A few notes before we begin:
Exile is the fourth book in the Legacy of the Force series. It is the 27th Star Wars book published b y Del Rey after they took over the publishing arm prior to the New Jedi Order series.
By and large this book serves to move some pieces around to set up drama in the next book in this series. We see out characters being moved around the board as the Galaxy descends into further madness largely manipulated by Lumiya and Jacen Solo. That is not to say this is a bad book, because I found it quite enjoyable and the biggest thing we get here is a look at the story through the eyes of Ben Skywalker.
Ben gets sent on a mission by Jacen to see if he is worthy of being his Dark Side apprentice. Lumiya has suspicions that he is not and is actively trying to bump him off. I really enjoy this story line as I believe this is the first time we see Ben have a big chunk of story to himself and we start to see how he sees what is going on around him.
While I liked Ben’s flirtation with the Dark Side I think it would have been more interesting had he actually fallen. For me that is how I would have brought the Skywalker’s and Solo’s back together having to try to foil and/or turn the younger generation back to the light. I think ultimately that would have made more sense and been more interesting to read about.
Given Jacen’s recent success the Galactic Alliance Government asks Luke and the Jedi Council to make him a Master. This is done to draw yet another Darth Vader parallel. It smacks so much of the Prequel Trilogy that of all the things this series does to point out the Jacen is Vader reincarnate that this one fails as bad as Anakin’s acting in said trilogy. Maybe that’s just me but given all that Jacen has seen in his thirty-some years I could have bought him turning without such a heavy-handed leaning on Vader’s legacy.
With all of that being said this is not a bad book. As the fourth book in a nine book series in very much is a transition book as the narrative shifts us from the set up to the meat of the story. All of that stuff has to happen so we can get to Jacen as a full on Sith Lord and what that means for the Galaxy far far away.
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