- Series: Star Wars
- Mass Market Paperback: 385 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey (March 3, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553574132
- ISBN-13: 978-0553574135
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 331 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Shadows of the Empire (Star Wars) Mass Market Paperback – March 3, 1997
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From the Inside Flap
"Shadows of the Empire illuminates the shadowy outlines of a criminal conspiracy that exists in the background of the events in the movies, ruled by a character new to us. Prince Xizor is a mastermind of evil who dares to oppose one of the best-known fictional villains of all time: Darth Vader. The story involves all the featured "Star Wars movie characters, plus Emperor Palpatine and, of course, Lord Vader himself.
About the Author
Steve Perry is an author and television writer. A native of the Deep South, he is the author of more than 50 novels and numerous short stories, including The Forever Drug, Spindoc, The Trinity Vector, and the Matador series. He also penned books for the Alien, Conan, and Star Wars franchises. A practitioner of the martial art Silat, he is the father of science fiction author S. D. Perry.
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Showing 1-6 of 331 reviews
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Readers get a peek into Vader's thoughts and emotions as he searches for Luke and competes with his rival, Prince Xizor, a formidable foe. I always hesitate when new major characters are introduced -- never sure if I will like them. Xizor was an excellent addition. I would have loved to see him in the movies.
Leia is despondent over the loss of Han. She searches the galaxy for him, finally finding herself with Xizor, whom she must struggle to resist. I feel her pain.
Lando, Chewie, and the droids play good supporting roles -- not just cameos.
Steve Perry does an excellent job with this book. It is believable in the realm of Star Wars. Its characters do not stray from what's established. His prose is easy to read and the pacing keeps the story moving. "Shadows of the Empire" is right up there with Vision of the Future (Star Wars: The Hand of Thrawn, Book 2) as my all time favorite Star Wars novel. I do believe he can rival (gasp) Timothy Zahn, and I love Zahn.
None of the new characters are particularly interesting. Xizor comes across as an overconfident playboy rather than a genuine villain. As another reviewer said, it would have been more interesting if we had seen Xizor actually succeed at something before he fails. As it stands, it looks like he's just playing out of his league with Vader and the Emperor. Dash Rendar is more interesting, but at the end of the day is just too much of a stand-in for Han Solo. His character takes a few interesting turns, but at the end it's hard to care too much about him. It would have been better to explore a completely new personality.
More tellingly, 15 years on, neither XIzor nor Black Sun have made much of an appearance in other Star Wars Expanded Universe works (Dash Rendar hasn't either, but he will feature in a book coming out later this year called Shadow Games). Rereading this novel really makes one wonder how Xizor and Black Sun were so powerful in Shadows of the Empire yet never mentioned elsewhere. In retrospect, this only highlights the lack of impact the Shadows of the Empire novel has had on the Star Wars universe.
As for the bad guys, Darth Vader wants his Son captured and a new villain wants him dead. It all connects great and leads straight into Jedi.
We have some new folks joining the crew. Of course we have Lando, but we also have Dash Rendar, who basically fills for Han Solo. Another Prince Xizor, the leader of an evil crime syndicate.
Steve Perry’s writing fasts paced, and he always knows when to stop with detail and to keep going.
Overall if you want to start reading Star Wars books, think this era is interesting, or are a casual fan looking for a good standalone book, it would be a crime not to read it.