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Star Wars X-Wing: The Krytos Trap, Book 3 Paperback – September 1, 1996

4.5 out of 5 stars 102 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

The Rebels have taken the Imperial headquarters world of Coruscant, but their problems are far from over. A killer virus called Krytos is spreading among the population, and fomenting a counter-revolution, at the same time as the treason trial of Rebel hero Tycho Celchu. And X-wing pilot Corran Horn, given up for dead in "Iceheart"'s inescapable prison, discovers an extraordinary power in himself--the power of the Force!

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

High up in a tower suite, up above the surface of Imperial Center, Kirtan Loor allowed himself a smile. At the tower's pinnacle, the only companions were hawk-bats safe in their shadowed roosts and Special Intelligence operatives who were menacing despite their lack of stormtrooper armor or bulk. He felt alone and aloof, but those sensations came naturally with his sense of superiority. At the top of the world, he had been given all he could see to command and dominate.

And destroy.

Ysanne Isard had given him the job of creating and leading a Palpatine Counter-insurgency Front. He knew she did not expect grand success from him. He had been given ample resources to make himself a nuisance. He could disrupt the functioning of the New Republic. He could slow their takeover of Coruscant and hamper their ability to master the mechanisms of galactic administration. A bother, minor but vexatious, is what Ysanne Isard had intended he become.

Kirtan Loor knew he had to become more. Years before, when he started working as an Imperial liaison officer with the Corellian Security Force on Corellia, he never would have dreamed of finding himself rising so far and playing so deadly a game. Even so, he had always been ambitious, and supremely confident in himself and his abilities. His chief asset was his memory, which allowed him to recall a plethora of facts, no matter how obscure. Once he had seen or read or heard something he could draw it from his memory, and this ability gave him a gross advantage over the criminals and bureaucrats with whom he dealt.

His reliance on his memory had also hobbled him. His prodigious feats of recall so overawed his enemies that they would naturally assume he had processed the information he possessed and had drawn the logical conclusions from it. Since they assumed he already knew what only they knew, they would tell him what he had not bothered to figure out for himself. They made it unnecessary for him to truly think, and that skill had begun to atrophy in him.

Ysanne Isard, when she summoned him to Imperial Center, had made it abundantly clear that learning to think and not to assume was the key to his continued existence. Her supervision made up in severity what it lacked in duration, putting him through a grueling regimen that rehabilitated his cognitive abilities. By the time she fled Imperial Center, Isard had clearly been confident in his ability to annoy and confound the Rebels.

More importantly, Kirtan Loor had become certain that he could do all she wanted and yet more.

From his vantage point he looked down on the distant blob of dignitaries and mourners gathered at the memorial for Corran Horn. While he despised them all for their politics, he joined them in mourning Horn's loss. Corran Horn had been Loor's nemesis. They had hated each other on Corellia, and Loor had spent a year and a half trying to hunt Corran down after he fled from Corellia. The hunt had ended when Ysanne Isard brought Loor to Imperial Center, but he had anticipated a renewal of his private little war with Horn when given the assignment to remain on Coruscant.

Of course, Corran's demise hardly made a dent in the legion of enemies Loor had on Imperial Center. Foremost among them was General Airen Cracken, the director of Alliance Intelligence. Cracken's network of spies and operatives had ultimately made the conquest of the Imperial capital possible, and his security precautions had given Imperial counterintelligence agents fits for years. Cracken--or Kraken, as some of Loor's people had taken to calling the Rebel--would be a difficult foe with whom to grapple.

Loor knew he had some other enemies who would pursue him as part of a personal vendetta. The whole of Rogue Squadron, from Antilles to the new recruits, would gladly hunt him down and kill him--including the spy in their midst since Loor presented a security risk for the spy. Even if they could not connect him with Corran's death directly, the mere fact that Corran hated him would be a burden they'd gladly accept and a debt they would attempt to discharge.

Della Wessiri was the last of the CorSec personnel Loor had hunted, and her presence on Imperial Center gave him pause. She had never been as relentless as Corran Horn in her pursuit of criminals, but that had always seemed to Loor to be because she was more thorough than Horn. Whereas Corran might muscle his way through an investigation, Della picked up on small clues and accomplished with élan what Corran did with brute strength. In the shadow game in which Loor was engaged, this meant she was a foe he might not see coming, and that made her the most dangerous of all.

Loor backed away from the window and looked at the holographic representation of the figures below as they strode across his holotable. The ceremony had been broadcast planetwide, and would be rebroadcast at various worlds throughout the galaxy. He watched Borsk Fey'lya and Wedge Antilles as they met in close conversation, then split apart and wandered away. Everyone appeared more like toys to him than they did real people. He found it easy to imagine himself a titanic--no, Imperial--presence who had deigned to be distracted by the actions of bugs.

He picked up the remote device from the table and flicked it on. A couple of small lights flashed on the black rectangle in his left palm, then a red button in the center of it glowed almost benignly. His thumb hovered over it for a second. He smiled, but killed the impulse to stab his thumb down and gently returned the device to the table.

A year before he would have punched that button, detonating the explosives his people had secreted around the memorial. With one casual caress he could have unleashed fire and pain, wiping out a cadre of traitorous planetary officials and eliminating Rogue Squadron. He knew, given a chance, any of the SI operatives under his command would have triggered the nergon 14 charges--as would the majority of the military command staff still serving the Empire.

Loor did not. Isard had pointed out on numerous occasions that before the Empire could be reestablished, the Rebellion had to die. She had pointed out that the Emperor's obsession with destroying the Jedi Knights had caused him to regard the rest of the Rebellion as a lesser threat, yet it had outlived the Jedi and the Emperor. Only by destroying the Rebellion would it be possible to reassert the Empire's authority over the galaxy. Destroying the Rebellion required methods more subtle than exploding grandstands and planets, accomplishing with a vibroblade what could not be done with a Death Star.

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Product Details

  • Series: X-Wing (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 355 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Spectra (October 1, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553568035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553568035
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #364,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The third installment in Michael Stackpole's "X-Wing" series
details the aftermath of the taking of Coruscant by the
rebels. Anyone who's been following this series will want to
pick this one up - it's consistent in tone with the earlier
novels, and the plot is both fast-moving and believable.

Unlike other authors of new Star Wars material, Stackpole
has drawn directly from contemporary issues. Readers will
recognize the similarity of physical symptoms of the Krytos
virus to Ebola, and takes the opportunity to draw a parallel
between human/non-human relations in the Star Wars universe
to racial tensions in our own world.

Despite this, the tone of the novel is anything but grim. The
primary focus here is entertainment, and in this Stackpole
succeeds - my lunch hour extended to two hours from reading
this book! It's a real page-turner, something that is
necessary for anything bearing the Star Wars name, but which
few Star Wars novels have managed to achieve.

The interesting thing is that the character I found myself
most interested in is Kirtan Loor, Corran Horn's nemesis.
Loor's struggle to extricate himself from Iceheart's
clutches, and only managing to ensnare himself further,
makes for some of the most compelling reading in the book.
In fact, the fate reserved for him is a little disappointing;
I was not left with a sense of closure in Loor's case.

The trial of Tycho Celchu is clearly the trial of the
century in the Star Wars universe, and provides Stackpole
with the opportunity to level a criticism or two at the
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Format: Paperback
The X-Wing novels are some of my favorite Star Wars books ever written. All 9 of them have excellent action bits, great character development, and all sorts of humor. I like them all, but I'd have to pick THIS as my first fave. Absolutely compelling, almost groundbreaking! I can't say enough how much I like this novel!

*Ahem* That's enough of that. Let's get on with the review....

The Plot:

Picking up right after book 2, "Wedge's Gamble", Coruscant has been taken by the rebels. The Empire is no longer in control, but that doesn't mean a huge crisis has ended. Ysanne Isard is now preparing to release her Krytos virus onto the planet. It's a nasty virus that damages the internal organs, thins out their blood. Yuck. But it only harms aliens. In other subplots, Tycho Celchu is accused of murdering fellow pilot Corran Horn, and being that HE was once an imperial Lusankya agent, he's being labeled guilty. But Wedge knows he didn't do it, and is determined to put him on a FAIR trial. While this is going on, Wedge and company are trying to find a cure for this nasty virus, and Corran isn't really dead. (which I kinda figured.) He's on Lusankya undergoing torture from Isard, and is looking for ways to escape. He discovers an interesting revelation about his father...

Now, onto the Pros, and the cons.


Though there isn't much action for the first half, it makes up by playing the tension trap game. It's a real thinking man's book that keeps you guessing.
Wedge and the gang are all very well-characterized.
Tycho's trial, well-written.
When there IS action, be prepared for a thrill ride! As always, Stackpole delivers with his action scenes. One of the best action sequences in any book occurs towards the end.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
When I first heard of the X-wing series of Star Wars books, I wasn't sure I wanted to read it. It was mostly about the pilots from Rogues Squadron, with some cameo appearances by Han, Leia, and Luke. I thought the books might be dull do to the lack of my favorite heroes. Boy, was I ever wrong!! These books are fast-paced and exciting from cover to cover!
In this excitng installment, Corran Horn is believed dead and Tycho Celchu has been arrested for his murder. Celchu faces a treason and murder trial, with all the evidence working against him, despite all of the heroic work he's done for the Republic. The Alliance is struggling to become the New Republic. The dreams of setting up the main government at Coruscant are beginning to collapse as the deadly Krytos virus begins to attack non-human members. Bacta, the only known cure, is scarce and the prices are climbing. To make matters worse, a terrorist group on the planet of Coruscant is threatening to tear the government apart before it even begins. As Rogue Squadron deals with the loss of its top fighters, Corran struggles to stay alive in the horrific Lusankya prison, run by the evil Ysanne Isard.
The best of the series so far, this book is packed with action and suspense. And the dogfights - WHOA! This book has something for every type of Star Wars fan: action, intrigue, suspense, mystery, you name it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Of the X-Wing series this one has both some of the most important moments and is the slowest to progress. This book brings forth all the things that make the next books exciting, but at the same time is slow and often tedious, and two of the main plot lines actually end with "and we knew all along it wasn't you!" This book is a bridge between the Taking of Coruscant arc and the Warlords of the Empire arc, therefore necessary for the series, but it takes some determination to keep your interest.
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