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Edge of Victory 1: Conquest (Star Wars: The New Jedi Order) Paperback – April 3, 2001
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From the Inside Flap
"The dazzling Star Wars" space adventure continues in The New Jedi" Order" as Luke Skywalker, Anakin Solo, Mara Jade Skywalker, and others battle their deadliest enemy in a tale of nonstop action, shadowy evil, and spectacular triumph . . .
No longer content with the destruction the Yuuzhan Vong have already sown, Warmaster Tsavong Lah has demanded the heads of all the Jedi. Now the Jedi Knights are in terrible danger-and none more so than the young students at the Jedi academy on Yavin 4. Already the sympathizers known as the Peace Brigade are in the Yavin system-and a Yuuzhan Vong fleet is not far behind.
At Luke Skywalker's request, Talon Karrde mounts an expedition to rescue the young students. Anakin Solo has his own ideas. Impatient, and figuring that forgiveness is easier to come by than permission, he takes off for Yavin 4 in his X-wing.
When it comes to confidence, courage, and raw Force talent, Anakin has few peers. But when his friend Tahiri is separated from the other academy kids and captured by the Yuuzhan Vong, even Anakin may be in over his head. For the aliens have a different future in mind for Tahiri, and they will stop at nothing to achieve their horrific ends . . .
About the Author
Under the name J. Gregory Keyes, Greg Keyes is the #1 bestselling author of The Age of Reason series, featuring Newton’s Cannon, A Calculus of Angels, Empire of Unreason, and the upcoming The Shadows of God. He is also the author of The Blackgod and The Waterborn. Keyes is a teacher at the University of Georgia and is pursuing a Ph.D. in the anthropology of belief systems and mythology. He was born in Mississippi and was raised there and on a Navajo reservation in Arizona.
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So here comes a new author with a new duology, and he does not disappoint. This book was so gripping I finished it in a single sitting over a couple of hours. Restricting the novel mostly to Anakin, the story is focused and terse. We learn a lot more about the Vong and even come to sympathize with one of them. This is a great entry into the series and I'm looking forward to reading the next one.
The Yuuzhan Vong so far have been unstoppable. Now they have demanded the capture of all the Jedi and have offered to stop all hostile actions if the Jedi are turned over to them. They particularly want Jacen Solo. The Peace Brigade will do anything the Yuuzhan Vong want, and they are searching for Jedi. The students at Luke’s Jedi Academy on Yavin 4 are in significant danger because the Peace Brigade ships are already in the Yavin system and a Yuuzhan Vong fleet is following along close behind.
The leadership of the New Republic is refusing to take any official action to rescue the students on Yavin 4 so Anakin acts on his own initiative to fly to the Academy and see what can be done. He is particularly worried about the safety of his best friend, a 14-year-old girl named Tahiri. The two of them were often a team working together when Anakin was attending the Academy. Anakin arrives in the nick of time and does what he can. Most of the students are recued, but Tahiri is captured and Anakin remains on Yavin in a perilous situation.
At this point the story takes a dramatic turn when Anakin receives help from a rogue Yuuzhan Vong. Vua Rapuung is a warrior who offers to help Anakin for his own purposes of seeking revenge for serious wrong done to him by another Yuuzhan Vong. The two of them work their way back across Yavin, infiltrate the alien compound, and do what they came to do. Tahiri especially needs help because the Yuuzhan Vong are using extreme measures to turn her into one of them.
Conquest is a fun book to read, and Anakin and Tahiri are excellent characters. Maybe the New Jedi Order series will remain that way. One can hope. This book was definitely a highlight of the series so far.
The Yuuzhan Vong go to Yavin to wipe out the Jedi. They capture Anakin's best friend, Tahiri, whom he must save. Along the way, Anakin makes an unlikely ally. Through deep philosophical discussions, Anakin finds his place within the Force, where it exists within the galaxy -- a deeper understanding.
Tahiri is young, fourteen, but only two years younger than Anakin. In an effort to make her appear childlike and naive, the author portrays her as almost a caricature of a child to start. As I read her dialogue, I could only imagine a cartoon character speaking. This made it very difficult to become immersed in the tale. Only after her capture did everything get much meatier. Anakin's journey fully immersed me in the story. We learn things we never knew about Yuuzhan Vong. He grows, he learns, as we do.
If you are looking for other major characters, they won't appear more than briefly. I almost thought I wouldn't like it, but the heart of the novel was well worth my while.
While this is a shorter entry into the series thus far, it reveals more about the culture and mind of the Yuuzhan Vong than any of the books before it through Anakin's pseudo side-kick Vua Rapuung--a Yuuzhan Vong outcast that is on a quest for revenge--and through the "villain" Nen Yim as she struggles to maintain an appearance of devout loyalty to Yuuzhan Vong doctrine while secretly conducting blasphemous experiments that she thinks will further their cause.
The main reason that this book is such an amazing part of the series is because it is an incredible "coming of age" story for Anakin Solo. His character is developed more in this book than all the other EU books combined. Reading it will provide insight into his mind and actions in the books and stories that follow.
Greg Keyes knows Star Wars. His vocabulary and word choice are perfect. All our favorite characters have perfect representations except for very few occasions when the dialogue may seem a bit off.
If you have felt worried or doubted the direction this series has gone up until this book, this one will sway you and make you excited for what comes next. Read it!