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Vortex (Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi, Book 6) by Troy Denning
Cover Artist: Ian Keltie
Review by Bill Lawhorn
LucasBooks Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345509208
Date: 30 November 2010 List Price $27.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Peace is a lie. There is only passion. That is the start of the Sith Code. Luke and Ben Skywalker are working with the Sith and must remember those words. The death of Abeloth in the prior entrant in the series seemed to bring a conclusion to part of the series, but life is never that simple. Abeloth lives and has escaped her prison. Luke and the Sith must continue to work together, while both sides wait for the moment of the Sith betrayal. Vestara and Ben continue their strange and developing relationship.

On Coruscant, the Jedi Council continues its struggle with Daala. Daala does not trust the Jedi and refuses to see the healing of the young Jedi as complete. She refuses to release Valin and Jysella Horn creating additional tension between the Jedi and the Gallactic Alliance. The Jedi want to launch a rescue mission as well as the Stealth X's to help Luke and Ben, but Grand Master Hamner is opposed. The showdowns will lead to the death of someone.

The trial of Tahiri continues. Actually it drags on. Don't worry, the trial won't finish in this novel. The other subplot related to the Mandolorians and the slave revolt picks up action as well. It is definitely a better subplot.

The byplay between the Skywalkers and the Sith is interesting, especially the greater knowledge gained about the Sith. The constant return of Abeloth is starting to feel a bit like the continual return of Sith masters.

This is another standard entrant into the continuing Star Wars Saga. The storylines continue to develop and move forward towards the future unfolded in the Legacy graphic novels. That is the most interesting aspect of the series.

Like any middle part of any series, this novel is hurt by the lack of conclusion. This isn't the greatest entrant into the EU. Not the worst either. I would like the series better if they would cut out at least one of the subplots. If the Tahiri trial was dropped this would be a much better story arc. This is not the place to enter the series. Thus it is only for fans of Star Wars.

The writing flows smoothly. Troy Denning writes a well paced novel. He also isn't enamored with the Mandalorians, like some Star Wars authors, so they aren't treated like heroes or equally powerful to Jedi. The good thing is that Aaron Allston is writing Conviction, which will hopefully see the end of the Trial. Denning will return to write the conclusion of the series.

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