Star Wars X-Wing #6: Iron Fist [NOOK Book]

Overview

They are the Rebel Alliance's ultimate strike force--sleek, swift, and deadly. For these X-wing fighters, no job is too dirty or too dangerous. Now they must rise to meet an impossible challenge: stop a powerful warlord by pretending to be his ally.

Against all odds, the controversial Wraith Squadron has survived its first covert mission. But now they are called upon to cheat death twice. This time Wedge Antilles sends them in to stop the ...
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Star Wars X-Wing #6: Iron Fist

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Overview

They are the Rebel Alliance's ultimate strike force--sleek, swift, and deadly. For these X-wing fighters, no job is too dirty or too dangerous. Now they must rise to meet an impossible challenge: stop a powerful warlord by pretending to be his ally.

Against all odds, the controversial Wraith Squadron has survived its first covert mission. But now they are called upon to cheat death twice. This time Wedge Antilles sends them in to stop the warlord Zsinj and his Super Star Destroyer, Iron Fist. If Zsinj joins the Empire, it could turn the tide of war against the Rebels. The Wraith Squadron's mission: infiltrate the warlord's fleet and uncover his carefully guarded plans. To do so, they must pose as ruthless pirates seeking to join Zsinj's forces. And that means first becoming pirates in space lanes teeming with Imperial Navy patrols. If that isn't enough to get them killed, they'll have to pass one last test--a suicide mission for Zsinj.

Can they survive the test and turn the tables on Zsinj?

Or is this the end for Wraith Squadron?

Features a bonus section following the novel that includes a primer on the Star Wars expanded universe, and over half a dozen excerpts from some of the most popular Star Wars books of the last thirty years!
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307796509
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011
  • Series: Star Wars: X-Wing Series , #6
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 82,903
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Aaron Allston
Aaron Allston

Aaron Allston is the New York Times bestselling author of the Star Wars: Legacy of the Force novels Betrayal, Exile, and Fury; the Star Wars: The New Jedi Order: Enemy Lines adventures Rebel Dream and Rebel Stand; novels in the popular Star Wars X-Wing series; and the Doc Sidhe novels, which combine 1930s-style hero-pulps with Celtic myth.

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Read an Excerpt

He made no pretense at being fully human.  He had probably been born human, but now mechanical limbs--obvious prosthetics with no skinlike cover concealing their artificial nature--replaced his right arm and both legs, and the upper-right portion of his bald head was a shiny metal surface with a standard computer interface.

He made no pretense at being friendly, either.  He approached the members of Wraith Squadron as they sat, crammed into their booth, and with neither threat nor comment he snatched a wine bottle from the next table over and brought it down on Runt Ekwesh's head.

The bottle didn't break.  It offered a musical toonk sound and coughed up a little wine from its open neck, and Runt, the furred alien with the long, big-toothed face, slumped in his seat, his eyes rolling up in his head.

Most of the members of Wraith Squadron were pinned in place--with nine pilots crammed into a circular booth built for five, they had little room to move.  But Kell Tainer, seated at the opposite end of the ring from Runt, scrambled to his feet.

Instead of diving toward his wingmate's attacker, instead of charging with a fist cocked back to punch the man, he slid sideways toward his target, then came up in a side kick that caught the cyborg under his chin and lifted him clean off the floor, slamming him to the bar's floor.

Most of the members of the squadron slid out of the booth in Kell's wake.  Other patrons of the bar, human and otherwise, also rose, their expressions suggesting they were unclear on whether to join in this traditional form of bar entertainment.

Commander Wedge Antilles, the squadron's leader, stayed put.  He turned toward the squadron medic, Ton Phanan--the man with the mocking manner, well-trimmed beard and mustache, and prosthetic plate over the left side of his head.  "How is he?"

Phanan shook his head as he delicately moved his fingers across Runt's skull.  "I don't think anything's cracked.  He's probably just concussed.  You knew he had a hard head."

The cyborg was up now.  He and Kell were an odd contrast.  The cyborg looked like a fatal skimmer-and-pedestrian accident whose remaining parts had been cobbled together by an insane mechanic, while Kell, with his classic blue eyes and sculpted features, his formidable height and obvious conditioning, looked like a holoposter for military recruitment.  But their smiles were identical: humorless, cold, threatening.

The cyborg reached into the next booth, past bar patrons who shrieked and ducked away, and yanked free the table bolted to the floor.  He hauled it backward, then swung it faster than any human could manage, but Kell ducked forward, rolled under the table, came up on his feet a mere hand span in front of the cyborg, and planted one-two-three blows in his attacker's gut.  The cyborg staggered backward and Kell lashed out with a foot, kicking the table from his fingers with an ease that made the move look casual.

The other bar patrons seemed to settle on a consensus: They held back and began putting down bets.  Wedge nodded over the wisdom of that choice.  Though the Wraiths were in civilian clothes, it was obvious they were in good condition, and for all the patrons knew, Kell might be only typical of their fighting skill rather than one of their best hand-to-hand fighters.

Piggy, the Gamorrean pilot, leaned back against the Wraiths' table to watch the proceedings--to the extent that the semipermanent smoky haze hovering at chest level and above permitted easy viewing.  He glanced over his shoulder at Runt.  "Is he hurt?" His voice emerged both as incomprehensible grunts and as electronic words, the latter being emitted by a nearly invisible speaker implanted in his throat.

"Everybody asks that," Phanan complained.  Through with his examination of Runt's skull, he now shone a small light into Runt's eyes one by one.  "Nobody ever says, 'What a mess! I hope the doctor is not emotionally harmed by having to deal with it.' He's coming around.  He'll probably be dizzy for a few days.  I need to look up information on how his species deals with concussions."

The cyborg's next punch, the second part of a skillful one-two combination, connected with Kell's midsection.  The big man spun as he was hit, diminishing the punch's power, and used that spin to add force to his reply, a snap kick.  The cyborg took it in the sternum and staggered back, looking outraged.  Kell bent over, holding his stomach where hit, and then straightened, obviously in pain.

Then the bar was filled with uniforms--a stream of men and women pouring in the main entrance, dressed in the distinctive outfit of New Republic Military Police.

Wedge sighed.  "As deep as we are, they arrived pretty quickly."

Phanan held a small rose-colored vial full of liquid under Runt's broad, flat nose.  The nonhuman's nostrils flared and he jerked, reflexively trying to get away from the smell.  "Easy, Runt," he said.  "We're about to go somewhere you can relax for a few hours.  In the company of some charming people, too, I'll bet."

Wedge grinned.


The military police led them out of the smoke-filled bar into the only slightly less oppressive atmosphere of street-level Coruscant.  It was raining, a steady spray of liquid that felt like three-quarters rainwater and one-quarter vehicle lubricant.  Wedge looked up, trying to spot some distant speck of color representing Coruscant's sky, but all he could see were clifflike building sides rising to infinity.  Awnings, high roads, bridges between skyscrapers, and other obstacles blocked out any glimpse of clouds far above, yet still the rain came down, much of it probably runoff from rain gutters, vents, and flues far above.

Tyria Sarkin, the slender woman with the blond ponytail, grimaced.  "It would be nice to be posted to a clean world next," she said.  Then she saw the military policemen gesturing toward the waiting skimmer, a slab-sided model without viewports, used to transport prisoners, and she obligingly followed the other Wraiths in that direction.  Phanan, supporting the still-dizzy Runt, fell in behind her, and Wedge and the cyborg who had caused all the trouble brought up the rear.



    


From the Paperback edition.
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Table of Contents

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First Chapter

He made no pretense at being fully human. He had probably been born human, but now mechanical limbs -- obvious prosthetics with no skinlike cover concealing their artificial nature -- replaced his right arm and both legs, and the upper-right portion of his bald head was a shiny metal surface with a standard computer interface.

He made no pretense at being friendly, either. He approached the members of Wraith Squadron as they sat, crammed into their booth, and with neither threat nor comment he snatched a wine bottle from the next table over and brought it down on Runt Ekwesh's head.

The bottle didn't break. It offered a musical toonk sound and coughed up a little wine from its open neck, and Runt, the furred alien with the long, big-toothed face, slumped in his seat, his eyes rolling up in his head.

Most of the members of Wraith Squadron were pinned in place--with nine pilots crammed into a circular booth built for five, they had little room to move. But Kell Tainer, seated at the opposite end of the ring from Runt, scrambled to his feet.

Instead of diving toward his wingmate's attacker, instead of charging with a fist cocked back to punch the man, he slid sideways toward his target, then came up in a side kick that caught the cyborg under his chin and lifted him clean off the floor, slamming him to the bar's floor.

Most of the members of the squadron slid out of the booth in Kell's wake. Other patrons of the bar, human and otherwise, also rose, their expressions suggesting they were unclear on whether to join in this traditional form of bar entertainment.

Commander Wedge Antilles, the squadron's leader, stayed put. He turned toward the squadron medic, Ton Phanan--the man with the mocking manner, well-trimmed beard and mustache, and prosthetic plate over the left side of his head. "How is he?"

Phanan shook his head as he delicately moved his fingers across Runt's skull. "I don't think anything's cracked. He's probably just concussed. You knew he had a hard head."

The cyborg was up now. He and Kell were an odd contrast. The cyborg looked like a fatal skimmer-and-pedestrian accident whose remaining parts had been cobbled together by an insane mechanic, while Kell, with his classic blue eyes and sculpted features, his formidable height and obvious conditioning, looked like a holoposter for military recruitment. But their smiles were identical: humorless, cold, threatening.

The cyborg reached into the next booth, past bar patrons who shrieked and ducked away, and yanked free the table bolted to the floor. He hauled it backward, then swung it faster than any human could manage, but Kell ducked forward, rolled under the table, came up on his feet a mere hand span in front of the cyborg, and planted one-two-three blows in his attacker's gut. The cyborg staggered backward and Kell lashed out with a foot, kicking the table from his fingers with an ease that made the move look casual.

The other bar patrons seemed to settle on a consensus: They held back and began putting down bets. Wedge nodded over the wisdom of that choice. Though the Wraiths were in civilian clothes, it was obvious they were in good condition, and for all the patrons knew, Kell might be only typical of their fighting skill rather than one of their best hand-to-hand fighters.

Piggy, the Gamorrean pilot, leaned back against the Wraiths' table to watch the proceedings--to the extent that the semipermanent smoky haze hovering at chest level and above permitted easy viewing. He glanced over his shoulder at Runt. "Is he hurt?" His voice emerged both as incomprehensible grunts and as electronic words, the latter being emitted by a nearly invisible speaker implanted in his throat.

"Everybody asks that," Phanan complained. Through with his examination of Runt's skull, he now shone a small light into Runt's eyes one by one. "Nobody ever says, 'What a mess! I hope the doctor is not emotionally harmed by having to deal with it.' He's coming around. He'll probably be dizzy for a few days. I need to look up information on how his species deals with concussions."

The cyborg's next punch, the second part of a skillful one-two combination, connected with Kell's midsection. The big man spun as he was hit, diminishing the punch's power, and used that spin to add force to his reply, a snap kick. The cyborg took it in the sternum and staggered back, looking outraged. Kell bent over, holding his stomach where hit, and then straightened, obviously in pain.

Then the bar was filled with uniforms--a stream of men and women pouring in the main entrance, dressed in the distinctive outfit of New Republic Military Police.

Wedge sighed. "As deep as we are, they arrived pretty quickly."

Phanan held a small rose-colored vial full of liquid under Runt's broad, flat nose. The nonhuman's nostrils flared and he jerked, reflexively trying to get away from the smell. "Easy, Runt," he said. "We're about to go somewhere you can relax for a few hours. In the company of some charming people, too, I'll bet."

Wedge grinned.


The military police led them out of the smoke-filled bar into the only slightly less oppressive atmosphere of street-level Coruscant. It was raining, a steady spray of liquid that felt like three-quarters rainwater and one-quarter vehicle lubricant. Wedge looked up, trying to spot some distant speck of color representing Coruscant's sky, but all he could see were clifflike building sides rising to infinity. Awnings, high roads, bridges between skyscrapers, and other obstacles blocked out any glimpse of clouds far above, yet still the rain came down, much of it probably runoff from rain gutters, vents, and flues far above.

Tyria Sarkin, the slender woman with the blond ponytail, grimaced. "It would be nice to be posted to a clean world next," she said. Then she saw the military policemen gesturing toward the waiting skimmer, a slab-sided model without viewports, used to transport prisoners, and she obligingly followed the other Wraiths in that direction. Phanan, supporting the still-dizzy Runt, fell in behind her, and Wedge and the cyborg who had caused all the trouble brought up the rear.

Excerpted from STAR WARS®: IRON FIST by Aaron Allston ®, TM, © 1998 by Lucasfilm, Ltd. Excerpted by permission of Bantam Books, a division of the Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 33 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 22, 2014

    Iron Fist is the next book in the X-Wing series to follow the ex

    Iron Fist is the next book in the X-Wing series to follow the exploits of the newly-minted Wraith Squadron - a team of misfit pilots who relish the opportunity to take on any assignment; the crazier the better. Having defeated rogue Imperial Admiral Trigit in the previous novel, they now turn their sights completely on hunting Warlord Zsinj and his flagship, the Super Star Destroyer "Iron Fist." Like its predecessor, this is a book that combines cockpit action with ground-pounding commando missions. Add to that a fair dose of intrigue and humor, and Aaron Allston has once again delieved a winning combination to the Star Wars fan.

    I had gotten quite used to the previous novel focusing on the point of view of Kell Tainer that I was taken aback at first by the backseat that Kell takes in this novel. This novel, instead, focuses on Face Loran as he grows from just another squadron member to a leader among the Wraiths. His journey is poignantly told with the requisite amount of humor to do Face justice. And, of course, another cameo appearance by one General Han Solo will please any avid fan. Very few novels attempt to depict Solo's exploits as a New Republic general - most leap ahead to his post-military career where he often decries his time in uniform. It is an interesting take to see what General Solo was capable of when leading a naval taskforce - not just infiltrating a forest moon's shield generator.

    If you enjoyed X-Wing: Wraith Squadron, you will certainly appreciate Iron Fist. It is a worthy sucessor and will leave you wanting more. Knowing that the next book was Solo Command, I couldn't wait to get through this and hear that tale. But give this one the time it deserves. You'll be glad you did.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2014

    Gabrielle

    She nodded, comprehending.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2012

    I've read worse books, but this is the first in the series that felt like a let down.

    Take Harry Potter. Switch focus from the main trio to the Weasley Twins. Kill one of the twins off. Make the survivor more serious. Have the main trio only show up as occasional supporting characters. Add in new characters that are forgetable if they're not annoying. And lower the fantastic events to a more realistic level for the setting.

    This didn't feel like a Wraith Squadron story. It felt like a Rogue Squadron story with the Wraith Squadron cast. I guess I should have seen some of this coming. The main character of the previous book got a decent enough happy ending that I could see the author needing to switch to a new protagonist. But even the action sequnces are a let down this time. In the climactic battle sequence, our cast gets to play escort to others groups that get to play hero. And the ridiculousness of the heroes' plans is limited to one specific disquise for one event.

    I've read worse books, but this is the first in the series that felt like a let down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Good Book!

    Read it several years ago and enjoyed very much. I gave my paperback copy away to a relative and I decided to read it again!

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  • Posted November 20, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A good story with plenty of action and intrigue.

    This is the story that peaks the storyline of Wraith Squadron. It has plenty of action and defines the characters within Wraith Squadron very well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 5, 2007

    this is really a great book but what happened to tycho celchu

    i missed tycho celchu in this book and in book 5 but i gotta say the writing in this book is perfect and is really good and great i really did enjoy this book just missed tycho celchu he was my favorite charecter and my favorite a wing pilot same with wedge antilles and corran horn but i gotta say this book was opne of the best iv ever read i suggest all star wars fans and all none sw fans read the x wing series books 5 6 and 7 lead up into the courtship of princess leia cant wait to read more books by stackpole and aaron allston

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2004

    Yub, yub, Commander

    Poor Wedge - I can't believe what they do to him. I almost died laughing when he found Lieutenant Kettch in the simulator and then went dogfighting with him! Such a great book - one of the best in the series!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2004

    Wraith Squadron returns in an explosive sequel

    Overall, an exceptional book! Allston did a great job of character development in this great sequel to Wraith Squadron. He introduced several new members to the team and added many twists and turns. Several characters have internal conflicts in addition to the on-going fight against Zsinj, making them much more believable and realistic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2002

    I EAT SPAM!( and i love Star Wars)

    this is probably the best X-Wing Book ever! the only bad part is that it is too short! I like to read X-wing books on trips.Face and Ton Phanan are so cool!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2000

    This is one of the best books ever!

    This book is full of laughs and sad times. It is garanteed to touch your soul. You'll be laughing one minute and crying the next. Or both at the same time. It's better than X-Wing; Wraith Squadron. Face and Phanon are unstoppable.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2000

    Good, and easy reading

    I like this book. A lot of sarcasm, and action. I wish that Rogue Squad. was involved more, but I guess that couldn't be helped. Over all, I'd say reading level to be 6-7th grade. READ IT!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted October 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted May 24, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

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    Posted October 30, 2011

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    Posted July 25, 2012

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    Posted May 5, 2012

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