The culmination of the Knights of the Old Republic story, Vindication finally sees a resolution to Zayne Carrick’s betrayal and framing at the hands of his former Jedi Master. Zayne has picked up a number of friends along the way; Gryph the con artist, Jarael the Arkanian, Rohlan the Mandalorian way behind enemy lines, Alek the Jedi Knight who will one day be Darth Malak, and Shel Jelavan – sister of Shad, one of the Jedi Zayne is accused of murdering. At the conclusions of Vector, Zayne has decided he’s had enough of running – it’s time to face his pursuers and clear his name once and for all.
This book picks up immediately after the KOTOR part of Vector, where Zayne learned a critical piece of information from Celeste Morne – an agent of the Covenant which his former master leads. Zayne and his friends follow the trail they’ve been given to a secret warehouse, a place where the Covenant is storing and cataloging Sith Artifacts for future use. They are doing this behind the back of the Jedi Council – proof that this group is up to no good, even if it doesn’t prove Zayne’s innocence.
But meanwhile on Coruscant, the Jedi have made Zayne’s former master, Lucien, a member of the Council – all the better to work under their nosese as he sends one of his agents to intercept what he thinks is Celeste delivering a Sith artifact to the secret wharehouse. In typical Zayne fashion, things go horribly wrong, but still manage to work themselves out in the end.
As his group gets closer to a final reckoning on Coruscant, they’ll find the entire Republic navy arrayed against them (including the Admiral Zayne bothered over the course of volumes 3 and 4), a Covenant member who decides to turn on the group and inform the Jedi – and a double-cross ultimate betrayal by an unforeseen adversary, the real threat which is revealed when it turns out that Vindication itself is a plot that has been waiting for the right time to strike.
This was another great book in the KOTOR series (though it’s starting to feel a little like the Star Trek movie series, where every even numbered movie is good) – and even when the artist in the early chapters doesn’t quite live up to the later ones, the plotting is so well developed that I barely noticed (as opposed to Vector, where the neither the art nor the plot in the KOTOR part was up to par). Every main character gets a number of good scenes, no one is ignored – and even minor characters put in appearances from earlier in the series. And yes, most important of all, Zayne’s long running plot of being on the run from the Jedi is resolved. Along the way you’ll find out answers to questions you didn’t even know existed (like Lucien’s family background and the formation of the Covenant), a duel long in coming between Lucien and Zayne, and a wonderful set up for where the story could go in the future. KOTOR could have ended here, on this fantastic note, so I’m curious to see where things go in Dueling Ambitions, the next volume to be reviewed in this series. Meanwhile, in case it isn’t already obvious, Vindication is highly recommended.