*Warning, may contain spoilers*

I recently finished reading “Allies.” It is a Star Wars book in the “Fate of the Jedi” story arch. I’ve been reading Star Wars books since I was in high school, and this one did not disappoint. When all was said and done, it left me wanting to read the next book in the series. One thing that has always drawn me to this series is the ongoing story and struggles of the characters. My favorite part of the Star Wars universe is that the story keeps going. Even when the book is done, or the story arch is finished, there is always more to tell. You rarely get to go so in-depth with characters from a book. But with the Star Wars books, you get to follow the characters from birth through death, seeing all the obstacles they must face. You can really become emotionally invested in what will happen to them.

In “Allies,” the relationship between Jaina and Jag is tested once again. You see the depth of their love for each other and feel sorrow at the obstacles that seem to always come between them.  Jaina has become a strong and tragic character throughout the Star Wars books. Faced with the loss of both her brothers, and her responsibilities as “Sword of the Jedi,” it seems as though she is not destined to be happy. You find yourself hoping she can get a break and find some kind of happiness in her life.

Chief of State Daala begins to slip into the insanity of obsession. Convinced that she must maintain order and snuff out all chaos in the galaxy for the good of the Galactic Alliance she begins to make choices that are obviously bad ones. Her closest advisors try to dissuade her from her single-minded persecution of the jedi and dictator like behavior, but she will not listen. Like Jacen falling to the dark side for all the right reasons, Daala is becoming what she hates. She condemns the jedi as no better than sith, claims they think they are above the law, and proceeds to employ the Mandelorians to do whatever is neccessary to achieve her goals. She justifies the murder of an innocent, unarmed girl, and feels no responsibility for it.

Vestara Khai, sith apprentice and captive of Luke and Ben Skywalker, shows a lot of promise and indications that she may be swayed away from the dark side. At the same time, on the other side of the galaxy, Tahiri faces her dark past and tries to break away from the person she became at the tuteladge of Darth Caedus/Jacen. We are forced to face the issue of redemption and whether or not a person can come back from doing horrible things.  

Finally, the thing that sticks out the most, for me, in reading “Allies” is the return of Callista. I always felt that particular story line needed resolution. After her romance with Luke, she disappeared into the Star Wars universe. He went on, married Mara, had a son and lost his wife, but there was never a mention of his earlier love. I was excited to read about what happened to Callista, even if it was a sad fate.

 There are many other things I could say or talk about, but those are the main things that I got from reading “Allies.” It was a good book, worthy of the series, easy to read, and managed to resolve many issues while still leaving you wanting for more. I look forward to reading the next book soon.

-A.D. McLain