Fate of the Jedi: Vortex by Troy Denning

In a galaxy far away from our own, so far it doesn’t even exist but to a large group of humans on a back water world, the fate of an entire order lies in the balance.

On one side, we have the Jedi, who are desperately trying to clear their names from the actions of those that have chosen to follow a dark path. On the other side, there are the politicians who wish to put the Jedi in their place and make them accountable for their every action.

To me this brings up an interesting point that was tossed around but never really introduced until now: Should a group of beings ever be held above the law, just because they have specialized training and abilities?

Most would agree that the answer is no, but then you have the question of how far should a government go in controlling that same group. Also, said group has always been held separate from any governmental organization, although they repeatedly get involved in territorial and political disputes.

There’s also the problem that this order does not want to be incorporated into the government. Accountability is one thing, but being controlled like another branch of the government is not acceptable to them, or to me as a reader.

In this continuation of the seven book series (Fate of the Jedi) Troy Denning tackles this issue with the usual interesting take. The Jedi are not going to willingly submit to Chief of State Daala, and this is starting to tear the council apart.

The book also continues with the tentative alliance between the Jedi and the Lost Tribe of the Sith, and a budding romance that has echoes of the relationship Luke Skywalker and Mara Jade had at first.

Vestara may deny it all she wants but the fans are already on the fan fiction roll. Ben Skywalker has his intentions seemingly set and is ‘locked on target’.

Another romantic interaction is that of Jaina Solo and Head of State Fel. Are they together? Are they broken up? It almost reminds me of a soap opera, but then most of Star Wars romances seem to follow that trend in my eyes.

Oh yes, and there’s the continued threat of Abeloth, and I have no idea what the heck she’s supposed to be. Whatever ‘she’ is, it is a strong enough threat to invite a shared objective for the Jedi and Sith. This is something that is slightly new and I feel is portrayed very well. Neither side is trusting of the other, or willing to follow the other’s lead. But yet, they still manage to work together while exploiting the others’ weaknesses.

This allows for some very funny moments between the two groups.

However, something gets bunged up and this terrible threat to the galaxy is unleashed and is out sightseeing. This is apparently a problem because Abeloth is…. Something bad. Something very, very bad.

Bad enough for the Sith and the Jedi to continue working together? Pure speculation, but I’m going to guess, “No”.

In the end though, this was a very well written book with a lot of gleams of hope for the Jedi, both those recovering and those that are entering the order to start their lives as Jedi.

I would give it a 4 out of 5 rating and a strong recommendation for reading. Besides the fact that this is the second to last book written by Denning in the series, if you’ve read it this far shame on you for considering about not getting it, the book is just plain good.

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