Sunday, October 07, 2007

Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice Book review

Sacrifice (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, Book 5)

By Karen Traviss
Book Review by Dan Tres Omi

Omi's Note: WARNING! There are spoilers in here, read at your own risk.

After the disappointment of Traviss' Bloodlines, I was hesitant to pick this chapter up. However, I was compelled to because of two reasons: Jacen Solo was going to kill someone important in the Star Wars EU and he was going to choose his Sith name. However, Traviss did redeem herself. Don't get me wrong, Traviss is a great writer and she has taken the Mandalorians to another level and I can't think of anyone who could have done it.

In Sacrifice, Traviss emphasizes the political intrigue in the Star Wars Universe. Jacen Solo figures out a way to change laws through the bureaucracy without even lifting a finger. Jacen pretty much takes a few notes from Emperor Palpatine who slowly yet subtly changed several laws to gain more political power. Along with Admiral Cha Niathal, Solo continues to consolidate power, imprison political enemies, and acquire military resources. Soon, Solo and Admiral Niathal overthrow Cal Omas in a bloodless military coup. Solo and Niathal share the office of the Chief of State.

In the meantime, Boba Fett assumes his position as the Mandalorian head of state. With the advice of the most prominent Mandalorian clans, he recalls all Mandalorians to return and rebuild their planet. At the same time, Boba Fett does find a cure for his degenerative disease. He even goes on a hunt with his granddaughter, Mirta Gev. During the current crisis, Boba Fett decides to sell arms to the highest bidder but to keep the Mandalorians out of the conflict. Fett explains that if individual bounty hunters from the Mandalore can choose to take jobs but officially they will remain neutral despite the fact that they make some alliances with several species who have taken sides in the latest conflict.

Ironically, Luke Skywalker has no clue to what is going on. I would like to say that this is due to his naivety and his hope that Jacen would come to his senses. Ben Skywalker starts to slowly doubt Jacen's decisions and finally leaves his adolescence when he assassinates Gur Dejjen. Mara Jade Skywalker finally wakes up from her Jacen worship and decides to go after him after she learns that Lumiya is in cahoots with Jacen.

I enjoyed this book tremendously and actually wished it kept going and going. There was enough action in between the political sword play to keep the reader going. At this point of the saga, almost all of the characters are at the tipping point. Jacen Solo is ready to pounce on any of the Jedi even Ben Skywalker. The climatic battle between Mara and Jacen is worth the price of admission. The final scenes with Ben and his mother are touching and add much foreshadowing to the book's ending. Almost everyone realizes that they have to make some tough decisions in the days to come. Traviss really sets things up for the next author to take the baton.

My only beef is that I felt that Luke should have been killed. Alema Rar lives yet again. She remains such an anomaly and I pray that the writers finally tie her into the story. I feel that she is a character that should have remained in the Dark Nest trilogy. Killing Luke would have forced the Jedi's to take real action instead of waiting in the wings. Yet their inaction is reminiscent to what happened to the Jedi prior to the Clone Wars. Unlike Bloodlines, this chapter fits perfectly into the saga. There are several more surprises in these pages. It is clear that the endgame is near.