Review: Star Wars The High Republic: The Rising Storm

Author: Cavan Scott
Publisher: Del Rey / Penguin
Release Date: 29th June 2021

The heroes of the High Republic era return to face a shattered peace and a fearsome foe, following the dramatic events of Light of the Jedi.

SYNOPSIS 

In the wake of the Great Hyperspace Disaster and the heroism of the Jedi, the Republic continues to grow, bringing more worlds together under a single unified banner. Under the leadership of Chancellor Lina Soh, the spirit of unity extends throughout the galaxy, with the Jedi and the newly established Starlight Beacon station at the vanguard.

In celebration, the chancellor plans The Republic Fair, a showcase of the possibilities and the peace of the expanding Republic — a peace the Jedi hope to foster. Stellan Gios, Bell Zettifar, Elzar Mann, and others join the event as ambassadors of harmony. But as the eyes of the galaxy turn toward the Fair, so too does the fury of the Nihil. Their leader, Marchion Ro, is intent on destroying this unity. His storm descends on the pageantry and celebration, sowing chaos and exacting revenge.

As the Jedi struggle to curb the carnage of the rampaging Nihil, they come face-to-face with the true fear their enemy plans to unleash across the galaxy — the kind of fear from which even the Force cannot shield them.

REVIEW

A Star Wars story through and through. We follow the adventures of Jedi Stellan Gios, Bell Zettifar and Elzar Mann simultaneously with the exploits of villain Marchion Ro. All great new characters with interesting personalities and agendas. Something similar in the book that I found with the previous novel Light of the Jedi was that I am drawn more to Marchion Ro than any of the Jedi. I think that it is partly due to the fact that there are so many Jedi and there is a lot to process when reading about them all but with the villains the Nihal, there is only really Marchion Ro to focus on. This gives the character more time for the reader to understand them and their motivations. I find Ro to be one of those brilliant bad guys that you like because there is more to them than just being power hungry or crazy. A villain who doesn’t see themself as the villain makes the reader question the lines between right and wrong and makes for very entertaining reading.

This is the book which brings focus to the light and dark side of the force and I can’t help drawing comparisons to the Skywalker saga. I’m looking at Stellen Gios as Obi Wan Kenobi and I’m looking at Marchion Ro as the new Darth Vader but there is much more to Ro than meets the eye.

The structure to this novel by Cavan Scott is the perfect fluidity you need to keep you gripped from the first to the last page. There are pockets of action in between story and narrative all which have meaning and purpose. What got me the most about this book is its bravery to kill people. You never expect the main characters of a new saga to be killed off but there are a few secondary characters whose deaths came as a complete jaw dropping shock to me.

Overall this makes a great entry into the High Republic saga and proves why Star Wars will continue to grow and can always offer something new. It’s only a matter of time before we see these characters make the jump from page to screen and I really hope to see this story told on the big screen one day.

I read this via an advance preview copy issued by Penguin Books / Del Rey Books and received no other incentive to review this book. All images and artwork are courtesy of Penguin/Del Rey and their respective owners.

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