Wednesday, April 25, 2007
So I finished off Allegiance by Timothy Zahn and, as always, Zahn shows why he's one of the masters of Star Wars novels. I know most people list him as the master, but personally, I think Michael Stackpole edges him out of that distinction.
This book is set shortly after the events of A New Hope, with the Rebellion on the run after the destruction of the Death Star. Zahn juggles four different storylines. First of all, we have Princess Leia meeting with some members of the Rebel Alliance over a brazen plan. Second, we have Han Solo and Luke Skywalker trying to deal with a group of pirates who have been raiding Rebellion supplies.
On the other side of the war, we have Mara Jade, the eighteen year old Emperor's Hand, trying to run down the same group of pirates thanks to some art purchased with embezzled tax revenue. And finally, we have a group of five disillusioned stormtroopers who are on the run after murdering an Imperial officer.
You know all four storylines will collide eventually and they do in a spectacular way. Zahn doesn't disappoint for the most part. Upon further reflection, the Leia storyline was a little on the weak side and little more than a reason for Han and Luke to run into the 'troopers and dance around the borders of Mara's story (and thankfully, Mara and Luke never come face to face, which would have just caused all sorts of consistency headaches).
What had me chuckling were the scenes where Mara and Darth Vader interact. If you've read the second Timothy Zahn Thrawn duology, you know why I chuckled. If not, I won't spoil it for you. But you would have to read the Thrawn trilogy first, so to understand my amusement, you'd need to wind up reading five Star Wars novels. It's not time wasted. Not with Zahn.
Anyway, if you're a Star Wars geek like me, this book won't disappoint. If you're not, probably better not to bother.