Ascension: Star Wars (Fate of the Jedi) (Anglais) Poche – 27 novembre 2012
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Council Chambers of the Circle,
Capital City of Tahv, KESH
The sun beating down upon the stained-glass dome of the Circle Chambers painted the forms of all those assembled in a riot of colors. Yet it was not hot in this large room; regulating the temperature was child's play for such masterful users of the Force as the Sith assembled here.
It was an emergency meeting. Even so, formalities were strictly observed; the Sith were nothing if not meticulous. Grand Lord Darish Vol, the leader of the Lost Tribe, had summoned the meeting less than a standard hour earlier. He now sat upon a dais in the very center of the room, elevated above all others, enthroned on his traditional metal-and-glass seat. While there had been sufficient time to don his colorful formal robes, he had not had time to sit and permit his attendants to paint his gaunt, aged face with the vor'shandi swirls and decorations appropriate to the meeting. Vol shifted slightly in his throne, displeased by that knowledge, displeased with the entire situation that had necessitated the meeting in the first place.
His staff of office was stretched over his lap. His ?claw-?like hands closed about it as his aged but still-sharp eyes flitted about the room, noting who was here and who was not, and observing and anticipating the responses of each.
Seated on either side of the Grand Lord were the High Lords. Nine members of the traditional thirteen were here today, a mixture of male and female, Keshiri and human. One, High Lord Sarasu Taalon, would never again be among that number. Taalon was dead, and his death was one of the reasons Vol had called the assembly. Seated in a ring around the dais were the Lords, ranked below the High Lords, and standing behind them were the Sabers.
Several of their number were missing, too. Many were dead. Some . . . well, their status remained to be seen.
Vol could feel the tension in the room; even a non-Force-sensitive could have read the body language. Anger, worry, anticipation, and apprehension were galloping through the Chambers today, even though most present hid it well. Vol drew upon the Force as naturally as breathing in order to regulate his heart rate and the stress-created chemicals that coursed through his body. This was how the mind remained clear, even though the heart was, as ever, open to emotions and passion. If it were closed, or unmoved by such things, it would no longer be the heart of a true Sith.
"I tell you, she is a savior!" Lady Sashal was saying. She was petite, her long white hair perfectly coiffed, and her purple skin the most pleasing tone of lavender; her mellifluous voice rang through the room. "Ship obeys her, and was not Ship the-" She stumbled on the choice of words for a moment, then recovered. "-the Sith-created construct who liberated us from the chains of our isolation and ignorance of the galaxy? Ship was the tool we used to further our ? destiny-?to conquer the stars. We are well on our way to doing so!"
"Yes, Lady Sashal, we are," countered High Lord Ivaar Workan. "But it is we who shall rule this galaxy, not this stranger."
Although the attractive, graying human male had been a Lord for many years, he was new to his rank of High Lord. Taalon's untimely demise had paved the way for Workan's promotion. Vol had enjoyed watching Workan step into the role as if he had been born to it. While Sith truly trusted no one but themselves and the Force, Vol nonetheless regarded Workan among those who fell on the side of less likely to betray him.
"She is very strong with the dark side," High Lord Takaris Yur offered. "Stronger than anyone we have ever heard of." That was quite a statement, coming from the Master of the Sith Temple. Few on Kesh had as extensive a knowledge of the Sith's past-and now their present as they expanded across the stars-as this deceptively mild, ?dark-? skinned, middle-aged human. Yur had ambition, but, oddly for a Sith, it was largely not personal. His ambitions were for his students. He was content to teach them as best he could, then set them loose on an unsuspecting world, turning his attention to the next generation of Tyros. Yur spoke seldom, but when he did, all listened, if they were wise.
"Stronger than I?" said Vol mildly, his face pleasant, as if he were engaged in idle chitchat on a lovely summer's day.
Yur was unruffled as he turned ?toward the Grand Lord, bowing as he replied.
"She is an ancient being," he said. "It seems to me foolish not to learn what we can from her." Vol smiled a little; Yur had not actually answered the question.
"One may learn much about a rukaro by standing in its path," Vol continued. "But one might not survive to benefit from that knowledge."
"True," Yur agreed. "Nonetheless, she is useful. Let us suck her dry before discarding the husk. Reports indicate that she still has much knowledge and skill in manipulating the Force to teach us and future generations of the Lost Tribe."
"She is not Sith," said Workan. The scorn in his melodious voice indicated that that single, damning observation should be the end of the debate.
"She is!" Sashal protested.
"Not the way we are Sith," Workan continued. "And our ?way-?our culture, our values, our heritage-must be the only way if our destiny is to remain pure and unsullied. We risk dooming ourselves by becoming overly reliant on someone not of the ?Tribe-?no matter how powerful she might be."
"Sith take what we want," said Sashal, stepping ?toward Workan. Vol watched both of them closely, idly wondering if Sashal was issuing a challenge to her superior. It would be foolish. She was nowhere near as powerful as Workan. But sometimes ambition and wisdom did not go hand in hand.
Her full diminutive height was drawn up, and she projected great confidence in the Force. "We will take her, and use her, and discard her when we are done. But for love of the dark side, let us take her first! Listen to High Lord Yur! Think what we can learn! From all that we have heard, she has powers we cannot imagine!"
"From all that we have heard, she is unpredictable and dangerous," countered Workan. "Only a fool rides the uvak he cannot control. I've no desire to continue to sacrifice Sith Sabers and Lords on the altar of aiding Abeloth and furthering her agenda-whatever it might be. Or have you failed to realize that we don't even truly know what that is?"
Vol detected a slight sense of worry and urgency from the figure currently approaching the Circle Chambers. It was Saber Yasvan, her attractive features drawn in a frown of concern.
"Only a fool throws away a weapon that still has use," countered Yur. "Something so ancient-we should string her along and unlock her secrets."
"Our numbers are finite, Lord Yur," Workan said. "At the rate Sith are dying interacting with her, we won't be around to learn very much."
Vol listened as Yasvan whispered in his ear, then nodded and, with a ? liver-?spotted hand, dismissed the Saber.
"Entertaining as this debate has been," he said, "it is time for it to conclude. I have just learned that Ship has made contact with our planetary defenses. Abeloth and the Sith I have sent to accompany her will not be far behind."
They had all known to expect her; it was, indeed, the reason the meeting had been called. All eyes turned to him expectantly. What would their Grand Lord decide?
He let them stew. He was old, and few things amused him these days, so he permitted himself to enjoy the moment. At last, he said, "I have heard the arguments for continuing to work closely with her, and the arguments to sever ties. While I confess I am not overly fond of the former, and have made little secret of my opinion, neither do I think it is time for the latter. The best way to win is to cover all angles of the situation. And so Kesh and the Circle of Lords will invite Abeloth to our world. We shall give her a grand welcome, with feasting, and arts, and displays of our proud and powerful culture. And," he added, eyeing them all intently, "we will watch, and learn, and listen. And then we will make our decision as to what is best for the Lost Tribe of Kesh."
Sith Saber Gavar Khai sat in the captain's chair on the bridge of the Black Wave, the ChaseMaster frigate that had once belonged to Sarasu Taalon. Filling the viewscreen was the spherical shape of his homeworld-green and brown and blue and lavender. Khai regarded the lush planet with heavy-lidded eyes. For so many years, Kesh had been isolated from the events of the galaxy, and Khai found he had decidedly mixed feelings about returning.
Part of him was glad to be home. As was the case with every member of the Lost Tribe, he had spent his entire life here until a scant two years ago. Deeply embedded in him were love for its beautiful glass sculptures and purple sands, its music and culture, its casual brutality and its orderliness. For more than five thousand standard years, the Tribe had dwelled here, and with no other option, had-as was the Sith way-made the best of it. The ancient vessel Omen had crash-landed, and the survivors had set about not merely to exist in this world, but to dominate it. And so they had. They had managed to both embrace the Keshiri, the beautiful native beings of Kesh, and subjugate them. Those who were deserving-strong in the Force and able to adapt to the Sith way of thinking and being-could, with enough will, carve out a place for themselves in this society.
Those who were not Force-users had no such opportunities. They were at the mercy of the ones who ruled. And sometimes, as was the case with Gavar Khai and his wife, there was mercy. Even love.
But most often, there was neither.
Too, those who gambled to increase their standing and power and lost seldom lived long enough to make a second attempt. It was a very controlled society, with precise roles. Everyone knew what was expected of him or her, and knew that in order to change their lot, they would need to be bold, clever, and lucky.
Gavar Khai had been all of those things.
His life on Kesh had been good. While, of course, he had his eye on eventually becoming a Lord-perhaps even a High Lord, if opportunities presented themselves or could be manipulated-?he was not discontent with where he was. His wife, though not a Force-user, supported him utterly. She had been faithful and devoted and raised their tremendously promising daughter, Vestara, very well.
And Vestara had been the most precious of all the things that had belonged to Gavar Khai.
Discipline was something every Sith child tasted almost upon emerging from the womb. It was the duty of the parents to mold their children well, otherwise they would be unprepared to claim their proper roles in society. Beatings were the norm, but they were seldom motivated by anger. They were part of the way that Sith parents guided and taught their children. Khai had not looked forward to such aspects of discipline, preferring to explore other methods such as meditation, sparring till exhaustion, and withholding approval.
He had found, to his pleasure, that he had never needed to lay a hand on Vestara in reprimand. She was seemingly born to excel, and had her own drive and ambition such that she did not need his to "encourage" her. Khai, of course, had goals and ambitions for himself.
He had greater ones for his daughter. Or at least, he'd had.
His reverie was broken by the sound of the comm beeping, indicating a message from the surface.
"Message from Grand Lord Vol, Saber Khai," said his second in command, Tola Annax, adding quietly under her breath, "Very prompt, very prompt indeed."
"I expected as much, once he received my message," Khai said. "I will speak with him."
A hologram of the wizened Grand Lord appeared. It had been some time since Khai had seen the leader of the Lost Tribe. Had Vol always seemed so fragile, so . . . old? Age was to be respected, for to live to an old age meant a Sith had done something very right indeed. But there was such a thing as too old, and those who were too old needed to be put down. Idly, keeping his thoughts well shielded, Khai wondered if the renowned Grand Lord was getting to that point. He saw his white-haired Keshiri second in command staring openly at the hologram; doubtless Annax, with her near obsession for determining weakness, was thinking the same thing.
"Saber Gavar Khai," said Vol, and his voice certainly sounded strong. "I had expected to speak to Abeloth herself."
"She is on Ship at the moment. Do not worry, you will see her when she arrives on Kesh," Khai said smoothly. "She is anxious to create a good first impression."
"I take it that since you are the one speaking to me, she has selected you to replace the late High Lord Taalon in our . . . interactions with her."
"It has not been said specifically, no, but yes, Abeloth has turned to me since Lord Taalon's death."
"Good, good. Please then assure Abeloth that as she is anxious to create a good first impression, after our people have worked so closely and sacrificed so much for her, we are also desirous that our first meeting go well. To that end, we will need time to prepare for such an august visitor. Say, three days. A parade, showcasing the glory that is the Lost Tribe, and then a masquerade."
Khai knew a trap when he saw one. As did Annax-who quickly busied herself with her controls so as not to look too obvious as she listened in-and the rest of his crew. As traps went, this was blatant. Vol was testing Khai's loyalties. To force Abeloth to wait three full days before being received was to tell her her place. To keep her waiting, as one might a Tyro summoned for interrogation about his studies. Yet Vol would deny such, simply saying that he wanted to make sure everything was just right for their esteemed guest. And with the Sith's love of ceremony and showcasing, the statement had the dubious merit of perhaps even being true.
Vol was waiting for Khai's reaction. He was trying to figure out where the Saber's loyalties lay.
And Khai himself suddenly realized, with a sickly jolt, that he himself ?didn't know.
Abeloth had doubtless sensed the conversation and was monitoring Khai's presence in the Force. For all he knew about Ship, she also had the ability to monitor the conversation itself. He addressed himself calmly to the man who ostensibly ruled the Lost Tribe of the Sith.
"Abeloth will be disappointed to hear that preparations will take so long," he said, keeping his voice modulated. "She might even see it as an insult." Out of Vol's line of sight, Annax was nodding.
From the Hardcover edition.
Présentation de l'éditeur
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
THE GALAXY STANDS LEADERLESS. CAN THE JEDI SAVE IT—OR WILL THEIR ENEMIES ENSLAVE IT?
The toppling of ruthless Natasi Daala has left a political vacuum on Coruscant and ignited a power struggle between opposing factions racing to claim control of the Galactic Alliance. Surrounded by hidden agendas, treacherous conspiracies, and covert Sith agents, the Jedi Order must keep the government from collapsing into anarchy—while facing the combined threats of the resurgent Lost Sith Tribe, a deposed dictator bent on vengeance, and the enduring menace of Abeloth, the profoundly evil entity hungry to become a god.
“[Christie] Golden’s excellent storytelling captures the essence of the beloved space opera and should leave series followers eagerly anticipating the story’s conclusion.”—Library Journal
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Christie Golden ne capture pas l'ambiance Star Wars. Certaines scènes n'ont tout simplement pas leur place dans l'univers Star Wars. J'espère qu'elle ne sera plus engagée pour écrire dans cette univers.
Si vous voulez lire ce roman, de grâce attendez qu'il sorte en poche.
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
I usually enjoy Allston's entries in the Star Wars universe, but since the legacy series I've been having trouble finding ways not to complain about them. Not that I didn't enjoy this book, but I was a bit annoyed by certain continuing themes, the price, and the story isn't anywhere as interesting as NJO and pre-NJO books.
The Jedi insanity plot was annoying from the beginning and now has gotten even worse. At least in the beginning the cause was mysterious, but now we know it is caused by a villain straight out of a made-for-tv horror movie. Seriously wtf is up with the Abeloth. When I first read the description of her I didn't know whether to laugh at the ridiculousness of it or weep for the lack of creativity in finding a new enemy for the jedi. She now has more than one body and is a cannibalistic doppelganger with mega force powers?
This book continues the new tradition of post NJO EU books by ignoring common sense for the sake of trying to push towards the goal of the author. So many of the decisions characters make in the book go against common sense and the characters' personalities. for example: there is one part in Conviction where Corran Horn makes a statement about not going after his kids when they run off because when he was in CorSec they taught him not to get too involved in cases where family was involved or something and that he would let others handle it.... now correct me if I'm wrong but...wasn't there a whole, very awesome, book called I, Jedi where he began his Jedi training and went through a huge ordeal to save Mirax when she was captured... seemed a bit personal and dealt with family then....
They did finally overthrow Daala.... I still can't figure out how they would come to the decision to put her in charge. what with the whole trying to destroy the Alliance every year of her life, trying to use giant super weapons to kill everything that went against the empire, still expressing support for the Palpatine way of rule, and the whole trying to commit genocide against all force users thingy. But yeah she seems a bit impartial and level headed. Put her in charge.
There is just so much uselessness to this book and the other books in this series. Less than half the books advance the plot. This whole series should have been finished after a few books. I wish they'd just go back to writing trilogies and short series. They can't all be a success like the NJO. There was more content in the Thrawn trilogy than all of the Fate of the Jedi books combined.
Positive notes: They do developed Ben's character a bit more, and seem to maintain some consistencies in his personality between authors. Vestara's character is also being developed pretty well throughout the book(the rest of the sith seem to be getting less intimidating though). There was a funny scene when Daala was being led into her cell where Tahiri got to wave at her from across the hall and laugh. Leia gets a good fight scene. oh and Artoo makes a few good puns at C3PO's expense.
That aside, Christie Golden has never really captured my attention in any of her other books, but this book sucked me in. Every day, I couldn't wait to read it because it had enough action to keep me coming back. For most of the book, I felt as though I was waiting in line at an amusement park for the best ride. Sadly I was left disappointed at the end.
Each of the other books in the series has had a semblance of closure, but this is not the case with Ascension. When I reached the last page, I wanted to throw my Nook across the room (which would have been bad since I live in China). Instead I woke my wife with my screams of frustration.
Overall, this is an average SW book that every Classic character fan must read. Enjoy it for what it is, keep up with the series, but wait to read it until Denning's Apocalypse comes out.
As I stated earlier her plot mechanics just aren't there. This would've been a great book if she'd bothered to put some meat in between the slices of bread. We go from world changing events with the Lost Tribe to hahaaa we're over here now and had been setting this up for a long time aka the 3 years since we've gotten space travel back evidently...man come on that stuff just doesnt make since. Senators dont GIVE power to freshmen senators, yeah they might be able to screw up the works but they cant show up and pretend as if their seniors dont exist. The Committee for Throwing Rotten Eggs at Jedi? really? That little occurance alone made this story utterly flat for me.
I have to say that I suffered through Golden's past forrays into the Star Wars universe, but this is the last time. I just don't like the way she writes. I know she's not the one coming up with the overall story but she seems to be used as the hatchet man far too often. Almost like they toss a smooth flowing story into her workshop and run for the door as she goes, "haha well screw your plot, someone get me a knife and some duct tape".
There's some good stuff here. The Leia/Han interaction is top notch, and I like the ambiguity of Vestara's character. But the Abeloth story arc just isn't executed well. We follow the villain from planet to planet, learning far more about the planets than the villain! I could handle that formula for a book or two, but it's tired now. And I didn't think it was possible to make Sith boring, but this book really pulls it off, with the exception of Vestara. The Sith are so static in this novel, you won't need the Force to see them coming.
The last two books in Legacy where strong, and made some of the earlier subpar entries worth it. Hopefully they can pull it off in Fate too.
This book is just a continuation of everything that's wrong with the entire Fate of the Jedi series. They have so many plots going on throughout, that everything is random and disjointed. For the most part common sense has been thrown out of the window, and characters make decisions not based on their sound logic, but instead to propel the proposterous plots. The "crazed Jedi" was a dead give away that this series was going to be crummy. These Jedi who are being mentally affected by an ancient and purely evil being known as Abeloth, conveniently think that everyone else in the world is an impostor. They don't know how they know, but they do. Of course, by the time Conviction comes around, they can somehow differentiate between real people and "impostors", based solely off of which is convenient to keep the story going. But what's that? The Sith are back? Oh boy. Of course, that's not enough for a story line of it's own (sarcasm), so we'll just toss it into the many themes of the FOTJ series. On top of that, since Ben Skywalker is now a teenager who needs a love interest, let's make one of the Sith a teenage girl who happens to get stuck with him and his father on their quest to rid the galaxy of Abeloth. Hmmm, what else can we throw in to this whole pot of "WTF Stew"? Oooh, I know. How about two separate coups against Chief of State Daala (one by the Jedi, and one by pro-Imperial conspirators) and things will surely be fun. Also, the annoying ramblings of Tenel Ka's daughter, an incredibly in depth trial of Tahiri Veila (complete with prison antics), Mandalorian war crimes, the life and times of HoloNews journalists, the love and drama of Jaina and Jag plus Zekk and his new girl, and dozens of other obscure and random themes from the Star Wars galaxy can all be found, crammed into this one series. In all, it is all used to fill up the pages of the books so that by the end of every one, you've really made very little progress and are left scratching your head, wondering how on Earth you got so far off course, and accomplished so very little.