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Sacrifice: Star Wars (Legacy of the Force) [Mass Market Paperback]

Karen Traviss
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Book Description

April 29 2008 Star Wars: Legacy of the Force - Legends (Book 5)
Civil war rages as the Galactic Alliance–led by Cal Omas and the Jedi forces of Luke Skywalker–battles a confederation of breakaway planets that rally to the side of rebellious Corellia. Suspected of involvement in an assassination plot against Queen Mother Tenel Ka of the Hapes Consortium, Han and Leia Solo are on the run, hunted by none other than their own son, Jacen, whose increasingly authoritarian tactics as head of GA security have led Luke and Mara Skywalker to fear that their nephew may be treading perilously close to the dark side.

But as his family sees in Jacen the chilling legacy of his Sith grandfather, Darth Vader, many of the frontline troops adore him, and countless citizens see him as a savior. The galaxy has been torn apart by too many wars. All Jacen wants is safety and stability for all–and he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.

To end the bloodshed and suffering, what sacrifice would be too great? That is the question tormenting Jacen. Already he has sacrificed much, embracing the pitiless teachings of Lumiya, the Dark Lady of the Sith, who has taught him that a strong will and noble purpose can hold the evil excesses of the dark side at bay, bringing peace and order to the galaxy–but at a price.

For there is one final test that Jacen must pass before he can gain the awesome power of a true Sith Lord: He must bring about the death of someone he values dearly. What troubles Jacen isn’t whether he has the strength to commit murder. He has steeled himself for that, and worse if necessary. No, the question that troubles Jacen is who the sacrifice should be.

As the strands of destiny draw ever more tightly together in a galaxy-spanning web, the shocking answer will shatter two families . . . and cast a grim shadow over the future.

From the Hardcover edition.

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About the Author

Karen Traviss is the author of Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines and two Star Wars: Republic Commando novels, Hard Contact and Triple Zero, as well as City of Pearl, Crossing the Line, The World Before, Matriarch, and Ally. A former defense correspondent and TV and newspaper journalist, Traviss has also worked as a police press officer, an advertising copywriter, and a journalism lecturer. She has served in both the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service and the Territorial Army. Since her graduation from the Clarion East class of 2000, her short stories have appeared in Asimov’s, Realms of Fantasy, On Spec, and Star Wars Insider. She lives in Devizes, England.

From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter one

He will choose the fate of the weak.
He will win and break his chains.
He will choose how he will be loved.
He will strengthen himself through sacrifice.
He will make a pet.
He will strengthen himself through pain.
He will balance between peace and conflict.
He will know brotherhood.
He will remake himself.
He will immortalize his love.

—“Common Themes in Prophecies Recorded in the Symbology of Knotted Tassels;” by Dr. Heilan Rotham, University of Pangalactic Cultural Studies. Call for papers: the university invites submissions from khipulogists and fiber-record analysts on the subject of the remaining untranslated tassels from the Lorrd Artifact. Symposium dates may change, subject to current security situation.

Sith meditation sphere, heading, Coruscant—estimated

It was odd having to trust a ship. Ben Skywalker was alone in the vessel he’d found on Ziost, trusting it to understand that he wanted it to take him home. No navigation array, no controls, no pilot’s seat . . . nothing. Through the bulkheads he could see stars as smeared points of light, but he’d stopped finding the ship’s transparency unsettling. The hull was there. He could both see it and not see it. He felt he was in the heart of a hollowed red gem making its sedate way back to the Core.

And there was no yoke or physical control panel, so he had to think his command. The strange ship, more like a ball of rough red stone than a vessel made in a shipyard, responded to the Force.

Can’t you go faster? I’ll be an old man by the time I get back.

The ship felt instantly annoyed. Ben listened. In his mind, the ship spoke in a male voice that had no sound or real form, but it spoke: and it wasn’t amused by his impatience. It showed him streaked white lights streaming from a central point in a black void, a pilot’s view of hyperspace, and then an explosion.

“Okay, so you’re going as fast as you can . . .” Ben felt the ship’s brief satisfaction that its idiot pilot had understood. He wondered who’d made it. It was hard not to think of it as alive, like the Yuuzhan Vong ships, but he settled for seeing it as a droid, an artifact with a personality and—yes, emotions. Like Shaker.

Sorry, Shaker. Sorry to leave you to sort it all out.

The astromech droid would be fine, he knew it. Ben had dropped him off on Drewwa. That was where Shaker came from, like Kiara, and so they were both home now. Astromechs were good, reliable, sensible units, and Shaker would hand her over to someone to take care of her, poor kid . . .

Her dad’s dead and her whole life’s upended. They were just used to lure me to Ziost so someone could try to kill me. Why? Have I made that many enemies already?

The ship felt irritated again, leaving Ben with the impression that he was being whiny, but he said nothing. Ben didn’t enjoy having his thoughts examined. He made a conscious effort to control his wandering mind. The ship knew his will, spoken or unspoken, and he still wasn’t sure what the consequences of that might be. Right then, it made him feel invaded, and the relief at finding the ancient ship and managing to escape Ziost in it had given way to worry, anger, and resentment.

And impatience. He had a comlink, but he didn’t want to advertise his presence in case there were other ships pursuing him. He’d destroyed one. That didn’t mean there weren’t others.

The Amulet wasn’t that important, so why am I a target now?

The ship wouldn’t have gone any faster if he’d had a seat and a yoke to occupy himself, but he wouldn’t have felt so lost. He could almost hear Jacen reminding him that physical activity was frequently displacement, and that he needed to develop better mental discipline to rise above fidgeting restlessness. An unquiet mind wasn’t receptive, he said.

Ben straightened his legs to rub a sore knee, then settled again cross-legged to try meditating. It was going to be a long journey.

The bulkheads and deck were amber pumice, and from time to time, the surfaces seemed to burn with a fire embedded in the material. Whoever had made it had had a thing about flames. Ben tried not to think flame, in case the ship interpreted it as a command.

But it wasn’t that stupid. It could almost think for him.

He reached inside his tunic and felt the Amulet, the stupid worthless thing that didn’t seem to be an instrument of great Sith power after all, just a fancy bauble that Kiara’s dad had been sent to deliver. Now the man was dead, all because of Ben, and the worst thing was that Ben didn’t know why.

I need to find Jacen.

Jacen wasn’t stupid, either, and it was hard to believe he’d been duped about the Amulet. Maybe it was part of some plan; if it was, Ben hoped it was worth Faskus’s life and Kiara’s misery.

That’s my mission: put the Amulet of Kalara in Jacen’s hands. Nothing more, nothing less.

Jacen could be anywhere now: in his offices on Coruscant, on the front line of some battle, hunting subversives. Maybe this weird Force-controlled ship could tap in and locate him. He’d be on the holonews. He always was: Colonel Jacen Solo, head of the Galactic Alliance Guard, all-around public hero holding back the threats of a galaxy. Okay, I’m feeling sorry for myself. Stop it. He couldn’t land this ship on a Coruscant strip and stroll away from it as if it were just a TIE fighter he’d salvaged. People would ask awkward questions. He wasn’t even sure what it was. And that meant it was one for Jacen to sort out.

“Okay,” Ben said aloud. “Can you find Jacen Solo? Have you got a way of scanning comlinks? Can you find him in the Force?”

The ship suggested he ought to be able to do that himself. Ben concentrated on Jacen’s face in his mind, and then tried to visualize the Anakin Solo, which was harder than he thought.

The sphere ship seemed to be ignoring him. He couldn’t feel its voice; even when it wasn’t addressing him or reacting to him, there was a faint background noise in his mind that gave him the feeling the vessel was humming to itself, like someone occupied with a repetitive task.

“Can you do it?” If it can’t, I’ll try to land inside the GAG compound and hope for the best. “You don’t want Galactic Alliance engineers crawling all over you with hydrospanners, I bet.”

The ship told him to be patient, and that it had nothing a hydrospanner could grip anyway.

Ben occupied himself with trying to pinpoint Jacen before the ship could. But Jacen’s trick of hiding in the Force had become permanent; Ben found he was impossible to track unless he wanted to be found, and right then there was nothing of him, not a whisper or an echo. Ben thought he might have more luck persuading the ship to seek holonews channels—or maybe it was so old that it didn’t have the technology to find those frequencies.

Hey, come on. If it managed to destroy a freighter on the power of my thoughts alone, it can find a holonews signal.

Ah, said the ship.

Ben’s mind was suffused with a real sense of discovery. The ship dropped out of hyperspace for a moment and seemed to cast around, and then it felt as if it had found something. The starfield—visible somehow, even though the fiery, rocky bulkheads were still there—skewed as the ship changed course and jumped back into hyperspace. It radiated a sense of happy satisfaction, seeming almost . . . excited.

“Found him?”

The ship said it had found what it was seeking. Ben decided not to engage it in a discussion of how it could find a shutdown Jacen hiding in the Force.

“Well, let me know when we get within ten thousand klicks,” Ben said. “I can risk using the comlink then.”

The ship didn’t answer. It hummed happily to itself, silent but filling Ben’s head with ancient harmonies of a kind he’d never imagined sounds could create.

Colonel Jacen Solo’s cabin, Star Destroyer Anakin Solo, extended course, heading 000—Coruscant, via the construum system

None of the crew of the Anakin Solo seemed to find it odd that the ship was taking an extraordinarily circuitous course back to Coruscant.

Jacen sensed the general resigned patience. It was what they expected from the head of the Galactic Alliance Guard, and they asked no questions. He also sensed Ben Skywalker, and it was taking every scrap of his concentration to focus on his apprentice and locate him.

He’s okay. I know it. But something didn’t go as planned.

Jacen homed in on a point of blue light on the bridge repeater set in the bulkhead. He felt Ben at the back of his mind the way he might smell a familiar but elusive scent, the kind that was so distinctive as to be unmistakable. Unharmed, alive, well—but something wasn’t right. The disturbance in the Force—a faint prickling sharpness at the back of his throat that he’d never felt before—made Jacen anxious; these days he didn’t like what he didn’t know. It was a stark contrast with the days when he had wandered the galaxy in search of the esoteric and the mysterious for the sake of new Force knowledge. Of late, he wanted certainty. He wanted order, and order of his own making.

I wasn’t ridding the galaxy of chaos then. Times have changed. I’m responsible for worlds now, not just myself.

Ben’s mission would have taken him . . . where, exactly? Ziost. Pinpointing a fourteen-year-old boy—not even a ship, just fifty-five kilos of humanity—in a broad corridor coiling around the Perlemian Trade Route was a tall order even with help from the Force.


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Customer Reviews

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic July 17 2008
By Harmony K. TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This edition includes a short story, "Boba Fett: A Practical Man", written in 2006, 72 pages, featuring (surprise) Boba Fett, of course, and the Yuuzhan Vong.

I think Karen Traviss is one of the best Star Wars writers, right there with Timothy Zahn and Kevin J. Anderson.

Spoiler alert: stop reading here if that's a problem.

Just like Vector Prime or Revenge of the Sith, this novel does the unforgivable. That is, it provides a heroic death for a much loved character. However, just like those two, this novel is in my top 10. That's got to be worth something, considering I own 120+ of the Star Wars novels and I've read each of them a few times.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Review Feb. 18 2010
By Chris
Format:Audio CD
Enjoyed the sound effects, especially the Star Wars theme at the beginning, and the narration was good, too (good job on the Mon Calamari characters as well as Han Solo). As for the story, glad to see the most nauseating character in the Star Wars universe (no, not Jar Jar) killed off. On the negative side, Boba Fett gets more boring with each appearance. Maybe he should change his name to Bo-bore Fett.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  117 reviews
20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Mediocre Legacy July 16 2007
By S. H. Kennedy - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Let me start out by saying that I love that the Star Wars Universe lives on in books - the characters age, earth-shattering stories and adventures continue, new players join the scene. I will probably keep buying Star Wars books as long as they keep pumping them out.

However, I have to say that this series, and particularly this book, has been subpar and somewhat of a disappointment. There are some incredibly powerful themes to be mined here (son against parents/mentors, government against the individual, contrasting moralities and more), and Traviss (and the other authors who have contributed books to the series as well) only comes away with a few nuggets while bypassing the mother lode. But as I read further into the series, I can't help but ask: Are our favorite characters really this dumb? Is a government in control of thousands of planetary systems, supposedly a democracy, really this corrupt and stupid? (Sure, they could be making parallels to the current administration, but I really feel like it's out of place in the Star Wars universe.) Did these books really make it all the way through the editing process with no one noticing the gigantic plot holes, unfulfilled promises or flimsy premises that are abandoned as soon as the story moves on to the next plot point?

What it comes down to is that the favorite son of the Jedi, Jacen, turns dark, really dark, for pretty flimsy reasons. All of the signs are there, but no one can stop him, due to rampant ignorance, stupidity and failure to communicate. There have to be better plot devices than this to get to the same place, but none of the authors in this series have managed to stumble upon them.

It gets tiring reading a book with timeless characters who have been with you since childhood and seeing them act in ways that are totally out of character, and just plain stupid. Plus, for a book called "Sacrifice" the sacrifice that Jacen ends up making is not one of any real emotional significance - he'd already effectively cut off ties with that person and what they represented long before coming down to the actual act. Gone is the soul-searching, knowledge-craving Jacen of the NJO (and to a lesser extent, Hive Wars), and in his place is a poorly thought out, weakly motivated caricature. Good game.

The only redeeming quality about this book is Traviss' attention to Boba Fett and the Mandalorians, which really has very little bearing on the rest of the plot. Fett profits from events the other characters have set in motion, and while he did play a small role earlier in the series, at this point, his parts of the book can be read completely independently and have no effect on your understanding (or head-scratching due to) the main plot.

Go ahead and buy this book if you want to see what happens in the series (and find out who Jacen finally "sacrifices"). There are some well-written scenes, and chapters, but much of the time you'll have a hard time suspending disbelief. Good thing the writing isn't very challenging to read and you can get through it quickly. Here's hoping the rest of the series (4 books to go, I believe) can accomplish something praise-worthy. Perhaps getting some bigger-name authors with stronger writing/plot advancement skills would help for the next 'blockbuster' series, if there are any worthwhile characters or stories to work with by then.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Darth-Who, Boba-Mando special, and Wide-eyed surprise June 1 2007
By J. S. Tucker - Published on
The book itself was good, the Legacy story continues to move along in a way that continues to hold my interest captive and thrill me. There was ALOT of hype built up for this book...two of only three hardcovers of the series, Darth-Who is revealed, and you can just feel that something BAD is about to happen that is going to throw things into whack, like who or what Jacen's sacrifice would be.

Overall the story moved nicely, but I was a little dissapointed as little action really took place. There were fights sure, but this was more like one of the 'drama' and plot points kind of books in a series. Battles weren't fought with clashing sabers or in space, but within the mind and hearts of the characters, which is cool...whatever floats your boat.

Someone on a Star Wars forum board hit the nail on the head MONTHS ago about this book, they said, 'Expect a hardcover book about Mando's/Boba Fett with a little Jedi and a twist about Jacen'. Even though Jacen and Ben got a healthy portion of the book, I couldn't help but feel Boba and the Mando's were center stage. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE what Karen Traviss is doing, she's single-handedly cleaned up the EU about Boba and Mando's and made them interesting and important again. Though as important as their part was in the book and setting up for future events, I feel they kind of stole the spotlight a little.

One major gripe, at what point did the authors feel it was necessary to make up Star wars versions of cursewords? Why did they feel compelled to make the characters curse SO MUCH?? I can't see Luke or Mara saying the cross match for 'F'ing', it just seems...wrong and trashy. It's Star Wars! 'Family Feel'? A Sci-Fi/Fantasy adventure of wonder...Star Wars is getting to realistic for my taste lately.

I'm still trying to figure out why on earth the authors are completely excluded some characters...Jaina barely showed up near the end. Where is Lowbacca?? Oh well, at least we got Kyle Katarn again, the star wars chuck norris, Woot!

Overall a good book, lots of 'inner struggle' which seems fitting. I was a little confused about Jacen's 'Sacrifice', it didn't really fit into how I thought I understood it, but I won't spoil it for you. Not sure if it was 'hardcover' worthy but not bad...can't wait to see what Aaron A. does in the next part of the series.
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best Star Wars book but I'm reading just to find out what happens. June 22 2007
By Adrian - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This review will touch on the book, and then the series itself.

The book was, in my opinion, too long, slow and inconsistant. A lot of things happen, with the eventual death of three major characters (of this series), Ben discovering Jacen is Sith, and a lot of focus on Fett becoming a leader of his people, but most of it is towards the end, or the last third of the book.

Many characters are not given the normally astute intellect they are usually written with either. For instance, when Mara has a bath with Leia, in other books, Leia would be looking into the meaning of Mara's questions, make the correct deductions, grab Han and blast out into space in the Falcon and perhaps contact Luke for help. Instead, Leia gets a few lines and that's it.

Similarly, Luke is portrayed as a bit of an easily mislead dummy.

I feel that this series is taking much too long to get into Jacen's path into Sith-hood, and the resolution. The original series did the whole rise and fall and redemption of Darth Vader in 6 movies/novels. The Star Wars Legacy series isn't even half way there yet. The New Jedi Order series also took too long. I have a bad feeling that the publishers are trying to milk Star Wars for all they can and are stringing it along.

6th July 2007.

I thought I'd add on a bit.

At this moment, I am ranking about 319,000th most popular reviewer, and only 2 out of 5 readers found my review useful.

One thing I've noticed about the most useful reviews is that they tend to be very long and the majority are very positive about the product they review. Those who arent tend to get a "not useful" ranking.

Now I find the Amazon review system very good. I have mentioned it before on another review that I would not have read Tanya Huff's very good Confederation/Sergeant Torin series had it not been for the positive reviews.

But reviews are there to provide an honest opinon, not to wax on ad nauseum about how wonderful the book is.

And I didnt enjoy this book that much, nor have I been enjoying the Star Wars franchise of books since they expanded into the New Jedi Order. There have been moments of uniqueness and action. But it is inconsistent.

So for those who read my review, dont expect a long detailed review on the positives. It's simply a quick review on my take of the book, and I dont add too many details because I assume the reader is very familiar with the series. It is Book 5 for Heaven's sake, not Book 1.

I will be reading the rest of the series, simply to discover how it ends. My one hope is that Ben Skywalker becomes someone who is a true Jedi of the future, that he discovers how he has been decieved, and grows to become an inspiration, as his father was before him.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Characterization Sacrificed for Plot July 6 2009
By Dave - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Yes, I'm five books deep into the series, and remain underimpressed. While the overall story is pretty good, this could have been done in 3 books instead of five and been a lot better. Endless subplots with a few twists, and a dilute main story has a lot of readers anxiously awaiting some good developments.

Book five of the Legacy of the Force series, Sacrifice, makes some effort to attend to the main plot, while completely sacrificing style. Why is style so important? Well, style is what makes Karen Traviss a very good author. Her trademark style is her attention to characterization, and making characters feel real.

It is not that this book did not attempt it. This book had several attempts at characterization which fell flat, largely to bizarre, unrelatable writing. This really shook me. The girl who wrote Bloodlines, who made each and every character come to life for me, is now making me feel like I am watching the story unfold in the distance, with a large void between me and the characters.

Now, this fact dissolves when dealing with Boba Fett (which I feel like she has in her pocket to pull out when needed). Boba Fett is clearly a character which Karen cares a great deal about, and writes with loving austerity, and in your face bravado. The other characters, while undergoing some intense and personal moments, toil away with long (multiple pages without dialogue) vaguely written passages which manage to describe little or nothing, occassionally dipping into the political, or just the plain abstract. Even her action sequences seem out of sync with the story, and it would seem that one of the major conflicts the characters face is getting Karen Traviss to understand what is happening with their plight.

This is just sub-par work for Karen Traviss.

The plot itself has some much desired movement, even though a lot of it has to do with major events with the Mandalore, but that does not even begin to touch the level of escalation involving the war and our main characters. The problem with the series, of course, being each writer has their own 'pet' characters, and Wedge probably wont be picked up again until Aaron Allston takes over, and Boba most likely will be hung on a hook to dry until Karen picks up again as well. This discontinuity makes the whole tale suffer.

Overall, while the plot movement was impressive, the poor writing by Karen was more so depressive, and so we drop down to a meager 3 stars. I can only hope we go up from here, because this book, which should have been a overwhelming five star book, to get this series up and over the proverbial hump, was so underwhelming, I feel a little disenfrancised from the whole series. Not something you want happening five books in.

Not impressed. But a necessary evil. Barely recommended.
17 of 24 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars LOTF series is a trainwreck to behold July 14 2007
By Dark Helmet - Published on
Sacrifice is the 5th book of the nine-book Legacy Of the Force series. The events in it take place roughly 37 years after the Battle Of Endor.

The fifth book is the by far worst of a series whose faults become increasingly evident as the story progresses. I didn't like their decision to turn Jacen into a Sith. I feel it totally destroys the impact of the NJO series and Jacen's development as a character since Traitor. When Anakin Solo was killed off, a portion of the fanbase was outraged. I wasn't one of them(though I felt very bad about Han and Leia) and I conseled myself that this was necessary for Jacen's hero's journey. Now this has all come to nothing with Jacen chosing to follow the villain's journey. And such a boring, cliched, and stupid villain that is.

The coordination between the three authors of the LOTF is also particularly bad. NJO had many more authors participating in it and I felt their efforts was more streamlined than what we see in LOTF. All of the three authors write their favorite characters, and some plotlines simply do not appear in the other books. Traviss is busy forcing her Mandalorians into the storyline; Allston writes about Wedge and his family, and Denning is obsessed with Han and Leia who still dodge blockades and turbolaser fire in the Falcon. But Traviss is by far the worst team player. And I don't understand why they chose her to co-author a mainstream series as LOTF. Her Republic Commando books are quite good, but she's terrible at writing this kind of story depicting important events in the galaxy.

Her writing style in this novel is especially dull. There's talk, talk, politics, politics, and very little action. It had seemed the war had finally started in Exile, but you can't see it here. There was one space battle in this book, and it was written very badly and it ended in a few pages.
Ben Skywalker's slowly coming to his own; it almost seems to me that after destroying the Solo kids(Anakin=dead; Jaina=almost written into obscurity; Jacen=idiotic Sith Lord), LFL is trying to salvage the situation by hastily developing Ben's character. But even he ends up in this book with a sniper rifle and assasinates the Corellian prime minister cold bloodedly. Not real Jedi-like, eh? Not to mention that he's still just a 14 year old kid. Typical of Traviss writing.

Jacen "legally" seizing power in a matter of days was also totally unconvincing. It makes the GA senate seem even more stupid and inefficient than the Palpatine-era Old Republic senate. And once the deed is done, no one asks any questions when suddenly Cal Omas is arrested. Oh, come on!

** Major spoilers from now on **

And the major character death in this book... It was written horribly. Mara goes off hunting Jacen after learning what he is; and does this without telling Luke or rest of the Jedi; thereby ensuring that after her death no one knows that Jacen did it. And still no one knows Jacen has become a Sith. This is NOT Mara. She's not that stupid.
And Luke is again made to look like an idiot when he jumps to the conclusion that Lumiya has killed Mara and goes after her all guns blazing; and kills her, after she's out of the fight. It's more like an execution and not very Luke-like at all.

Ironically, the only thing I enjoyed reading in this book was the Boba Fett and Mandalorian side-story. And it had almost nothing to do with the main storyline, and could be easily left out without affecting the rest of the book!!

So, my advice: Do not buy this book. Actually, if you haven't began reading the LOTF series, I suggest you don't start at all. It's not worth the money and time. Read the awesome Legacy comics from Dark Horse instead.
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