Luke Skywalker wanted to unify the Jedi order and bring peace to the universe. Instead his wife Mara lies dead at the hands of an unknown assassin, his wayward nephew Jacen has seized control of the Galactic Alliance, and the galaxy has exploded in all-out civil war.
With Luke consumed by grief, Jacen Solo works quickly to consolidate his power and jumpstart his plan to take over the Jedi. Convinced he's the only one who can save the galaxy, Jacen will do whatever it takes, even ambush his own parents.
With the Rebel confederacy driving deep into the Core to attack Coruscant and the Jedi under siege, Luke must reassert his position. Only he can lead the Jedi through this crisis, but it means solving the toughest problem Luke's ever faced. Does he fight alongside his nephew Jacen, a tyrant who's illegally taken over the GA, or does he join the rebels to smash the Galactic Alliance he helped create?
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August 27, 2007
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Excerpt from Inferno: Star Wars (Legacy of the Force) by Troy Denning
Tenel Ka sensed the hole in the Force the instant she entered the bedchamber. It was lurking in the black depths of the corner farthest from the entrance, a void so subtle she recognized it only by the surrounding stillness. She moved quickly through the doorway, her spine tingling with a ripple of danger sense so delicate it made her blood race.
Before her lady-in-waiting could enter the room behind her, she looked back over her shoulder and called, "That will be all, Lady Aros. Ask DeDeToo to lock down the nursery."
"Lock it down, Majesty?" Aros stopped at the threshold, a slender silhouette still holding the evening gown Tenel Ka had just removed. "Is there something I need to--"
"Just a precaution," Tenel Ka interrupted. Her robe was still hanging inside her refresher suite, so she was standing in her underclothes. "I know our embassy should be secure, but this is Coruscant."
"Of course . . ." Aros dipped her chin. "The terrorists. This rach warren of a planet is absolutely teeming with them."
"Let's not be too disparaging, shall we?" Tenel Ka chided. She casually reached down and unfastened the thigh holster where she carried her lightsaber. "We did have to call on Colonel Solo to dispose of a few raches of our own recently."
"I didn't mean anything negative about the colonel," Aros said, practically cooing the reference to Jacen. After his recent heroics defending Tenel Ka against the traitors trying to usurp her throne, he had become something of a sex symbol to half the women in the Hapes Consortium . . . Tenel Ka included. "Quite the opposite. If not for Colonel Solo, I'm sure Coruscant would have sunk into anarchy by now."
"No doubt," Tenel Ka said, casually shifting her grasp on the holster so that she held her lightsaber by its hilt. "Now if you'll excuse me, I believe I can turn down my own sheets tonight."
Aros acknowledged the order with a bow and withdrew into the anteroom. Tenel Ka used her elbow to depress a tap pad on the wall. Half a dozen wall sconces glimmered to life, revealing a chamber as ridiculously opulent as the rest of the embassy's Royal Wing. There were three separate seating areas, a life-sized HoloNet transceiver, and a huge hamogoni wood desk stocked with stacks of flimsiplast bearing the Hapan Royal Crest. On the far side of the chamber, a dreamsilk canopy shimmered above a float-rest bed large enough to sleep Tenel Ka and her ten closest friends.
Despite the two sconces flanking it, the room's farthest corner--the one near her refresher suite--remained ominously dark. Tenel Ka could not sense any sort of optical field keeping it that way, but then again, the only thing she could sense was . . . well, nothing. She reached out with the Force to make certain Aros was not eavesdropping from the other side of the door, then ignited her lightsaber and took a few steps toward the corner.
"You would be wise to show yourself," Tenel Ka said. "I have no patience for voyeurs . . . as you should well know by now."
"I'm a slow learner." The darkness melted away, revealing a tall, shadow-eyed figure with a melancholy echo of his father's famous lopsided grin. He was dressed in black GAG utilities and smelled faintly of hyperdrive fuel, as though he had come to her straight from a space hangar. "And I don't usually get caught. My camouflage powers must be slipping."
"No, Jacen. I am just growing better at sensing your presence." Tenel Ka deactivated her lightsaber and tossed it on the bed, then smiled warmly and opened her arms to him. "I was hoping you would find time to call."
Jacen cocked his brow, then let his gaze slide down her body. "So I see."
"Well?" Tenel Ka asked. "Are you just going to stand there gawking? Or are you going to do something about it?"
Jacen chuckled, then stepped out of the corner and crossed to her. His Force presence remained undetectable--he was so accustomed to concealing himself that he did so even around Tenel Ka--but she could tell by the shine in his eyes how happy he was to see her. She slipped a hand behind his neck and drew his mouth to hers.
Jacen obliged, but his kiss was warm rather than hot, and she could tell that tonight his heart was not entirely hers. She stepped back, embarrassed to realize how insensitive she was being.
"Forgive me if I seem too joyful," she said, able to perceive now the sadness that tinged his hard eyes, the grief that tainted his clenched jaw. "Tomorrow is Mara's funeral. Of course you have other things on your mind."
Jacen's snort was so gentle that Tenel Ka almost did not hear it.
"It's okay." He took her hand, but the softness had vanished from his face, leaving in its place only the stoic, unreadable mask that he had worn since his escape from the Yuuzhan Vong. "I wasn't thinking about Mara."
Tenel Ka eyed him doubtfully.
"Well, not exclusively," Jacen admitted. "I'm happy to see you, too."