Old Friends: Luke Skywalker,Jacen Solo, Mara Jade Skywalker, C-3P0, Leia Organa Solo, Tahiri Viela, Tekli, Danni Quee, Jagged Fel, Imperial Trooper Stalgis, Saba Sabatyne, Captain Yage, Jaina Solo, Non Anor, Kunra, Shoon-Mi, Assistant Syndic Soontir Fel, Supreme Overlord Shimrra, Onimi
Synopsis: Han, Leia, Tahiri, Jaina and Jag, with C-3P0 in tow, are on their way to Bakura to investigate the last bit of Ryn information they received in Book I; Luke, Mara, Jacen, Saba and Danni, along with the Widowmaker and crew are headed for Chiss space to gather more information on Zonama Sekot; Non Anor is still playing the Prophet in the underworld of Coruscant. All three story lines run concurrently, so pay attention! ( I actually went back and re-read Book I: Remnant, before I started this one.)
Review:There is alot of information and action packed into this middle book of the Force Heretic Trilogy. We start off on the journey to Chiss Space to meet with the leaders of the Four Families in the hopes of getting access to the Chiss records of expeditions to the Unknown Regions. There is a bit of culture shock for all concerned but eventually they are granted access to the Chiss Library. Excellent Surprise - the Chiss have BOOKS! And our heroes have to sift thru the records by hand. Intersting concept that they all have to deal with. A surprise appearance by the Soontir Fel family adds bits and peices of past and present to a story line that I hope continues in the future. Add a bit of deception, treachery and a good battle out on the snow covered landscape and this part of the story line just cooks along keeping the reader very definitely interested.
Meanwhile, Han, Leia and their entourage head for Bakura to find that there is something strange going on with the locals and a group left over from The Truce at Bakura - the P'wecks. Once slaves to the Ssi'Ruuk, they are now purporting to be rebelling against their masters and want an alliance with Bakura. Of course, things are not as they seem and the government there is, as usual, not completely forthcoming. Jaina forms a friendship with Malinza Thanas, daughter of Gariel Capstion and P'Ter Thanas, who is accused of treason and a variety of other crimes. Great space battle! in this section, with the outcome in doubt till the very surprising end.
Also addressed is what is going on in Tahiri Viela's head. Jaina and Jag investigate her strange fainting spells, Leia offers moral support, Han, tho unsure, follows everyone else's lead. Tahiri experiences strange feelings and visions, still unsure of who she is and what she is supposed to do next. The leftovers from Anakin's death, and the shaping attempted by the Vong are totally messing up everything she knows and believes and there is no medical explaination for any of this. Excellent character portrayal by the authors and an integral part of the unfolding storyline.
And the, of course, we have good old Non Anor, hanging out in the depths of what is left of Coruscant, expanding his influence over the Shamed Ones, playing his games, and even getting one of his converts into Shimrra's audience chamber. As usual with Non Anor, he is still playing as many sides against each other, as long as the result is to his benefit. This guy is still my favorite badass you just love to hate. I can hardly wait to see him get what he deserves.
All in all, Book II: Refugee has alot of information, dialogue that is totally in character and drives the story well, visits to places familiar and brand new, and people we know will have a lasting effect on the final outcome of this adventure.
I can hardly wait to see what Dix and Williams have in store for us in Book III.
Title: Force Heretic II: Refugee