on 23 July 2009
In this installment of the Legacy Of The Force series, there's intense lightsaber action, assassinations, and a great tragedy takes place in the Star Wars universe. Jacen Solo draws ever so closer to fullfilling the Sith Prophecy, but who will his sacrifice be? Srong the Force is in this book, so you best read this!!
on 10 June 2007
So here we are already, the halfway point of the Legacy of the Force series. A Sith Lord is born and a major EU character becomes one with the force. I must say that i really really enjoyed this book. Im a big fan of Karen Traviss and her previous work in the Star Wars universe, namely the Republic Commando novels and Legacy of the Force-Bloodlines. I think she deals in much more detail with what could be called the "little" people of the Star Wars universe, namely those without force powers. This in turn helps build a more believable universe around the central core of main characters.
In a nutshell, we take up where we left off. Jacen Solo is continuing in his drive to become the next Dark Lord of the Sith and the Galactic Alliance continues to fragment as more and more conflicts erupt throughout its borders. Luke and Mara Jade Skywalker continue to worry about the direction that Jacen is taking their son Ben, and on the other side of the galaxy Boba Fett starts to mould the Mandalorians back into the fearsome fighting force that they once were.
So what's good? First of all I loved the whole Mandalorian sections of the book. Not only do we get an insight into the devastating war that they fought with the Yuuzhan Vong, but we find out that they actually beat the Vong and drove them off their homeworld of Mandalore.No small feat when you consider the Vong battered everyone else who stood before them. Also one of Boba Fetts clone brothers turns up from the Clone Wars era. I loved the interaction between the two of them as we find out that not everyone in the galaxy is scared of Boba Fett. Who would have thought that he once had his head put down a toilet! It looks as if we are going to see a few more appearances from characters from the Republic Commando novels. And I think when the final battle comes in book nine, it wont just be between the Skywalkers and the Solo's, Fetts extended family will be heavily involved as well.
This book also shows Mara Jade at her best. In fact the only person who has wrote her character better is, of course, Timothy Zahn. Here she goes back to her Emperor's Hand persona in an effort to find out what exactly is going on with Jacen and Lumiya. Her relationship with her son Ben is also better written here than in any other Star Wars book. As Ben's own innocence is eroded away by the ongoing war so he opens up to Mara in a way not shown before.
Jacen's continued slide into the dark side and the choices he makes also makes compulsive reading. I actually agreed with some of the things Jacen was doing in the first book of the series. But now he is simply justifying any evil by claiming it is his destiny. And after finishing reading this book Ive gone from being on his side slightly to just hoping that he gets a lightsaber through his heart in book nine.
I can't believe that some people are giving this book one out of five over at Amazon.com mainly because a certain character dies. I thought that the scene was particulary well written and a fitting end to a great character. Heroes die folks, and this particular hero had a great
run in the Star Wars universe.
All in all this is the best book in the series and I can't wait for book six,Inferno. There is going to be hell to pay.
on 22 April 2008
Well, it's a Karen Traviss "Star Wars" book, so it's bound to be excellent for all the usual reasons. Blah, blah, blah, superb research and attention to detail making the story and characters believable (inasmuch as magic-wielding space-knights et al. living in another galaxy can be made believable). Yadda, yadda, yadda, surprise returns of some of Traviss' beloved characters from previous stories. Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera, brilliant wordsmithing and tying up storylines beautifully. Okay, that's all out of the way. There's only so many times I can say that stuff without it getting so repetitive it loses its punch. But, it's Karen Traviss we're discussing, so it's Mando-tory. (Should have resisted that lame pun. Couldn't. Apologies.)
Now for the GOOD stuff, which is a bit of a spoiler, I'm afraid:
SPOILER: Boba Fett getting a "swirly." It was worth buying the book for that alone. Several mentions of the Clones on Kamino giving Boba Fett "swirlies" in their youth. After that, the rest of the book was just gravy. Fine, savoury, delectable gravy. Kandosii!
on 9 June 2007
Here it is already the middle hardcover of the Legacy of the Force series. It is Karen Traviss second entry into the series and as anyone who has been following the series so far knows something massive is on the cards for our favorite heroes and the galaxy. Sacrifice delivers on that expectation and does it in a way that I genuinely did not imagine. The civil war that really kicked off with the drastic change in fortunes for the Corellian and allied systems in Exile threatens to kill the Galactic Alliance by stirring up countless of old internal feuds between its member states leaving them in a situation in which they will not be able to counter the Confederation forces. The stage is set for Jacen Solo to begin reshaping the world around him in order to fulfill his destiny, whatever the cost.
Sacrifice like Bloodlines (Karens previous book) is lighter on action than ones by the other authors, however the complexity and intelligence she brings to the storyline with each of her books has really been of benefit to the series. The main focus of the book is on Jacen Solos struggle to work out what the mysterious tassel prophecy means and what he has to do to become the Sith Lord he thinks is needed to put the galaxy in order. All the while making massive strides in the real world concerns that will be essential to his mission once he has made the final step to Sith Lord. Both aspects of Jacens story are gripping. The moves he makes to ensure that the Galactic Alliance will be his to control and subvert are fascinating especially with the addition to his rise to power of his ally the Supreme Commander of the Galactic Alliance Defense Force Cha Niathal. The book also follows Mara Jade Skywalker as she sets out alone to get to the bottom of the tangled web of Sith plots and kill Lumiya but what starts out as a simply hunt for her soon takes on a completely different dimension. This part of the book were handled amazingly well as we see Mara Jade Skywalker dredge up her past as the Emperors Hand in order to be able to protect her son Ben. Mara Jade Skywalker is written here as well as anybody has written her even her creator Timothy Zahn. Just like in Bloodlines the book features Boba Fett and the Mandalorians. Now to be honest their part in Bloodlines was beginning to look out of place since it hadn't been mentioned since that book. However Sacrifice brings them back and brings them back in a way that was more satisfying to the overall storyline as the Mandalorians begin to restore their homeworld after the devastation of the Yuuzhan Vong War and start to play a part in the galaxy even if they are not picking sides in the main conflict. These are just some of my personal favorite elements as there is so much going on that it would be impossible to cover it all.
The book has a very major event that I shall not reveal as it would be considered a massive spoiler for anyone who has been reading the books. It has enormous repercussions for everybody and will be a major driving force for the second half of this series. It will be the main thing that will stand out for this book but I felt that there is a great deal to like in addition to this event. One little detail I particularly liked was the little in universe press clippings and journal entries that marked the start of each chapter, they are present in Karen Traviss Republic Commando books and in Bloodlines but I found these ones to be especially good this time around.
This book needed to deliver and in my opinion it did. It had a great grasp on the characters and put huge events in motion while not simply having it be a massive punch up between the Galactic Alliance and the Confederation (although this is on its way). The wait will be very hard for the next book Inferno even though it is only a few months away.