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[This story occurs during the Pre-Republic era]
A thousand generations before the Battle of Yavin.

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Read by January Lavoy
Published as unabridged
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[Into The Void (audio book cover)]

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Dawn of the Jedi: Into The Void
BOOK STORY
Tim Lebbon
Del Rey
Story published as:
Hardback Novel (2013)
e-Book (2013)
Audio Book (2013)
Paperback Novel (2014)

Rating:
If you have read this story, please rate it:
Reviews:
1 review [Average review score: 4 / 5]

Synopsis:
On the planet Tython, the ancient Je’daii order was founded. And at the feet of its wise Masters, Lanoree Brock learned the mysteries and methods of the Force and found her calling as one of its most powerful disciples. But as strongly as the Force flowed within Lanoree and her parents, it remained absent in her brother, who grew to despise and shun the Je’daii, and whose training in its ancient ways ended in tragedy.
Now, from her solitary life as a Ranger keeping order across the galaxy, Lanoree has been summoned by the Je’daii Council on a matter of utmost urgency. The leader of a fanatical cult, obsessed with traveling beyond the reaches of known space, is bent on opening a cosmic gateway using dreaded dark matter as the key - risking a cataclysmic reaction that will consume the entire star system. But more shocking to Lanoree than even the prospect of total galactic annihilation, is the decision of her Je’daii Masters to task her with the mission of preventing it. Until a staggering revelation makes clear why she was chosen: The brilliant, dangerous madman she must track down and stop at any cost is the brother whose death she has long grieved, and whose life she must now fear.

Hardback includes short story Eruption.


Chronology:
This story occurs approximately 25,783 years before the Battle of Yavin.

Related Stories (in chronological order):



Reviews:
Review by Ewan, Star Wars Books & Comics, 2014:

""For over a thousand generations the Jedi Knights were the guardians of peace and justice in the Old Republic," ever since Obi-Wan Kenobi muttered these immortal words to Luke Skywalker in A New Hope fans have yearned for details of the origins of the Jedi Knights. For the last thirty years many differing sources, including role-playing games and their source books, character guide books and even novel and comic book authors, have conjectured as to the origins of the Jedi twenty-five thousand years before Kenobi and Skywalker. In 2012 Dark Horse Comics and Random House collaborated to tell stories detailing the origins of the Jedi in a comic book / novel series titled "Dawn of the Jedi". Set just over 25,000 years before A New Hope this joint venture is designed to unravel the mythical origin of the Jedi. It is an era of legend, an era before the discovery of hyperspace travel, before the foundation of The Old Republic and before the philosophies of the Jedi and Sith were codified. It is an era before there were lightsabers, when the ties to the Force were new, and before the Jedi spread out into the galaxy.
"Into this mix Lebbon introduces us to his protagonist, Lanoree Brock, a young female Je'daii Ranger, similar to a Jedi Knight, who is recalled to the Je'daii Council as they fear that a fanatical cult pose a clear and present danger to the Tython system and must be stopped. Moreover, they also think that the cult's leader maybe Lanoree's brother, Dalien - who also attended and trained at the various Je'daii academies even though he lacked any Force abilities and someone whom Lanoree believed to have died almost a decade ago. This creates an interesting dynamic between the main story's protagonist and antagonist and it is more than just simple sibling rivalry. By using flashback sequences set a decade before the main story, as Lanoree and Dalien journey between the various Je'daii academies on Tython, Lebbon discuss their perceptions of the Force and what it means to be a Je'daii. These flashbacks are where the reader can emphasise the strongest with both characters' perceptions of the Force: Lanoree lives in service of the Force - it guides her actions, her thoughts, it is her raisin d’etre; and Dalien, who sees the Force as enslaving Lanoree and all Je'daii – of himself and his sister he is the only one whi is truly free, the only one free to make their own decisions, the only one with true free will unfettered by "the Force". Unfortunately as the main story focuses on Lanoree's journey tracking down the fanatical cult, our empathy is flavoured to be one-sided as Dalien is now the story's antagonist and we are given very few further insights to in essence, and ultimately, this tragic character.
"Interestingly, this is an era where the understanding of the Force by the Je'daii is to keep it and themselves in balance between light and dark - there are no "darksiders" such as dark side Sith Lords (apart from the species) - it is a literal "balance" between light and dark. This means that Lanoree can use the dark side of the Force, for example during combat and even on herself with Force alchemy, so long as she is aware that she is using it and she returns to balance by focusing on the light side. This is also an era before lightsabers - the Je'daii use steel swords forged by a master Je'daii sword-smith - and Lebbon's horror and dark fantasy pedigree shines brightest in the sword-fight scenes. Combined with Lanoree's use of the dark side there are moments where Lebbon creates truly visceral scenes - nevertheless valid scenes within the context of the story. Another nice touch in this story is the sense of world-building in the same way each of the movies did. We aren't limited to one locale and Lanoree travels around the Tython system visiting several planets. In her contact with other people and planets Lebbon creates believable obstacles that Lanoree must overcome to achieve her mission.
"Lebbon's story is a good introduction to the Dawn of the Jedi era, painting a vivid living picture of an age set well before the movies with a cast of strong, believable characters and a plot that engages both his characters and the reader."

Rating: 4 / 5

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