I have had mixed feelings about this series from the outset. "Outcast" felt like it was holding too much back but "Abyss" was very good, as was "Allies". "Backlash", while an interesting read, took the plot no further. Unfortunately, the plot starts getting very repetitive and predictable by the time we reach "Vortex" and "Conviction" as there are only so many times Luke can fail to defeat Abeloth or she takes another form. Thankfully, however, this problem is avoided in "Ascension" where many of the major subplots of the series at last come together (such as Ben and Vestara's relationship and Moff Lecerson's planned coup) and without having to engage in another pointless confrontation with Abeloth. Golding writes well and "Ascension" consitutes a solid penultimate volume to the series leaving readers desperate to discover the ending in "Apocalypse." In "Ascension" the Jedi Order stuggles to hold together the Galactic Alliance as they try to restore political stabilty, but the conspiracy of Lecerson is executed and Abeloth jeopardises everybody's plans in her quest to become a goddess. The one plot element that I felt was a bit rushed and stragetically absurd was - SPOILER - when Luke decides the Jedi should leave Coruscant in order to bait Abeloth and the Sith to take over in the hope he can trap them on the planet, thereby allowing him to destroy them both at once. Pehaps this plan will work, but given the ending scene of the book, it doesn't look like it. "Ascension" ends on a dark note, which, for the first real time in the entire series so far, hints at why the series is called "Fate of the Jedi".