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Cloak of Deception (Star Wars) Mass Market Paperback – June 25, 2002

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: LucasBooks (June 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345442970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345442970
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #313,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

At last, what you've been waiting for: a prequel to the Star Wars ramble that will explain why Chancellor Valorum fell from power.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

From New York Times bestselling author James Luceno comes an all-new Star Wars adventure that reveals the action and intrigue unfolding directly before Episode I: The Phantom Menace.

Mired in greed and corruption, tangled in bureaucracy, the Galactic Republic is crumbling. In the outlying systems, where the Trade Federation maintains a stranglehold on shipping routes, tensions are boiling over?while back in the comfort of Coruscant, the hub of civilized space and seat of the Republic government, few senators seem inclined to investigate the problem. And those who suspect Supreme Chancellor Valorum of having a hand in the machinations are baffled?especially when Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi foil an assassination attempt on the Chancellor.

With the crisis escalating, Valorum calls for an emergency trade summit. As humans and aliens gather, conspiracies sealed with large sums of money run rampant, and no one is entirely above suspicion. But the greatest threat of all remains unknown to everyone except three members of the Trade Federation who have entered into a shadowy alliance with a dark overlord. While the trio will be content with more money and fewer problems, Darth Sidious has grander, far more terrifying plans.

It is a time that tests the mettle of all those who strive to hold the Republic together?none more so than the Jedi Knights, who have long been the galaxy's best hope for preserving peace and justice. Yet despite their most valiant efforts, the meeting will explode into fiery chaos beyond everyone?s worst fears . . .

From the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

JAMES LUCENO is The New York Times bestselling author of the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order novels Agents of Chaos: Hero's Trial, Agents of Chaos: Jedi Eclipse, and The Unifying Force, as well as Star Wars: Cloak of Deception, and the eBook Darth Maul: Saboteur. He also co-authored the popular ROBOTECH series with his close friend the late Brian Daley. Luceno wrote the film adaptations for The Shadow and The Mask of Zorro. He lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife and youngest child.

Customer Reviews

The action was quick, and the characters were well done.
Beau T. Cunnyngham
As i said, I found the politics at times to be a little slow which brought the book down a little bit for me.
Matthew Schiariti
I liked how the Jedi Council sent several Jedi Masters to accompany Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to one planet.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Alex Diaz-Granados on April 16, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
"The Chancellor has little real power...he is mired down by baseless accusations of corruption." -- Senator Palpatine of Naboo to Queen Amidala, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
One of the intentions writer-director George Lucas had when writing the current prequels in the Star Wars saga was to illustrate how precarious democracy can be and how it can transform itself into a dictatorship. This little civics lesson, when added to the "main story" of how and why Anakin Skywalker becomes one of filmdom's greatest villains, was intended to answer such questions as "How did the Emperor take power?" and "Why were the Jedi nearly destroyed?" (Unfortunately, for many Star Wars fans, this civics lesson made Episode I seem like a galactic edition of C-SPAN, with all that talky maneuvering and manipulating in the Senate Hall.)
There are, however, some fans who do like the intrigue and political backstabbing that marks the end of the Galactic Republic, and James Luceno's Star Wars: Cloak of Deception gives willing readers a fascinating look behind the scenes of those "baseless accusations" aimed at Supreme Chancellor Valorum...the ones that are distracting the Republic's chief executive just as the Senate is about to be bogged down by the question of the taxation of trade routes in the galaxy.
Set shortly before the events chronicled in Michael Reaves' Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter and Star Wars: Episode I, Cloak of Deception follows Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi as they investigate the daring space pirate Captain Cohl and his gang, who have been striking at the heavily armed "freighters" of the Trade Federation...that greedy multi-system entity controlled mostly by the Neimoidians who have allied themselves with the mysterious Sith Lord.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Cloak of Deception is not only an exciting read, but it also nicely sets the stage for the events of TPM.
Most importantly for Star Wars fans, this book explains what the vague "dispute over taxation" at the beginning of Episode I is all about. Much of the information to be found here would have improved the film as well, by more fully explaining the motivations of key characters and more sharply setting the tension. For instance, the fact that the dispute isn't really about taxes, but rather about (a) a nascent rebellion, (b) the reactions of both the Trade Federation and the Republic to growing anarchy and (c) political control over large portions of the galaxy is important to understanding the issues behind TPM. Of course, Palpatine's behind-the-scenes manipulation of everyone on every side is also interesting and illuminating. As a side note, I think that in TPM Lucas wanted to hide Palpatine's actions behind a veil of secrecy and mystery, a goal that was largely successful. On the other hand, Lucas was so successful that the film left us clueless as to what the political factions were debating and why the Trade Federation was making such a hostile play for Naboo. TPM as a stand alone film would have been better served if Lucas had cleaned up those plot lines a bit - even one or two lines explaining the dilema would have helped (it's all about motivation!). Cloak of Deception corrects that oversight.
Perhaps just as important to the future development of the SW epic is Luceno's treatment of the rift among the Jedi regarding the nature of the Force. Luceno tell us that some (Qui-Gonn Jinn among them) adhere to the precepts of the "Living Force," while others (the majority of the Jedi Council) follow those of the "Unifying Force.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By cat4556 on October 19, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Most of the novels written for the Star Wars expanded universe are mainly reminiscent of the films; plenty of adventure, a wry sense of humor, and of course, scintillating lightsaber duels. Well, I'm here to tell you that Cloak of Deception is not your run-of-the-mill Star Wars novel.

Not to say that I disliked it. It was actually very difficult to put down once I'd started reading it. But what sets Cloak of Deception (written by James Luceno) apart from the other novels is that it is very much a political story and not so much an action/adventure tale that you're used to. Don't get me wrong, there were many parts filled with battles and lightsabers, however the basic story-line deals mainly with the Galactic Senate and its Chancellor as opposed to the Jedi.

Cloak of Deception centers around the mysterious assassination attempt on the life of the Supreme Chancellor Valorum, and the strange ferocity of the Nebula Front group that is currently at odds with the Trade Federation. What was interesting about this political tale, is that Luceno delves more into the mind and personality of Valorum; a character that had little to no screen time in The Phantom Menace. Qui-gon Jinn is also quite a significant character in this story, as he travels across across the galaxy, accompanied by his Padawan learner Obi-wan Kenobi, in order to investigate the mysterious Nebula Front that is suspected to have had a hand in the Chancellor's assassination attempt.

Luceno not only includes characters we've already met, but introduces some newcomers as well. To name a few: Captain Cohl, the rebellious Captain of the Hawk-Bat; Rella, his feisty female first mate; and Havac, the mysterious terrorist.
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