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The Approaching Storm: Star Wars Legends (Star Wars - Legends) by [Alan Dean Foster]
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The Approaching Storm: Star Wars Legends (Star Wars - Legends) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 234 ratings

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Length: 386 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“The best things are the new creations. The landscape and animal life of Ansion is wonderfully described. . . . [along with] some excellent fight scenes and a display of lightsaber gymnastics.”
–SFX Magazine

“FOSTER DELVES INTO THE INTERNAL CONFLICT OF ANAKIN SKYWALKER AND THE PSYCHE OF THE JEDI.”
–USA Today





From the Paperback edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter Two

"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
interfere.

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
the tavern.

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
conversation.

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
reason."

"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
wake.

"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
the new.

"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
just gorgeous.

"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.

Product details

  • 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
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 234 ratings

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
234 global ratings
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Mr. Richard J. S. Blake
5.0 out of 5 stars The Approaching Storm
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2019
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Jelly
2.0 out of 5 stars Really dull
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 15, 2020
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Samuel Vella
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring
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Rowin Klerks
4.0 out of 5 stars An insight into anakin as teenager
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Old Grim's Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A decent prequel to Attack of the Clones.
Reviewed in Australia on May 16, 2019
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