Old Friends: Jacen, Vergere, Nom Anor, Tsavong Lah, Ganner Rhysode
New Faces: Ch’Gang Hool
Places: Seed ship, Yuuzhan ‘tar
Synopsis: Jacen Solo is a captive by the Yuuzan Vong. He is being taught the Yuuzan Vong ways. In the Embrace of Pain Jacen sees new ways. He is being taught to follow a Yuuzang Vong tradition. Whenever there are twins born, they at one point fight each other and so they offer one to their gods. The one who will lives will be destined to do great things.
Review: Jacen is put in the Embrace of Pain, wrists and ankles bind him, he is learning a new dimension of pain. He is learning why pain is so important in the Yuuzang Vong world. His teacher in all of this is the Embrace of Pain and Vergere, who together with Nom Anor have orders to break Jacen. To teach him about the true way, or to kill him when he does not accept it. Vergere makes him see that he is all alone in the universe. Neither his family nor his uncle, the Jedi Master, will come to help him. He is the only one who is able to help him here. The only way for him to do so is to forget that what he already learned, and to learn again.
Vergere is there to help him with that, she also is there because she is probably the only one who can save the Yuuzang Vong against Jacen when every thing goes wrong. Vergere shows Jacen a new way of living; he is the one who’s making choices. And as he makes them he should act not wonder if he has made the right one.
Jacen is all alone on the Yuuzang Vong world and Vergere has taken away his ability to use the Force. He learns to accept pain, to feed on it, to simply move on. He also learns that it was not be the Force which gives him the powers to become friends with other live forms. It may have helped him, but it has been one of the things he could do and still can do now. He can make new friends here who are able to help him. He may be a gardener, and he may choose who is a flower and who is the weed . But he is the one who makes these choices, not the Yuuzang Vong.
I love this book because it has everything I’m looking for. I would love to read more of these kinds of Star Wars books. It teaches you about civilizations, it teaches you about The Force, and also has a great story. The whole book is about Jacen and doesn’t have space battles. The book makes you wonder about the things you know. And if those things could be wrong the way you know them. Is there a good and bad part in The Force, or it is one, just as the universe is one. Does the dark and light side in the Force not come from points of views and ways that they are used? Where does it say what’s wrong or right? Truth is elusive and questions are more useful then answers. The truth is always greater than the world we use to describe it.