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Sacrifice (Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, Book 5) Hardcover – May 29, 2007

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Karen Traviss is the author of Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines and two Star Wars: Republic Commando novels, Hard Contact and Triple Zero, as well as City of Pearl, Crossing the Line, The World Before, Matriarch, and Ally. A former defense correspondent and TV and newspaper journalist, Traviss has also worked as a police press officer, an advertising copywriter, and a journalism lecturer. She has served in both the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service and the Territorial Army. Since her graduation from the Clarion East class of 2000, her short stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Realms of Fantasy, On Spec, and Star Wars Insider. She lives in Devizes, England.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter one

He will choose the fate of the weak.
He will win and break his chains.
He will choose how he will be loved.
He will strengthen himself through sacrifice.
He will make a pet.
He will strengthen himself through pain.
He will balance between peace and conflict.
He will know brotherhood.
He will remake himself.
He will immortalize his love.

—“Common Themes in Prophecies Recorded in the Symbology of Knotted Tassels;” by Dr. Heilan Rotham, University of Pangalactic Cultural Studies. Call for papers: the university invites submissions from khipulogists and fiber-record analysts on the subject of the remaining untranslated tassels from the Lorrd Artifact. Symposium dates may change, subject to current security situation.

Sith meditation sphere, heading, Coruscant—estimated

It was odd having to trust a ship. Ben Skywalker was alone in the vessel he’d found on Ziost, trusting it to understand that he wanted it to take him home. No navigation array, no controls, no pilot’s seat . . . nothing. Through the bulkheads he could see stars as smeared points of light, but he’d stopped finding the ship’s transparency unsettling. The hull was there. He could both see it and not see it. He felt he was in the heart of a hollowed red gem making its sedate way back to the Core.

And there was no yoke or physical control panel, so he had to think his command. The strange ship, more like a ball of rough red stone than a vessel made in a shipyard, responded to the Force.

Can’t you go faster? I’ll be an old man by the time I get back.

The ship felt instantly annoyed. Ben listened. In his mind, the ship spoke in a male voice that had no sound or real form, but it spoke: and it wasn’t amused by his impatience. It showed him streaked white lights streaming from a central point in a black void, a pilot’s view of hyperspace, and then an explosion.

“Okay, so you’re going as fast as you can . . .” Ben felt the ship’s brief satisfaction that its idiot pilot had understood. He wondered who’d made it. It was hard not to think of it as alive, like the Yuuzhan Vong ships, but he settled for seeing it as a droid, an artifact with a personality and—yes, emotions. Like Shaker.

Sorry, Shaker. Sorry to leave you to sort it all out.

The astromech droid would be fine, he knew it. Ben had dropped him off on Drewwa. That was where Shaker came from, like Kiara, and so they were both home now. Astromechs were good, reliable, sensible units, and Shaker would hand her over to someone to take care of her, poor kid . . .

Her dad’s dead and her whole life’s upended. They were just used to lure me to Ziost so someone could try to kill me. Why? Have I made that many enemies already?

The ship felt irritated again, leaving Ben with the impression that he was being whiny, but he said nothing. Ben didn’t enjoy having his thoughts examined. He made a conscious effort to control his wandering mind. The ship knew his will, spoken or unspoken, and he still wasn’t sure what the consequences of that might be. Right then, it made him feel invaded, and the relief at finding the ancient ship and managing to escape Ziost in it had given way to worry, anger, and resentment.

And impatience. He had a comlink, but he didn’t want to advertise his presence in case there were other ships pursuing him. He’d destroyed one. That didn’t mean there weren’t others.

The Amulet wasn’t that important, so why am I a target now?

The ship wouldn’t have gone any faster if he’d had a seat and a yoke to occupy himself, but he wouldn’t have felt so lost. He could almost hear Jacen reminding him that physical activity was frequently displacement, and that he needed to develop better mental discipline to rise above fidgeting restlessness. An unquiet mind wasn’t receptive, he said.

Ben straightened his legs to rub a sore knee, then settled again cross-legged to try meditating. It was going to be a long journey.

The bulkheads and deck were amber pumice, and from time to time, the surfaces seemed to burn with a fire embedded in the material. Whoever had made it had had a thing about flames. Ben tried not to think flame, in case the ship interpreted it as a command.

But it wasn’t that stupid. It could almost think for him.

He reached inside his tunic and felt the Amulet, the stupid worthless thing that didn’t seem to be an instrument of great Sith power after all, just a fancy bauble that Kiara’s dad had been sent to deliver. Now the man was dead, all because of Ben, and the worst thing was that Ben didn’t know why.

I need to find Jacen.

Jacen wasn’t stupid, either, and it was hard to believe he’d been duped about the Amulet. Maybe it was part of some plan; if it was, Ben hoped it was worth Faskus’s life and Kiara’s misery.

That’s my mission: put the Amulet of Kalara in Jacen’s hands. Nothing more, nothing less.

Jacen could be anywhere now: in his offices on Coruscant, on the front line of some battle, hunting subversives. Maybe this weird Force-controlled ship could tap in and locate him. He’d be on the holonews. He always was: Colonel Jacen Solo, head of the Galactic Alliance Guard, all-around public hero holding back the threats of a galaxy. Okay, I’m feeling sorry for myself. Stop it. He couldn’t land this ship on a Coruscant strip and stroll away from it as if it were just a TIE fighter he’d salvaged. People would ask awkward questions. He wasn’t even sure what it was. And that meant it was one for Jacen to sort out.

“Okay,” Ben said aloud. “Can you find Jacen Solo? Have you got a way of scanning comlinks? Can you find him in the Force?”

The ship suggested he ought to be able to do that himself. Ben concentrated on Jacen’s face in his mind, and then tried to visualize the Anakin Solo, which was harder than he thought.

The sphere ship seemed to be ignoring him. He couldn’t feel its voice; even when it wasn’t addressing him or reacting to him, there was a faint background noise in his mind that gave him the feeling the vessel was humming to itself, like someone occupied with a repetitive task.

“Can you do it?” If it can’t, I’ll try to land inside the GAG compound and hope for the best. “You don’t want Galactic Alliance engineers crawling all over you with hydrospanners, I bet.”

The ship told him to be patient, and that it had nothing a hydrospanner could grip anyway.

Ben occupied himself with trying to pinpoint Jacen before the ship could. But Jacen’s trick of hiding in the Force had become permanent; Ben found he was impossible to track unless he wanted to be found, and right then there was nothing of him, not a whisper or an echo. Ben thought he might have more luck persuading the ship to seek holonews channels—or maybe it was so old that it didn’t have the technology to find those frequencies.

Hey, come on. If it managed to destroy a freighter on the power of my thoughts alone, it can find a holonews signal.

Ah, said the ship.

Ben’s mind was suffused with a real sense of discovery. The ship dropped out of hyperspace for a moment and seemed to cast around, and then it felt as if it had found something. The starfield—visible somehow, even though the fiery, rocky bulkheads were still there—skewed as the ship changed course and jumped back into hyperspace. It radiated a sense of happy satisfaction, seeming almost . . . excited.

“Found him?”

The ship said it had found what it was seeking. Ben decided not to engage it in a discussion of how it could find a shutdown Jacen hiding in the Force.

“Well, let me know when we get within ten thousand klicks,” Ben said. “I can risk using the comlink then.”

The ship didn’t answer. It hummed happily to itself, silent but filling Ben’s head with ancient harmonies of a kind he’d never imagined sounds could create.

Colonel Jacen Solo’s cabin, Star Destroyer Anakin Solo, extended course, heading 000—Coruscant, via the construum system

None of the crew of the Anakin Solo seemed to find it odd that the ship was taking an extraordinarily circuitous course back to Coruscant.

Jacen sensed the general resigned patience. It was what they expected from the head of the Galactic Alliance Guard, and they asked no questions. He also sensed Ben Skywalker, and it was taking every scrap of his concentration to focus on his apprentice and locate him.

He’s okay. I know it. But something didn’t go as planned.

Jacen homed in on a point of blue light on the bridge repeater set in the bulkhead. He felt Ben at the back of his mind the way he might smell a familiar but elusive scent, the kind that was so distinctive as to be unmistakable. Unharmed, alive, well—but something wasn’t right. The disturbance in the Force—a faint prickling sharpness at the back of his throat that he’d never felt before—made Jacen anxious; these days he didn’t like what he didn’t know. It was a stark contrast with the days when he had wandered the galaxy in search of the esoteric and the mysterious for the sake of new Force knowledge. Of late, he wanted certainty. He wanted order, and order of his own making.

I wasn’t ridding the galaxy of chaos then. Times have changed. I’m responsible for worlds now, not just myself.

Ben’s mission would have taken him . . . where, exactly? Ziost. Pinpointing a fourteen-year-old boy—not even a ship, just fifty-five kilos of humanity—in a broad corridor coiling around the Perlemian Trade Route was a tall order even with help from the Force.


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Product Details

  • Series: Star Wars: Legacy of the Force, Book 5 (Book 5)
  • Hardcover: 367 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey / Ballantine; 1st edition (May 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345477405
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345477408
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

#1 New York Times best-selling novelist, scriptwriter and comics author Karen Traviss has received critical acclaim for her award-nominated Wess'har series, and her work on Halo, Gears of War, Batman, and other major franchises has earned her a broad range of fans. She's best known for military science fiction, but GOING GREY, the first of her new techno-thriller series, is set in the real world of today. A former defence correspondent and TV and newspaper journalist, she lives in Wiltshire, England. She's currently writing the new G.I. Joe flagship comic series, and working on BLACK RUN, the sequel to GOING GREY.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By J. S. Tucker on June 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The book itself was good, the Legacy story continues to move along in a way that continues to hold my interest captive and thrill me. There was ALOT of hype built up for this book...two of only three hardcovers of the series, Darth-Who is revealed, and you can just feel that something BAD is about to happen that is going to throw things into whack, like who or what Jacen's sacrifice would be.

Overall the story moved nicely, but I was a little dissapointed as little action really took place. There were fights sure, but this was more like one of the 'drama' and plot points kind of books in a series. Battles weren't fought with clashing sabers or in space, but within the mind and hearts of the characters, which is cool...whatever floats your boat.

Someone on a Star Wars forum board hit the nail on the head MONTHS ago about this book, they said, 'Expect a hardcover book about Mando's/Boba Fett with a little Jedi and a twist about Jacen'. Even though Jacen and Ben got a healthy portion of the book, I couldn't help but feel Boba and the Mando's were center stage. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE what Karen Traviss is doing, she's single-handedly cleaned up the EU about Boba and Mando's and made them interesting and important again. Though as important as their part was in the book and setting up for future events, I feel they kind of stole the spotlight a little.

One major gripe, at what point did the authors feel it was necessary to make up Star wars versions of cursewords? Why did they feel compelled to make the characters curse SO MUCH?? I can't see Luke or Mara saying the cross match for 'F'ing', it just seems...wrong and trashy. It's Star Wars! 'Family Feel'? A Sci-Fi/Fantasy adventure of wonder...Star Wars is getting to realistic for my taste lately.
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20 of 26 people found the following review helpful By S. H. Kennedy on July 16, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me start out by saying that I love that the Star Wars Universe lives on in books - the characters age, earth-shattering stories and adventures continue, new players join the scene. I will probably keep buying Star Wars books as long as they keep pumping them out.

However, I have to say that this series, and particularly this book, has been subpar and somewhat of a disappointment. There are some incredibly powerful themes to be mined here (son against parents/mentors, government against the individual, contrasting moralities and more), and Traviss (and the other authors who have contributed books to the series as well) only comes away with a few nuggets while bypassing the mother lode. But as I read further into the series, I can't help but ask: Are our favorite characters really this dumb? Is a government in control of thousands of planetary systems, supposedly a democracy, really this corrupt and stupid? (Sure, they could be making parallels to the current administration, but I really feel like it's out of place in the Star Wars universe.) Did these books really make it all the way through the editing process with no one noticing the gigantic plot holes, unfulfilled promises or flimsy premises that are abandoned as soon as the story moves on to the next plot point?

What it comes down to is that the favorite son of the Jedi, Jacen, turns dark, really dark, for pretty flimsy reasons. All of the signs are there, but no one can stop him, due to rampant ignorance, stupidity and failure to communicate. There have to be better plot devices than this to get to the same place, but none of the authors in this series have managed to stumble upon them.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By starduster on December 13, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Legacy of the Force series seems to be written by authors who want to do little but sHoW how far the main characters including the Solo and Skywalker clans and their children can justify murder and killing. There's hardly aNY likeable characters in the series. Luke seems full of doubt and then ends up taking vengeance completely out of his character. The Skywalker and Solo children come across as muderous brats who seem to have no knowledge or respect for any of the original Star Wars characters, not even their parents. It's as if the writers wish Darth Vader was alive, but make his spirit alive in Ben, Jacen, Luke, and even Han who tries to kill his own brother. Out of all the books in the series, I found this one the most unrealistic and distasteful. I've read all the prequels, movie books, and all of the series of the Star Wars universe. I'm not sure I'll be reading any future books as this series and this book have just about killed my interest in any future Star Wars books. I see no attempt to follow what Lucas showed the dark and light side of the Force to be. Revenge, murder, and complete family and relational dysfuntion seems to be what's on tap. It's like turning Star Wars into a soap opera! What don't they just have all of the Solo and Skywalker family members betray and murder each other and finish all of the Star Wars universe!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By chickwithbook on November 14, 2010
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Star Wars extended universe officially jumps the shark in this book. As if The New Jedi Order series hadn't done enough dreary damage to once long-beloved characters, the Legacy of the Force series turns them stupid, willfully blind and just plain moronic. Featuring one of the most pathetic villains in the EU to date (and considering the books written by Kevin J. Anderson, that's saying something) and the complete character assassination of the leading cast, Sacrifice is unreadable. Which, considering that author Karen Traviss is firmly on record as saying she hates to read, only comes as a surprise to the brain trusts at Del Rey who hired her. Traviss should stick to the two-dimensional video game characters for whom she has such an affinity and leave her rather sketchy political leanings out of the Star Wars universe (soldiers with big guns are kewl, Jedi and all their respect for life schtick are douches.)

The only thing that can save the EU now is a complete reboot.

Stay far, far away from this series.
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