Eight years after the fall of the Old Republic, the Galactic Empire now reigns over the known galaxy. Resistance to the Empire has been all but silenced. Only a few courageous leaders such as Bail Organa of Alderaan still dare to openly oppose Emperor Palpatine.
After years of defiance, the many worlds at the edge of the Outer Rim have surrendered. With each planet’s conquest, the Empire’s might grows stronger.
The latest to fall under the Emperor’s control is the isolated mountain planet Jelucan, whose citizens hope for a more prosperous future even as the Imperial Starfleet gathers overhead…
Boy oh boy was this a shockingly good book. I’ve read more than my fair share of Star Wars fiction (now considered to be a defunct part of the EU in light of the new movies) and even back when it was considered canon, some of it was thoroughly clunky (though the absence of Mara Jade and Kyp Durron from the canon Star Wars world saddens me). So I was a bit indifferent to there being new literary additions to the Star Wars world, not only because it was being marketed as YA, but also because it was dealing with characters that (as of yet) have nothing to do with any of the movies. Thane and Ciena weave in and out of the actions of the movies, but interact with canon characters very little to the point that none of the main characters from the movies even have a line of dialogue (and Thane is thoroughly confused as to who Han Solo even is even before the battle with the second Death Star). But all of that actually is what makes the book work so wonderfully. This is a story of two people who are just part of the background of the major events of the movie. They aren’t epic heroes, they’re just people living through a horrific situation of galactic war. Their ideals are different (Thane is cynical yet eventually joins the Rebellion, Ciena is by far the more spiritual but stays with the Empire because it’s her duty and up until the end is genuinely able to try to justify that the Empire is simply trying to keep order), but their love story is believable. The books is able to put the whole galactic war into perspective. Thane isn’t completely sold out to the Rebellion, but he’s willing to stand for something. Ciena is part of the evil Empire but thinks up until near the end that her service is to prevent more deaths courtesy of the Rebel terrorists. This is a story about how this whole war is a tragedy and in the midst of it sometimes the only thing you can fight for is the person you love.
5 out of 5