Title: Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Apocalypse
Author: Troy Denning
Published: Out now
In the climax of the war against Abeloth, battles are fought on many fronts. As the Jedi fight Sith on Coruscant, internal struggles in the Imperial Remnant are coming to a head as Daala and Jag fight an election. Ben fights to prove that Vestara can be trusted by his family, and the New Jedi Order. Alana Solo fights to save her friends, while Han and Leia fight to keep her safe.
But with Abeloth seemingly invincible, and the discovery of devastating revelations about the nature of the force, it may, once again, be up to the Sword of the Jedi to save the galaxy.
This is the last book in a nine book series, so to some extent, what I think of it is irrelevant. If you've read the previous eight entries, you almost certainly want to know how it ends. If you haven't read any of them, you're unlikely to begin with the last! Although I'm reasonably up to date with major events in the EU, I haven't been reading this series, but I'm familiar enough with the characters and political landscape that a cram session on Wookieepedia brought me up to speed.
As ever, Troy Denning has produced a thrilling Star Wars adventure. It's no mean feat to draw together not only threads from the Fate of the Jedi series, but also the Legacy of the Force and Dark Nest series. Although the cast of characters is expansive, Denning does justice to all of the main players, and they never feel less than real people, whether human, Barabel or Force-being.
My biggest criticism would be of Vestara. Her true allegiance is always to herself, but her temporary allegiances are often unclear. I frequently found myself unable to remember whether she was pretending to be on someone's team or actually was on their team. Perhaps if I'd read the earlier books I'd get what Ben sees in her, but I found it a struggle here. I know much of this series has been about Ben and Luke repairing their relationship and getting to know each other as men, but if I were Luke, I'd have clipped that boy round the ear and had a few words with him about dating mental, possibly evil, women. Luke should know.
I love the Lost Tribe of the Sith. After so many years of Dark force users, rogue Jedi, wannabe Sith and the occasional yeractual Sith, it's brilliant to see them in numbers to rival the Jedi in a post-Holy Trilogy setting. Epic battles between armies of force users? This is brilliant stuff. Much more please.
I also, as ever love Daala and her machinations. Again, after seeing her dominating the mewling and puking Moffs for so long, it's great to see her warring with an opponent worthy of her. The Galactic Alliance doesn't feature much in this book, but the Remnant power-struggles more than make up for that.
Have I mentioned that I heart Jag and Jaina? Well I do, and although they spend little of this book in each other's company, it makes me feel warm and fuzzy that their relationship is progressing so well. If you're also a fan of this couple, I think you'll like this book for them alone! It's also lovely to see Tahiri redeeming herself after being duped by Caedus in the Legacy series.
As I say, it really doesn't matter what I think of this book. But for the record, I loved it, and despite knowing the outcome, I'm going to go back and read the rest of the series. If you haven't read any of the Fate books, I'd recommend you start with Outcast, but I can assure you that the destination is worth the journey.