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Allegiance (Star Wars)by Timothy Zahn
Synopses & Reviews
Never before has the incendiary mix of action, politics, and intrigue that has become Timothy Zahn's trademark, been more evident that in this new Star Wars epic. On the heels of the stunning events chronicled in Star Wars: A New Hope, the newly minted heroes of the Rebellion — fledgling Jedi Luke Skywalker, smuggler turned reluctant freedom-fighter Han Solo, and Princess Leia Organa, a bold leader with a world to avenge — must face the harsh realities of the cataclysmic conflict into which they have so bravely plunged. From this point forward, legends will grow, treachery will abound, and lives will be irrevocably altered, in the long, hard fight to counter the fist of tyranny and restore hope to a galaxy too long in darkness.
The destruction of the Death Star by the Rebel Alliance was a decisive blow against the Empire, but Palpatine and his monstrous enforcer, Darth Vader, are no less of a threat. The brutal extermination of Alderaan not only demonstrated the magnitude of their murderous power, but served as a chilling testament to their resolve to crush the Rebel uprising. Standing against them, Skywalker, Solo, and the Princess remain uncertain opponents. Luke is gifted and brave, but unschooled in the power he possesses. Han has doubts about waging someone else's war — and his contentiousness is one more burden for Leia to bear as she struggles to help keep the Rebellion alive. The three have been sent to mediate a dispute between Rebel Alliance factions in Shelsha Sector — agitating matters by forcing Han to deal not only with pirates, but with his more dreaded enemy, politics. At the same time, Mara Jade — all of eighteen and years away from her fateful meeting with Luke — is serving her evil master, Palpatine, well in her role as the Emperor's Hand: tracking suspected treachery in the Empire to what may be high places — while trying to stay out of Darth Vader's way.
But the Rebels will prove to be only one of the Empire's concerns. For Imperial Stormtrooper Daric LaRone, his faith in the Empire shaken by the wanton destruction of Alderaan, will commit a sudden and violent act of defiance, and take four other enforcers with him, in a desperate bid to elude their masters' wrath.
Each of these fateful actions, whether sanctioned, secret, or scandalous, will expose brutality and corruption, spur upheavals destined to shake the Empire to its core, and shape momentous events yet to come.
"Five idealistic but fed-up Imperial storm troopers led by Daric LaRone share the stage with young Rebel Alliance crusaders Han Solo, Princess Leia Organa, Luke Skywalker and Chewbacca in this politically fraught but still rollicking early years Star Wars adventure from Hugo-winner Zahn (Star Wars: Outbound Flight). Emperor Palpatine's favorite Sith, Darth Vader, has a new rival, the 18-year-old Countess Mara Jade Claria, whom Palpatine has schooled in the Force to assume the special agent role of 'Emperor's Hand.' Zahn depicts the intrepid Rebel quartet and the turbulent development of the Alliance while revealing the human faces behind the storm trooper armor of Daric and company, who become unexpected allies of Han and friends once the troopers are on the run after killing a superior officer. The author also underscores Mara Jade's tough-girl charm and blossoming Imperial clout against the background of Palpatine's dedication to Imperial domination and his insidious influence on his minions. This episode will please fans wondering about events between the first and second movies in the original Star Wars trilogy." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The dean of Star Wars fiction returns....The author paints a rather large canvas in a comparatively compact book, with his usual spare prose, swift pacing, and eye and ear for details in the world he is depicting." Booklist
"Hugo Award winner Zahn achieves the feel and pacing of the movies with his cinematic style. Fans of the films will want the latest in an ongoing body of work filling in the gaps in creator George Lucas's popular sf epic." Library Journal
In Star Wars: Allegiance, (which takes place during the time between Episodes IV and V) Luke Skywalker is still new to all this Jedi business. Han Solo isn't sure how much he's willing to commit to the Rebel Alliance. Princess Leia is trying to help run the Rebellion and wondering why Han is so infuriating. The young Mara Jade is one of the most valued agents of the evil Emperor. And a team of stormtroopers goes rogue, deciding to mete out justice their own way.
About the Author
Timothy Zahn's Star Wars novels have more than four million copies in print. Since 1978 he has written nearly seventy short stories and novelettes, twenty novels, and three short fiction collections, and won the 1984 Hugo Award for best novella. He is best known for his seven Star Wars books: Heir to the Empire, Dark Force Rising, The Last Command, Specter of the Past, Vision of the Future, Survivor's Quest, and Outbound Flight. He lives with his family on the Oregon coast.
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