Honor and duty collide with friendship and blood ties as the Skywalker and Solo clans find themselves on opposing sides of an explosive conflict.
When a mission to uncover an illegal missile factory on the planet Adumar ends in a violent ambush-from which Jedi Knight Jacen Solo and his protege and cousin, Ben Skywalker, narrowly escape with their lives-it's the most alarming evidence yet that political unrest is threatening to ignite into total rebellion. The specter of full-scale war looms between a growing cadre of defiant planets and the Galactic Alliance that some fear is becoming a new Empire.
Determined to root out those behind the mayhem, Jacen follows a trail of cryptic clues to a rendezvous with the most shocking of revelations. Meanwhile Luke grapples with something even more troubling: dream visions of a shadowy figure whose Force power and ruthlessness remind him of Darth Vader. If Luke's visions come to pass, they will bring untold pain to the Jedi Master . . . and to the galaxy.
Following the New Jedi Order series, Allston blasts off a new multi-author nine-book string of adventures starring beloved Star Wars familiars: the Solos (Han, Leia Organa and their adult Jedi children, Jacen and Jaina) and the Skywalkers (Master Jedi Luke, his wife Mara Jade, and their plucky 13-year-old son Ben, Jacen's apprentice Jedi-in-training). Allston (Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand) follows the Jedi Knights' ethical dilemmas and intricate battle maneuvers as they set out to diffuse a developing conflict between the Galactic Alliance (GA) and Correllia, Han's home planetary system. When Ben infiltrates the Correllian Centerpoint Station, a mega-Death Star with the power to move and destroy planets, he must confront an AI that believes it is Anakin Solo (Jacen and Jaina's late brother). Jacen also faces a grave, shocking choice about his future as a Jedi when he encounters a Sith. Although Han, Leia, Luke and Mara haven't lost their mystique in middle-age, Ben and Jacen steal the show in this new installment that should please Star Wars fans eager for an update.
Copyright (c) Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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April 30, 2007
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Excerpt from Betrayal: Star Wars (Legacy of the Force) by Aaron Allston
"He doesn't exist." With those words, spoken without any conscious thought or effort on his part, Luke Skywalker sat upright in bed and looked around at the dimly illuminated chamber.
There wasn't much to see. Members of the Jedi order, even Masters such as Luke, didn't accumulate much personal property. Within view were chairs situated in front of unlit computer screens; a wall rack holding plasteel staves and other practice weapons; a table littered with personal effects such as datapads, notes scrawled on scraps of flimsi, datachips holding reports from various Jedi Masters, and a crude and not at all accurate sandglass statuette in Luke's image sent to him by a child from Tatooine. Inset into the stone-veneer walls were drawers holding his and Mara's limited selection of clothes. Their lightsabers were behind Luke, resting on a shelf on the headboard of their bed.
His wife, Mara Jade Skywalker, had more personal items and equipment, of course. Disguises, weapons, communications gear, falsified documents. A former spy, she had never given up the trappings of that trade, but those items weren't here. Luke wasn't sure where she kept them. She didn't bother him with such details.
Beside him, she stirred, and he glanced down at her. Her red hair, kept a medium length this season, was an unruly mess, but there was no sleepiness in her eyes when they opened. In brighter light, he knew, those eyes were an amazing green. "Who doesn't exist?" she asked.
"I don't know. An enemy."
"You dreamed about him?"
He nodded. "I've had the dream a couple of times before. It's not just a dream. It's coming to me through currents in the Force. He's all wrapped up in shadows--a dark hooded cloak, but more than that, shadows of light and . . ." Luke shook his head, struggling for the correct word. "And ignorance. And denial. And he brings great pain to the galaxy . . . and to me."
"Well, if he brings pain to the galaxy, you're obviously going to feel it."
"No, to me personally, in addition to his other evil." Luke sighed and lay down again. "It's too vague. And when I'm awake, when I try to peer into the future to find him, I can't."
"Because he doesn't exist."
"That's what the dream tells me." Luke hissed in aggravation.
"Could it be Raynar?"
Luke considered. Raynar Thul, former Jedi Knight, presumed dead during the Yuuzhan Vong war, had been discovered a few years earlier--horribly burned during the war, mentally transformed in the years since through his involvement with the insectoid Killik race. That transformation had been a malevolent one, and the Jedi order had had to deal with him. Now he languished in a well-protected cell deep within the Jedi Temple, undergoing treatment for his mental and physical afflictions.
Treatment. Treatment meant change; perhaps, in changing, Raynar was becoming something new, and Luke's presentment pointed toward the being Raynar would someday become.
Luke shook his head and pushed the possibility away. "In this vision, I don't sense Raynar's alienness. Mentally, emotionally, whoever it is remains human, or near human. There's even the possiblity that it's my father."
"No. Before he was Darth Vader. Or just when he was becoming Vader." Luke's gaze lost focus as he tried to recapture the dream. "What little of his face I can see reminds me of the features of Anakin Skywalker as a Jedi. But his eyes . . . as I watch, they turn a molten gold or orange, transforming from Force-use and anger . . ."
"I have an idea."
"Let's wait until he shows up, then crush him."
Luke smiled. "All right." He closed his eyes and his breathing slowed, an effort to return to sleep.
Within a minute the rhythm of his breathing became that of natural sleep.
But Mara lay awake, her attention on the ceiling--beyond it, through dozens of floor levels of the Jedi enclave to the skies of Coruscant above--and searched for any hint, any flicker of what it was that was causing her husband worry.
She found no sign of it. And she, too, slept.
The gleaming pearl-gray turbolift doors slid open sideways, and warm air bearing an aroma that advertised death and destruction washed over Jacen Solo, his cousin Ben Skywalker, and their guide.
Jacen took a deep breath and held it. The odors of this subterranean factory were not the smells of corrupted flesh or gangrenous wounds--smells Jacen was familiar with--but those of labor and industry. The great chamber before them had been a missile manufacturing center for decades, and no amount of rigorous cleaning would ever be quite able to eliminate the odors of sweat, machine lubricant, newly fabricated composite materials, solid fuel propellants, and high explosives that filled the air.
Jacen expelled the breath and stepped out of the turbolift, then walked the handful of steps up to the rail overlooking the chamber.