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Invincible: Star Wars Legacy of the Force    by Troy Denning order for
by Troy Denning
Order:  USA  Can
Ballantine, 2008 (2008)

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* *   Reviewed by Theresa Ichino

A full generation after the events of the first Star Wars film, we see old friends Leia and Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and the droids, as well as many new characters. All are continuing their battle against the remnants of the Empire; and if Emperor Palatine is dead, there is no lack of ambitious would-be tyrants to take his place.

In Legacy of the Force: Invincible, Leia, Han, and Luke face the sorrow of a showdown with Darth Caedus, the dark Sith Lord who plots to bring the known universe under his control. Sorrow because Caedus was once Jacen Solo, Han's and Leia's son. They have repudiated Caedus for his evil acts, which include the murder of Luke's wife Mara.

The instrument of Caedus's death is to be Jaina, Jacen's twin. Once as close as only twins can be, she has reached the same conclusion as her parents: Jacen is dead; only Caedus remains. Can she hold to that conviction when the final confrontation takes place?

Jaina too is a Jedi. Her uncle Luke, now a Jedi Master, predicted she would be the Sword of the Jedi, always first to take the brunt of battle, protector of others. It is a heavy burden, and one for which Jaina has trained hard. To accomplish her goal, she may well have to sacrifice family members as well as friends. For their part, Jaina's family and friends are terrified for her safety. Caedus is powerful, possibly stronger than Jaina, and far along the dark path.

The author has created a dark and dangerous world, where beings of principle battle imposing forces. He shows only too clearly the cost of war and how cruelly it impacts those who want nothing more than to carry on with their own peaceful lives. He has great skill in making real alien characters: the mass slaughter of the insectoid Verpine warriors is no less poignant because they are not human; human villains are in fact far less likeable than many of the aliens. Denning also reminds us that politics necessitate some extremely unpalatable compromises.

Invincible is the ninth and final episode in the Legacy of the Force series. Much has happened in the private lives of the main Star Wars characters, who remain a connecting thread throughout the changes in their family situations, as well as through the bewildering events of the new Jedi order.

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