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Star Wars Legacy of the Force #5: Sacrifice

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Overview

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...

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Star Wars Legacy of the Force #5: Sacrifice

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Overview

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.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Adult/High School On the edge of civil war, planets are threatening to break away from the Galactic Alliance Luke Skywalker and his comrades worked so hard to build. As head of the military, Jacen-Jedi Knight and son of Han and Leia Solo-will do anything to fight back any insurrection. He quickly moves from a capable military tactician to a shady politician, making deals to increase and consolidate his power over the alliance. More frightening, he is under the guidance of Lumiya, former pupil of the Dark Emperor Palpatine, who leads him to the evil powers of the Sith. To gain the ultimate power of a Sith Lord, he must cause the death of someone close to him, and he has trouble deciding whether to kill his parents; Ben, his protégé and the teenaged son of Luke and Mara Skywalker; or Lumiya. An interesting subplot involves Boba Fett taking over leadership of the Mandalorian race and helping them rebuild their once-proud society. While it doesn't have a direct influence on the main events, there are hints that the rise of the Mandalores will have a great impact on the series as a whole. The first two thirds of the book are more character-driven and less action-packed than most "Star Wars" novels. Still, this fifth volume in the series ends with a powerful battle pitting Sith Lords against Jedi Masters, satisfying fans and pushing them on to the next volume.-Matthew L. Moffett, Pohick Regional Library, Burke, VA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345477415
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/29/2008
  • Series: Star Wars: Legacy of the Force Series , #5
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 134,252
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 1.08 (d)

Meet 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.

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Read an Excerpt

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.

He’s got a secure comlink. But he won’t use it. I taught him to keep transmissions to a minimum. But Ben, if you’re in trouble, you have to break silence . . .

Jacen waited, staring through the shifting displays and readouts that mirrored those on the operations consoles at the heart of the ship. He’d started to lose the habit of waiting for the Force to reveal things to him. It was easy to do after taking so much into his own hands and forcing destiny in the last few months.

Somewhere in the Anakin Solo, he felt Lumiya as a swirling eddy eating away at a riverbank. He let go and magnified his presence in the Force.

Ben . . . I’m here, Ben . . .

The more Jacen relaxed and let the Force sweep him up—and it was now hard to let go and be swept, much harder than harnessing its power—the more he had a sense of Ben being accompanied. Then . . . then he had a sense of Ben seeking him out, groping to find him.

He has something with him. Can’t be the Amulet, of course. He’ll be angry I sent him on an exercise in the middle of a war. I’ll have to explain that very, very carefully . . .

It had just been a feint to get him free of Luke and Mara for a while, to give him some space to be himself. Ben wasn’t the Skywalkers’ little boy any longer. He would take on Jacen’s mantle one day, and that wasn’t a task for an overprotected child who’d never been allowed to test himself far from the overwhelmingly long shadow of his Jedi Grand Master father.

You’re a lot tougher than they think. Aren’t you, Ben?

Jacen felt the faint echo of Ben turn back on him and become an insistent pressure at the back of his throat. He took a breath. Now they both knew they were looking for each other. He snapped out of his meditation and headed for the bridge.

“All stop.” The bridge was in semi-darkness, lit by the haze of soft green and blue light spilling from status displays that drained the color from the faces of the handpicked, totally loyal crew. Jacen walked up to the main viewport and stared out at the stars as if he might see something. “Hold this station. We’re waiting for . . . a ship, I believe.”

Lieutenant Tebut, current officer of the watch, glanced up from the console without actually raising her head. It gave her an air of disapproval, but it was purely a habit. “If you could narrow that down, sir . . .”

“I don’t know what kind of ship,” Jacen said, “but I’ll know it when I see it.”

“Right you are, sir.”

They waited. Jacen was conscious of Ben, much more focused and intense now, a general mood of business-as-usual in the ship, and the undercurrent of Lumiya’s restlessness. Closing his eyes, he felt Ben’s presence more strongly than ever.

Tebut put her fingertip to her ear as if she’d heard something in her bead-sized earpiece. “Unidentified vessel on intercept course. Range ten thousand kilometers off the port beam.”

A pinpoint of yellow light moved against a constellation of colored markers on the holomonitor. The trace was small, perhaps the size of a starfighter, but it was a ship, closing in at speed.

“I don’t know exactly what it is, sir.” The officer sounded nervous. Jacen was briefly troubled to think he now inspired fear for no apparent reason. “It doesn’t match any heat signature or drive profile we have. No indication if it’s armed. No transponder signal, either.”

It was one small vessel, and this was a Star Destroyer. It was a curiosity rather than a threat. But Jacen took nothing for granted; there were always traps. This didn’t feel like one, but he still couldn’t identify that otherness he sensed. “It’s decelerating, sir.”

“Let me know when you have a visual.” Jacen could almost taste where it was and considered bringing the Anakin Solo about so he could watch the craft become a point of the reflected light of Contruum’s star, then expand into a recognizable shape. But he didn’t need to; the tracking screen gave him a better view. “Ready cannons and don’t open fire except on my order.”

In Jacen’s throat, on a line level with the base of his skull, there was the faint tingling of someone’s anxiety. Ben knew the Anakin Solo was getting a firing solution on him.

Easy, Ben . . .

“Contact in visual range, sir.” Tebut sounded relieved. The screen refreshed, changing from a schematic to a real image that only she and Jacen could see. She tapped her finger on the transparisteel. “Good grief, is that Yuuzhan Vong?”

It was a disembodied eye with double—well, wings on each side. There was no other word to describe them. Membranes stretched between jointed fingers of vanes like webbing. The dull amber surface seemed covered in a tracery of blood vessels. For a brief moment, Jacen thought it was precisely that, an organic ship—a living vessel and ecosystem in its own right, of the kind that only the hated Yuuzhan Vong invaders had created. But it was somehow too regular, too constructed. Clustered spires of spiked projections rose from the hull like a compass rose, giving it a stylized cross-like appearance.

Somewhere in his mind, Lumiya had become very alert and still.

“I knew the Yuuzhan Vong well,” said Jacen. “And that’s not quite their style.”

The audio link made a fizzing sound and then popped into life.

“This is Ben Skywalker. Anakin Solo, this is Ben Skywalker of the Galactic Alliance Guard. Hold your fire . . . please.”

There was a collective sigh of amused relief on the bridge. Jacen thought that the fewer personnel who saw the ship—and the sooner it docked in the hangar, to be hidden with sheeting from curious eyes—the better.

“You’re alone, Skywalker?” Technically, Ben was a junior lieutenant, but Skywalker would do: Ben wouldn’t, not now that he had the duties of a grown man. “No passengers?”

“Only the ship . . . sir.”

“Permission to dock.” Jacen glanced around at the bridge crew and nodded to Tebut. “Kill the visual feed. Treat this craft as classified. Nobody discusses it, nobody saw it, and we never took it onboard. Understood?”

“Yes, sir. I’ll clear all personnel from Zeta Hangar area. Just routine safety procedure.” Tebut was just like Captain Shevu and Corporal Lekauf: utterly reliable.

“Good thinking,” Jacen said. “I’ll see Skywalker safely docked. Give me access to the bay hatches.”

Jacen made his way down to the deck, resisting the urge to break into a run as he took the shortest route through passages and down durasteel ladders into the lower section of the hull, well away from the busy starfighter hangars. Droids and crew going about their duty seemed surprised to see him. When he reached Zeta Hangar, the speckled void of space was visible through the gaping hatch that normally admitted supply shuttles, and the reflection he caught sight of in the transparisteel air lock barrier was that of a man slightly disheveled from anxious haste. He needed a haircut.

He could also sense Lumiya.

“So what brings you down here?” he asked, deactivating the deck security holocam. “Hero’s homecoming?”

She emerged from the shadow of an engineering access shaft, face half veiled. Her eyes betrayed a little fatigue: the faintest of blue circles ringed them. The fight with Luke must have taken it out of her. “The ship,” she said. “Look.”

A veined sphere ten meters across filled the aperture of the hatch, its wing-like panels folded back. It hovered silently for a moment and then settled gently in the center of the deck. The hatch doors closed behind it. It was a few moments before the hangar repressurized and an opening appeared in the sphere’s casing to eject a ramp.

“Ben did very well to pilot it,” Lumiya said.

“He did well to locate me.”

She melted back into the shadow, but Jacen knew she was still there watching as he walked up to the ramp. Ben emerged from the opening in grubby civilian clothing. He didn’t look pleased with himself; if anything, he looked wary and sullen, as if expecting trouble. He also looked suddenly older.

Jacen reached out and squeezed his cousin’s shoulder, feeling suppressed energy in him. “Well, you certainly know how to make an entrance, Ben. Where did you get this?”

“Hi, Jacen.” Ben reached into his tunic, and when he withdrew his hand a silver chain dangled from his fist: the Amulet of Kalara. It exuded dark energy almost like a pungent perfume that clung and wouldn’t go away. “You asked me to get this, and I did.”

Jacen held out his hand. Ben placed the gem-inlaid Amulet in his palm, coiling the chain on top of it. Physically, it felt quite ordinary, a heavy and rather vulgar piece of jewelry, but it gave him a feeling like a weight passing through his body and settling in the pit of his stomach. He slipped it inside his jacket.

“You did well, Ben.”

“I found it on Ziost, in case you want to know. And that’s where I got the ship, too. Someone tried to kill me, and I grabbed the first thing I could to escape.”

The attempt on Ben’s life didn’t hit Jacen as hard as the men- tion of Ziost—the Sith homeworld. Jacen hadn’t bargained on that. Ben wasn’t ready to hear the truth about the Sith or that he was apprenticed—informally or not—to the man destined to be the Master of the order. Jacen felt no reaction from Lumiya whatsoever, but she had to be hearing this. She was still lurking.

“It was a dangerous mission, but I knew you could handle it.” Lumiya, you arranged this. What’s your game? “Who tried to kill you?”

“A Bothan set me up.” Ben said. “Dyur. He paid a courier to take the Amulet to Ziost, framed him as the thief, and the guy ended up dead. I got even with the Bothan, though—I blew up the ship that was targeting me. I hope it was Dyur’s.”

“How?”

Ben gestured over his shoulder with his thumb. “It’s armed. It seems to have whatever weapons you want.”

“Well done.” Jacen got the feeling that Ben was suspicious of the whole galaxy right then. His blue eyes had a gray cast, as if someone had switched off the enthusiastic light in him. That was what made him look older; a brush with a hostile world, another step away from his previous protected existence—and an essential part of his training. “Ben, treat this as top secret. The ship is now classified, like your mission. Not a word to anyone.”

“Like I was going to write to Mom and Dad about it . . . what I did on my vacation, by Ben Skywalker, age fourteen and two weeks.” Ouch. Ben was no longer gung-ho and blindly eager to please . . . but that was a good thing in a Sith apprentice. Jacen changed tack; birthdays had a way of making you take stock if you spent them somewhere unpleasant. “How did you fly this? I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Ben shrugged and folded his arms tight across his chest, his back to the vessel, but he kept looking around as if to check that it was still there. “You think what you want it to do, and it does it. You can even talk to it. But it doesn’t have any proper controls.” He glanced over his shoulder again. “It talks to you through your thoughts. And it doesn’t have a high opinion of me.”

A Sith ship. Ben had flown a Sith ship back from Ziost. Jacen resisted the temptation to go inside and examine it. “You need to get back home. I told your parents I didn’t know where you were, and hinted they might have made you run off by being overprotective.”

Ben looked a little sullen. “Thanks.”

“It’s true, though. You know it is.” Jacen realized he hadn’t said what really mattered. “Ben, I’m proud of you.”

He sensed a faint glow of satisfaction in Ben that died down almost as soon as it began. “I’ll file a full report if you want.”

“As soon as you can.” Jacen steered him toward the hangar exit. “Probably better that you don’t arrive home in this ship. We’ll shuttle you to the nearest safe planet, and you can get a more conventional ride on a passenger flight.”

“I need some credits for the fare. I’m fed up with stealing to get by.”

“Of course.” Ben had done the job, and proved he could survive on his wits. Jacen realized the art of building a man was to push him hard enough to toughen him without alienating him. It was a line he explored carefully. He fished in his pocket for a mix of denominations in untraceable credcoins. “Here you go. Now get something to eat, too.”

With one last look at the sphere ship, Ben gave Jacen a casual salute before striding off in the direction of the stores turbolift. Jacen waited. The ship watched him: he felt it, not alive, but aware. Eventually he heard soft footsteps on the deck behind him, and the ship somehow seemed to ignore him and look elsewhere.

“A Sith meditation sphere,” said Lumiya.

“An attack craft. A fighter.”

“It’s ancient, absolutely ancient.” She walked up to it and placed her hand on the hull. It seemed to have melted down into a near hemisphere, the vanes and—Jacen assumed—systems masts on its keel tucked beneath it. Right then it reminded him of a pet crouching before its master, seeking approval. It actually seemed to glow like a fanned ember.

“What a magnificent piece of engineering.” Lumiya’s brow lifted, and her eyes creased at the corners; Jacen guessed that she was smiling, surprised. “It says it’s found me.”

It was an unguarded comment—rare for Lumiya—and almost an admission. Ben had been attacked on a test that Lumiya had set up; the ship came from Ziost. Circumstantially, it wasn’t looking good. “It was searching for you?”

She paused again, listening to a voice he couldn’t hear. “It says that Ben needed to find you, and when it found you, it also recognized me as Sith and came to me for instructions.”

“How did it find me? I can’t be sensed in the Force if I don’t want to be, and I didn’t let myself be detected until—”

A pause. Lumiya’s eyes were remarkably expressive. She seemed very touched by the ship’s attention. Jacen imagined that nobody—nothing—had shown any interest in her well-being for a long, long time.

“It says you created a Force disturbance in the Gilatter system, and that a combination of your . . . wake and the fact you were looking for the . . . redheaded child . . . and the impression that the crew of your ship left in the Force made you trackable before you magnified your presence.”

“My, it’s got a lot to say for itself.”

“You can have it, if you wish.”

“Quaint, but I’m not a collector.” Jacen heard himself talking simply to fill the empty air, because his mind was racing. I can be tracked. I can be tracked by the way those around me react, even though I’m concealed. Yes, wake was the precise word. “It seems made for you.”

Lumiya took a little audible breath, and the silky dark blue fabric across her face sucked in for a moment to reveal the outline of her mouth.

“The woman who’s more machine, and the machine that’s more creature.” She put one boot on the ramp. “Very well, I’ll find a use for this. I’ll take it off your hands, and nobody need ever see it.”

These days, Jacen was more interested by what Lumiya didn’t say than what she did. There was no discussion of the test she’d set for Ben and why it had taken him to Ziost and into a trap. He teetered on the edge of asking her outright, but he didn’t think he could listen to either the truth or a lie; both would rankle. He turned to go. Inside a day, the Anakin Solo would be back on Coruscant and he would have both a war and a personal battle to fight.

“Ask me,” she called to his retreating back. “You know you want to.”

Jacen turned. “What, whether you intended Ben to be killed, or who I have to kill to achieve full Sith Mastery?”

“I know the answer to one but not the other.”

Jacen decided there was a fine line between a realistically demanding test of Ben’s combat skills and deliberately trying to kill him. He wasn’t sure if Lumiya’s answer would tell him what he needed to know anyway.

“There’s another question,” he said. “And that’s how long I have before I face my own test.”

The Sith sphere ticked and creaked, flexing the upper section of its webbed wings. Lumiya stood on the edge of the hatch and looked around for a moment, as if she was nervous about entering the hull.

“If I knew when, I might also know who,” she said. “But all I feel is soon, and close.” Something seemed to reassure her, and she paused as if listening again. Perhaps the ship was offering its own opinion. “And you know that, too. Your impatience is burning you.”

Of course it was: Jacen wanted an end to it all—to the fighting, the uncertainty, the chaos. The war beyond mirrored the struggle within.

Lumiya was telling the truth: soon.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 95 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    this book seriously is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    this book proves karen traviss is one of the best star wars authors out there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    the book is worthy of the name star wars

    this book series is amazing i do not understand why people dislike both karen traviss and troy denning because both those authors i gave alot credit to i also give aaron allston alot of credit as well this book series is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i love all 3 authors who made the legacy of the force book series

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    this book series does not need a reboot karen traviss is and alw

    this book series does not need a reboot karen traviss is and always will
    be one of the greatest star wars eu authors in my honest opinon shes
    better than christie golden plus her books are awesome and the book
    reminds me of the author who wrote the first book in this book yes her
    writing is on par with both troy denning and aaron allston heck man shes
    even on par with both timothy zahn and michael stackpole and plus her
    writing is also on par with matthew stover and drew karpyshyn

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    amazing book series

    better than the twilight saga and the harry potter series star wars wins yet again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2010

    A once promising franchise, destroyed

    The Star Wars extended universe officially jumps the shark in this book. As if The New Jedi Order series hadn't done enough dreary damage to once long-beloved characters, the Legacy of the Force series turns them stupid, willfully blind and just plain moronic. Featuring one of the most pathetic villains in the EU to date (and considering the books written by Kevin J. Anderson, that's saying something) and the complete character assassination of the leading cast, Sacrifice is unreadable. Which, considering that author Karen Traviss is firmly on record as saying she hates to read novels, only comes as a surprise to the brain trusts at Del Rey who hired her. Traviss should stick to the two-dimensional video game characters for whom she has such an affinity and leave her rather sketchy political leanings out of the Star Wars universe (soldiers with big guns are kewl, Jedi and all their respect for life schtick are douches.)

    The only thing that can save the EU now is a complete reboot.

    Stay far, far away from this series.

    1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    Good addition to the series

    Let me start off by saying I don't like Karen Traviss. I don't like her writing style, I don't like how she portrays her characters, and I have no interest in the characters she seems to push to the forefront of her books.
    The only thing I do like about her writing style is the little quotations at the beginning of her chapters.

    With that said this was a pretty good book. Overall much more exciting than Exile. The character of Mara Jade Skylwalker takes a role ahead of many of the other characters in this book which is both good and bad. I don't like the character and at time she can seem kind of flat and overall she is very central to this book and her role is very important.

    Jacen's character is written fairly well in this book and Ben really starts to come into his own as a introspective and intelligent person. I would say more on the both of them but I don't want to reveal anything.

    If you have liked the other books in this series so far you should definitely continue on and read this one.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 20, 2014

    Finally a good lightsaber fight! Sacrifice is a solid entry in t

    Finally a good lightsaber fight!
    Sacrifice is a solid entry in the Legacy of the Force series. Karen Traviss is an excellent writer within the Star Wars universe – I really hope she’ll be writing more soon! This novel gave us an element that’s been lacking in every Star Wars book in the timeline since the NJO began, with the exception of Denning’s Dark Nest series – good lightsaber fights! I found the battles at the end deeply satisfying, although heartbreaking. The heartbreaking element of this series isn’t new though, and personally I think it is being handled well. Jacen’s fall has been understandable as the reader is given insight to his thought process. What I liked best about Sacrifice was the fact that it really, finally advanced the plot in significant ways. I’m very interested in how each and every character is going to respond to the events of this one. This is far from my favorite SW novel, and isn’t my favorite of Traviss’s work either, but it’s well-written nonetheless and advances the plot of the series. In a galaxy full of war, sacrifices have to be made, and Traviss captures that excellently.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2014

    Hey read this!!!!!

    MARA JADE SKYWALKER DIES IN THIS BOOK!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2013

    I love mara jade

    Too bad she dies in this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

    So so

    This was far better than the previous book in the series. It would be nice if Luke was more like the Luke of the past. Jacen's path to distruction needs to be more reckless. I'm disappointed in his character development.

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  • Posted January 11, 2011

    This was a Traviss-ty of a novel, not worthy of the Star Wars name...

    Just awful. Two-dimensional characters rife with personalities that don't match previous novels...I have to wonder if Karen Traviss did ANY research whatsoever before writing this. She doesn't like to read, so it wouldn't be surprising. She doesn't get attached to her characters, so that's another negative point. It is riddled with "sacrifices" that don't actually mean anything, other than it just being poorly chosen. The writing's not completely bad, but I have to say her choice of direction for this novel was just awful.

    She said it was her idea to kill off the most popular, most beloved character of the Star Wars Expanded Universe -- EVER. I can only hope Traviss NEVER comes back to the realm of Star Wars to inflict this kind of single-handed damage to the Star Wars universe. Maybe she'll just stick to her pets, the Mandalorians and Boba Fett, so I can skip any books she writes in the series.

    She focuses way too much on the Mandalorians and completely rewrites the classic characters as we know them. Luke, Mara, everyone involved, just completely go off the deep end and do things completely out of character. Traviss doesn't even try to justify their actions; just makes them completely deranged and out of their heads. I can't even begin to explain how bad this book is. Complete waste of time. Unfortunately, George Lucas put his okay on this, and we're stuck with it.

    I just wish George would get his head out of the Dark Side of his butt and give the Star Wars franchise over to someone who actually cares about the success of Star Wars, and not just keep letting it spiral out of control into the Dark Abyss of Ridiculousness. The Yuuzhan Vong war (series) was bad enough, and it just keeps riding the downward slope into oblivion with Traviss' latest installment.

    Hopefully her newest military series will keep her involved and away from Star Wars for the rest of eternity.

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  • Posted July 18, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    The pivotal book in the Legacy series

    This is the novel that will set the tone for the rest of the series. It is shocking, sad, and exciting all at once. The story gives great goodbye to excellent characters.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great continuation of the Star Wars Saga

    The Legacy of the Force series continues to expand the characters we have grown to love. The three authors who are writing this series really kept you in suspense as they slowly build the excitement. The subplot with Boba Fett and the mandalores is great and gives some much needed insught into this favorite character.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 17, 2009

    Awesome

    At this point this is my favorite book in the series. Great twists that will make you want to finish and the other books in the series even faster.

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  • Posted September 1, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Pleasant Book to Escape the Daily Grind

    I am a recent Star Wars fan thanks to my eight-year-old son. I shrugged my shoulders and decided to start reading this series. I began reading Star Wars because my son and I read the comic books together to help keep his interest in reading. I enjoyed this book, and the others in the series, at night before I go to sleep. Sometimes, I find it difficult to put these books down. These books help me escape my long work days for approximately an hour a night, and beats turning on the television.

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  • Posted October 28, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Heartbreaking

    I was so sad when I saw the cover of this book. Excellent book. It shows how far someone can actually turn. The death of such a dominant character is always hard, but that was definately the way to do it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2008

    He Will Strengthen Himself Through Sacrifice...

    Sacrifice is, by far, the greatest of Legacy of the Force series thus created. Darth Cadeaus's ascention to Dark Lord of the Sith is phenomenal, and comparable to Anakin's own tragic 'fall'. Lots of philosophizing about the Force and what is 'right' and 'wrong' in terms of Jedi and Sith, and the concept of balance and order out of chaos is constantly addressed, keeping the reader consistantly engaged. The Sith will have their revenge!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    I have read all the LOTF books and being a Star Wars dork rate it above any other book series in the Star wars galaxy yet. This book is the best one since PoD and Star by Star. Everyone must die sooner or later, and now was the time for this person, but life must go on if the sith are not to rule the galaxy again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2007

    Great Book

    The best part about this book, is finally seeing Jacen cross the line of no return. Jacen was one of my favorite characters from the NJO and the Swarm Wars books, to see someone that changed the way the jedi viewed the force become a sith is great. I love once again how Jacen parallels Anakin both were going to be the future of the Jedi, Anakin almost eradicated them and Jacen is following the same path. My big question is what EU character will he kill next? I wouldn't be surprised if it was my favorite starwars characted Corron Horn.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2007

    A reviewer

    Sacrifice is a nuclear bomb that just went off. I wasn left speechless because I have been waiting for so long for something like his to happen. I now know that this is the tip of the iceberg and more people are going to be removed from the series. The one problem that I have always had with Star Wars is that for a story that encompasses an entire universe, a majority of the characters that were there 50 years ago are still involved in the shaping of the uvinverse. Our society does not emulate this principle. Jacen is the changing of the guard. Maybe not as we expected, but nevertheless, people are going to start to have a bad day. I can't wait to see how this all unfolds, but I would like to see Han killed and Luke switching sides. Those are my predictions. Until the next book, may the force be with you, because it is leaving some of the other characters!

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