About the Author:
Dave Wolverton also writes under the name David Farland. He has worked as a computer consultant, a technical writer and an editor. He lives with his family in Utah, USA.
AVERAGE REVIEW SCORE:
4 out of 5
Star Wars: Jedi Apprentice - The Rising Force
44 BBY. The first book of the Jedi Apprentice series, aimed at younger readers. This book tells the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi's time at the Jedi Temple as a teenager and how he came to meet and work with Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn.
I really enjoyed the earlier parts of this book, showing Obi-Wan as a teenage apprentice, revealing his insecurity. It is here that we learn exactly what Alec Guiness meant in 'The Empire Strikes Back' when Yoda calls Luke reckless and he replies "Was I any different when you taught me?". Obi-Wan's recklessness is provoked by fellow student Bruck Chun who, whilst adding great tension to the story, does kind of read like a clone of Draco Malfoy.
The later parts of the book, as Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are travelling to Bandomeer weren't quite so good, but they do contain some great action sequences and we get to see the beginning of the bond that will eventually make the two Jedi into the team we see in 'The Phantom Menace'.
Followed by Jude Watson's 'Jedi Apprentice: The Dark Rival'.
4 out of 5
Star Wars: The Courtship Of Princess Leia
8 ABY. A stand-alone novel that is one of the foundation stones of the Star Wars Expanded Universe. When political gain causes Leia to consider marrying the Hapan prince Isolder, Han gets desperate and kidnaps her, taking her to a planet he won in a card game. However, the planet turns out to be in the territory of Warlord Zsinj and, worse, is populated by powerful Force-sensitive witches.
This is one of the better early Star Wars novels, containing everything you need to make you feel the way the films made you feel. There's a big battle, in which Han utters the immortal taunt "Kiss my Wookiee!", a fascinating planet to explore and Luke facing down the power of the dark side.
That last brings me on to the book's second best element; the Nightsisters. To give you an idea of just how nasty these harridans are; Emperor Palpatine ordered the interdiction of all ships attempting to leave Dathomir lest the Nightsisters threaten his Empire! There is a truly horrific moment when Han is being tortured by the Nightsisters and they actually use the Force to shatter his teeth. Ouch!
The Nightsisters are trumped in quality by Han himself, though. Wolverton's characterisation of a man made desperate by love (with only C-3PO really on his side) is perfect and it is Han with whom you engage and empathise. It's almost heartbreaking when he finally gives up and releases Leia from the promise she makes to give him a chance. It was like the bit in 'RotJ' where he says he won't stand in the way if Leia's into incest, but on a much grander scale. But don't worry! Rest assured wedding bells ring for the 'King' of Corellia (read the book for an explanation of that title) and the Princess of Alderaan.
Followed by Troy Denning's 'Tatooine Ghost'.
4 out of 5