Star Wars Roleplaying Resources

July 03, 2006

Betrayal

Legacy of the Force: BetrayalI have never read any of Aaron Allston’s work before, but after reading Legacy of the Force: Betrayal, I have put him on the top of my list, right up there with Timothy Zahn. Of course, almost anything could be better than Labyrinth of Evil, the last book I read before this one, and probably the last time I read any Prequel-era novel.

Corellia wants independence from the Galactic Alliance. That is the most basic way to describe one of the many betrayals in the novel. Oh, and if you are worried about spoilers, I won’t include anything that you won’t find out in the first few chapters of the book. There is quite a bit of political intrigue, something that always fascinates me. Thrackan Sal-Solo, Han’s cousin and first introduced in the Corellian Trilogy, returns as Corellia’s Chief of War, and is in position to continue to move up the political ladder and lead his system out of the Galactic Alliance.
Corellia’s Betrayal, at first, seems to be the one that the novel is named after. However, by the end of the novel, you will realize that the Corellian Incident is only the backdrop for another, greater betrayal. I don’t want to spoil this betrayal, but it will leave you thinking, “Did s/he really just do that?”

The novel is excellently written and has a good plot comparable to The Thrawn Trilogy. Most of the main characters have been previously established and are well known. Everyone knows Luke, Han, Leia, and their children. Every time that the location changes, the new location is stated, similar to a movie subtitle. Some previous Star Wars books have had problems because you don’t know where the action is happening or who the main characters are. The New Jedi Order is a perfect example of too many characters to follow. Too many characters that you can’t remember, coupled with many locations equals chaos in the mind of a reader. In novels like that, it takes most of the chapter to figure out who exactly Soilupo Lukilrum is and where Gyyymuriluw is, and by then, you forgot what he was doing. Many other Star Wars novels assume that you read (and remember) what happened in past novels. In Betrayal, most of its references to the past are explained. Legacy EraI haven’t read the Swarm War series of novels and have no clue what happens in them, and I could easily follow Betrayal without any surprises, except for Ben Skywalker suddenly being thirteen years old. That is the only thing I didn’t like about the novel. The New Jedi Order Series came with a timeline at the beginning of each novel, showing where each novel fell in history. I was disappointed to see this was discontinued. Especially because the novel itself doesn’t actually mention what year it is in, only that it is the era of Luke Skywalker’s Legacy. I believe that it occurs 35-40 years after the Battle of Yavin.

Jacen SoloOne thing that is truly interesting about this novel is how it doesn’t focus on Luke. Every novel really has revolved around Luke Skywalker, but in Betrayal it doesn’t. It’s strange not having the story follow Luke everywhere he goes, and only routinely checking on him. Aaron Allston does a good job elevating Jacen Solo into the hero position that Luke once filled. One New Jedi Order novel focused on Jaina and it felt awkward; there is no such awkwardness in Betrayal.

Bottom line: Get Betrayal. It truly is the best Star Wars novel that I have read since the Thrawn Trilogy. Be warned. It ends like every episode of Lost, or many of the other similar dramas on TV: with just enough resolution to satisfy your needs, but with enough question to keep you hungry for more.

For more info: visit the publisher’s website, by clicking their banner in the side bar to the left.

The next novel, Bloodlines, goes on sale August 29, 2006.

All pictures taken from Wookieepedia.

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