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Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Allies by Christie Golden
Review by Bill Lawhorn
LucasBooks Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345509147
Date: 25 May 2010 List Price $27.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Sometimes a trail doesn't take you where you expect. That is very true of the quest that Luke and Ben Skywalker have taken. The visits to the planets and groups that Jacen Solo visited on his journey have taken a strange turn. Daala's attempt to control the Jedi is creating some unintended consequences as well.

In this fifth volume of the Fate of the Jedi (FotJ) series, The Solos and Skywalkers end up back on Dathomir, the planet the Han Solo won in The Courtship of Princess Leia. The Dark Sisters are attempting to bring back the old ways and Luke is tracking the Sith Apprentice Vestura. The Clan system on Dathomir protects Vestura from the Skywalkers, but her own choices may not. Han, Leia, and Allana show up to help but must face their own problems. The specter of Caedus remains as Tahiri faces public trial for killing Pelleaon. The Jedi are trapped in their temple by Mandolorians hired by the Galactic Alliance.

The Jedi and Sith meet again and Luke has to chose a dangerous path. Work with the Sith to save the young infected Jedi. The return to the Maw brings some resolution as well as an old familiar face. The conclusion isnít as satisfying as some might prefer and it definitely has some creepy overtones.

There is a large amount of activity going on both in the main line story and the various subplots. Loyalties are tested and vultures wait to strike. This volume has a lot to offer fans of the whole Expanded Universe and those of Byzantine machinations as the universe moves towards its dark future. I really enjoyed the insight into a Sith family and how they interact especially as it compares to the relationship between Luke and Ben. The differences are stark and they explain how Vestara came to be how she is in life. It is interesting to see how two opposing systems can lead to the same choices.

This is not a starting point for readers. It is mainly intended for fans of the Expanded Universe. A new fan has a fair amount of reading to do before many of the references make sense. The aforementioned Courtship of Princess Leia is an example. There is another, but if I gave it away, fans would know who the surprise returnee is immediately. There are also numerous references to the prior Legacy of the Force series as well.

The FotJ series is using three authors to complete the nine book arch. There are differences in writing style and focus. I hope future volumes will avoid some of the Mandolorian-worship that has started to develop. The Mandolarians, for all their Beskar armor would be toast if the Jedi actually responded with reasonable force. The great thing is that the series will be finished in December of 2011. Nine books in two years is a great pace for fans, but a little rough on the pocketbook.

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