Forty years after the Battle of Yavin a dangerous new era in the Star Wars epic begins-the revelations are shocking, the stakes desperate, and the enemy everywhere.
As civil war threatens the unity of the Galactic Alliance, Han and Leia Solo have enraged their families and the Jedi by joining the Corellian insurgents. But the Solos draw the line when they discover the rebels' plot to make the Hapan Consortium an ally-which rests upon Hapan nobles murdering their pro-Alliance queen and her daughter.
Yet the Solos' selfless determination to save the queen cannot dispel the inescapable consequences of their actions, that will pit mother against son and brother against sister in the battles ahead. For as Jacen Solo's dark powers grow stronger under the Dark Jedi Lumiya, and his influence over Ben Skywalker becomes more insidious, Luke's concern for his nephew forces him into a life-and-death struggle against his fiercest foe, and Han and Leia Solo find themselves at the mercy of their deadliest enemy . . . their son.
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November 27, 2006
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Excerpt from Tempest: Star Wars (Legacy of the Force) by Troy Denning
The air aboard the Thrackan Sal-Solo was filled with new-vessel smells-the acrid bite of ventilation fans burning off packing grease, the sweetness of escaped actuating gas, the ozone tinge of fresh-air exchangers. As Han and Leia Solo passed through hatchway after hatchway, Han still found himself touching the durasteel bulkheads to be sure he wasn't dreaming.
The Sal-Solo was the flagship of a secret assault fleet that the Corellian government had put into construction nearly ten standard years before, under the leadership of Han's recently deceased cousin, Thrackan Sal-Solo. Nobody would say what Sal-Solo and his cohorts had been planning for the mysterious armada, and Han didn't care. The fleet was ready to deploy and large enough to shatter the Alliance blockade, and that was all that mattered. The blockade had been extended to all five planets in the Corellian System, choking their economics and threatening their off-world facilities.
When the Solos reached the Command Center, Han did not need to be a Jedi to feel the excitement in the air. The door guards inspected everyone's passes with more than the usual cursory nod, and they even ran a security scan on C-3PO. Inside, the support officers had forsaken the caf dispenser and were actually at their duty carrels, studying data displays and coding orders. The only individuals who did not seem busy were half a dozen civilian security agents waiting on steel benches outside the Tactical Planning Salon, and even they sat in tense silence.
Han leaned close to Leia and asked in a whisper, "Will you be okay with this?"
Leia looked up and arched a brow. The lines at the corners of her dark eyes only made her gaze that much more penetrating . . . and, well, wise.
"Okay with what, Han?"
"Being married to a Corellian admiral." Han smirked and ran his fingers over his chin, clean-shaven now that there was no longer a need to hide his identity from his cousin's assassins. "Look around. Wedge is getting ready to bust the blockade, and he's going to need me to take one of the Dreadnaughts."
Leia surveyed the busy cabin, allowing her gaze to rest on the security agents outside the planning salon. "I don't think we need to worry about that, Han."
Han frowned. "You think I'm too old for a line command?"
"Hardly. You're not even seventy yet." Leia lowered her voice, then added, "I just have a feeling."
"Oh dear," C-3PO said. "It's never good when Mistress Leia has a feeling."
They reached the door to the planning salon and had to end the conversation. Instead of admitting them immediately as he had the previous day, the door guard-a square-jawed petty officer in a blue duty uniform-blocked their way.
"The admiral will be with you as soon as he can, Captain Solo."
"As soon as he can?" Han was starting to think Leia's feeling might be right. "He called us."
"Yes, sir, I'm aware of that." The door guard studied Han with the weary smirk that Corellians reserved for grandstanders and blowhards. "Admiral Antilles is a very busy man."
"Yeah?" Han was growing embarrassed by his earlier confidence-and nothing made him testier than embarrassing himself in front of Leia. "Well, so am I."
Before Han could turn to leave, Leia caught him by the arm. "Tell Admiral Antilles to take his time," she said to the guard. "We understand how busy he must be right now."
Han did not resist as she pulled him to one side of the door. Wedge Antilles had been appointed Supreme Commander of the Corellian forces some ten standard days earlier-the day after Thrackan Sal-Solo's assassination-and Han knew as well as anyone how hectic his schedule had to be right now.
That was why the Solos had been so surprised to receive a message asking them to rendezvous with Antilles in the Kiris Asteroid Cluster. The Kirises were so far out on the fringes of the system that they were almost free floating, and so obscure that even Han had been forced to ask for coordinates. The Solos had spent the better part of the trip-made even longer by the necessity of evading the Galactic Alliance blockade-debating what the blazes Corellia's new Supreme Commander was doing so far from the war.
All their questions had been answered when they rounded Kiris 6 and saw the Sal-Solo floating in her hidden dock. The Dreadnaught was a typical Corellian design-innovative, austere, and configured for vicious, close-in combat, with turbolaser turrets and missile tubes arrayed heavily and uniformly over a blue, egg-shaped hull. Han had known the moment he saw her that the ship was exactly what Corellia needed, a vessel capable of plunging into the core of the Alliance blockade and tearing it apart from the inside.
But Han's pulse had not quickened until a couple of hours later, when Antilles had informed them that the Sal-Solo had two sister ships and an entire support fleet hidden in the Kiris Cluster's other shipyards.