Fantasy/SF Book Reviews

Page Four of Four

Vector Prime, Star Wars: The New Jedi Order by R. A. Salvatore

Del Ray, Oct., 1999.
Hardcover, 387 pages.
ISBN: 0345428447.
Ordering information:

Cover of Vector Prime, Star Wars: The New Jedi Order
by R.A. Salvatore Twenty-one years after the events chronicled in the feature film, The Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa Solo, Han Solo, Chewbacca and their allies are coping with a very different set of problems. After defeating the evil Empire, the Rebel Alliance was faced with the problem of governing -- a much more difficult prospect in some ways than winning a war. The various planets are squabbling, and Luke is faced with the decision of whether to re-institute the Jedi Council to curb some rogue Jedi whose actions are a bit out of line. In the midst of this turmoil, a terrible threat is unfolding. An extra-galactic race bent on conquest has appeared from beyond the Outer Rim. Luke, his wife Mara Jade, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, Llando and the Solo children are in for the fight of their lives to save the galaxy from total domination.

Bestselling fantasy author R. A. Salvatore faced the daunting task of penning the first Star Wars book in a projected series for the new Millennium which will expand the story through the generations. He meets the challenge and exceeds all expectations with this excellent, somewhat darker entry in the Star Wars continuing saga. The cast of characters is immense, and Salvatore handles it with great skill. The Solo children have a prominent role in the story, and are lively and entertaining. Of course everyone who saw Phantom Menace will wince a bit at the youngest son being named Anakin, especially when he airs his views on the role of the Jedi in the universe. The action scenes are fantastic and the pacing is brisk. Salvatore did his homework well, and it shows. Fans will be shocked at one character's untimely demise, but who knows plot twists could have him return in a subsequent book. Altogether, an excellent expansion of the story and characters.

The Stones of Stiga by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda

Eos, June 1999.
Paperback, 308 pages.
ISBN: 0380790815.
Ordering information:

Cover of The Stones of Stiga
by Michael Okuda and Denise Okuda After two long years of separation, Shunlar and her former love, Ranth, are reunited when Shunlar returns to Ranth's desert city of Kalaven to present him with his son. But Ranth is quite ill -- someone has carved death spells into his body, and treachery is in the air. Shunlar must go on a quest to find a way to save Ranth. She gathers a small band of companions and sets out in the desert. Meanwhile, a long-hidden underground city and the Stones of Stiga are discovered, a circumstance which could change this world forever.

Both Ranth and the half woman-half dragon Shunlar are older and more mature in this book than in the first two books in the series, which helps lend a feeling of closure to the story. The adventures are still exciting, and many questions raised in the first two books are answered. It will be interesting to see what the authors do next.

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