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Tempest: Star Wars Legacy of the Force    by Troy Denning order for
by Troy Denning
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2006 (2006)

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* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

A new era continues with Star Wars: Legacy of the Force - Tempest, presenting galactic fans with more shocking revelations, higher stakes, heavier threats, and enemies around each corner. The unified Galactic Alliance is at risk, as are the Solo and Skywalker families.

On the request of Dur Gejjen, Chief of State of Corellia and the new Five Worlds Prime Minister, Han and Leia Solo head to Hapes for an audience with the Queen Mother. After a seven-hour wait, they're told that no appointment was made. Has Gejjen set them up? Han and Leia sense a female, Force-sensitive assassin. Nashtah, a pale woman with a shaved head and a topknot heads toward the Queen's quarters. She assumes that Han and Leia are part of the assassination plan. They go along with it, hoping to learn more. In Han-speak wisdom (as only he can deliver), 'You ever get the feeling we don't have the vaguest idea what's going on in here?' Word spreads that Han and Leia attempted to assassinate Tenel Ka. They escape, with the deadly Nashtah as a passenger. The Millennium Falcon vanishes into a bank of Transitory Mists. Nashtah informs the Solos that she was present at the Podraces and saw Anakin Skywalker win the Boonta Eve Classic, so long ago. She directs Han and Leia to a pirate station where it is advisable is to keep your back to the wall.

Twi'lek Jedi Alema Rar, out for revenge on Leia decides that 'vengeance would be best served if she were to destroy Jacen'. As Alema lurks in the bushes at Fellowship Plaza, she overhears Jacen and Ben conversing and senses two others hiding in the blartrees. Dark Knight Lumiya watches brother and cousin, while Tresina Lobi records conversations, under Master Luke's orders. Summoned in the early morning hours to Fellowship Plaza, Luke and Mara sense darkness and danger. They arrive at a crime scene blocked by policebots. A body has been found. Dark Lumiya and Alema join forces, forming an even deadlier threat. Spying on Jacen, it slowly dawns on Lumiya that 'just as Luke was losing Ben to what he feared most, Jacen was becoming what Leia hated most: a Sith Lord'. Denning's detailing of forensic and med droids, holorecording, and crime scene dialog between the detectives, Luke and Mara reminded me of TV's CSI.

Jedi Jaina Solo meets with Admiral Bwua'tu on the deck of the Admiral Ackbar. The Admiral and Jaina discuss deposits of baradium and cortosis on Duro which are the primary components of explosives. The upcoming alignment of the Kirises will tender electromagnetic blasts 'making it impossible for the Duros to detect the launch of the Kiris fleet'. Bwua'tu voices his immediate concern, 'Someone needs to warn the Queen Mother about the situation - and we can't trust this to a holocomm ... The Consortium is a real flooger-bed of intrigue.' Jaina and Zekk agree to journey to Hapes to warn Tenel Ka in person. At her request, they travel on to Villa Solis with a summons for the Ducha AlGrey. On arrival, they find it odd that Myi'til starfighters have already mobilized. Jaina questions why and how the Ducha readied her fleet so fast. Tenel Ka leaves Allana under the protection of Jacen in the new Star Destroyer Anakin Solo. Jacen has issued an arrest warrant for Han and Leia.

Troy Denning's Tempest draws readers into compelling fight and flight action sequences, garnished with excellent exchanges of dialog, impossible situations, and impeccable characterizations - where the 'Balance must be served!' Even four-year old Hapan heir Allana gets a few minutes of kick butt defense, working with Jacen. Denning successfully builds another engrossing layer onto the Star Wars: Legacy of The Force series.

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