Nov 13, 2012

[Books] Star Wars: Exile (Legacy of the Force Book 4)

After my diversion with the Dark Nest Trilogy of books, I'm finally back on track to resume reading the Legacy of the Force series of books. I had to sort of double back to the prior story since so many plot points in this current series inevitably tie back to that one. And while I wasn't an overly big fan of the story of the Killiks and their convoluted tale, the books did cover a few significant changes for various characters.

Those same characters feature rather prominently in this story arc, especially our most dubious Jacen Solo and his continued fall to the Dark Side of the Force. And while the New Jedi Order tried to expand on our definition of what the force meant, we all know it didn't really spell things out clearly enough. And that lack of a clear definition has lead to more complication for the Jedi, as is covered in this particular book series.

And this book certainly marks additional turning points in Jacen's journey to the Dark. And I'll admit that I enjoyed a lot of the action here since for once the Jedi finally feel like they once again have their act back together - or at least seem to.

Synopsis: Star Wars: Exile is the fourth book in the Legacy of the Force series of novels. It was written by Aaron Allston, the same man responsible for the Wraith Squadron books also set in the Star Wars universe.

At the end of the last book, things ended on a surprising note when Jacen Solo, currently head of the Galactic Alliance Guard, ordered his ship, the Anakin Solo to open fire on the Millennium Falcon. And while the ship had been transmitting under a false transponder code during the battle, as their son Jacen would have been familiar with the various codes used by his parents to conceal the identity of the Falcon. And as much as he is now dealing with his guilt over this incident, he also recognizes how this may be yet an other step in his path towards becoming a Lord of the Sith. And on the flip side his parents go to ground as they find a way to repair the Falcon and process the gravity of what had just happened.

Things continue to shift in the war as various factions and political forces continue to move. Chief of State Cal Omas and the Supreme Cha Niathal try to coerce Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker to elevate Jacen to the rank of Master as well. Meanwhile the Corellian leadership decide to relieve Wedge Antilles of his role as leader of their forces and instead he opts to resign entirely due to being left out of the Hapes decision. And the galaxy seems poised on the brink of a much greater conflict and Jacen can't help but feel that he must do something to stop things from descending into chaos - and ultimately that translates into possibly embracing his supposed destiny as a Sith.

Now I feel it's helpful to note the nature of Allston's past work with Wraith Squadron. The concept behind those books was creating a special commando squad that also flew X-Wing fighters, and thus he was able to demonstrate an interesting grasp of complex operations involving multiple intelligence assets and other people-focused narratives. And he certainly put those skill into play again as he had a lot of complex and rather fulfilling scenes where had multiple characters working in tandem. And this is where the book truly shines.

And while more intense ship-to-ship combat isn't particularly heavy in this book (and we inevitably look at all Star Wars books along these lines), it did sort of make up for things with more strategic fleet actions of a greater importance to the larger scope of the war. And the chess pieces certainly make some major moves in this book - some that help tip the galaxy closer and closer to true interstellar conflict. And such have ever remained to be the goals of the Sith.

Star Wars: Exile certainly helps the overall story of this conflict progress and bring us a new way to define what is truly the Legacy of the Force. It's just not as happy as you may think. This book has been one of the better ones in the series and merits a good 4 games of chance played aboard the Errant Venture out of a possible 5.

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