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Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Vortex
Troy Denning
Lucas Books, Del Rey, 379 pages

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Vortex
Troy Denning
Troy Denning graduated from Beloit College with BAs in Sociology and English Composition. He started working as an editor in the adventure gaming industry then moved into the design department. Over the next ten years he served as a creative supervisor for several game companies (TSR, Pacesetter, and Mayfair), and designed more than two dozen game titles including the Dark Sun role-playing world (with Tim Brown). His first book was the New York Times bestseller Waterdeep, written under the pseudonym Richard Awlinson.

ISFDB Bibliography
SF Site Review: Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Abyss
SF Site Review: Tatooine Ghost

Past Feature Reviews
A review by David Maddox

The evil entity Abeloth has been defeated. The madness-plague affecting young Jedi Knights has vanished. The alliance between Luke Skywalker and the Lost Tribe of the Sith still holds, although tenuously. But animosity between Galactic Alliance Head Natasi Daala and the Jedi Order continues to grow. Assassination attempts are being made on key Alliance figures and slave revolt outbreaks have been reported from Outer Rim worlds. And is all as it truly seems with Abeloth's corpse?

The sixth installment in the Fate of the Jedi series picks up immediately after the last book, Allies. Luke and his Sith "allies" are licking their wounds after apparently killing the ancient creature Abeloth, the monster responsible for driving young Jedi, who were kept at Haven during the Yuuzhan-Vong war, insane. Ben Skywalker's feelings for Sith apprentice Vestara Khai continues to develop despite her numerous betrayals. And as usual, all is definitely not as it seems. The Lost Tribe desperately wants to unlock Abeloth's secrets and that may be the last straw keeping Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker from becoming their enemy once again.

Back of Coruscant, Head of State Daala still can't come to terms with Acting Grand Master Kenth Hamner, and he himself is quickly losing the support of the Jedi Masters and the Council. All the while, Leia and Han Solo are planning a rescue of Jedi Coran Horn's children, locked in a detention center and still trapped in carbonite from their initial infection way back in Outcast.

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Vortex slowly continues the Fate of the Jedi arc, adding more unpleasantness and strife to that Galaxy Far, Far Away as it struggles with repairing the damage from the war and Darth Caedus's empire. Troy Denning includes his usual flair for action, some good lightsaber battles and strives to keep the reader interested while adding more elements of mystery to the tale.

However, now that we're over half-way through the nine-book story, it does seem that things are being… shall we say… stretched? The narrative of running from one planet to the next is wearing a little thin, now that Luke and Ben are no longer following Jacen Solo's pilgrimage through the Outer Rim. The back and forth between Daala and the Solos is starting to get repetitious, especially her inability to see the difference between Jedi and Sith. Plus a visit to the Fallanassi and the White Current (created in Michael P. Kube-McDowell's New Rebellion trilogy) doesn't help matters. An answer or two to a few of the mysteries would be nice.

Not that it isn't an intriguing saga of the Expanded Universe. The best thing to arise from it being the pre-Darth Bane Sith Tribe who know nothing of the Rule of Two. Although Sith by nature, it is nice to see the varying degrees of some of the characters and they could certainly be poised to be the next great adversary to the classic Star Wars heroes. Ben's desire to pull Vestra back into the light, much like his father did with his mother, is quite a touching element.

Trilogies have proven to work best for the Star Wars Universe and were this a set of three trilogies with three arcs that would be one thing, yet the story involved still seems too drawn out to cross the nine planned books. With three installments left to go, we shall see how much impact on the Expanded Universe this series will have and just what the Fate of the Jedi will be.

Copyright © 2011 David Maddox

David Maddox
Science fiction enthusiast David Maddox has been Star Trek characters, the Riddler in a Batman stunt show and holds a degree in Cinema from San Francisco State University. He has written several articles for various SF sites as well as the Star Wars Insider and the Star Trek Communicator. He spends his time working on screenplays and stories while acting on stage, screen and television. He can sometimes be seen giving tours at Universal Studios Hollywood and playing Norman Bates.

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