Friday, July 2, 2021

Review: The Rising Storm by Cavan Scott


The second phase of The high Republic kicks off with a deeper, darker exploration of internal and external conflicts. Rising Storm is set around a year after the events of Light of The Jedi. 
The book opens with Marchion Ro , the enigmatic leader of the Nihil. Ro has put the Nihil in a holding pattern that not everyone approves of, he also begins a personal journey for an artifact that holds an immense allure for him and a deadly fate for the Jedi.

While Ro is on his quest and dealing with uprisings in his leadership the Jedi leads in this book all head to Valo.  Chancellor Lina Soh has high hopes for the event. She hopes it will unify diverse species and be a statement about the Republic's intent to grow a unified collection of worlds on the edge of the known galaxy. The fair is set to be a celebration and an invitation to community and protection.

Through the eyes of Stellan Gios, Bell Zettifar, and Elzar Mann Cavan Scott sets up a chess board of sorts. The Jedi and a supporting cast are all neatly placed in position and then completely torn apart by the arrival of the Nihil.

The balance of internal reflections by various characters and the vicious brutality of the Nihil make this book a devastating , thrilling read.   I felt strong Arthurian vibes with the trio of Stellan ( King Arthur, obviously), Elzar (A very emotionally messy Lancelot), And Bell, ( I'm torn between Gawain and Percival). I loved the relationship between these three. It's been a long time sense I've read a book  that explores the emotions and motivations between a group of men. They support each other as friends and Jedi.

In the midst of things going horribly wrong on Valo we get the appearance of Ty Yorrick (Definitely a reluctant Merlin!) Ty is glorious! She brings some welcome humor and even more welcome representation. I loved her humor and strength and how she wasn't cowered at all by Stellan or Elzar. These four are the pillars we reflect back and forth to as the story unfolds.

Bell and his charhound  Ember were my heartbeat in this story, not only because he is a POC but his emotional journey. Where he starts and where he ends is a powerful arc that emotionally compromised me in only the way a good story in the hands of a talented author can achieve. 

 It is impossible to be a Star Wars fan and not make comparisons to stories that have come before and on screen and in between the pages of Legends, but there is such a wonderful collaborative energy to the High Republic  that envelopes you if you take the opportunity. This book kicks off a second phase that I'm so excited to experience.

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