websites: www.delreybooks.com and www.starwars.com and www.AaronAllston.com
I really am intrigued as to how this latest line of ‘Star Wars’ tie-in novels ends. Following the more linear ‘Legacy Of The Force’ sequence that excellently described Jacen Solo’s fall to the dark side of the Force, this new ‘Fate Of The Jedi’ sequence that follows has been more nuanced and complex in its plotlines. We have delved into the world of Coruscanti politics and galactic journalism, not to mention a new race of Sith posing a huge threat to the galaxy and the dark being that is Abeloth.
Luke Skywalker, his son Ben and young Sith Vestara Khai have been tracking Abeloth all over the galaxy since defeating her earlier in the sequence. Abeloth is hugely powerful and able to suck other people’s life essence and take on their form, which is pretty handy when you want to hide from a Jedi Grand Master. They track Abeloth down to Nam Chorios, a world that used to kept under quarantine due to the Death Seed plague.
Meanwhile, on the capitol planet of Coruscant, the Jedi have decided enough is enough and that Admiral Natasi Daala’s brutally mismanaged reign at the head of the Galactic Alliance has got to come to an end. Beset on all sides by conspiracies, uprisings and her own paranoia, Daala has been sending Mandalorian commandos to crush any rebellion to her rule and the Jedi lead a covert operation to depose her from power.
The lost tribe of the Sith is still hanging around, too, and are searching for Jacen Solo’s young daughter, Allana, who is pretending to be Han and Leia Solo’s daughter ‘Amelia’ to hide her existence. There’s a particular nice sub-plot when Han and Leia go to Dantooine to negotiate the former slave world’s addition to the Galactic Alliance and Amelia begins to get visions of an explosion killing her real mother, Hapan Queen Mother Tenel Ka. Precocious eight year-old Amelia decides to try and solve the vision herself, coming up against one of the Sith Masters.
The development of Vestara Khai, the young Sith who has been travelling with Luke and Ben and falling in love with the latter, has been a key part of this sequence and she moves closer to the light side of the force in this book. The dynamic between her and Ben is nicely played and sets up a nice conflict for future books. There's also a wonderful sequence where someone important to the plot is broken out of prison by Boba Fett, cunningly disguised in a poorly made counterfeit Boba Fett outfit to throw people off the scent.
Aaron Allston always writes with an excellent sense of humour and a deft feel for the ‘Star Wars’ world and the action and subterfuge required to make a tie-in like this work. We’re getting towards the climax of this nine book sequence now and Allston does a great job of pulling all of the pieces together towards that end. I’m very intrigued to see how Christie Golden and Troy Denning finish things off in books 8 and 9.
Tomas L. Martin
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