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[The Rebellion]
Events that occur from 2 years before to 5 years after the Battle of Yavin.

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Allegiance
BOOK STORY
Timothy Zahn
Del Rey [US]; Arrow Books [UK]
Story published as:
Hardback Novel (2007)
Paperback Novel (2008)
e-Book (2011)
Audio Book (2013)

Rating:
If you have read this book, please rate it:
Reviews:
2 reviews [Average review score: 3 / 5]

Synopsis:
On the heels of the Battle of Yavin, the newly minted heroes of the Rebellion, fledgling Jedi Luke Skywalker, smuggler turned reluctant freedom-fighter Han Solo, and Princess Leia Organa, a bold leader with a world to avenge, must face the harsh realities of the cataclysmic conflict into which they have so bravely plunged. From this point forward, legends will grow, treachery will abound, and lives will be irrevocably altered, in the long, hard fight to counter the fist of tyranny and restore hope to a galaxy too long in darkness.
The destruction of the Death Star by the Rebel Alliance was a decisive blow against the Empire, but Palpatine and his monstrous enforcer, Darth Vader, are no less of a threat. The brutal extermination of Alderaan not only demonstrated the magnitude of their murderous power, but served as a chilling testament to their resolve to crush the Rebel uprising. Standing against them, Skywalker, Solo, and the Princess remain uncertain opponents. Luke is gifted and brave, but unschooled in the power he possesses. Han has doubts about waging someone else’s war–and his contentiousness is one more burden for Leia to bear as she struggles to help keep the Rebellion alive. The three have been sent to mediate a dispute between Rebel Alliance factions in Shelsha Sector–agitating matters by forcing Han to deal not only with pirates, but with his more dreaded enemy, politics. At the same time, Mara Jade–all of eighteen and years away from her fateful meeting with Luke–is serving her evil master, Palpatine, well in her role as the Emperor’s Hand: tracking suspected treachery in the Empire to what may be high places–while trying to stay out of Darth Vader’s way.
But the Rebels will prove to be only one of the Empire’s concerns. For Imperial Stormtrooper Daric LaRone, his faith in the Empire shaken by the wanton destruction of Alderaan, will commit a sudden and violent act of defiance, and take four other enforcers with him, in a desperate bid to elude their masters’ wrath.
Each of these fateful actions, whether sanctioned, secret, or scandalous, will expose brutality and corruption, spur upheavals destined to shake the Empire to its core, and shape momentous events yet to come.


Chronology:
This story occurs approximately 6 months after the Battle of Yavin.

Related Stories (in chronological order):

  • A New Hope
  • Allegiance
  • Choices of One by Timothy Zahn
  • The Empire Strikes Back


Reviews:

Review by Gorfy, UK, 2013:
"I did enjoy this book but I came away from it feeling that it was a little disjointed, and not in the intricate web of plot way.
"To get the bad out of the way I would have to say that my main bugbear was what felt like shoehorning the main cast of the Original Trilogy into the book. They felt like they were a bit of a sideshow (MEANWHILE IN THE ADVENTURES OF LEIA) which didn't work very well with such big name characters. Yes they were woven into the plot but it didn't feel like something which couldn't have been accomplished with less 'important' characters. It almost would have been better if they were in the book in more of a cameo role with very small parts, as Vader is used. Either make them major players or brief name drops, somewhere in the middle felt odd.
"Having said that the two main groups in the book, the Stormtroopers and Mara Jade are well portrayed and fleshed out and I found it particularly interesting listening/reading about their opinions of what the Empire is all about, especially when we're more used to The Emperor, or Vader, or 'insert power hungry no conscience Moff here'.
"When compared to Zahn's Thrawn Trilogy (The only other Zahn Star Wars books I have read to this point) the plot is less epic but you care about (or at least I did) the fate of the Stormtrooper squad we follow and you feel that you get to concentrate on the moral struggles, including those of Mara, more than the overall plot which is less interesting. As I mentioned earlier it felt a little disjointed and I found myself wanting to get past certain parts of the plot and back to other parts that felt more important."
Rating:
3 / 5


Review by Bones, UK, 2010:
"Timothy Zahn pens his first novel outside his original Thrawn/Outbound Flight storyline. Here, Zahn scales back on his previous EU novels to give a focussed and perhaps more introspective work.
"Allegiance deals with events occurring after the Battle of Yavin, with one of the Empire’s systems secretly plotting to declare their independence from Imperial rule. Running parallel to this is the story of a handful of stormtroopers who are forced to examine their own allegiances whilst Mara Jade does her bit as the Emperor’s Hand. It goes without saying that a system wanting rid of the Empire’s presence is noteworthy in the eyes of the Rebel Alliance, so Leia, Han and Luke are inevitably dispatched on their own missions to ensure coups run smoothly and Alliance interests are safe.
"This latest effort from Zahn is a good book with much to recommend it. The characterisations of the Alliance people are pretty consistent with where you’d expect them to be given the time: Leia is a confident diplomat who takes great delight in keeping things prickly between herself and Han, who is busy being roguish and resisting any urge he may have to commit to the Alliance and Luke is still very much the naďve farmboy of A New Hope. This book captures quite well the emergent relationship between Han and Leia and also goes some way towards bridging the gap between the Luke of A New Hope and the developing Jedi of The Empire Strikes Back. I did find at times, though, that the constant interjections of Obi-Wan were a bit overplayed.
"Mara Jade is portrayed well as a young (and equally-naďve-as-her-future-husband) Imperial Agent whose investigations lead her through a variety of situations that she manages with the resourcefulness and style you would expect. It is nice to have back-story to the bitter, angry woman of the Thrawn Trilogy and her ideology here supports a lot of her rage later on in the EU. Also, Zahn’s exploration of the stormtroopers gives a nice foray into the world of the Imperial grunts (perhaps not quite as in depth as Karen Traviss’ work with the Clone Troopers, but still a nice glimpse nevertheless).
"There were a few things that bothered me about the book. The first is the complexity of the plot. I found it difficult at times to follow the convoluted machinations that were in play regarding the secession of the system and the pirates’ dirty dealings. Zahn’s style here is quite action oriented (sometimes cumbersomely so) which encourages fast-paced reading; I found myself caught off-guard when the cloak and dagger stuff suddenly appeared and I had to go back and re-read some passages more carefully. The second issue I had is relatively benign, but it lacked spark. Zahn’s previous books were a little more epic in their scope, and I think that suited his writing style better. While this book is a solid addition to the EU, it’s not on the same level as some of the other novels."
Rating:
3 / 5


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