Old Friends: Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia Organa, Lando Calrissian, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, R2D2, C3P0, The Emperor, Wedge Antilles, Boba Fett, Jabba the Hutt, Wes Jansen, IG-88
Synopsis: Set between "The Empire Strikes Back" and 'Return of the Jedi", this story explains the conflict between Darth Vader and Prince Xixor, the influence of the criminal organization Black Sun, and more problems for the Rebel Alliance. Along the way, we meet new characters, visit new worlds and have a few battles in space. This is pretty good.
Review: Prince Xixor, head of Black Sun, is the same guy who orchestrated the break-up of the Bounty Hunters Guild in the Bounty Hunter Wars trilogy. He still has his sights set on taking over Darth Vader's #2 spot as the Emperor's favorite. Vader has no intention of letting Xixor get the upper hand.
Leia, Luke, Chewie and Lando, along with C3P0 and R2D2, are still trying to find and rescue Han Solo - frozen in carbonite and on his way to Jabba's Palace, courtesy of Boba Fett. In the hopes of locating Fett, Leia and Lando contact Black Sun and eventually Prince Xixor and Guri, his human replica droid. Leia's trip to Rodia with Lando is a funny, and interesting departure for the Princess. Lando is in his element and Chewbacca comes along for protection, thank goodness.
Luke, on the other hand, becomes the target of assassination attempts. With Rogue Squadron and new acquaintance Dash Rendar, he must uncover the mastermind behind the plot, and help in the recovery of the newest Death Star information. Leia's kidnapping by Xixor and his attempted seduction is comical. Vader and Xixor's final showdown ends as expected, and off we go again to Tatooine to rescue Han.
This novel brings together "Empire Strikes Back", The Bounty Hunter Wars and the very beginning of "Return of the Jedi" very nicely. It is well written, not confusing, and gives added depth to the major players personalities and motivations. And, the X-Wing/Rogue Squadron dog fights are well done! All in all, a pretty good read, and a few laughs to boot.
Title: Shadows of the Empire