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Exile by Aaron Allston
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Exile is book 4 in the Star Wars Legacy of the Force series. Lumia informs Jacen that before he can complete his training he must chose a loved one to sacrifice. He takes some time to look within himself and discovers that his feelings for his parents are mixed. He realizes that if he does still love them, he will have to sacrifice one of them, killing the other to prevent retaliation. If he in fact hates them, then he will kill them both to protect himself and the galaxy from their interference. Similarly, he is wondering if his sacrifice will be Ben. He has sent Ben on a dangerous mission alone; convincing him to run away from his family in a search that leads him to Zoist, the Sith home world. On this world, Ben meets, and learns how to fly “Ship”, the Sith training vessel that pops back up in the Star Wars Fate of the Jedi series; yet another tie in with that series.

“Jacen smiled. Causing people to think and feel what he wanted them to, even without resorting to the Force, was becoming easier and easier.” This line completely represents that Jacen has completely lost himself to the Dark Side. When he first began, the manipulations made him uncomfortable but he was able to justify them as a means to an end. At this point, he has actually begun to relish his superior control of the Force over others. At this point, he actually feels evil to me. His motives are less for the greater good, and more for his own advancement in the Galactic Alliance. ( )
  storeyonastory | Jul 5, 2012 |
There is a rule I've heard in several places. The second in a trilogy is always the worst. Now the glaring exception to this rule is the Original Star Wars trilogy, where the Empire Strikes Back was probably the best, but in general, it seems to be true. This isn't part of a trilogy, but each author writes three books, and I'm hoping the rule applies to that too. Why? Because Allston's second book wasn't as good as I was hoping.

That's not to say it's bad! I've rated it 8/10, which is still a high score. It's just not at quite the same level as the previous three in the series. There are three reasons for this, the first of which is the plot.

There is nothing bad about the plot. But there's nothing outstanding about it either. While it did follow on from Denning's "Tempest" rather well, it didn't seem to move the story along in many ways. And in some ways I understand this. In fact, I quite enjoyed reading about the war in a way that reflected real wars, rather than wars which only seem to have battles caused by the heroes/villains. Obviously the Heroes/Villains are involved, we wouldn't see them otherwise, but they generally aren't the driving force of the individual battles - that's the job of the tacticians and other military personnel. So it was good, if not progressive.

The second reason for the slightly lower score is that the different story-lines aren't quite as riveting as each other. In the first book, "Betrayal", I found that I wanted to know about all of the story-lines, all of the characters. Similarly in "Bloodlines" and "Tempest". But in this I found that actually, Jacen's story wasn't very interesting. Han and Leia's was mildly interesting, and Luke didn't seem to really have his own storyline, he just popped up in other people's every now and again. (Slight exaggeration there - he DID have a storyline, but it wasn't a major focus). There were two particularly outstanding story-lines: Alema and Ben. Without revealing too much, Alema's obsession with finding Han and Mara is joined with a new 'partner' and provides a little comedy to the plot, while still maintaining the overall tone, and is also another viewpoint on the situation.

But by far I found Ben's storyline to be superior to the rest. It's the first time we've really seen Ben in this much focus, despite him being quite important in events so far, and Allston does a very good job of writing his scenes. But it's the character development that makes Ben so interesting here. As Jacen's apprentice, he is constantly being tempted by the dark side, and as a teenager he is experiencing growing up. So it's an interesting mix, and I almost wish that Aalston was writing the next book just so that I could see what happens with Ben.

The third thing is rather petty in some ways, and is about two paragraphs from the whole book. Basically, the Author sums up the battle. Now since they're at the end I can't tell them without saying what happens, but I've tried to write a similar thing for the end of the clone wars:

"In the end, the Emperor decided he'd won. The Jedi thought they'd lost, and decided to all go and hide."

Ok, so that "pseudo-quote" probably unjustly, and badly, written. But the point I'm trying to make is that it was just a simple statement of who won. More suited to a report, or dissertation than a novel. If a character had said it, it would have been much more appropriate. It just seemed out of place, and distracted me from the escape a novel can provide. Normally not too much of a problem, but close to the end, it's something I remember vividly.

But as I said, that's a petty point. And overall, there was very little to fault with the novel. I was expecting it to be higher quality, but was in no way disappointed by what it was. I still found it impossible to put down, and would still recommend this series. Next stop: Sacrifice(Book 5). ( )
  AdamBourke | Mar 18, 2011 |
(Alistair) Looks like I was right in my first theory when I booklogged Tempest. It's not general series malaise.

Aaron Allston once again delivers very satisfying Star Wars EU product.

(Edited: As a side note, doesn't the cover picture look to you as if Leia's about to slice her own arm off with that lightsaber?)

( http://weblog.siliconcerebrate.com/cerebrate/2009/06/exile_aaron_allston.html ) ( )
  libraryofus | Jan 14, 2010 |
Jacen Solo continues his progress toward becoming a Sith Lord, alienating friends and family alike, and has dispatched his cousin and apprentice Ben Skywalker on a test mission— which his ally Lumiya, sometime Dark Lady of the Sith, has arranged to be quite the gauntlet indeed. The rest of the Skywalker clan are continuing to try to track down how Lumiya is influencing the conflict while in turn being hunted by an unhinged ex-Jedi who is herself a tool of Lumiya’s. The nascent galactic civil war continues to roil; the big plot advance is that Ben Skywalker gets to find out if he has the stuff that Sith are made of. ( )
  slothman | Jul 6, 2009 |
Solid entertainment. ( )
  Lucien21 | May 14, 2009 |
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It wasn't exactly guilt that kept Jacen awake night after night.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345477537, Mass Market Paperback)

In the Stars Wars galaxy, evil is on the move as the Galactic Alliance and Jedi order battle forces seen and unseen, from rampant internal treachery to the nightmare of all-out war.

With each victory against the Corellian rebels, Jacen Solo becomes more admired, more powerful, and more certain of achieving galactic peace. But that peace may come with a price. Despite strained relationships caused by opposing sympathies in the war, Han and Leia Solo and Luke and Mara Skywalker remain united by one frightening suspicion: Someone insidious is manipulating this war, and if he or she isn’t stopped, all efforts at reconciliation may be for naught. And as sinister visions lead Luke to believe that the source of the evil is none other than Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith, the greatest peril revolves around Jacen himself. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:53 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

As Jacen Solo continues his victorious campaign against the Corellian rebels, Han and Leia Solo and Luke and Mara Skywalker begin to suspect that someone with ulterior motives--especially Lumiya, Dark Lady of the Sith--has been manipulating the war and that unless the unknown enemy can be stopped, galactic peace will be impossible.… (more)

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