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Exile (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, Book 4) Mass Market Paperback – BD-ROM, February 27, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Aaron Allston is the New York Times bestselling author of the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines novels: Rebel Dream and Rebel Stand; novels in the popular Star Wars X-Wing series; and the Doc Sidhe novels, which combine 1930s-style hero-pulps with Celtic myth. He is also a longtime game designer and was recently inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design (AAGAD) Hall of Fame. He lives in Central Texas. Visit his website at www.AaronAllston.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Outside Corellian Space Star Destroyer Anakin Solo

It wasn’t exactly guilt that kept Jacen awake night after night. Rather, it was an awareness that he should feel guilty, but didn’t, quite.

Jacen leaned back in a chair comfortable enough to sleep in, its leather as soft as blue butter, and stared at the stars.

The blast shields were withdrawn from the oversized viewport of his private office, and the chamber itself was dark, giving him an unencumbered view of space.

His office was on the port side, the bow was oriented toward the sun Corell, and the stern was pointed back toward Coruscant, so he’d be looking toward Commenor, Kuat, the Hapes Cluster, the length of the Perlemian Trade Route . . . But he did not try to pick out these stars individu- ally. Astronomy was a lifelong occupation for people who spent their entire existences on only one planet; how much harder must such a study be for someone like Jacen, who traveled from star to star throughout his life?

He let his eyelids sag, but his mind continued to race, as it had every day since he and his task force had rescued Queen Mother Tenel Ka of the Hapes Consortium from an insurrection, instigated by treacherous Hapan nobles aided by a Corellian fleet.

In the midst of all those events, believing that Han and Leia Solo had been part of the plot, Jacen had ordered the Anakin Solo’s long-range turbolasers brought to bear against the Millennium Falcon. Later, he had heard compelling evidence that his parents had played no part in that plot.

So where was the guilt? Where was the horror he should have felt at an attempted act of patricide and matricide? What sort of father could he be to Allana if he could do this without remorse?

He didn’t know. And he was certain that until he did know, sleep would continue to elude him.

Behind his chair, a lightsaber came to life with its characteristic snap-hiss, and the office was suddenly bathed in blue light. Jacen was on his feet before the intruder’s blade had been fully extended, his own lightsaber in hand, thumbing its blade to life, gesturing with his free hand to direct the Force to sweep his chair out of the way.

When it was clear, he could look upon the intruder—she was small enough that the chair had concealed all but the tip of her glowing weapon.

On the other side of the desk stood his mother, Leia Organa Solo. But she did not carry her own lightsaber. Jacen recognized it by its hilt, its color. It was the lightsaber Mara Jade Skywalker had carried for so many years. Luke Skywalker’s first lightsaber. Anakin Skywalker’s last lightsaber.

Leia wore brown Jedi robes, and her hair was down, loose. She held her lightsaber in a two-handed grip, point up and hilt back, ready to strike.

“Hello, Mother.” This seemed like an appropriate time for the more formal term, rather than Mom. “Have you come to kill me?”

She nodded. “I have.”

“Before you attack—how did you get aboard? And how did you get into this office?”

She shook her head, her expression sorrowful. “Do you think ordinary defenses can mean anything at a time like this?”

“Perhaps not.” He shrugged. “I know you’re an experienced Jedi, Mother, but you’re not a match for any Jedi Knight who’s been fighting and training constantly throughout his career . . . because you haven’t.”

“And yet I’m going to kill you.”

“I don’t think so. I’m prepared for any tactic, any ploy you’re likely to use.”

Now she did smile. It was the smile he’d seen her turn on political enemies when they’d made the final mistakes of their careers, the feral smile of a war-dog toying with its prey. “Likely to use. Don’t you know that the whole book of tactics changes when the attacker has chosen not to survive the fight?”

Her face twisted into a mask of anger and betrayal. She released her grip on the lightsaber hilt with her left hand and reached out, pushing. Jacen felt the sudden buildup of Force energy within her.

He twisted to one side. Her exertion in the Force would miss him—

And then he realized, too late, that it was supposed to.

The Force energy hurtled past him and hit the viewport dead center, buckling it, smashing it out into the void of space.

Jacen leapt away. If he could catch the rim of the doorway into the office, hold on there for the second or two it took for the blast shutters to close, he would not be drawn out through the viewport—

But Leia’s own leap intercepted his. She slammed into him, her arms wrapping around him, her lightsaber falling away. Together they flew through the viewport.

Jacen felt coldness cut through his skin and deaden it. He felt air rush out from his lungs, a death rattle no one could hear. He felt pain in his head, behind his brow ridge, from his eyes, as they swelled and prepared to burst.

And all the while Leia’s mouth was working as though she were still speaking. For one improbable moment he wondered if she would talk forever, rebuking her son as they twirled, dead, throughout eternity.

Then, as in those last seconds he knew he must, he awoke, once again seated in his comfortable chair, once again staring at the stars.

A dream. Or a sending? He spoke aloud: “Was that you?” And he waited, half expecting Lumiya to answer, but no response came.

He turned his chair around and found his office to be reassuringly empty. With a desktop control, he closed the blast shutters over his viewport.

Finally, he consulted his chrono.

Fifteen standard minutes had passed since the last time he’d checked it. He’d had at most ten minutes of sleep.

He put his booted feet up on the desktop, leaned back, and tried to slow his racing heart.

And to sleep.

Coruscant Galactic Alliance Transportation Depot, Near the Jedi Temple

The Beetle Nebula settled down to a landing on an elevated docking platform adjacent to the blue, mushroom-shaped transportation depot. The maneuver was smooth and gentle for a craft so large—at two hundred meters, the Freebooter-class transport was an awkward-looking vessel anywhere but in space. From above, she looked like a crescent moon bisected by a knife blade, the blade point oriented in the same direction as the crescent tips, and her wide, curved stern put observers in mind more of fat-bottomed banthas than of sleek, stylish vessels of war.

But that wide stern could carry large volumes of personnel and matériel, and in the moments after the ship settled onto her landing pylons, a dozen loading ramps came down and began disgorging streams of uniformed soldiers—many on leave, others, riding repulsorlift-based medical gurneys, being guided to hospitals.

From a much smaller platform fifty meters from the Beetle Nebula’s starboard bow, Jedi Master Kyp Durron watched the event unfold. At this distance, he could barely see facial features of the new arrivals, but could distinguish enough to see faces light up with happiness as they recognized loved ones in the crowd below.

And through the Force he could feel the emotion of the day. It swelled from the Beetle Nebula and her surroundings. Pain radiated from shattered bones and seared stumps that had once been connected to organic limbs. Pain flowed from remembrances of how those injuries were sustained and of how friends had been lost forever to battle.

But more than that, there were sentiments of relief and happiness. People were returning home from battle, here to rest and recover. They were veterans of the extraordinary space battle that had so recently been waged in the Hapan system. Some of the veterans knew pride in their role in that battle, some knew shame or regret, but all were glad it was over. All were glad to be here.

And for a few quiet moments, Kyp relaxed, letting the emotions from the other platform wash over him like a cool, refreshing stream in summertime. The muted nature of the sounds of welcome from that platform, of Coruscant air traffic not too far away, of transport and commerce from the adjacent depot, allowed him to stay comfortable, detached.

Then he felt new presences in the Force, specific presences for whom he had been waiting. He glanced away from the depot and up, toward the origin of that sensation, and saw the Jade Shadow on an approach angle straight toward him.

The craft approached the depot at a speed slightly faster than safe, then rapidly decelerated and dropped to a smooth repulsorlift landing atop the platform, mere meters from Kyp. He grinned. Whoever was piloting—probably Mara—had either playfully or maliciously made the approach as intimidating as possible, the better to spook him into sudden retreat. Of course, he hadn’t budged. He waved a hand at the shapes within the cockpit, indistinct behind its viewscreens, and waited.

Soon enough the boarding ramp descended and down trotted Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade Skywalker. They were dressed simply, Luke in black, Mara, for once, in the standard two-shades-of-brown Jedi robes.

Kyp offered a smile and extended a hand to Luke. “Grand Master Skywalker.”

Luke took it. “Master Durron.”

“And Master Skywalker.”

Mara gave him a nod of greeting, but Kyp detected a trace of irritation or impatience. “Master Durron.”

“That’s a new hand, I take it.” Kyp released his grip. “I heard about your injuries. How does it compare with the old one?”

Luke held up his right hand and looked at his palm. “The neural matrix is more sophisticated, so it feels even more like flesh and blood. But—you know how a droid whose memory is never wiped tends to become more individual, more idiosyncratic.”

Kyp nodded. “You’re not suggesting that a prosthetic hand does the same thing. It doesn’t have enough memory.”

Luke shrugged. “I don’t know what I’m suggesting. Maybe through the Force my brain developed a familiarity with the old hand that exceeded what’s normal. Regardless, this one doesn’t feel right yet.”

“Meaning,” Mara said, “that he’s dropped from being the most accomplished lightsaber artist in the galaxy to, well, still being the most accomplished, just a little less so for the time being.”

“Aunt Mara? Oops. Hello, Kyp. Master Durron.” The voice was Jaina Solo’s, and Kyp looked up to see the diminutive Jedi at the top of the boarding ramp.

“Jaina.” Kyp gave her a friendly nod. He steered his thoughts away from the time, years ago, when he had fixated on her, when she was still a teenager, when he was a younger, more self-centered man who hadn’t recognized that his interest in her was more about loneliness and self-appreciation than it was about anything else.

Here today, he pretended that she had never meant anything more to him than the daughter of his oldest surviving friend should. She, perhaps, didn’t have to pretend. Giving Kyp a brief smile, she returned her attention to Mara. “So can I take Zekk and Ben to the Temple now?”

Mara nodded. “I think so. Kyp, any reason to delay?”

“No.” He glanced to the left, where the nearby Jedi Temple was clearly visible just past the Jade Shadow’s stern. “Unless you’d like to save your engines—I can just pick you up and set you down over there.” He reached out with his hand, palm up, an overly dramatic gesture, and the Jade Shadow vibrated for a moment, moving under the pressure he exerted with the Force.

Jaina gave him a reproving look. She turned around, and the boarding ramp lifted into place, concealing her.

“How is Zekk?” Kyp asked.

Mara looked unconcerned. “He’ll make a full recovery. The surgeons on Hapes were very proficient. But he’ll be out of action for a while.” Her expression became concerned. “How many people know how it happened?”

“Just me, for the moment.” Kyp gestured to the far side of the platform, adjacent to the depot. “My speeder’s over here.” Once they were all moving toward his vehicle, he continued, “I was assigned the investigation on this one.” All lightsaber accidents that caused any harm to a living being had to be looked into, and any Master on duty at the Temple might be randomly assigned the duty of investigation.

Mara’s face set. “Everybody who witnessed it said it was an accident.”

Kyp nodded. “Of course, and Luke’s report makes it pretty clear what happened. So I should dispense with our customs, not investigate at all, take the day off?” They reached the platform edge and Kyp’s airspeeder, a long, narrow yellow vehicle with comfortable seats in front and a backseat that looked as though it were scaled for children. Kyp hopped into the pilot’s seat and extended a gallant hand for Mara.

She gave him an admonishing look and leapt past him into the front passenger’s seat. “No, of course not.” She sat. “I’m just a little touchy about it, I suppose. My son has a lightsaber accident. Suddenly I feel the eyes of all the Jedi in the galaxy on me.”

Luke stepped into the backseat and settled behind Kyp. “So what is this all about?”

Kyp sank into the pilot’s seat, activated the speeder, and pulled straight back in a speedy reverse that put them within meters of the nearest cross-traffic stream. “You don’t want to sit right behind me. Trust me.” He swerved so he was pointed in the direction of the traffic stream’s travel and accelerated, as though he were playing a Millennium Falcon simulator, to merge with the stream.

“Why not—oh.”

Caught by the wind, Kyp’s hair was pulled from where it lay within the hood of his Jedi cloak. Stretched to full length, its tips whipped mere centimeters in front of Luke’s eyes and occasionally tickled his nose.

Luke slid sideways to the center of the seat. “You’ve grown it out.”

Kyp reached up to give his hair an indulgent stroke, then grinned at his simulated display of vanity. “I’ve been seeing a lady who likes it long. And doesn’t mind all the gray in it.”

“Congratulations. So again, what is this all about?”

“Chief Omas and Admiral Niathal wanted to see you on your return from Hapes. They asked me to bring you. You can opt out if the timing isn’t good.”

Mara gave him a puzzled frown. “Is this about what happened on Hapes?”

“Sort of.” Kyp gave her a broad, trouble-loving smile. “This time, they want Luke to make Jacen a Jedi Master.”

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 337 pages
  • Publisher: LucasBooks; PaperBack Edition edition (February 27, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345477537
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345477538
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Aaron Allston is the New York Times bestselling author of the Star Wars: Legacy of the Force novels Betrayal, Exile, and Fury; the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines adventures Rebel Dream and Rebel Stand; novels in the popular Star Wars X-Wing series; and the Doc Sidhe novels, which combine 1930s-style hero-pulps with Celtic myth. He is also a longtime game designer and was recently inducted into the Academy of Adventure Gaming Arts & Design (AAGAD) Hall of Fame.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Andromeda on June 12, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
There were only two real noteworthy things that happened in Exile, Ben being sent unknown to him on a Sith test and the Skywalker-Solo (minus Jacen of course) clan coming to realize that their family being split may be exactly what the enemy is wanting. I liked Ben's test being him alone on a Sith planet where he and only he can choice which path he'll follow and struggling to survive. The second part it was nice to see the Skywalkers-Solos come to the realization. I had hoped with this being the fourth book we would have more answers about the war, the reasons behind it, about Lumyia or something instead the rest was nothing more then Jacen still deciding who his Sacrifice would be and setting up for his plan at the end of the story at painstaking slowness that by the time the it got to the point I was asleep. I hope the next book will better. More answers, more things happening and less endless slowness.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Katrin von Martin on May 3, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
So far, I've rather enjoyed the Legacy of the Force series and have eagerly devoured the first three books of the series. Exile, however, took me almost two weeks to get through and then didn't leave me feeling particularly satisfied. I'm sad to say that this is probably my least favourite book of the series so far and, for the first time, I'm starting to doubt if the LotF can really span out over five more books and still stay interesting. Spoilers follow.

There honestly isn't a lot that happens in this book; or nothing of great importance, at any rate. The main points are Ben being sent on a secret Sith test, the Skywalker- Solo families coming together and realizing the significance of their unity, and the siding of a few key planets with Corellia. Between these points is some well-written filler, ending with a failed attempt by Jacen to infiltrate a conference of the new Corellian Federation.

The main problem is that nothing really happens. Don't get me wrong, the book isn't absolutely horrible; in fact, what is important is very well done and will most likely have a significant impact on future events. The main points are surrounded in filler and some interesting, but ultimately unimportant events (such as Leia, Han, the Antilles family, and Alema doing their thing on the Errant Venture). Ultimately, the plot isn't really developed any further than it was at the end of the third book.

Still on the run from the Galactic Alliance and the Corellia system, Han and Leia find their way to Lando Calrissian, who repairs their ship and aids them in travelling freely via disguise. From there, they meet up with the Antilles family and board the gambling ship Errant Venture in hopes of gaining access to Corellian space.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Daiho VINE VOICE on April 10, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This fourth volume in the Legacy of the Force series brings us now to near mid-point in the planned nine-volume series and leaves us in much the same spot as we were at the end volume three, with all the major heroes and villains having had another go at one another without serious injury, death, or development of plot.

Now on the run from both The Galactic Alliance and Corellia, the exiled Han and Leia Solo seek the aid and assistance of Lando Calrissian, who joins his old friends in disguise as owners of a gambling and pleasure ship. Together they arrange GA license to operate in Corellian space, where they sit, watch, and wait for the disfigured and deranged Twilek, Alema Rar. Back from his own exile is Chis pilot Jagged Fel, whose personal mission dovetails nicely with Han and Leia's and who under Luke's orders is assigned to work with Jaina and Zekk to capture or destroy the former Dark Nester and agent of the series' arch villain, Lumiya.

Jacen, meanwhile, sends Ben on a mission to test his cousin's suitability as a Sith apprentice, a mission that ends with Ben stranded on the ancient Sith home world of Ziost fighting for physical survival. While Ben struggles to balance the imperative of his mission with the Jedi imperative to protect life, other worlds join Corellia in seceding from the GA, widening the potential conflict and setting up Exile's final scene, in which Jacen infiltrates a meeting to elect a military commander for the newly christened Corellian Confederation

That particular mission turns rather predictably to failure, an end clumsily telegraphed to any reader passingly familiar with action/adventure/fantasy fiction, in which the details of military plans are glossed to preserve suspense for the actual battle scenes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Howell on February 9, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Frankly, this review will doubtfully get any "helpful" votes. Quite simply, this book does nothing. It is stagnant throughout and the only bit of interest doesn't begin until around page 260 out of a 337 page book. That isn't good. We see a return of Lando who is present to, I guess, help Han and Leia sneak into and out of Corellia... again. Booster Terrick's Errant Venture star destroyer-turned-travelling casino sets up business in the blockade of Corellia. Bothewai and Commenor side with Corellia and the blockade is broken. Ben learns how to steal and manipulate people as he chases after a purported Sith artifact. Ho-hum. Really nothing in the story is propelled forward and I felt I wasted my time with this episode in the story-arc. Others have said it with less critique (and generously giving it 3 stars) but it is just plain boring. Once again, this entire book could have been condensed down to a 50-75 page story.
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