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Star Wars: The New Jedi Order - Traitor Paperback – 1 Aug 2002
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The New York Times-bestselling series, Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, continues with an intense, character-driven tale of Jedi teaching, life and death, and heroism behind enemy lines.
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The New York Times-bestselling series, Star Wars: The New Jedi Order, continues with an intense, character-driven tale of Jedi teaching, life and death, and heroism behind enemy lines.See all Product description
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Traitor begins just after Jacen's capture. He's hooked up to the "Embrace of Pain," a device holding him horizontally just above the floor, his arms and legs extended so far that they're almost out of their sockets and his ankles grinding together. He awakes to the sight of Vergere, the bird-like creature that is ostensibly on the Yuuzhan Vong side, yet who has helped the New Republic before (she provided the cure to Mara's disease). They engage in a discussion about what pain is and how important it is to life, and to the Vong, and how important struggle is to life. She asks vagues questions and gives vague answers to Jacen's own questions, until finally she is satisfied enough that he is taken out of the device and moved onto other things. Though sometimes, these other things are even worse. Just what does Vergere want? She is in a league with the Vong Executor, Nom Anor, but is she really on their side? Or anybody's? And will Jacen survive his ordeal long enough to figure out what her game is, or to hatch the plan that could change the course of the Vong invasion forever?
On first glance, Traitor seems to be not much more than a series of philosophical discussions between Vergere and Jacen, and that's what it is at first. Amazingly enough, though, I wasn't bored by this because they are interesting and Vergere is such an enigmatic character that I really wanted to know what her angle was. I admit I had been partially spoiled about what happens in this book, so I had a better idea of what Vergere was going to end up doing, but I had no idea how she would get to that point. It was fascinating to see. Is she helping Jacen? Intentionally hurting him? Or trying to make him see that he has the power of choice in his life, something that he always seemed to be denying himself as he agonized over what the true role of the Jedi is in the universe. I found her an intriguing character as we see her plot with Nom Anor and then come back and almost be friends with Jacen. Then she would do something that would seem so hideous at first glance that I would wonder how she could ever be a friend.
Part of the effectiveness of these last sequences is because Stover usually has Vergere's action be right at the end of a chapter, and the next chapter would begin with Jacen already in his next place and having to remember back to what happened. While I do believe this added to the intensity of these sequences, I think that Stover used this technique a bit too often. It lost some of its impact as the book went on.
While I think Vergere is the star of the book, Jacen comes off really well too. He comes into the book a whiny brat. While I didn't dislike him, I could have done without him. Vergere is the forge that the book uses to shape him into the man he becomes, and it's an extremely interesting journey for him. As he's freed by Vergere, he is still being taught by her, and his horror at what Coruscant has become is shared by any reader that has been following this series. His final destination when Vergere says he's free to go anywhere on the planet is obvious in hindsight, and when he gets there, we share his disappointment. I also loved his increasing confusion during his discussions with Vergere, with his frustration palpable when she won't give him the straight answers he wants.
The only real problem I had with Traitor was Nom Anor and the whole plan involving Jacen. Ostensibly, Vergere and Nom Anor are trying to turn Jacen to the Vong way of thinking, then he will attract Jaina Solo and complete the ritual combat of the Twins that the Vong find so holy. Anor complains a lot when it looks like Jacen's not turning out like he should be, but he really doesn't do anything about it, and he seems to fall for Jacen's ruse at the end way too easily. Yes, he has his doubts, but they should have been strong enough for him to take more precautions. Instead, I almost began to wonder whether Anor was in on the whole deception. That's not good. Also, it would have been nice if Vergere's intentions had been a *little* bit clearer. I don't want them spelled out to me, but I'm still not sure whether everything was part of what she planned, or whether she adapted to circumstances as they happened. Yes, at the end it's obvious that she's learned from Jacen as well, but it's still unclear how much was her plan to begin with.
Otherwise, Traitor is a masterful book, and it may have big implications in the rest of the series. But it's a very personal book, and I found it all the more powerful because of that. Definitely worth a read.
Jacen Solo has been captured and tortured mercilessly, or so it first appears, under the watching eyes of Vergere. However, what becomes clear is that she is teaching him the ways of the Vong - an understanding of their way of life that will ultimately lead him to becoming the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy.
This book isn't always easy reading - some of the imagery and scenarios are far more haunting and dark than in any other SW book - but it is always compelling.
It's so different from any other. There are no space battles, no Jedi in-fighting, no political squabbling. It is all about Jacen learning the truths of the invasion, of himself and of the wider implications of the Force. There are only four major characters in the entire novel, but it never ceases to interest.
Although it is deliberately unclear whether Jacen, or Vergere, or both are the traitor of the title until the end, the climax is thrilling, including the loss of an important character in a way that is both sad and gratifying at once.
Stover has done a great job here in creating a perspective on both sides of the conflict, while also revealing much about the Force that is far more interesting than Lucas has ever revealed in the films. My only slight concern is that it seems unlikely that any other book to follow this will live up to it, as it makes the repititive space battles and planetary losses seem almost dull in comparison.
This book goes into detail on everything you've ever wanted to know about the nature of the Force and the Yuuzhan Vong. More, this book discusses how self-knowledge can be the route to wisdom, how a lesson is not learnt unless it is purchased with pain, and how the darkside is a part of our nature, not some irrelevant philosophical perspective. Almost every page is full of brillaint conversations between Vergere and Jacen and that is something else very refreshing about the book, it's small group of characters. You would think that this would limit the book in scope but the opposite is true. Jacen is transformed kicking and scraming from the annoying, ineffective intellectual into one of the most important characters in the series. The character Vergere is filled out without destroying her mysterious quality. In fact it is a little dissapointing in subsequent books seeing the influence of such a powerful and interesing character curtailed and marginalised again by other authors.
Even when Matthew Woodring Stover does introduce other characters he does it brilliantly, showing Ganner Rhysode reconciling his heroic tendencies with the responsibilities of being a Jedi Knight.
Read this book, it is by far and away the best of the series!
The only negative point is that this book is bound to raise your expectations unreasonably high for the forthcoming books in the series!
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this book explores the the core of all the starwars storeys, the jedi themselfs.Read more