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At Luke Skywalker’s request, Talon Karrde mounts an expedition to rescue the young students. Anakin Solo has his own ideas. Impatient, and figuring that forgiveness is easier to come by than permission, he takes off for Yavin 4 in his X-wing.
When it comes to confidence, courage, and raw Force talent, Anakin has few peers. But when his friend Tahiri is separated from the other academy kids and captured by the Yuuzhan Vong, even Anakin may be in over his head. For the aliens have a different future in mind for Tahiri, and they will stop at nothing to achieve their horrific ends . . .
"Well, Shada," he told the striking woman at his right hand, "it appears that our baby-sitting chore has become somewhat more . . . interesting than anticipated."
"I would say so," Shada D'ukal replied. "The sensor shroud shows at least seven ships in orbit around Yavin 4 and another six on the surface."
"None of them are Yuuzhan Vong, I take it."
"No. A mixed bag, but I'd lay odds that they are Peace Brigade."
"Gambling is a foolish occupation," Karrde said. "I want to know. And I want to know what they're doing." He ticked his finger against the armrest. "I knew we should have found some way to leave sooner. Skywalker was right." He sighed and leaned forward, studying the long-range sensors.
"There's some sort of firefight on the surface, yes,
"Looks like it," the Togorian mewled.
"Solusar?" Karrde wondered. "Maybe. How long before we can be there?"
"They outnumber us badly," Shada pointed out. "We should call the rest of our ships before we do anything."
"We should certainly call them, but we can't wait for them. Someone down there is fighting for his life, most likely one of the people I told Skywalker I would protect. What's more, the fact that there are still ships on the surface suggests they haven't finished what they came here to do. That is, they don't have the Jedi children yet. If we wait until they have them aboard, in space, the job of rescuing them will become much more complicated."
"I see that," Shada said. "But it will be more complicated yet if they blow us out of the sky."
Karrde laughed. "Shada, when will you learn to trust my instincts? When have I ever gotten you killed?"
"YOu have a point there, I suppose."
Karrde pointed at Yavin 4, at the moment a dark disk silhouetted against the larger orange profile of its primary. "So I want to be there, now. Dankin, keep full cloak, but let me know when they notice us."
"Of course, sir."
That point came an hour later, when they were almost sitting on the nearest of the orbiting ships.
"They're hailing us, sir," Dankin told him. "And powering up weapons."
"Put them on."
A moment later, a thick-featured human male with thin, graying hair appeared on the communication holoscreen.
"Freighter, identify yourself." He chopped the words out in even syllables.
"My name, sir, is Talon Karrde. Perhaps you've heard of me."
The man's eyes pinched warily. "Yes, I've heard of you, Captain Karrde. It's rude to sneak up on someone like that. And dangerous."
"And it's rude to be given a name and not offer one," Karrde returned.
A look of annoyance crossed the fellow's face. "Don't try me, Captain Karrde. You may call me Captain Imsatad. What do you want?"
Karrde favored the man with a wan smile. "I was going to ask you the same question."
"I don't follow you," Imsatad said.
"You seem to be having some sort of trouble. I'm offering my assistance."
"We need no assistance, I assure you. And to be blunt, Captain Karrde, I don't believe you. I remember you as a smuggler, a pirate, and a traitor to the Empire."
"Then perhaps you remember, as well, what became of those who treated me with disrespect," Karrde said icily. "But if we are being blunt--and perhaps that is best here, since you seem to lack the education for more civilized discourse--I am undoubtedly here for the same reason you are--to collect the bounty on the young Jedi below."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
Karrde leaned toward the screen, eyes glittering dangerously. "You are a liar, Captain, and a poor one. I see no reason for us to play games."
"I trust you've noticed you're outnumbered."
"I trust you noted I was able to drop in on you in, shall we say, an unannounced fashion. Do you really think I brought only one ship?"
Imsatad glared at him, then cut his visual. Karrde waited patiently until, a few moments later, the image returned.
"This is none of your business," the man said.
"Profit is always my business."
"There is no profit here, and if there were, you would already be too late."
"Oh, I don't think so. Why are your ships still on the surface? Why do my sensors show what seems to be protracted search activity? You've let your quarry slip through your fingers, Captain." Karrde smiled and leaned back in his chair. "Consider my offer of help. I ask little in return, and I could be a nuisance if you spurn my kindness."
"That sounds like a threat."
Karrde spread his hands. "Take it however you please. Shall we discuss this further or not?"
"You say you ask for little. What, exactly, would that be?"
"A few kind words in the ears of the Yuuzhan Vong. An introduction. You see, Captain, for some years now I've been retired from my chosen profession. But these are very interesting times, exactly the sort of times my kind thrives on, if you know what I mean. I'd like to come out of retirement."
Karrde stroked his mustache thoughtfully. "The Yuuzhan Vong have promised a truce if the Jedi are delivered to them. I would like to bargain for passage through Yuuzhan Vong space, once the borders are established."
"Why should they allow a smuggler to use their space?"
"There may be things they need. I can get them. If not, I would be doing them no harm; all of my activities would be aimed at the scattered remnants of the New Republic. But those remnants are separated, at times, by Yuuzhan Vong-occupied systems. The cost of circumventing them, frankly, would be prohibitive."
Imsatad nodded, and a brief look of disgust wrinkled his features. "I see. You realize I can promise none of that."
"I only asked for a mention of my help in this affair. You can promise that."
"I could," Imsatad acknowledged. "What exactly can you offer me?"
"Better sensors than you have, for one thing. Detailed knowledge of Yavin 4 that I believe you lack. A crew that is very, very good at finding things. Certain special defenses against Jedi--and the means of finding them."
Imsatad stiffened, and his voice dropped low. "I was with Thrawn at Wayland. You still? . . ."
"Ah. You know what I mean, then."
"I know you betrayed him."
Karrde rolled his eyes. "How tiresome. Very well, Captain, if you don't wish my services, there are others who will."
"Wait!" Imsatad chewed his lip for a moment. "I need to consult with my officers on this."
"Take a few moments," Karrde said, lifting a finger. "But do not bore me." He cut the transmission.
Posted December 13, 2013
Posted January 2, 2013
Posted June 11, 2012
Audio book (Abridged, 2 cassettes)
I tried a few of the Star Wars audio books. To my dismay I found many are Abridged versions of the novels. The audio equivalent of edited for television. The parts taken out are what I love most out Star Wars books. Anakins thoughts, the Jedi Philosophy. The way each character evolves through out the story. Please people, when you buy audio books, check to see if they're abridged
Posted April 15, 2009
I Also Recommend:
Anakin is compelled to save the students of the academy from the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, and no one will stop him. Not even an alien named Vua, who to redeem his honor helps Anakin, while Anakin in turn helps him. The story is quite touching. This is my first Greg Keyes novel, and I feel he writes in a very quick-paced, action-packed, thrill-a-page style that will leave you very satisfied.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 31, 2005
I think this book is really great because of the action an drama this book and series has to offer, but it's really sad though that one of our favorite little white furry Jedi Masters, from the JJK series,dies, but it is a great book with the help of Anakin's an Tahiri's prolonging fondness for each other.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 20, 2004
This book was excellent in this series. the story of Anakin and Tahiri is exceptional and this book really helps bring these characters to life. This entire series was well written and really was exceptional.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 20, 2003
If there is a book with GREAT action and a GREAT storyline it is Conquest. The Story was just steller and the character development in Anikan and Tahiri was just simply beutiful. We also get to know how the Yuzhan Vong Caste System works. I couldn't put the book down it was so enticing. One of the greatest. Steller job Mr. Keyes.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 12, 2003
Posted May 6, 2003
It is only a matter of time before Anakin Solo becomes a Dark Jedi, like his grandfather before him. In the book, the beginning of Anakins Fall to the dark side posibly. I did enjoy but not as much as some of the previous books.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 25, 2002
Posted October 22, 2002
It was an okay book. However i wish they would write more books about Mara Jade and the origanal gang then about their offspring!!!! ZAHN should write more Star Wars Books!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 27, 2002
This isnt made for the real star wars fans.Slap a 'Young Jedi Knight' title on it and it fits.I would rather see more of the best SW writers doing importants parts of it then newcomers.Salvatore,Dennings,and Luceno have done well,but Conquest is,well,not worthy of the title adult sci-fi.I want to see some Allston and Zhan in here people!!!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 2, 2001
READ THIS BOOK!!!! This book is so kool. It really shows alot about Anikans relationship with Tahri. I think anikan is so kool, and Jacen is so slow!!! Though he did do a good job saveing han, and leaWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 24, 2001
This was the first book in the NJO series that really made me HATE the Vong. (yes the insult version of their name.) In the other books you saw them destroy planets but it was on so large of a scale that it was hard for me to really comprehend. This book lets you see their evil first hand. TAHIRI! That was barbaric. The only thing still lacking from the NJO series is a centeral bad guy. There is no Vader or Palpatine to direct your frustration toward. It seems that every book some new grand evil leader arrives. How many grand evil leaders can there be?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 24, 2001
I hesitate to give it a perfect mark, but it was that good. Anakin continues to come into his own and define who he will be in the future.... It seems that he begins to embrace who he is more and what he is out to do.... He also realizes that others are paying close attention to his actions now and he must be more careful as to how he handles delicate situation's in the future; namely the Yuuzhan Vong.... I feel much of the storyline in this book deals with Anakin, and that was okay. Great book and would easily excite any audience if on the big screen...Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 20, 2001
I have enjoyed this Star Wars series. New twists, high adventure, and some new writing talent have made it fun. This title was one of the better ones. Good characterization of Anakin and the Vong warrior: their uneasy alliance was believable and not cliche. I did find it hard to believe that Luke would leave the young Jedi charges so vulnerable, but otherwise a fine read. Looking forward to the sequel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 9, 2001
Posted August 6, 2001
Posted April 17, 2001
The book starts great and kind of goes drags in the middle but finishes up strong! It definitely is vital to anyone that has been reading the 'New Jedi Order' Books. Interesting revelations about the Yuuzahn Vong their culture and the Force. Only complaint is that some interesting characters were introduced late in the book and I thought they should have been explored further. I am definitely looking forward to part 2.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 14, 2001