01/01/2012. Contributed by Tomas L. Martin
pub: Del Rey/Ballantine Books/Lucas Books. 360 page hardback. Price: $27.00 (US), $31.00 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-345-50920-8).
check out websites: www.delreybooks.com and www.starwars.com
Troy Denning appears to be the ‘Star Wars’ tie-in old hand by this point, trusted to come in and do a solid, entertaining job. He takes the reins again here for his ninth ‘Star Wars’ novel and the sixth in the ‘Fate Of The Jedi’ sequence. It’s a series that’s been a little coy as to the main thrust of its storyline, with many overlapping sub-plots that are now starting to draw together into a compelling dramatic arc.
In the previous book, ‘Allies’ by Christie Golden, Luke and his son, Ben, allied with a group of Sith warriors, including young Vestara Khai to defeat the monstrous dark side creature, Abeloth. With that job seemingly done, the alliance dissolves into violence but when it turns out Abeloth is not so dead, after all, the Jedi find themselves once more in an uneasy partnership with the Sith, trapped on a strange planet where everything is not as it seems and the entire population is under a mass hallucination of a plague.
Back on Coruscant, rogue Jedi Tahiri Veila continues to be tried for the murder she committed under the influence of Sith Lord Darth Caedus in the previous tie-in sequence, ‘Legacy Of The Force’. Galactic Alliance Chief of State Natasi Daala continues to be an uneasy ruler, committing atrocity after atrocity to try and quell a spate of slave uprisings. Her paranoia of the Jedi and attempts to control them lead to a conflict amongst the Jedi masters and we have a dramatic and surprising death amongst the Jedi as two of the most powerful force users in the galaxy come to blows.
With Abeloth’s defeat in the previous book, her hold on the imprisoned Jedi who’s gone mad under her influence breaks and the Jedi and Han and Leia Solo stage a daring rescue under the nose of Daala. Meanwhile, Ben Skywalker continues to be troubled by his feelings for the Sith Vestara.
I didn’t feel as strongly about this volume as I did about the previous book by Christie Golden, which added a rich vein of political and social commentary to the main action, but this is still a well-written novel that continues the story arc nicely. Troy Denning is an old hand at the action and banter required in a ‘Star Wars’ book and the twist in the middle really is shocking. I still don’t know how this sequence will end but I’m enjoying the ride.
Tomas L. Martin
Stephen Hunt's novels - USA