Dark Force Rising
© 1992 Timothy Zahn
I’m continuing in the Thrawn trilogy with Dark Force Rising. When we left the series at the end of Heir to the Empire, Leia Organa Solo was about to pay a visit to a mysterious alien planet with a strong affection for the recently deceased Lord Vader and his progeny. Leia hopes to use her “royal” influence to encourage the Noghri to break with the old Empire. Luke is drawn to a man who is rumored to be a Jedi master from before the great purge, while Han and Lando Calrissian participate in numerous action sequences.
The title can again be taken in two ways: the Empire is growing more strong thanks to Thrawn’s leadership, but much of the second half of the book concerns the discovery of a “Lost Fleet”. In the last decades of the Republic, a fleet of largely automated ships was lost when their crews went mad from disease. The location of the lost Fleet — the “Dark Force” — has been every merchant’s Holy Grail since. In this book we learn that Talon Kardde, the smuggler-merchant who was sch a strong character in the last book, knows where it is and he might be persuaded to sell them to the Republic if they make a good offer. Things will not go the way anyone expects, however.
This book didn’t seem as strong as the first book, although the ghost-fleet was a strong element. Still, I will be finishing the series.