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With Luke consumed by grief, Jacen Solo works quickly to consolidate his power and jumpstart his plan to take over the Jedi. Convinced he’s the only one who can save the galaxy, ...
With Luke consumed by grief, Jacen Solo works quickly to consolidate his power and jumpstart his plan to take over the Jedi. Convinced he’s the only one who can save the galaxy, Jacen will do whatever it takes, even ambush his own parents.
With the Rebel confederacy driving deep into the Core to attack Coruscant and the Jedi under siege, Luke must reassert his position. Only he can lead the Jedi through this crisis, but it means solving the toughest problem Luke’s ever faced. Does he fight alongside his nephew Jacen, a tyrant who’s illegally taken over the GA, or does he join the rebels to smash the Galactic Alliance he helped create?
Tenel Ka sensed the hole in the Force the instant she entered the bedchamber. It was lurking in the black depths of the corner farthest from the entrance, a void so subtle she recognized it only by the surrounding stillness. She moved quickly through the doorway, her spine tingling with a ripple of danger sense so delicate it made her blood race.
Before her lady-in-waiting could enter the room behind her, she looked back over her shoulder and called, “That will be all, Lady Aros. Ask DeDeToo to lock down the nursery.”
“Lock it down, Majesty?” Aros stopped at the threshold, a slender silhouette still holding the evening gown Tenel Ka had just removed. “Is there something I need to—”
“Just a precaution,” Tenel Ka interrupted. Her robe was still hanging inside her refresher suite, so she was standing in her underclothes. “I know our embassy should be secure, but this is Coruscant.”
“Of course . . .” Aros dipped her chin. “The terrorists. This rach warren of a planet is absolutely teeming with them.”
“Let’s not be too disparaging, shall we?” Tenel Ka chided. She casually reached down and unfastened the thigh holster where she carried her lightsaber. “We did have to call on Colonel Solo to dispose of a few raches of our own recently.”
“I didn’t mean anything negative about the colonel,” Aros said, practically cooing the reference to Jacen. After his recent heroics defending Tenel Ka against the traitors trying to usurp her throne, he had become something of a sex symbol to half the women in the Hapes Consortium . . . Tenel Ka included. “Quite the opposite. If not for Colonel Solo, I’m sure Coruscant would have sunk into anarchy by now.”
“No doubt,” Tenel Ka said, casually shifting her grasp on the holster so that she held her lightsaber by its hilt. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I believe I can turn down my own sheets tonight.”
Aros acknowledged the order with a bow and withdrew into the anteroom. Tenel Ka used her elbow to depress a tap pad on the wall. Half a dozen wall sconces glimmered to life, revealing a chamber as ridiculously opulent as the rest of the embassy’s Royal Wing. There were three separate seating areas, a life-sized HoloNet transceiver, and a huge hamogoni wood desk stocked with stacks of flimsiplast bearing the Hapan Royal Crest. On the far side of the chamber, a dreamsilk canopy shimmered above a float-rest bed large enough to sleep Tenel Ka and her ten closest friends.
Despite the two sconces flanking it, the room’s farthest corner—the one near her refresher suite—remained ominously dark. Tenel Ka could not sense any sort of optical field keeping it that way, but then again, the only thing she could sense was . . . well, nothing. She reached out with the Force to make certain Aros was not eavesdropping from the other side of the door, then ignited her lightsaber and took a few steps toward the corner.
“You would be wise to show yourself,” Tenel Ka said. “I have no patience for voyeurs . . . as you should well know by now.”
“I’m a slow learner.” The darkness melted away, revealing a tall, shadow-eyed figure with a melancholy echo of his father’s famous lopsided grin. He was dressed in black GAG utilities and smelled faintly of hyperdrive fuel, as though he had come to her straight from a space hangar. “And I don’t usually get caught. My camouflage powers must be slipping.”
“No, Jacen. I am just growing better at sensing your presence.” Tenel Ka deactivated her lightsaber and tossed it on the bed, then smiled warmly and opened her arms to him. “I was hoping you would find time to call.”
Jacen cocked his brow, then let his gaze slide down her body. “So I see.”
“Well?” Tenel Ka asked. “Are you just going to stand there gawking? Or are you going to do something about it?”
Jacen chuckled, then stepped out of the corner and crossed to her. His Force presence remained undetectable—he was so accustomed to concealing himself that he did so even around Tenel Ka—but she could tell by the shine in his eyes how happy he was to see her. She slipped a hand behind his neck and drew his mouth to hers.
Jacen obliged, but his kiss was warm rather than hot, and she could tell that tonight his heart was not entirely hers. She stepped back, embarrassed to realize how insensitive she was being.
“Forgive me if I seem too joyful,” she said, able to perceive now the sadness that tinged his hard eyes, the grief that tainted his clenched jaw. “Tomorrow is Mara’s funeral. Of course you have other things on your mind.”
Jacen’s snort was so gentle that Tenel Ka almost did not hear it.
“It’s okay.” He took her hand, but the softness had vanished from his face, leaving in its place only the stoic, unreadable mask that he had worn since his escape from the Yuuzhan Vong. “I wasn’t thinking about Mara.”
Tenel Ka eyed him doubtfully.
“Well, not exclusively,” Jacen admitted. “I’m happy to see you, too.”
“Thank you, but I’m not offended,” Tenel Ka said. “Our thoughts should be on your aunt tonight. Have you found her killer yet?”
Jacen’s face flickered with emotion—whether it was anger or resentment was impossible to say—and something like guilt flashed through the Force so quickly that Tenel Ka was still trying to identify it when Jacen closed down again.
“We’re still working on that.” Jacen’s tone was defensive, and his gaze slid away in . . . could that be shame? “We don’t have many leads, and I don’t like the direction they’re going.”
“That is very cryptic,” Tenel Ka observed. “Can you—”
“Not yet,” Jacen said, shaking his head. “It’s still early in the investigation, and I don’t want to taint anyone’s reputation.”
Tenel Ka frowned at the implication. “You think it was someone inside the GA?”
Jacen flashed a mock scowl. “Did I say that?”
“Yes.” Tenel Ka looped her hand through the elbow of his black utilities and changed the subject. “But it was thoughtless of me to ask about the investigation, especially with the funeral tomorrow. I hope you’ll—”
“Don’t apologize.” Jacen detached himself and moved to the nearest couch, then sat on the arm. “The truth is, I haven’t been doing very much to find her killer. The Alliance has higher priorities at the moment.”
Jacen nodded. “I’m sure you’re receiving the military’s briefing holos.”
“Of course.” In fact, the holos had been arriving twice a day for nearly a week now, along with urgent requests for Hapan reinforcements, which Tenel Ka could not provide. “Don’t tell me that Admiral Niathal has prevailed on you to talk me out of my last fleet?”
Instead of answering, Jacen slipped over the couch arm onto a cushion, then sat staring into the flame tube that was the focal point of the seating area.
“I see,” Tenel Ka said, astonished that Jacen would agree to even attempt such a thing. He knew as well as she did that granting the Alliance request would place both their daughter and her throne in profound danger. “There is nothing to send, Jacen. As it is, the Home Fleet is barely enough to secure the Consortium from my own nobles.”
“You still need to hear this.” Jacen continued to stare into the swirling tongues of blue inside the flame tube. “You’re aware that Corellia and Bothawui are moving against Kuat, right?”
Tenel Ka nodded. “While the Hutts and Commenor make preparations to attack Balmorra.” She retrieved her dressing gown from inside the refresher, then added, “I do watch those holos they keep sending me.”
“Sorry—just making sure,” Jacen said. “But what the briefings don’t say—what they can’t say—is that after the battle at Balmorra, the Confederation is going to mass its fleets at Kuat. Whoever wins there wins the war.”
“Military planners always think the next big space battle will end the war.” Tenel Ka slipped the dressing gown over her shoulders and returned to the seating area. “They’re usually wrong.”
“This doesn’t come from the planners,” Jacen said. “I’ve seen it . . . in the Force.”
“Oh.” Tenel Ka dropped into a chair adjacent to Jacen’s, stunned by the implications of what she had just heard. If Jacen’s Force-vision was accurate—and she knew enough about his Force powers to think it would be—the Confederation would soon have a massive force in position to threaten Coruscant herself. “I see why you are worried.”
“Worried might be an understatement,” Jacen replied. “So would terrified. The Alliance just doesn’t have the strength to stop them yet.”
“Yet?” Tenel Ka asked. “Are you telling me that Thrackan Sal-Solo wasn’t the only one building secret fleets?”
Jacen shook his head. “Sorry. I’m talking about the Wookiees. Kashyyyk is certain to assign their assault fleet to our command, and that will tip the balance back in the Alliance’s favor.”
“I doubt the Confederation is going to wait that long,” Tenel Ka said, almost bitterly. Alliance holochannels were filled with impatient speculation about the endless debate on Kashyyyk, with the commentary ranging from simple impatience to accusations of cowardice. “Are you telling me the public reports are misdirection?”
“Not a bad idea, but no,” Jacen said. “I’m telling you that our agents assure us it’s a matter of when, not if.”
“In this instance, when is if,” Tenel Ka said. “Wookiees are very stubborn. By the time they finish their deliberations, the Confederation will be storming Coruscant.”
“I hope you’re wrong.” Jacen tore his eyes from the flame tube, then met Tenel Ka’s gaze. For once, she could sense his emotions through the Force, could feel how frightened and worried he truly was. “But I just don’t know.”
“I see,” Tenel Ka said, finally starting to realize what Jacen was trying to tell her. “And you didn’t come to ask for the Home Fleet?”
Jacen shook his head. “Not really.”
“I was afraid of that.” Tenel Ka sank back in her chair, calling on the Force to keep her heart rate under control, her thoughts focused. “So you only came to warn me that the Galactic Alliance is about to collapse.”
“Well, that’s not the only reason.” Jacen grinned and cocked an eyebrow.
Tenel Ka groaned. “This is no time for jokes, Jacen. Your timing is worse than when we were teenagers.”
“Okay, then I could use some advice instead,” Jacen said, accepting the rebuff as gracefully as he had when they were younger. “Have any?”
Tenel Ka’s answer was immediate. “The Jedi could do something. Perhaps they could launch a StealthX raid, or perhaps Master Skywalker could speak to—”
“I asked for advice, not wishful thinking.” Jacen’s voice was suddenly sharp. “The Jedi won’t lift a finger to help us. They’re practically traitors themselves.”
“Jacen, that’s not true,” Tenel Ka said, refusing to be intimidated. “The Jedi have supported the Galactic Alliance since its inception, and Master Skywalker is on the same side you are. If the Alliance is to be saved, you two must put aside your differences and work together.”
A flash of fear flickered through Jacen’s eyes, then he looked away, reminding Tenel Ka of some petulant courtier refusing to acknowledge a rebuke.
“And if we can’t?” he asked.
“Can you stop the enemy’s advance without the Jedi?”
Jacen shook his head. “Not at the moment—and maybe not with them.”
“Then what choice is there?” Tenel Ka made the question a command. “The Jedi Council is unhappy about your coup, but the Masters will not stand idle while the Alliance falls—especially not if you grant concessions.”
Jacen fell silent a moment, then turned to face Tenel Ka. “It’s more complicated than that. Luke hasn’t been himself since Mara died.” His dark brows arched in concern. “He barely talks to anyone, and he’s drawn in on himself so far he’s practically cut off from the Force.”
“Surely you don’t expect him to remain unaffected by his wife’s death?”
“It’s more than grief,” Jacen said. “You heard about Lumiya?”
“I heard that he truly killed her this time.” Tenel Ka’s answer was cautious, for the ’Net had been full of reports linking Lumiya’s death to Mara’s—until the Jedi Council had issued a terse statement asserting that Lumiya’s demise involved other matters. “It’s hard to believe the timing was purely coincidental.”
“It wasn’t,” Jacen said. “I’m afraid it was a vengeance killing.”
“A vengeance killing?” Tenel Ka shook her head in disbelief. “Even if Master Skywalker would do such a thing, it doesn’t make sense. The Jedi Council itself said that Lumiya had nothing to do with Mara’s death.”
“Luke didn’t discover that until after he killed Lumiya—and that’s when he began to draw in on himself.” Jacen leaned forward, propping his elbows on his knees and staring at the polished larmalstone between his boots. “I think he’s having a crisis of confidence, Tenel Ka. I think he’s stopped trusting himself . . . and the Force.”
Tenel Ka frowned. She had the feeling that Jacen was forcing his emotions; that he was merely trying to be concerned while secretly relishing his uncle’s mistake. And who could blame him? Master Skywalker had accused Jacen of some fairly terrible things lately—such as collaborating with a Sith and staging an illegal coup—so it would only be natural to gloat when his denouncer did something even worse.
After a moment, she said, “Perhaps you’re right, Jacen. That would explain why Master Sebatyne turned me away when I tried to call on your uncle.”
“Luke wouldn’t see you?” Jacen was incredulous. “Then matters are worse than I thought. He can’t be up to his duties.”
“That is more than understandable.” While it saddened Tenel Ka to think of Master Skywalker’s pain—and Ben’s—she shared Jacen’s alarm. Now was a disastrous time for the Alliance to be without its Jedi. “But Master Skywalker is not the only member of the Jedi Council. You can still ask for their help.”
“I can try,” Jacen countered. “But I’ve already reached out to individual Masters.”
“They’re all against me.” Jacen spoke matter-of-factly, merely reporting the truth as he saw it. “They think I’m trying to take advantage of the situation. Until I have Luke’s support, I can talk myself breathless. The Jedi are not going to cooperate.”
From the Paperback edition.
i have not read the book yet but i heard alot of stuff about books 2 3 4 and 5 im still am reading book one by aaron allston and it seriously is amazing cant wait to get to this book im a big fan of both the sith and the jedi
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 16, 2011
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Posted November 10, 2011
Posted August 23, 2011
After "Sacrifice" it becomes evident that the tone of the LOTF series has to change entirely, mostly because of Jacen's transition to Darth Caedus, but also because of the resolve of the central characters, most notably Luke, Jaina, and Ben. What Caedus has become in a world where he alone is the powerful Sith is a little frightening, especially if you were familiar with his old character. The book ends with Luke finally getting into it with Caedus, which is great considering you want almost every Jedi to get a whack at him by the end of the series. Ben's story arc actually develops beyond what you might think as well, setting the tone for the last third of the series.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 19, 2011
Posted February 19, 2011
This novel details the aftermath of the dark events of the previous book, "Sacrifice". It has very sentimental and touching moments within its pages, but do not let that fool you. It quickly brings the reader to the exciting adventure that Star Wars readers come to expect.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 15, 2009
Posted November 11, 2009
Inferno is probably one of my favorites of this series since Betrayal. It puts Luke Skywalker in a position we haven't really seen him in much before and tests him as the Master of the Jedi Order.
Jacen finally reveals his true colors to the world as this book hits its climax and his descent into darkness stats to show so much more than the other books. Actually my only problem with this book is how quickly Jacen (or Caedus as he is called now) goes from being someone with ideals opposite to the Jedi Order into a Sith with an agenda and a disregard for other peoples lives.
Ben is faced with tough decisions and may not always make the right choices.
Also a separate group of Siths are discovered by Alema and we learn more about the Sith Ship that Ben found on Ziost.
This book is my least favorite in this series so far. There was just something about Troy Denning's writing on this book not striking a cord with me. I actually struggled at points, wishing I was reading Karen Traviss instead. I hope the series improves.
0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 4, 2009
I truly enjoyed this book. Luke flexes his force muscle multiple times, which is something that has been absent, and sorely missed, for a while. Jacen makes the final transition to Caedus with the last "betrayal" from his family and friends. Ben stands on the brink of light and dark not knowing which way to turn. All the while the galaxy has fallen into chaos and war. This book has really driven me to finish the series with a new enthusiasm.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 23, 2008
Jacen seems a lot like Palpatine or Vader, he kills anyone he deems will not let the galaxy be at peace. Not much action though,a lot of dialouge. I'd reccomend it, even though it seems like a filler.On my way to read Fury now.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 20, 2008
Jacen will kill whoever he needs to to get his way. Now he has killed Mara and burned Kyyshyyyk. The best thing about this series is that each book is better than the last.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 19, 2008
When I first read this book, I was unsure of how the author would be able to show the emotional pain that the Jedi Order was going through and how Jacen/Caedus was taking advantage of it. I was wrong, however, in that the author keeps juggling all of these things. I did find it a little disappointing that the Actual War took somewhat of a back seat to the internal action, but that was expected in the book after a Shocker like Revelation.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 26, 2007
I loved this book. Inferno is totally assume. I finished this in three days, it was action packed after what happened in Sacrifice. I was not sure what to expect next. My second favorite member of the Skywalker family was killed off in the last book. Those who have read Sacrifice know exactly who I am talking about, anyway, I am pleased to say that this was much better then that depressing story. Jacen Solo now Darth Caedus continues to slip into darkness. He showed in Sacrifice just how evil and ruthless he has become. I will be interested to see if this leads to his down fall at the end of this series. Caedus is with out question the villain of this series, but that makes me wonder about the kid that I assume is supposed to be the hero Ben Skywalker he has gone through a lot in this series, and I suspect he has much more hardship and challenges to face before this series is over, but in many ways Ben can potentially be a bigger monster then Caedus. I know he is Luke Skywalker's son, but he is also Mara Jade Skywalker's son, and Darth Vader's third grandson. Ben is a lot like his mother, and that can be a bad thing if he is the one that faces Caedus at the end of this series, I wonder if he will be a hero, or a villain. Ben has a intesting role in this book, and I defiantly can not blame him for what he is doing, that said, I can not see him as a hero yet. Luke has a great part in this book. He is much like he was in Return of the Jedi in this book, and if he is like this right now, I can only imagine what he will be like when he has the entire story. I also like the possible tie between Legacy of the Force, and Star Wars Legacy threw the One Sith. I hope to see more of these guys as this series moves towards the end, and I also hope to maybe see Mara as a Force Ghost. Inferno is a great read for any Star Wars fan, and should not be missed.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 4, 2007
Posted October 12, 2007
Until I read this, I knew Luke was powerful in the Force. I just didn't realize how powerful. I am looking forward to the conclusion of this series and to seeing how powerful Ben is.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 16, 2007