Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Destiny's Way
Author: Walter Jon Williams
Published By: The Ballentine Publishing Company
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
The war against the Yuuzhan Vong has escalated to new heights. The New Republic has struck a decisive blow with their defense of Borleias, staggering the Vong by defeating one of their most powerful warmasters and depleting their forces. It wasn’t a victory in the conventional sense of the word, but the New Republic has cause to celebrate. In Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Destiny’s Way by Walter Jon Williams, the ragtag members of the Senate and the New Republic forces rendezvous at Mon Calamari to decide the fate of the government. It is widely agreed that the government as it was needs to be revamped.
Two Senators come to the forefront, vying for the position of Chief of State, and gaining the attention of the Jedi. Seeking to recreate the Jedi Council of old, Luke Skywalker is very interested in the outcome of the upcoming elections. Senator Fyor Rodan is dead set against allowing the Jedi to become too powerful. While he doesn’t agree that the Jedi should be a bargaining tool for peace with the Yuuzhan Vong, he is certain that the Jedi should be monitored and their power in the New Republic held to a minimum. Senator Cal Omas respects the Jedi and believes that they are a key tool in defeating the Vong once and for all. Omas agrees with the idea of a Jedi Council, but recognizes that many of the New Republic’s constituents are afraid of the Jedi becoming too powerful.
In the midst of this political turmoil, Jacen Solo, captured by the Vong and thought by some to be dead, returns to his family. Jacen brings with him Vergere, a creature with unpredictable allegiances. In a startling turn of events, Vergere reveals that she was a Jedi Master who discovered the Vong while on a mission to a living planet. Luke Skywalker seeks Vergere out to learn about the Yuuzhan Vong and Vergere’s intentions toward Jacen Solo. Instead, their discussions cause Luke to re-evaluate his views of the force and the direction in which he is taking the Jedi.
Meanwhile, hero of the Rebellion and the New Republic, Admiral Ackbar, sets out to devise a plan to crush the Vong by exploiting their weaknesses. Admiral Kre’fey is more than happy to carry out this action. This is a new Kre’fey, recently returned from his home planet and his period of morning over former Chief Of State Fey’lya’s death; a Kre’fey buoyed by the Bothan decree to wipe out the Vong to the very last warrior. But just before the battle action is to be carried out, intelligence comes up with a new weapon – one that may make the Bothan decree a reality.
But only Nom Anor can guess what would truly cause the downfall of the Yuuzhan Vong. Suspicious of Supreme Overlord Shimmra’s pet Shamed One, Ommini, Nom Anor stumbles upon a truth that, if known by the rest of the Vong, would destroy the Overlord in the eyes of his people and severely weaken the war effort.
This installment of The New Jedi Order is filled with espionage and intrigue. Nothing is truly as it seems. Most intriguing in this novel is Vergere. Seemingly unpredictable, Vergere is a very deep character. No one writes this character better than Walter Jon Williams, who endears Vergere to his readers even after all the anguish and pain she has caused.
While past novels have been about the downfall of the New Republic, Destiny’s Way, though fraught with sinister undertones, brings a new sense of hope to The New Jedi Order series. The series has often been criticized as being too dark, and Destiny’s Way has its share of dark overtones, but Walter Jon Williams implants in the reader the idea that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
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