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Winner Lose All--A Lando Calrissian Tale: Star Wars Legends (Novella) (Star Wars - Legends) by [Zahn, Timothy]
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Winner Lose All--A Lando Calrissian Tale: Star Wars Legends (Novella) (Star Wars - Legends) Kindle Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews

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Length: 62 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Details

  • File Size: 2779 KB
  • Print Length: 62 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (December 10, 2012)
  • Publication Date: December 10, 2012
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A9ET67K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,382 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Arnold VINE VOICE on December 12, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Full disclosure: I read an advance copy of Timothy Zahn's Scoundrels: Star Wars and so I already know that story. That means I'm probably one of the few people who read Scoundrels before having read Winner Lose All. That certainly colored my perception of this novella and probably allowed me to get more out of it.

While Winner Lose All is billed as a story about Lando Calrissian, I think Zahn intended Winner Lose All to serve primarily as an introduction to Bink and Tavia, two of his new creations. Bink and Tavia are twins who are essentially cat burglars ("ghost thieves", in the lingo of Star Wars). They're spunky and have some moments of endearing humor, but I suspect a lot of readers won't really know why it's worth reading a book about these two. Winner Lose All doesn't introduce them nearly as effectively as Scoundrels does. While I love the characters as developed in Scoundrels, here you could be forgiven for wondering why Zahn felt compelled to write this story.

However, having read Scoundrels, having gotten to know Bink, Tavia, and Zerba, it was fun to see them on another escapade. This time, Lando joins a Sabacc tournament in order to win a priceless art piece, but discovers a deeper conspiracy. Lando unwittingly gets recruited in Bink and Tavia's attempt to uncover the conspiracy. Granted, the story in Winner Lose All certainly isn't necessary to understanding Scoundrels, but Zahn does a set up an intriguing heist attempt. Nothing special, but a fun romp.

Unfortunately, despite the title, this is certainly not "A Lando Calrissian Tale". Lando himself only has a bit role.
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In this prequel novella to the upcoming novel "Scoundrels", Timothy Zahn slips effortlessly back into the heart of the Star Wars saga, visiting one Lando Calrissian during the time period between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Zahn keeps the pace quick and does an admirable job in giving us the conflicted rogue that Empire showed Lando to be. Zahn has shown a respectful affection for the universe set forth in the original trilogy and this novella indicates that these new stories will be equally as respectful. I started it earlier this evening and couldn't put it down. Bring on "Scoundrels"!!!
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Lando has entered in a sabacc tournament to win a Tchine statue, one of 7. It's been up for auction by a man named Jydor, in order to get money to make up for what was lost in bad deals and debts.

Also there are twin sisters who are ghost thieves, and happen to know Lando.
One of them discovers that Jydor's Tchine may not be what it seems and uncovers a very complex scheme.

It was fun to have a side story featuring Lando and see a little more of his past.
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This is a fun little story set in the months after Episode IV: A New Hope happened. It is basically a heist story, similar to Scoundrels, but on a smaller scale. The story is basically the story that happens before Scoundrels -- not a prequel, because it was a planned story that happened and was released before Scoundrels. The story focuses on Bink & Tavia Kitik (the twins who are also featured in Scoundrels, and who were my favorite characters in Scoundrels), and on Lando (obviously), and their efforts to win a sabacc tournament held by Veilred Jydor on Danteel (a planet I've never heard of) in Jydor's casino.

What follows is a twisting and turning tale of gambling, double-crossing, revenge, intrigue, scheming, and adventure -- all told in true heist-fashion. I am a huge fan of Bink and Tavia, and I think they could carry a full novel all by themselves. And I have always liked the Lando character. The story isn't so much a Star Wars story as it is a mystery/heist story set in the Star Wars universe. It isn't even set in space, so, if you are looking for lightsabers, star fighters or space flight, this isn't the story for you. There are blasters and Star Wars tech in the novel, they just aren't the main focus of the novel.

Overall, I found it an enjoyable short read, and a good character expansion to Bink & Tavia (who, as I've said, are featured again in Scoundrels) and Lando. Pick it up if you would like a fun little read set in the Star Wars universe, telling a tale that has Lando written all over it.

4 stars.
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Having gotten the opportunity to get an early look at SCOUNDRELS, I was very excited to dive back into another Zahn story featuring a few members of "Solo's Eleven." In this instance, we're introduced to a high-stakes sabacc tournament where the winner gets to take home a very rare, very valuable artifact that's been sitting in the casino owner's collection for some time. The opportunity for a lucrative take draws the attention of intergalactic gambler Lando Calrissian, in addition to a pair of ghost burglars, Bink and Tavia Kitik, and their light-fingered acquaintance, Zerba Cher'dak.

They're all after the same thing - in their own way - but quick to find out that something is amiss at the sabacc tournament, and that they'll have to work together if they want to walk away with their lives.

WINNER LOSE ALL was a pleasant sidestory that was over far too soon. As always, Zahn's writing is exceptional, with fantastic pacing and fluid dialog between characters. Very fun, but lacking in the fantastic character development that follows in SCOUNDRELS. As others have pointed out, it might actually serve this story better if you wait to check out this novella after reading SCOUNDRELS, since you get a lot of Bink and Tavia in this story, but none of the drama or character moments that made them stand out so superbly in the novel. As it stands, this might not be the best introduction for the Kitik Twins.

But I'm wrongly criticizing a novella for being a novella. WINNER LOSE ALL is more than worth the price of admission, and if you're at all excited for SCOUNDRELS - and you should be if the prospect of a Star Wars heist story influenced by OCEAN'S ELEVEN sounds appealing - this is a good opportunity to get a very small taste of what you'll be reading.
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