New Jedi Order: Force Heretic trilogy

It’s been a long time since I posted a New Jedi Order review!! Not without reason – I decided to review this trilogy in one go, rather than individually, so I had a lot of reading to do!

I must say, I think this trilogy was a definite lull in the series. It felt like the authors were given the go-ahead to write the trilogy, with the explicit caveat that they could not include any major confrontation with the Yuuzhan Vong!! The lack of Vong definitely dropped the tension for me in these books, although for me I felt this meant they were able to focus on other plots and characters which might not have got the same attention!

The crux of this trilogy is Luke, Mara, Saba (bae 💕), Danni and Jacen trying to find the fabled living planet, Zonama Sekot. (That’s less bonkers to me having read Rogue Planet, DEFINITELY happy I read that before this trilogy!) As always, the planet is strange, dangerous and wonderfully alien! It’s a great setting, especially when you have a group of such powerful Jedi there – although the romantic tension between Jacen and Danni is almost unbearable now, JUST KISS ALREADY GUYS!!

So it mostly comes down to Luke and Jacen to convince the reclusive planet to join the war against the Yuuzhan Vong. (Think of the planet as a massive Thor’s hammer, only aiding those it deems worthy!) There’s an utterly memorable part when the planet’s conscious appears before Luke as a vision of baby Vader, as we now know Anakin visited the planet after the events of The Phantom Menace. Luke being able to see the boy his father used to be was delightfully chilling and delivered all the feels. All of them.

Saba emerged as one of my favourite characters during the quest for, and ultimate discovery of Zonama Sekot. She’s fierce, loyal and extremely violent when necessary, but also has a beautiful connection with the Force and her friends. She’s come such a long way since the devastating loss of her own planet and people.

Speaking of side characters getting their chance to shine; I need to talk about Tahiri Veila. I’m not going lie, parts of this trilogy were a little challenging to read, due to the lack of major conflict with the Vong, they were just a little dry. However, all of this is entirely saved by Tahiri’s storyline and, for me, this really was her trilogy.

For so many books now, Tahiri has been struggling to reconcile her split identity – Tahiri and Riina (the latter being the Yuuzhan Vong personality, created in Tahiri when she was at the mercy of the Shapers back in the Edge of Victory books. Not only has Tahiri needed to figure out who she is – Jedi woman or Yuuzhan Vong, but she has also been trying to find her place in the galaxy without her beloved Anakin.

I loved how Han and Leia were able to rally around Tahiri in a kind of foster parent role. They took her under their wing and, Han especially, had some really sweet moments with her. After finally putting aside her misgivings, Jaina was also able to come through for Tahiri, and I loved watching their friendship grow and develop.

However, Tahiri’s ultimate healing came, of course, from within her. There’s an incredible kind of Force dream sequence where Tahiri and Riina are fighting, and ultimately learn to live with each other. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Tahiri, now that she is whole and ready to take her place with the Jedi once more.

Finally, I’ve said it before but it’s DEFINITELY worth repeating – Nom Anor is up to no good whatsoever and it’s all going to kick off soon. He’s become this kind of self-styled Prophet, duping the Yuuzhan Vong Shamed Ones into believing he holds the key to their salvation, and that any such salvation lies with the Jedi. I think he’s maybe planning to use the Jedi to help him bring down Shimrra, but to what end I have no idea!! Maybe he wants to lead the Vong himself? Or just live in a Universe where he is not being hounded by the Supreme Overlord?! I don’t know, but whatever it is, it ain’t good!!

So yeah, whilst these aren’t the paciest books going, they do enable some important and brilliant character development to take place. Plus it feels like the proverbial calm before the storm in terms of a major clash with the Yuuzhan Vong on the horizon! Plus, yay, Zonama Sekot is on board! It’s all plain sailing for the Jedi from here, right? RIGHT?!

Do-ro’ik vong pratte!!

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