Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Sacrifice (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force - Book Five)

Sacrifice (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, Book 5)Title: Sacrifice
Author: Karen Traviss
Superseries: Star Wars
Series: Legacy of the Force
Preceeded By: Exile
Succeeded By: Inferno


Score: 10/10
How likely I am to read the next in the Series: Definite


I'm having trouble starting this review in any sort of catchy way, so let's assume I have, and i'll get on with it. Basically, this is pretty much the best book of the series so far. The characters are incredible, the plot is generally unpredictable, and Boba Fett is back again.

To be honest, I'm beginning to wonder why the other two writers didn't write anything at all about him. Karen Traviss is possibly the leading expert on Fett, but he just seemed to drop out of existance between her books. But that's not what this review is about. In this book we see Fett as a new man, still an incredible character, but put in a position of responsibility as the head of the mandalorians, and made to stick there. It had the potential to go disasterously wrong, but Traviss did a fantastic job with him as she did before.

But one character doesn't give a 10/10 score. What happens is that all of the characters are incredible. Even the Ship Ben acquired at the end of "Exile" is a well written character. And while I can't think of any that aren't done well, Ben Skywalker and Lumiya are particularly impressive. Ben is growing up, and his emotions in Sacrifice are superbly described, and emulated by the reader. On the other hand, we finally get to see something about Lumiya's opinions on Jacen. We see her doubts, her fear, and her resolution to meet her target. Both of these are great characters, and Traviss writes them brilliantly. Actually, Jaina isn't written particularly well. I'm surprised she hasn't been in these books more, being the main antagonist's twin brother...

And then the plot. The main storyline is given away by the title. "Sacrifice". Jacen has to kill a loved one to become a sith lord, and it's in this book he does it. We've known that for the last three or four books. What we don't know who it is, and while the choices are narrowed down quickly to just three people, we are left guessing as to which it will be until the very end. And when it does come, it's a pretty awesome scene.

There is one thing that niggled me about the book. One sentence. In fact, not even that. at one point the book mentions the "Monster Raving Anarchy Party", a political party whose name bears a remarkable similarity to the British "Monster Raving Looney Party" a joke party that runs every election to pretty much make fun of the way politics works. They actually won a seat once. Now Traviss is English, and has apparently decided it was amusing enough to put in a novel. But It's too real worldy. Star Wars should take us to a galaxy far far away. One with Coruscanti political parties, not British ones...

But other than that, the politics was done incredibly well in this book, much better than in any other Star Wars book I've read, I believe. I'm not going to explain how, as it would be a few spoilers, but the way the legal system interacts with the government, and how they both interact with supply and demand systems is actually quite complex, and Traviss does it almost ridiculously well. I find myself looking forward to her next book in the series more than I do either of the others. Maybe that will change with Denning's "Inferno", but we'll have to wait and see.

In the meantime, I still wholeheartedly recommend this series. The politics does get complex, but it's exciting, and not at all hard to read, as Traviss explains everything she needs too. It touches on different cultures, on family, on war, on politics... In fact, if there was ever a chance of a Star Wars book becoming a literary Classic, I'd say this is it.

More Information
Main Protagonist(s): 1 male (Ben Skywalker) and 1 female (Mara Jade Skywalker)
Main Antagonist(s): 1 male (Jacen Solo) and 1 female (Lumiya)
Main Relationships: Heterosexual
Genre: Science Fiction
Brief Synopsis:

SACRIFICE is the fifth book in the 9-book Legacy of the Force series, a bold new Star Wars story arc for fans of the New Jedi Order and the franchise's most popular characters: Luke, Han, and Leia. This is the middle book in the series and the second of three hardcovers. The adventure continues, and one of our storylines comes to a crucial and shocking climax. Things come to a head in the galaxy of the Skywalker and Solos when Jacen Solo makes a horrifying decision from which there is no going back. For Luke, Han and Leia, nothing will ever be the same again... 

ISBN: 978-0099491170
Amazon Link: UK | US
Pages: 512
First Published: 24 April 2008
Publisher: Arrow Books

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