Science Fiction
 

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies

Author: Christie Golden

Published By:
The Ballentine Publishing Company


Reviewed by Melissa Minners

 

            Five books into the Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi series and I am happy to say that I have been keeping up rather nicely.  Iíve just finished reading Allies and the next novel in the series isnít due out until November.  I must say, I canít wait to see what the next novel is going to be like after the startling revelations, alliances and enemies found in Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies.

            When we last left the Skywalkers, Luke and Ben were surrounded by Sith battle cruisers just outside Dathomir airspace.  The Sith are none too happy that the Skywalkers are in possession of one of their own apprentices, Vestara Khai, but they arenít here to blast them out of space.  Instead, they offer up the chance to form an alliance against a common enemy, Abeloth, that strange Cthulhu-like creature from Abyss

            Meanwhile, Tahiri Veilaís been waiting in prison for her trial date, wondering who she will have defending her in court now that her first attorney was kicked off the case by the court and her second attorney has excused himself from the case.  Jaina turns to Jag for help and he responds by sending Tahiri a Bothan with a great deal of trial experience, a flare for the eccentric and an interesting family connection high up in the Galactic Alliance.

            In conjunction with Tahiriís trial, Natasi Daala has decided to play hardball with the Jedi who have refused to turn over their crazed members.  The Jedi soon find themselves surrounded by Mandolorians adorned in beskar armor and toting some hard-hitting firepower and air support.  The Jedi are stuck inside the temple with no way out and no way to get the supplies needed to keep their crazed members sedated.

            And while all of this is taking place, numerous protests and small uprisings are taking place, protesting one of the galaxyís longest and often times sleaziest traditions - slavery.  Whether it is a civilized servitude or a longstanding contract between species, the bonds of slavery are becoming too tight for some and many long to free themselves from the bonds of servitude and get a taste of the free world.

            These four themes offer up some very interesting questions.  How can Luke become allies with Sith, knowing how treacherous such a relationship can be?  Who or what is Abeloth and why is it important for these two enemies to unite against her?  Is there any possible defense that Tahiriís new lawyer can put forth to save her from a guilty verdict when, in fact, she did commit the murder she is on trial for?  Has Daala gone to far with the siege on the Jedi Temple and will she continue her heavy-handed ways to quell the outbreaks of uprisings on world still involved in slavery?

            Christie Golden may be relatively new to the Star Wars universe, but she definitely knows her way around the characters and the history.  Sheís done her homework and is at home writing these characters, writing Luke Skywalker and Tahiri Veilla particularly well.  As for Star Wars history, Golden actually taught me something new - I never knew about the pact between the Hutts, Nikto and Klatooinians made eons ago that basically promises Nikto and Klatooinians into Hutt servitude in exchange for protection offered a sacred memorial fountain of precious glass on the planet Klatooine.

            Goldenís descriptive nature in this novel helps to bring the scene to life for the reader.  She is especially adept in writing courtroom scenes and I could picture every moment of Tahiriís trial and the reactions of the jury members perfectly.  I especially enjoyed what I believe to be the dual roles played by Tahiriís lawyer, an eccentric old Bothan with an interesting secret if I read the signs correctly.

            Although I found Lukeís discovery and elimination of what has been ailing the Jedi to have been rather short, I do believe that this isnít quite as cut and dry as we think.  Much is alluded to at the end of the novel and the cliffhanger ending offers up the possibility that the union between the Skywalkers and the Sith is about to get very interesting.  Iím also on the edge of my seat as to the outcome of Tahiriís trial. 

            My only real issue with this book was the collection of typos.  While anyone could expect to find a typo or two in a novel, the five or six I noticed while reading the hardcover version of Allies - including a mix up in the charactersí names in one particular scene, were a bit distracting.

            That being said, I thought Christie Golden struck gold in this segment of the Fate of the Jedi series.  Not only did she thoroughly entertain us Star Wars fans, but she left us hanging in such a way to make it impossible for us to even think about missing Vortex, the next novel in the series.  She answered so many questions in Allies and yet left us with just as many questions left unanswered.  This girl knows how to keep her readers wanting more.  Star Wars fans will be pleasedÖsadistic Star Wars fans will love this novel even more for the torturous teases it offers them.  Two more months?!  I think I can lastÖsigh.


 

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