Star Wars Fate of the Jedi #5: Allies

( 273 )

Overview

Only one thing could unite the forces of Jedi and Sith: an enemy far deadlier than both.
 
What began as a quest for truth has become a struggle for survival for Luke Skywalker and his son, Ben. They have used the secrets of the Mind Walkers to speak with the spirits of the fallen, risking their lives in the process. They have faced a team of Sith assassins and beaten the odds to destroy them. And now the death squad’s sole survivor, Sith ...

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Star Wars Fate of the Jedi #5: Allies

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Overview

Only one thing could unite the forces of Jedi and Sith: an enemy far deadlier than both.
 
What began as a quest for truth has become a struggle for survival for Luke Skywalker and his son, Ben. They have used the secrets of the Mind Walkers to speak with the spirits of the fallen, risking their lives in the process. They have faced a team of Sith assassins and beaten the odds to destroy them. And now the death squad’s sole survivor, Sith apprentice Vestara Khai, has summoned an entire fleet of Sith frigates to engage the embattled father and son. But the dark warriors come bearing a surprising proposition that will bring Jedi and Sith together in an unprecedented alliance against an adversary more ancient and alien than they can imagine. For in the treacherous web of black holes that is the Maw, the Skywalkers and their Sith allies will have to fight an unimaginable evil, and Luke will be rocked by a staggering truth.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

A new arc ascends in this Fate of the Jedi novel, the fifth of the series. Having destroyed the Sith assassins who outnumbered them, Luke Skywalker and his son Ben must now respond to an unthinkable proposition: Join Sith apprentice Vestara and his forces in an alliance against enemies even more ancient and entrenched. This unprecedented mission marks only the beginning of a Star Wars saga that takes readers into uncharted skies. Now in a mass market paperback and NOOKbook.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345509154
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/26/2011
  • Series: Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi Series , #5
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 448
  • Sales rank: 115,238
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Christie Golden

Christie Golden is the New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Omen, and several short stories in the fields of fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Her media tie-in works include launching the Ravenloft line in 1991 with Vampire of the Mists, more than a dozen Star Trek novels, and the Warcraft novel Lord of the Clans.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

ABOARD THE JADE SHADOW

Ben wondered if he'd be his father's age before things started going right for him on any basis other than what appeared to be happy accidents.

Then he wondered if he'd be older than his dad.

True, he'd had a couple of uneventful years after the war. But then his father got arrested and exiled for a decade. Jedi who had spent formative years on Shelter in the Maw-and yes, Ben was among that number, how reassuring was that little fact-started going crazy. Ben and Luke had learned about some creepy powerful being with dark slithery mental tendrils of need who was probably responsible for the crazy Jedi, and had been going to pay her a visit inside the Maw when they abducted a Sith. One that was definitely easy on the eyes, but who was nonetheless a Sith, from a whole planetload of them, no less. A Sith who was still with them right now, standing and smirking at them while nearly a dozen frigates crammed with her pals surrounded them.

Yeah. He would definitely be older than his dad.

Luke had followed the instructions given by the unnamed, unseen Sith commander of the Black Wave, placing the Shadow in a parking orbit around Dathomir. There was no other choice, not with eleven ChaseMaster frigates ready to open fire.

"A wise decision," Vestara said. "I'm fond of my own life, so I'm glad you're cooperating, but if you had attempted to flee they most certainly would have destroyed you."

Luke eyed her thoughtfully. Clearly, he wasn't so sure.

"So," Ben continued, "what are they going to do with us? Are we going to be the main attraction at some kind of Sith ritual party?"

"I've no idea," Vestara said. She might be lying through her teeth. She might be telling the truth. Ben simply couldn't be sure.

"Your cooperation is appreciated, Master Skywalker," came the voice that had first hailed them. Ben and Luke exchanged puzzled glances. Of course, Vestara had told them who was holding her captive, but why the courtesy and respectful title?

"I am High Lord Sarasu Taalon, commander of this force," the voice continued. "Your reputation precedes you. We have studied you, and your son, a great deal."

"I wish I could say the same," Luke said. "I know nothing about you and your people, High Lord Taalon."

"No, you don't. But I am prepared for that to change . . . somewhat. Your vessel carries a Z-95 Headhunter."

"It does," Luke said. "I presume you're about to ask me to come over to your flagship and chat over a nice glass of something."

"You and Vestara, yes," Taalon said. "You will have to turn her back over to us, of course. But there is no reason we can't be civilized about this."

"No thanks," Luke said. "Anything you have to say to me can be said at a distance. Vestara isn't the worst companion I've ever traveled with. I think I'll let her stay here with us for a while longer."

Ben looked again at the Sith girl. His father was right. She wasn't the worst companion he'd ever traveled with.

"Let us revisit that subject in a moment," came Taalon's reply. "As I'm sure you know by now, Apprentice Vestara Khai has done a commendable job of keeping us informed of what has transpired. We are aware that you are having . . . difficulty with certain Jedi who were fostered inside the Maw. We believe this is due to the intervention of a being known to us as Abeloth, whom Vestara encountered. Many of our own apprentices are displaying the same symptoms as your younger Jedi."

"Your younger Sith were in the Maw as well?"

"No. But such identical displays of aberrant behavior cannot be attributed to anything else."

Ben was skeptical. But there was so much they didn't know yet. His father's blue eyes met his and he shrugged slightly. It was possible.

"We are many. You are only three," Taalon continued. The third to whom he referred was Dyon Stad a Force-sensitive human who had joined Ben and Luke on Dathomir and was currently aboard his own Suieb Soro yacht "We have a common cause."

"Are-are you proposing a formal alliance?" Luke was so surprised he didn't even bother to hide it. Ben, too, literally gaped for a moment. Vestara seemed more shocked than any of them, judging by her expression and her feeling in the Force.

"Precisely."

Luke started to laugh. "I'm sorry, but that doesn't sound like a very Sith thing to say."

The voice was cold when Taalon spoke again. "This creature, this . . . Abeloth . . . has the audacity to reach out and harm our apprentices. Our tyros. To toy with the Tribe-the Sith. The insult cannot be borne. It will not be borne. We are going into the Maw and teach her a lesson."

Ben glanced at his father. "That, however, is a very Sith thing to say."

Luke nodded. To Taalon, he said, "It may be that we do not need to teach her a lesson, as it were. We may simply need to find out why she is doing this."

"And ask her nicely to please stop?" Ben thought Han Solo could learn a thing or two from this Sith about infusing one's voice with sarcasm.

"You just asked me nicely to help you out. Clearly you're capable of good manners," Luke replied, unruffled. "If it accomplishes the goal with fewer or perhaps no casualties, how is that not the best solution?"

There was silence. "It is possible she may not be amenable to . . . polite conversation. What then, Master Skywalker?"

"I will do whatever is necessary to free the ill Jedi from her control," Luke said. "I assure you of that." His voice was not harsh, but there was a tone in it Ben recognized. The deed was almost as good as done when Luke Skywalker spoke like that.

"You agree, then?" Taalon asked.

Luke didn't answer at once. Ben knew what he was struggling with. And he was surprised that it was even a struggle for the Grand Master. Luke was a Jedi. These were Sith. There couldn't possibly be an alliance. Everyone would constantly be watching their own backs.

But then again . . . He glanced at Vestara. She came from an entire culture of Sith. They couldn't be backstabbing one another constantly- they'd have become extinct long ago. Somehow this flavor of Sith had learned how to cooperate. Vestara had proved it was possible. She had worked with Ben and his father before, on Dathomir, and that cooperation had saved Luke Skywalker's life.

"We do have a common goal," Luke said at last. "It would be better to work toward it together rather than getting in each other's way. But don't think that I will not be expecting treachery at every turn. There are fewer enmities more ancient than that of Sith and Jedi."

A sigh. "This thing we both fight might be older than that," Taalon said. "Well, I did not expect this to be a particularly comradely union. Very well. You deliver Vestara Khai. Together, in an alliance not seen since this galaxy was new, Sith and Jedi will confront and defeat their mutual foe-one way or the other. And after that . . . well, let us see where we stand then, shall we?"

"Vestara stays here."

The Sith girl froze. There was a long silence.

"I cannot permit that."

"Then we have no alliance." Another long silence.

"She has information we require. She comes with us, or there is no deal."

"Information about how to reach and confront our mutual foe?" Luke said, turning Taalon's own flowery words back on him. "That, I do not object to permitting her to share. That was the information you were talking about, wasn't it?"

"She will come to no harm while entrusted in your . . . care," said Taalon. "None. Or we will attack and destroy you down to your marrow and obliterate your very cells."

"Provided you keep your bargain, she's perfectly safe. Jedi aren't in the habit of torturing children."

Vestara frowned at being referred to as a child. Ben started to smile a little, despite the situation, then realized that she was the same age as he was. He shot his dad a disappointed glance.

"Then I believe we have an agreement," Taalon said.

"Not just yet. We need to decide who is going to be in charge of this alliance first."

"I would suggest we command as a pair, you and I," Taalon said. "No Sith will take orders solely from a Jedi. And I am sure you would bridle at being told what to do by a Sith High Lord."

"I would indeed. And I would suggest we begin this joint command by sharing information. You first."

"Ah, but Master Skywalker, you have our source of information right there with you. Start with her. We will be prepared to depart within a half hour."

"So will we. I'll be in touch. Jade Shadow out."

"Dad," Ben said the second the communication was terminated. "You just agreed to help the Sith."

Luke shook his head. "No, son. I agreed to let the Sith help us."

Ben regarded him, incredulity mixed with curiosity. "You trust them to keep their word?"

"I trust them to do what is best for them. And as long as what is best for them is best for us, then we'll be fine."

"And when it's not?"

"Like Taalon said . . . we'll see where we stand then. I'm prepared for that. There are two old sayings, Ben: 'The enemy of my enemy is my friend' and 'keep your friends close, and your enemies closer.' "

Luke pointedly turned to Vestara, who stood straight with her hands clasped behind her back. "Now," he said, "High Lord Taalon assures me you know everything they do."

She lifted a small information chip. "Most of it's here," she said.

"And what's not there?" Luke asked.

Vestara smiled slightly and tapped her temple. "And this is where it will stay until it is necessary. We have a card game on my world. It is called Mahaa'i Shuur, which means Ultimate Success in the tongue of the natives. The rules are complicated, but the goal is simple. The winner is the one who never, ever has to play his last card."

Luke Skywalker watched Vestara Khai the way, long ago, a bartender named Wuher had watched him at the Mos Eisley cantina-coldly, expecting the unexpected, and looking for an excuse to cease being civil. Her back was to him, hands on her hips, her long brown hair hanging loose. She was looking out over the gathering of Sith vessels that were starting to fall into formation in preparation for departure, and he didn't have to sense her in the Force to make a damn good guess as to what she might be thinking. As soon as he had the thought Luke amended it.

She was Sith. So were they. In Luke's mind, that automatically meant they could not be trusted. Even if they were sincere in this desire to unite forces and approach the Maw with a lot more firepower than the Jade Shadow would have mustered alone, there had to be a trick, or a trap. They were Sith. Deception was a keystone of their culture.

Vestara Khai was Sith. But she was also a girl who seemed to have at least a few virtues along with her vices, something Luke found unexpected and disconcerting. No doubt she was contemplating treachery. But he was willing to admit that she also might just be missing her people. A soft sigh escaped her, as if confirming his thoughts.

He had assigned Ben the job of being the first to read through the information Vestara had given them, thinking the task would distract his son from the admittedly attractive female his own age who was going to be living in such close quarters with them. He was not worried for Ben's state of mind regarding the Force. Ben had been through more things in his short life than most beings had in century- long ones. He wasn't likely to be tempted by offers of power or greatness, the usual tools those who tried to corrupt Jedi liked to employ.

But it was, Luke realized, entirely possible that Ben might get a little confused now and then. Vestara was strikingly attractive, and had presumably been through things comparable to what Ben had undergone. And she was extremely, in fact exceptionally, strong in the Force. It was a combination that might make any father at least a little anxious for his Jedi son's well-being.

The Shadow was quiet, the air heavy with all the "not talking" that was taking place. The only sound was Vestara's single, almost inaudible sigh and the occasional sounds of Ben shifting position in his chair as he read and occasionally cross-referenced data.

The sudden noise alerting them to an incoming message therefore sounded especially loud. No one actually jumped, but a sense of surprise rippled through them all. Luke glanced at the screen and frowned slightly. Three words flashed.

vestara khai. personal.

As far as Luke was concerned, they might as well have been emergency incoming attack.

"Who's it from, Dad?"

"I don't know. But it's for our guest. Do you know who might want to contact you, Vestara?"

Vestara actually looked surprised. Luke felt the faintest flicker of worry, like an echo of a whisper, in the Force. "I've no idea," and it sounded genuine. "Is there a place where I can-"

"I can't let you receive a private message, especially from someone who won't identify him- or herself," Luke said matter-of-factly.

Vestara nodded. "Of course not. If I were in your position, I would take similar precautions."

Luke flipped a switch. "This is the Jade Shadow to the anonymous sender of the previous message directed at Vestara Khai. You must understand I cannot permit her to receive a private missive."

There was a long silence. Luke could feel young ears straining. Then another message appeared, addressed to luke skywalker.

the message may be publicly viewed.

"Well, a reasonable Sith, what next," Luke muttered, and touched another button on the console.

A small holographic figure took shape. It was a human male, wearing the traditional Sith black robes. A lightsaber of antique-looking design was clipped to his belt. His long dark hair was pulled up in a topknot. His face was chiseled and handsome.

Vestara's startled gasp revealed her emotions, but the Force did so even more prominently. There was a rush of warm, affectionate feelings, quickly clamped down, as if a lid had been put on a pot. Luke's eyes flickered to the girl, then back to the hologram. Both images appeared to be trying hard not to smile, although Vestara often looked as though she were smiling when she wasn't due to the little scar on her mouth.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 273 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 277 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    an exciting Star Wars entry

    Jedi Grand Master Luke Skywalker and his son Jedi Knight Ben are on a mission to find out what turned Jacen Solo to the dark side of the Force. Accompanying them is Sith Apprentice Vestara Khai from the unknown Sith tribe on the planet Kesh. Luke and Ben are surrounded in space by a Sith armada that include Vestara's father. Shockingly, instead of killing the Skywalker pair and their crew, the Sith offers a temporary alliance. They want to go with Luke and company when they enter the Maw, an area of black holes and hostile space. They agree to a joint mission.

    The Jedi who spent their childhood during the war at Shelter are going insane. The dark creature who lives in a black cluster in the Maw, Abeloth, is thought to somehow influence those losing their minds. The Sith have reasons of their own to find her. As they enter the Maw, back at Coruscant, the capital of the Galactic Alliance, Chief of State Natasi Daala continues her assault on the Jedi Order trying to turn them into outlaws or obedient to her governmental rule.

    This is the middle book in a nine saga arc, but it remains an exciting Star Wars entry with a stunning twist as well as moving forward on the two overarching themes. Filled with the trademark action expected of a Star Wars thriller, Allies also contains an intriguing alliance between enemy combatants and an even more fascinating theme of slavery complete with rebels, underground railroads with conductors and a quasi organization located on planets where slavery is legal. Leia and Han are in minor but critical roles finding ways to break Daala's siege while also bringing needed humor to lighten the dark forces moving across the galaxy.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 23, 2012

    I enjoyed the development of the story in this book, and the cre

    I enjoyed the development of the story in this book, and the creativity she used, but there were a few errors that I just couldn't get over. For example: confusing the Chevs and Chevins for nearly 4 pages and interchanging the two species over and over. I found that I had trouble keeping track of which species was enslaved and which was the slave holders, due to her constantly switching it around. Also, she continuously misspelled Kyp Durron's name as Kyp Durran and Dyon Stadd as Dyon Stad. I was left wondering where the editing in this book went.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2013

    Darth Azula

    This is my fave place in StarWars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2013

    Rose

    Sits outside the cantina.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2013

    Mandalore

    *Approaches the cantina.*

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Good book

    Realy good book but a lot of spelling mistakes. For example, Bwua'tu was spelled three difrent ways on the same page, Bwua'tu, Bwa'tu, and Bwau'tu. Seems like that would be noticed. Also another thing i realy didn't like was all the swearing. There shouldn't be swearing in starwars! Other than that great story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2013

    Dapplekit

    <_>

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2012

    Fresh kill pile

    Phoenixstar

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2012

    By far my faverit!!!!!!

    My fave just because it is by far the funniest and it is not as sad as the others such as the last on

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Great read

    Awesome!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2011

    I think.....

    Its a great book....but i think some people wright bad reviews just cause they dont like star wars or one part of the book. So stop with the bad reviews people

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 29, 2011

    Good but not quite great.

    Allies is a good Star Wars book that does a good job of advancing the plot for Fate of the Jedi. And while it does move from plot point to plot point pretty well it is lacking in the action area for a typical Star Wars book in my opinion.

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  • Posted August 23, 2011

    Star wars fate odf the jedi

    The star wars universe is by far the best fantasy universe ive ever read in to and with this series it gets better and better

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  • Posted July 24, 2011

    Just gets better and better...

    THIS IS ONE OF THE BETTER IN THE STAR WARS SERIES?

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  • Posted July 14, 2011

    Good, But finishes too much for a mid-series book

    The first thing I can say about this fifth book is that it's a reassuring size. The last one by Golden was a bit thinner than the rest of the series, but this one isn't. As for the story, it's much better than the first three in the series.

    As I often do, I'll start by discussing the characters, and in particular with my favourite character - Vestara. Vestara is a Sith apprentice, a bad guy by definition, but I find that I can't help but like her, can't help but want her plans to succeed. As in the previous book, we don't see an awful lot of scenes from her point of view, but if anything this makes her character more interesting, and the rare chapter that is from her perspective an exciting glimpse into her life.

    And one of the ways we get to explore Vestara is through Ben, and his interactions with her, which are both interesting and amusing. I must admit to really enjoying their scenes together. However, some of his moods and ideas about things switch rapidly and are often unexplained. However, this is much more true of Luke - quite a major character. He just seemed a bit too vague a character. One minute he hated the Sith, the next he was agreeing with them - even with strange ideas that I don't see why anyone would agree with. So it's a little strange that I found the other Sith in general to be quite good characters. None of them were as major characters as Luke, Ben or Vestara, but I felt that they were done really well - particularly the High Lord and Vestara's Father.

    This whole paragraph is a spoiler, so look away now if you don't want to know anything. Daala gets the Mandalorians to siege the Jedi Temple. As a political move, this is pretty silly. People kind of like the Jedi, and kind of dislike the Mandalorians. I can see why she want to do it for her own pet hate of the Jedi, but I always thought of her as more level headed than that.

    I'm not really liking the character that Daala is becoming, and the whole thing about the trials of Tahiri and Niathal are kind of tedious. it was interesting at first, and Tahiri's lawyer is an interesting character, but it just seems that it's going on for an awful long time. I don't mind reading it, it's not that bad, but I don't look forwards to those sections. I had been hoping it would have been cleared up by the end of this book, but it hasn't. In fact, it seems to be one of the few things that weren't.

    The ending seemed a bit strange to me. It all happened quite fast, but it felt like the story was pretty much over. There was still the trial as mentioned a moment ago, and a brief scene with two people pretending to be jedi which made no difference to the story but suggests another, but the main story arcs seem to have vanished. Except the characters disagree. I'm not really sure where the story can go from here.

    It was an improvement on the first three books, but not as good as the fourth. The main body of the book was good, and I really liked Vestara, but the ending was a bit too final. There's another four books to go, but not an awful lot of story to go with them. But it's made the series as a whole that little bit better, and it was fun to read - so if you don't mind a slow start, this series is looking better all the time.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    Skip this

    This author is no novice to be certain. She clearly has a writing style that I, for one, am not a fan of. I don't need to read 4 paragraphs on the details of a characters surroundings, what they smell, etc. TOO MUCH FILLER. The book is maybe 1/5 really about luke/ben and their allies. The sudden end of the book is akin to someone turning the lights off in the room you are reading in. I've heard the next book in the series is decent, but after this book, I am done with the series. A regretful purchase, to be sure.

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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    You were saying?

    Why are people calling Christie Golden a lousy writer? I fail to see what about this book makes it even remotely bad. Whoever is underrating Golden's writing abilities is obviously no literary critic.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 16, 2011

    asome!!

    i could't stop reading it

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Not the best so far, but pretty good

    This novel was a good mix of epic science fiction battles, mystical discovery, and courtroom drama. However, there were some slow moments in the story so I can not give it my full endorsement. Eventhough this was not her best work, Christie Golden has done a terrific job in all of her outtings as a Star Wars writer and I hope she gets another chance to steer this story to a fitting conclusion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2010

    Mediocre at best...

    Story and plot were fine, but originality and writing style were not good. For the price of a hardcover book, they should have spent more time proofreading this story. Several terms were completely overused (Sword of the Jedi). Story was decent enough for me, but I wish we didn't have to wait almost 6 months for the next book.

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