Star Wars Legacy of the Force #9: Invincibleby Troy Denning, Marc Thompson
No war can last forever. Now, in the long and punishing battle between the defiant champions of the New Jedi Order and the juggernaut that is the Galactic Alliance, the endgame is finally at hand.
The rebel cause is losing ground under the twin blows of Admiral Gilad Pellaeon’s assassination and the death of Mara Jade Skywalker. At the same time, the Galactic… See more details below
No war can last forever. Now, in the long and punishing battle between the defiant champions of the New Jedi Order and the juggernaut that is the Galactic Alliance, the endgame is finally at hand.
The rebel cause is losing ground under the twin blows of Admiral Gilad Pellaeon’s assassination and the death of Mara Jade Skywalker. At the same time, the Galactic Alliance, with the extraordinary power and dark brilliance of newly ascendant Sith Lord Darth Caedus at its helm, may be unstoppable. Tormented and torn between the call of duty and the thirst for vengeance, Luke has searched the Force and beheld an unspeakable vision of the galaxy enslaved under tyranny more monstrous than even Palpatine’s. Now it seems that the last, best hope lies in mobilizing the scattered Jedi for one decisive search-and-destroy mission. The objective: eliminate Darth Caedus.
It’s a plan that will be as difficult and dangerous to execute as it is daring. For Caedus is a scion of both the Skywalker and Solo bloodlines whose command of the Force surpasses even that of his grandfather Darth Vader. There is only one who is bound by destiny to stand against him in what will surely be a duel to the death, only one with an outside chance of bringing down the dark lord who was once Jacen Solo.
The furious final moments between power and peace are here, and whoever confronts Darth Caedus will decide the outcome–and the fate of those left standing.
Although this book is the conclusion to the series, it is engaging for anyone familiar with the original Star Wars films. Readers become reacquainted with familiar characters such as Luke Skywalker, Boba Fett, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. The story picks up where Karen Traviss's Revelation (Del Rey, 2008) leaves off, with Jaina Solo, daughter of Han and Leia Solo, training alongside Boba Fett in preparation for the greatest battle of her life; Jaina is being sent to destroy Darth Caedus, the Sith who was once known as Jacen Solo, her twin brother. As she pursues him across the galaxy, Jaina and her family struggle to separate the Jedi warrior they knew as Jacen from the Dark Lord that he has become. The novel follows the battle between the Jedi and the Galactic Alliance from the perspectives of Jaina; Jacen; and their cousin, Ben Skywalker, creating a fusion of plots dealing with political dispute, inner struggles, and warfare. This is an entertaining and quick read, although the ending seems to wrap up prematurely with several plotlines left unanswered, presumably to be explored in a future series.-Kelliann Bogan, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH
Read an Excerpt
What’s the difference between a lightsaber and a glowrod? A lightsaber impresses girls!
–Jacen Solo, age 14 (shortly before he cut off Tenel Ka’s arm in sparring practice)
HE HAD MADE A FEW MISTAKES. CAEDUS COULD SEE THAT NOW.
He had fallen to the same temptation all Sith did, had cut himself off from everything he loved–his family, his lover, even his daughter–to avoid being distracted by their betrayals. He could see now how blinding himself to his pain had also blinded him to his duty, how he had begun to think only of himself, of his plans, of his
destiny . . . of his galaxy.
That was the downfall of the Sith, always. He had studied the lives of the ancients–such greats as Naga Sadow, Freedon Nadd, Exar Kun–and he knew that they always made the same mistake, that sooner or later they always forgot that they existed to serve the galaxy,
and came to believe that the galaxy existed to serve them.
And Caedus had stepped into the same trap. He had forgotten why he was doing all this, the reason that he had picked up a lightsaber in the first place and the reason that he had given himself over to the Sith, the reason that he had taken sole control of the Galactic Alliance.
Caedus had forgotten because he was weak. After Allana had betrayed him by sneaking off the Anakin Solo with his parents, his pain had become a distraction. He had been unable to think, to plan, to command, to read the future . . . to lead. So he had shut away his feelings for Allana, had convinced himself that he was not really doing this for her and the trillions of younglings like her, that he was doing this for destiny–for his destiny.
It had all been a lie. Even after what Allana had done, Caedus still loved her. He was her father, and he would always love her, no matter how much she hurt him. He had been wrong to try to escape that.
Caedus needed to hold on to that love whatever it cost him, to cling to that love even as it tore his heart apart.
Because that was how Sith stayed strong. They needed pain to keep the Balance, to remind them they were still human. And they needed it so they would not forget the pain they were inflicting on others. To make the galaxy safer, everyone had to suffer–even Sith Lords.
And so there would be no angry outbursts when he confronted the Moffs over their unauthorized adventures, no demonstration killings,
no Force chokings or threats to have his fleets attack theirs, no intimidation of any sort. There would be no consequences at all, for how were they to know of the worrisome things he had been seeing in his Force visions lately–the Mandalorian maniacs and the burning asteroids,
his uncle’s inescapable gaze–if he failed to tell them? Whether blunder or master stroke, the taking of the Roche system was as much his doing as the Moffs’, Caedus saw now, and he was beyond punishing others for his mistakes. Starting today, Darth Caedus was going to rule not through anger or fear or even bribery, but as every true Sith Lord should, through patience and love and . . . pain.
Caedus finally crested the winding pedramp he had been ascending and found himself looking down a long tubular tunnel coated in the gray-yellow foamcrete the Verpine reserved for their royal warrens.
At the far end–guarding one of the shiny new beskar-alloy blast hatches that had done absolutely nothing to stop the Remnant’s aerosol attack–stood a squad of white-armored stormtroopers. Their gray-striped shoulder plates identified them as members of the Imperial Elite Guard, and the two tripod-mounted E-Webs set along the walls suggested they were serious about preventing unauthorized access to the chamber beyond.
The stormtroopers were still turning in his direction, no doubt trying to decide whether the single black-clad figure striding toward them was anything to be alarmed about, when Caedus raised a gloved hand and made a grasping motion. The squad leader raised his own hand as though returning the greeting–then was knocked off his feet as both E-Web supply cables tore free of the power generators and came flying down the corridor with weapon and tripod bouncing along behind them.
The remainder of the squad swiftly moved to firing positions,
dropping to a knee in the middle of the corridor or pressing themselves against the tunnel wall, and brought their blaster rifles to their shoulders. Caedus sent a surge of Force energy sizzling down the corridor,
reducing the electronic opticals inside their helmets to a blizzard of static. They opened fire anyway, but most of the bolts went wide,
and those that did not Caedus deflected with the occasional flick of a hand.
He was still ten paces away when the squad leader pulled his helmet off and, bringing his weapon to bear, began yelling for the others to do the same. Caedus raised his arm, catching the leader’s bolts on his palm and deflecting them harmlessly down the tunnel. As the second and third man prepared to open fire, he flicked a finger toward the leader’s blaster and sent it spinning into them. It slammed the second man into the wall and knocked the third’s weapon from his hands.
Caedus summoned the leader forward with two fingers, using the Force to bring the astonished soldier flying into his grasp.
“I have no intention of harming anyone beyond that door,” Caedus said, making his voice deep and commanding. “But I have no time to waste, so I won’t hesitate to kill you or your men. I trust that won’t be necessary?”
The sergeant’s eyes bulged as though his throat were actually being squeezed shut–which it was not–and his face paled to the color of his armor.
“N-n-no, sir. N-not at all.” The sergeant motioned for his men to lower their weapons. “S-s-sorry.”
“No apologies necessary, Sergeant,” Caedus said. “Obviously, you haven’t been informed of the new chain of command.”
Caedus set the sergeant’s boots back on the tunnel floor, then turned to look at each of the others in the squad. He made it appear that he was requiring each man to look into his yellow eyes, but actually he was Force-probing their emotions, looking for any hint of anger or resentment that suggested there might be a hero in the group. He was down to the last two when he sensed a fist of resolve tightening inside one.
“Don’t do it, trooper,” he said. “There aren’t enough good soldiers in the Alliance as it is.”
The fist of resolve immediately began to loosen, but the trooper wasn’t too surprised to say, “With all due respect, Colonel, we’re not
“Not yet.” Caedus gave him a warm smile and turned toward the blast hatch, presenting his back to the entire squad. “My escorts will be along shortly. Don’t start a firefight with them.”
When he felt the squad leader motion the hero and everyone else to lower their weapons, Caedus nodded his approval without turning around. Then he circled his hand in front of the blast door, using the Force to send a surge of energy through its internal circuitry until a series of sharp clicks announced that the locking mechanisms had retracted.
A moment later, a loud hiss sounded from inside the heavy hatch, and it slid aside into the wall.
Caedus stepped through without hesitation and found himself looking down on a sunken conference pit where a couple dozen Imperial Moffs–most of the survivors of the slaughter aboard the
Bloodfin–were rising to their feet, some reaching for their sidearms and others looking for a place to take cover. Across from them, a small swarm of insectoid administrators from other Verpine hives squatted on their haunches, their shiny heads cocked in confusion and their mandibles spread wide in an instinctive threat display.
“No, please.” Caedus extended his arms toward the Moffs and motioned for them to return to their seats–using the Force to compel obedience. “Don’t get up on my account.”
The Moffs dropped almost as one. Most landed in the chairs they had been occupying, but a couple missed and landed on the floor. Several of the aides standing behind the Moffs’ chairs were pointing holdout blasters in his direction, looking to their superiors for some hint as to whether they should open fire or stand down. Caedus swept his arm up and sent them all flying out of the conference pit onto the surrounding service floor.
“I’m afraid this will be a confidential conversation,” he said.
When the aides did not instantly obey, he gestured at one of those who had been pointing a blaster at him and sent the man tumbling out the hatch.
The remainder of the aides scrambled for the door, many without bothering to stand. Caedus watched them go, his attention divided between them and the Moffs, ready to pin motionless anyone who even thought about raising a weapon. Once the aides were gone, a simple glance was all it took to send the Verpine administrators scuttling after them, leaving him and the Moffs alone with a single huge Verpine with age-silvered eyebulbs and a translucent patch on her thorax where the carahide was growing thin. She showed no inclination to rise from her position at the far end of the conference table, where she lay stretched along a heavily cushioned throne pedestal.
“Jacen Solo, where will the hives ever gather the wealth to settle our account?” The Verpine spoke in an ancient, thrumming voice that seemed to resonate from the very bottom of her long abdomen. As the High Coordinator of the Roche system’s capital asteroid, she was effectively the hive mother and chief executive officer of her entire civilization,
outranking even the Verpine’s public face, Speaker Sass Sikili.
“First, you rescue us from the Ancient Ones, and now you come with your fleet to send away the whiteshells. Welcome.”
“Thank you, Your Maternellence. But the name now is Caedus.
The hive mother inclined her head. “We have heard you went through a metamorphosis. It is hard to believe you were just a larva when you saved us before.” She unfolded an age-curved arm and gestured at the Moffs. “The hives will be happily rid of these wasps. Proceed.”
“I wish it were that simple,” Caedus said. He turned his attention to the Moffs, who were studying him with expressions ranging from impatience to annoyance, depending on whether they were brave, astute,
or just plain foolhardy. “But you’re misinterpreting our presence.
My fleet and I aren’t here to free the Roche system–we’re here to
It was difficult to tell who was more outraged, the mandibleclacking hive mother or the grumbling Moffs. Caedus raised his hand and–when that failed to produce quiet–used the Force to muffle the clamor.
As soon as he could be sure of making himself heard again, he said,
“This will be best for everyone. The conquest of the Roche system has given it a significance far beyond the value of its munitions factories.”
The hive mother raised her thorax off her couch and demanded,
“What significance? The hives are neutral! We have nothing to do with your war.”
“You have been selling munitions to all sides–and profiting handsomely,”
interrupted a combat-trim Moff with close-cropped gray hair. “That makes you a legitimate target.”
“Moff Lecersen makes a good point,” Caedus said. “And I did
warn you that the Mandalorians lacked the strength to protect you.”
Before the hive mother could argue, he turned to Lecersen. “But the Moff Council should have consulted with me before acting. There have been indications in the Force all along that this invasion would be a mistake.”
“Because you want the Roche munitions factories for yourself ?”
scoffed a youthful Moff.
Caedus recognized him from intelligence holos as Voryam Bhao.
With his honey-colored complexion, curly black hair, and a sneering upper lip just begging to be ripped off his face, he looked even younger than the twenty-three standard years listed in his file.
“Spare us your dark prophecies, Colonel Solo,” Bhao continued boldly. “Everyone at this table sees what you’re trying to do.”
The bile began to rise in Caedus’s throat, but he reminded himself of his resolution and resisted the urge to snap the young Moff’s neck–as he had Lieutenant Tebut’s not so long ago.
Instead, he said in a calm, durasteel voice, “You really should listen more carefully, Moff Bhao.” He made a dipping motion with his index finger, and Bhao’s head sank toward the table as though he were bowing. “It’s Caedus now. Darth Caedus.”
If Bhao’s older peers were amused, they did not show it–not even in the Force. They simply glared at Caedus, and another of the Moffs–this one a round-faced man with a roll of red neck-flab hanging over the collar of his buttoned tunic–shook his head in open disapproval.
“We are all aware that you are very powerful in the Force, Darth Caedus,” he said. “But you seem to be forgetting that we are quite powerful in our own right. If not for us, that catastrophe at Fondor would have been the end of you and the Galactic Alliance.”
“Nor do we need to consult with you about anything,” Moff Lecersen added. “The last I checked, the Empire was an ally of the Galactic Alliance, not its territory. We don’t need your permission to conduct our operations . . . and we surely don’t need your fleets to hold what we take.”
Caedus brought his anger under control by reminding himself that he deserved such a rebuke. He had not failed at Fondor because of Niathal’s treachery, or his admirals’ lack of boldness, or even because of Daala’s surprise attack. He had failed because of his own blindness,
because he had allowed his anguish over Allana’s betrayal to make him arrogant and selfish and vindictive.
And then, once his thinking had cleared, he began to see how the situation must look to someone who did not have the Force. To someone who could not look into the future and see Luke hunting him down, or see Mandalorian maniacs bursting from walls and asteroids burning as bright as stars, Caedus’s assertion might be hard to believe.
Without such foresight, it might be easy to convince oneself that this lonely cluster of rocks could not be as important as all that–that the balance of an interstellar war could never hinge on what was about to happen here.
After a moment’s silence, Caedus said, “You don’t believe me.”
His tone was more disappointed than angry. “You think this is about spoils.”
Lecersen exchanged suspicious glances with several of the other Moffs, then asked, “You don’t really expect us to believe you came out here to protect us, do you?”
Caedus had to stifle a laugh. While he hadn’t been thinking of it in those terms, he realized that was exactly what he was doing here–
protecting the Moffs and their crucial fleets.
“I suppose that does sound absurd.” Realizing that only events themselves would convince the Moffs of his sincerity, Caedus turned and started toward the exit. “The truth so often does.”
Meet the Author
Troy Denning is the New York Times bestselling author of Star Wars: Tatooine Ghost, Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Star by Star, and the Star Wars: Dark Nest Trilogy, as well as Pages of Pain, Beyond the High Road, The Summoning, and many other novels. A former game designer and editor, he lives in southern Wisconsin with his wife, Andria.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Invincible is a stunning and worthy conclusion to the Legacy of the Force series, suspensfully crafted and conclusively ended while, at the same time, leaving the reader gasping for more. The story moves quickly, dealing skillfully with Karen Traviss's inevitable 'Mandalorian problem' and bringing the story of Darth Caedus's brief but frightening reign to a nicely done conclusion. The dialogue and sequence of events awards Jaina Solo and Boba Fett the credit they deserve for their participation in the story, highlighting the immense power of Luke Skywalker and the massive sadness of Leia and Han Solo. In addition, Ben's development is polished impeccably, and the reader is left proud of Luke's son, hoping that he'll possibly live long enough to assume his father's position. (but not too soon!) Darth Caedus's end is befitting a character as complex and twisted as Jacen Solo, poignant yet with breathtaking action. I am not disheartened by the length, or lack thereof, that is I don't care how short a novel is as long as it's done right, Invincible certainly is. My sole complaintent is that Anakin Solo didn't return through the Force to confront his sibling. Watch for the novel Millenium Falcon, which continues the Star Wars saga following Legacy of the Force! May the Force be with you.
This was a good book, not a great one. I honestly expected a little more. At the end of the last book, Jaina had learned the secrets of the bounty hunters from Bobba Fett, whose character was well fleshed out for this series. I admit that I hadn't read any of the other Star Wars books before, and now I am a big fan. This series could have had more debpth and character development that is more available in older books. As a matter of fact if you want to read a good book about the conflict of a young Luke Skywalker, I suggest the classic "A splinter in the Mind's Eye". This book ("Splinter") gives the reader a good understanding of what the young Luke was dealing with as the new center of a conflict between good and evil that was bigger than the whole galaxy. That book lack some dramatic effect, but for character development it is the best. I admit that I enjoy seeing how characters become the men and women they become. The character Jaina is howere somewhat 1 dementional. I thought that there would have been a more fleshed out study of the relationship between her and her newly dubbed Sith lord brother. The characters that got the most development for this series were Mara Jade and Lumiya. I't is sad that the two most interesting characters, the two most real characters had to meet their end. Sorry if I gave it away, but really why are you reading this if you didn't already know that?
Like my headline says, Invicible was amazing. Even though I was a bit disappointed at it's length, or lack thereof, it was still superbly written. And I know that a lot of people are complaining about all of the plot holes, and I just have this to say: Hello!!! It's far from over, people! There will be more SW titles to continue the timeline, which I'm sure WILL explain what happens to everyone. So just be patient!
I quite frankly couldn't get enough of Invincible. It was an excellent read from beginning to end. It resolved the story without devolving into knock generic sci fi territory like so many other Star War expanded universe novels do. It was Star Wars through and through. It has the focus on characters, destiny and the personal journey as well as dealing with the war. Fortunately it never forgets that the war is the background and should always come second to the human drama. Troy Denning has proved over the last few years that he is better than Tim Zahn, Karen Traviss and any other often quoted 'best' Star Wars author. He is the best because he dares to actually DO something with the characters and how he tells his stories. It is in Invincible that this is really shown. Brilliant stuff.
This book was the worst of the series...the author did a very poor job at finishing the story line. As I was reading the book it felt like the author rushed to finish the book at the last minute.
I disagree with everyone who said this book was horrible.To me this was the best book of the series.Once I started reading this I couldn't put it down.I have read this book 2 or 3 times since I purchased it.My favorite part was Luke's battle with Caedus.My favorite character is Ben Skywalker.This book was WAY better than Revelation.Too bad this is the last book of the series.
NJO athors did an amazing job foreshadowing this. Please dont kill Jana too. I beg you, SW authors.
It was an amazing series from start to finish!!!!!!!!it just broke my heart when caedus was killed.it made me feel bad for han and leah,but not caedus.got to read!if you liked this sereis,i heard theres another series set after this called fate of the jedi.
No kidding he beat jacen in a lightsaber duel in seconds but jacen escaped.
This book is a brillant ending to the series featuring the twin to twin fight awaited since Jacen Solo turned evil and since Jaina Solo was proclaimed the 'sword of the jedi' The duel between Caedus/Jacen and Jaina symbolizes many things A fight between good and evil, the sith and Jedi, the solo-skywalker clans destiney, and the destiney of Jaina is finally shown
I've enjoyed this series greatly, and this final book didn't let me down, in terms of enjoyment. The only bad part about it is that it's over. If you haven't read the series yet, you're missing out on a great story.
Pretty good. Epic battles, betrayals, all that good stuff. Classic star wars.