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Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse by Troy Denning
Cover Artist: Ian Keltie
Review by Harriet Klausner
LucasBooks Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780345509222
Date: 13 March 2012 List Price $27.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

Luke and Ben Skywalker are strong with the Force flowing through them; as powerful as this father and son duet is female teenage Sith Vestara Khai. Ben and Vestara like each other though she dislikes the concept as going against her nature. She has saved the lives of appreciative Luke and Ben several times. Having completed their dangerous trek, they return to the Jedi stronghold, Coruscant. However the Skywalker tandem are not greeted as welcome heroes by their comrades in arms (and Force) in the Galactic Alliance because Abeloth and the Sith are there.

The Sith stealthily infiltrated all levels of government including leadership and the bureaucracy as a means of conquering the enemy from within by taking advantage of the split amidst their enemies (see Ascension). The civilian Alliance leaders as well as the general populace remain ignorant to the Trojan Horses that work and live side by side with them. In spite of Han and Leia Solo urging otherwise, ironically many do not trust their defenders the Order of the Knights of Jedi who took control after disposing of despotic Natasi Daala (see Vortex) due to their recent so called misuse of the Force (see Conviction).

Abeloth has an even more insidious quest to rule over the Alliance. This essence feeds off fear, which is why she appreciates the vicious Sith who bring trepidation wherever they go. She is a shape-changer who can possess the body of any person she chooses; none can stop her entrance or exit. The Jedi are aware of the Sith intrusion, but know even with the Force they cannot find every mole. Instead they need a means that bring the Sith out into the open as both sides know that the Force Armageddon has come to Coruscant with only one side expected to survive. Thus the Jedi set a trap, but the Sith set one too.

Believing that their former apprentice Vestara turned traitor, the Sith capture her. She bargains for her life by offering up the identity of the Solos's adopted daughter Alana. As the hostilities break out into the open on Coruscant; on the world of the Killik Colony, Raynor Thiel learns more of the origins of Abeloth. Abeloth was one of the Celestials offspring of the Force who committed genocide against her species; killing all of them. Luke faces this invincible monster knowing if the Force is with him and he survives he will never be the same because thanks to Raynor he understands he fights the darkest side of the Force.

Over the last three years, three authors (Aaron Allston, Christie Golden, and Troy Denning) wrote the nine-book Fate of the Jedi saga, which occurs over four decades after A New Hope. For the most part the transitions between the contributors were smooth so that the overarching confrontational story line (and the audience) never missed a beat. The two prime plots and several supporting subplots converge on Coruscant with major threads tied up; yet there is a glimmer of light that seems to indicate another further into the future saga is planned.

Luke and Ben remain heroic throughout the series having faced many perilous adventures on their quest to defeat Abeloth. However, once again the enigmatic Vestara provides intrigue as Ben wonders if she is friend or foe even though he is attracted to her and she has saved his life several times. Abeloth is a super malevolence who is sort of an energy vampire using the Force to suck the life essence out of lesser beings. Luke knows defeating the Sith, which will be brutal, seems elementary compared to killing this evil monster. The aptly subtitled final thriller is a fantastic finish to a terrific series that has taken the readers on an epic planet hopping and species meeting great journey "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away".

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