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“FOSTER DELVES INTO THE INTERNAL CONFLICT OF ANAKIN SKYWALKER AND THE PSYCHE OF THE JEDI.”
From the Paperback edition.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
"Haja, sweet scent--what're you hiding under that big ol' robe?"
Luminara Unduli did not look up at the large, unshaven, rough-hewn, and unpleasantly fragrant man
or his equally coarse and malodorous companions. She treated their knowing grins, the eager forward tilt of their
bodies, and their leering eyes with equal indifference--though
their collective body odor was some-what harder to ignore.
Patiently, she raised the spoonful of hot stew to her lips,
the lower of which was stained a permanent purplish black.
A series of interlocking black diamonds tattooed her chin,
while more intricate markings decorated the joints of her
fingers. The olive color of her skin contrasted strikingly
with the deep blue of her eyes.
These rose to regard the younger woman who was seated on the other side
of the table. Barriss Offee's attention shifted between her teacher and
the men crowding uncomfortably close around the two of them. Luminara
smiled to herself. A good person, was Barriss. Observant and thoughtful,
if occasionally impulsive. For now, the young woman held her peace, kept
eating, and said nothing. A judicious reaction, the older woman knew.
She's letting me take the lead, as she should.
The man who had voiced the impropriety whispered some-thing to one of
his friends. There was a ripple of crude, unpleasant laughter. Leaning
closer, he put a hand on Luminara's cloth-draped shoulder. "I asked you
a question, darlin'. Now, are you gonna show us what's under this lovely
soft robe of yours, or d'you want us to take a peek ourselves?" An air
of pheromone-charged expectation had gripped his companions. Huddled
over their food, a few of the establishment's other diners turned to
look, but none moved to voice outrage at what was happening or to
Spoon pausing before her lips, Luminara seemed to devote greater
contemplation to its contents than to the insistent query. With a sigh,
she finally downed the spoonful of stew and reached down with her free
right hand. "I suppose if you really want to see . . ."
One of the men grinned broadly and nudged his hulking companion in the
ribs. A couple of others crowded closer still, so that they were all but
leaning over the table. Luminara pulled a portion of her outer robe
aside, the intricate designs on the copper- and bronze-colored metal
bands that covered her upper forearms glinting in the diffuse light of
Beneath the robe was a metal and leather belt. Attached to
the belt were several small and unexpectedly sophisticated examples of
precision engineering. One of these was cylindrical, highly polished,
and designed to fit comfortably in a closed hand. The aggressive
spokesman for the group squinted at it, his expression slightly
confused. Behind him, a couple of his heretofore hopeful cronies
abandoned their leering expressions faster than a smuggler's ship making
an emergency jump to hyperspace.
"Mathos preserve us! That's a Jedi lightsaber!"
Expressions falling like hard rain, the band of would-be aggressors
began to back off, split up, and drift hurriedly away. Unexpectedly
deserted, their erstwhile leader was unwilling to admit defeat so
quickly. He stared at the gleaming metal cylinder.
"Not a chance, no. A 'Jedi' lightsaber, is it?" He glared belligerently
at the suddenly enigmatic object of his attentions. "I suppose that
would make you a 'Jedi Knight,' sweet splash? A lovely, lithe Jedi at
that!" He snorted derisively. "Sure and that's no Jedi lightsaber, is
it? Is it?" he growled insistently when she failed to respond.
Finishing another spoonful of her meal, Luminara Unduli carefully set
the utensil down on her nearly empty plate, delicately patted both her
decorated and her untouched lip with the supplied linen napkin, wiped
her hands, and turned to face him. Blue eyes peered upward out of her
fine-featured face, and she smiled coldly.
"You know how to find out," she informed him softly.
The big man started to say something, hesitated, reconsidered. The
attractive woman's hands rested, palm downward, on her thighs. The
lightsaber--it certainly looked like a Jedi light-saber, he found
himself thinking apprehensively--remained attached to her belt. Across
the table, the younger woman continued to eat her meal as though nothing
out of the ordinary was taking place.
Abruptly, the gruff intruder became aware of several things
simultaneously. First, he was now completely alone. His formerly
enthusiastic companions had slipped away, one by one. Second, by this
time the woman seated before him was supposed to be anxious and afraid.
Instead, she only looked bored and resigned. Third, he suddenly
remembered that he had important business elsewhere.
"Uh, sorry," he found himself mumbling. "Didn't mean to bother you. Case
of mistaken identity. Was looking for someone else." Turning, he hurried
away from the table and toward the tavern's entrance, nearly tripping
over a scraps bowl on the floor next to an unoccupied serving counter.
Several of the other patrons watched him go. Others eyed the two women
fixedly be-fore finding reason to return to their own food and
Exhaling softly, Luminara turned back to the remnants of her meal.
Making a face, she pushed the bowl and what remained of the meal away
from her. The boorish intrusion had spoiled her appetite.
"You handled that well, Master Luminara." Barriss was finishing up her
own food. The Padawan's perception might occasionally be lacking, but
never her readiness to eat. "No noise, no fuss."
"As you grow older, you'll find that you occasionally have to deal with
an excess of testosterone. Often on minor worlds like Ansion." She shook
her head slowly. "I dislike such distractions."
Barriss smiled gaily. "Don't be so somber, Master. You can't do anything
about physical attractiveness. Anyway, you've given them a story to
tell, as well as a lesson."
Luminara shrugged. "If only those in charge of the local government,
this so-called Unity of Community, were as easy to persuade to see
"It will happen." Barriss rose swiftly. "I'm finished." Together, the
two women paid for the meal and exited the establishment. Whispers,
mutterings, and not a few awed words of admiration trailed in their
"The populace has heard we're here to try to cement a permanent peace
between the city folk of the Unity and the Alwari nomads. They're
unaware of the far greater issues at stake. And we can't reveal the real
reason for our presence here without alerting those who would oppose us
to the fact that we know of their deeper intentions." Luminara drew her
robe tighter around her. It was important to present as subdued yet
impressive an appearance as possible. "Because we can't be completely
honest, the locals don't trust us."
Barriss nodded. "The city people think we favor the nomads, and the
nomads fear we're on the side of the city folk. I hate politics, Master
Luminara." One hand fell to her side. "I prefer settling differences
with a lightsaber. Much more straightforward." Her pretty face radiated
a zest for life. She had not yet lived long enough to become inured to
"It's difficult to persuade opposing sides of the rightness of your
reasoning when they're both dead." Turning up one of Cuipernam's side
streets, chaotic with traders and city folk of many different galactic
species, Luminara spoke while scanning not only the avenue but also the
flanking walls of commercial and residential buildings. "Anyone can
handle a weapon. Reason is much more difficult to wield. Remember that
the next time you're tempted to settle an argument with a lightsaber."
"I bet it's all the fault of the Trade Federation." Barriss eyed a stall
dripping with jewelry: necklaces and earrings, rings and diadems,
bracelets and hand-sculpted flash corneas. Such conventional personal
ornamentation was forbidden to a Jedi. As one of her teachers had once
explained to Barriss and her fellow Padawans, "A Jedi's glow comes from
within, not from the artificial augmentation of baubles and beads."
Still, that necklace of Searous hair and interwoven pikach stones was
"What did you say, Barriss?"
"Nothing, Master. I was just expressing my dissatisfaction at the
continuing scheming of the Trade Federation."
"Yes," Luminara agreed. "And the Commerce Guilds. They grow more
powerful by the month, always sticking their money-hungry fingers in
where they're not wanted, even if their immediate interests are not
directly involved. Here on Ansion, they openly support the towns and
cities that are loosely grouped together as the Unity of Community even
though the law of the Republic guarantees the rights of nomadic groups
like the Alwari to remain independent of such external influences. Their
activities here only complicate an already difficult situation." They
turned another corner. "As they do elsewhere."
Barriss nodded knowingly. "Everyone still remembers the Naboo incident.
Why doesn't the Senate simply vote to reduce their trade concessions?
That would settle them down a bit!"
Luminara had to fight to keep from smiling. Ah, the innocence of youth!
Barriss was well meaning and a fine Padawan, but she was unsophisticated
in the ways of governance.
"It's all very well to invoke ethics and morals, Barriss, but these days
it's ... --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B00513D3IM
- Publisher : Del Rey (June 28, 2011)
- Publication date : June 28, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 6915 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 386 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0345442997
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #335,185 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I snapped up this book because I was looking for further adventures featuring Luminara and Barriss, because after seeing The Clone Wars series, I was inspired by their characters. This book does have sufficient Luminara and Barriss content and characterisation, so along these lines, I was very pleased.
However, for those looking for lots of action and many Star Wars references and tie-ins, you may be disappointed. It does not, as other reviewers have said, have an obvious Star Wars reference around every corner, although you are not left in the dark as to its Star Wars nature because there are mentions of lightsabers, Jedi, The Republic and Separatists, etc.
Also as other reviewers have said, this story is largely a “road trip adventure,” with numerous chapters about roaming the Ansion plains, where in places it’s light on action and heavy on dialogue.
However, this book is rather about, political intrigue, developing the Jedi Master and Padawan relationship, and slow-churning character development.
Overall, this will be a great read for fans of prequel-era Star Wars. So if you share these tastes, I would highly recommend The Approaching Storm. I am looking forward to read it again.
Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker have been sent to Ansion to join another Jedi, named Luminar, and her Padawan, Barriss. Their mission is to negotiate a truce between the Unity Council that controls the city on Ansion and the Alwari, who are nomads that roam the plains. In doing so, they hope to keep Ansion from seceding from the Republic and taking countless other worlds with them in the Seperatist movement.
Although I enjoyed Foster's descriptions of the Jedi characters, I felt this story lacked too many other Star Wars elements. Established races and vehicles were lacking. A few characters that were introduced to the public at large in Episode Two make an appearance in this novel, but not enough other 'friendly' faces are present.
Overall, the novel has a style that is more akin to 'Allen Quartermain and the Lost City of Gold' than a Star Wars novel, as the Jedi roam the plains interacting with various Alwari tribes and taking on the dangerous life forms that inhabit Ansion. While the adventure was fun to read, it felt like was being accomplished.
The worst aspect of the novel was the character Tooqui. Anyone who hated the Ewoks from 'Return of the Jedi' or Jar Jar Binks from the first two prequel movies is really going to despise this character. Although this character has a few heroic moments without complete bumbling, his mannerism and description is incredibly annoying.
Despite all of this, this is still a decent novel. There are several good insights into Anakin and his impending turn to the Dark Side. The Jedi/Padawan relationship is fleshed out nicely between Anakin and Obi-Wan and Luminar and Barriss. It is a decent adventure story, it just lacked that special something that makes the Star Wars universe so unique and fun.
The plot has the typical star-wars (SW) elements: negotiations, fighting (less than other SW books), and the good versus evil approach to everything (which make this book suitable to joung readers, more than adults). But unlike most SW books which deal with galaxy wars and politics, this one deals mostly with native people on a planet, their habits and (a more primitive) way of life, and conflicts among local tribes.
To approach these people, the Jedi choose to travel ridding a kind of horses. That's a slow journey, so the reader has much time to see the landscape and life forms that live there, described with detail by the author. Their contact with the tribals is more personal, and this forces the Jedi to show a part of themselves not seen in other SW novels. One can watch a lightsaber dance, and Jedi as art performers. That was realy beautiful to see, the most beautiful scene i've read in a book in many years.
I think someone can read this book, without detailed knowledge of SW universe. So it is a good adventure for sci-fi fans in general. Even persons who like to read traveling adventures, on Earth, might find that book interesting, as long they can stand the strange names and descriptions of alien animals. Personaly i enjoyed this book, and give it 5 stars as a book for young people (4 stars as book for adults).
Top reviews from other countries
The only negatives are say is:
Soergg the Hutt isn't in most parts as much as Ogomorr is, it's more different parts of Ogomorr than his Hutt master
Luminara Unduli speaks a lot more than any other characters in this book, so heads up to not expect much out of Obi-Wan and Anakin for once, though Anakin is still arrogant and reckless
There will be a secret part with Count Dooku in it, I just wish that there was more of Count Dooku than I hoped for when I read other reviews
If you are a Star Wars fan wanting to know more on Obi-wan and Anakin before we see them in Episode II this and Rouge Planet will be good reads for you!