Science Fiction

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Inferno

Author: Troy Denning

Published By: The Ballentine Publishing Company
 

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


WARNING: This article contains spoilers about the Legacy of the Force series.  If you do not wish to learn any pivotal spoiler information, please do not proceed past the fifth paragraph.  Consider yourself warned!

 

            When we last left our heroes, Jacen Solo was coming ever closer to becoming a Sith lord, manipulating Galactic Alliance law in such a way that he was able to take control of the government and depose Cal Omas.  The ever increasing threat of Lumiya had sent Mara Jade Skywalker on a journey to destroy the Sith follower before Lumiya could kill her son, Ben.  However, as the hunter grew closer to her prey, it became clear that Lumiya was not the only threat to her son.  Mara soon learned that another, more cunning and much closer threat loomed.  Unfortunately, Mara Jade Skywalker’s attempt to eradicate that threat was unsuccessful.  The Jedi now mourned the loss of a member of their family.

            At the funeral, Jacen Solo begins to exhibit more control over the Jedi, sending GAG troops into the temple to arrest his parents as they attempted to pay their last respects and getting into a power struggle with some of the Masters during the eulogy.  Impatient with the war being waged between the Galactic Alliance and the Confederation, Jacen begins to push things a tad bit too far, kidnapping the Jedi students at the Ossus Academy to force the Jedi to aide him in battle.  He presses Tenel Ka into service as well, convincing her to turn over the last of her fleet for one final push against the Confederation.  Jacen has forseen his victory and has made all preparations to achieve this goal.

            But as more and more of Jacen Solo’s atrocities come to light, he begins to realize that he has severely underestimated his enemies.  The closer his alterego, Darth Caedus comes to the surface, the stronger his enemies become.  Just when he believes he has emerged victorious, Jacen Solo/Darth Caedus receives a painful lesson in humility.  But is this the end of Jacen’s evil reign of tyranny, or just the beginning?

            Inferno is the sixth book in the Star Wars: Legacy of the Force series.  This particular installment is written by Troy Denning.  If you remember your Star Wars Expanded Universe history, it was Troy Denning that penned Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Star by Star, the book in which Anakin Solo died a hero in the war against the Yuuzhan Vong.  Well, Anakin’s death figures into this novel nicely as we once again come upon his would-be girlfriend Tahiri Veila.  We discover that Jacen has been flow-walking with Tahiri, using a technique of manipulating the Force to relive events in the past.  Jacen has been using the ploy that by taking Tahiri flow-walking to the last days Anakin was alive, it will help Tahiri cope with his death, something she has been having a great deal of trouble doing of late.  By hooking Tahiri on flow-walking, Jacen now has an insider within the ranks of the Jedi that can deliver information as to what the Jedi are planning.  I actually found this to be a clever way of interweaving storylines.

            There are many discoveries to be made in this novel.  First of all, we discover that Luke Skywalker has been holding out on us!  Based upon the new abilities he displays in this novel, Luke Skywalker is a much more powerful Jedi than any reader could have ever imagined.  Where have you been hiding these cool powers all this time, Master Skywalker?  We discover that there are more Sith in the galaxy as well.  We had an inkling that Vergere was more inclined toward the Dark Side than your average Jedi should be.  Well, this novel confirms our worst fears – Vergere was actually a Sith, from a band of Sith who have been hiding out for years.

            This novel turns into an emotional rollercoaster for the Skywalkers and Solos as they realize that they have not only lost Mara Jade Skywalker, but Jacen Solo as well.  Jacen has become so dark that, for the family, it is as if he has died and been replaced by some monster.  This realization is a very poignant aspect of the novel and is instrumental in influencing their actions against Jacen.

            The paperback version of Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Inferno contains a Round-Robin Interview with Aaron Allston, Troy Denning and Karen Traviss, all authors of the Legacy of the Force series.  This was done once before, very successfully I might add, during the New Jedi Order series.  The interview helps to give readers insight into the decision making process that goes into creating novels in a series.  Many events within the series are explained, such as the decision to kill off Mara Jade Skywalker, the possibility that having families can lead to a further inclination toward the Dark Side of the force, the reasoning behind Jacen taking the path of the Sith, and more.  I love interviews that give readers insight into the mindset of the author and found this Round-Robin Interview to be very interesting.

            Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice was a shocker of a novel, but it served only as a catalyst for events to come.  With such a pivotal role in the series, Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Inferno is simply not a book you can afford not to read.  It is in Inferno that the tide of battle is turned and we learn that the war has just begun.  The storyline is angst-filled and completely captivating.  You won’t want to put this book down until you have reached the last page.  And when you get there, you will definitely be wanting more.
 


 

For more about Star Wars, check out:

Star Wars: Dark Nest

Star Wars: Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen

Star Wars: Dark Nest III: The Swarm War

Star Wars Short Stories: In His Image & Two-Edged Sword

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Betrayal

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Tempest

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Exile

Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice


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