Cavan Scott brings the ruckus with the follow up to Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi! You can pick this one up and dive in and enjoy if you want, but if you are keeping up on the other High Republic stories you’ll get a lot more out of it! This book picks up on a lot of the threads left in Light of the Jedi but also pulls on things from The High Republic Adventures as well. I suppose that’s kind of a Star Wars rule in general. This book is not as grand in scope as Light of the Jedi. It is definitely more focused. Whereas Light of the Jedi gave a lot of context around the galaxy and different points of view, The Rising Storm focuses on it’s characters to pull us into the events.
Sometimes a reader of Star Wars books can feel like the stories are focused on smaller events that only add to the grander narrative being told somewhere else in a film or TV series. The High Republic feels like it’s able to take full advantage of the narrative and creative freedom to deliver epic storytelling. If you’re one of those readers who feels that way, this series might be what you are looking for. Galaxy wide stories with an epic scope of events that feel far reaching and grand.
And the events are like… legit.
And when you think things can’t get crazier… they do.
SLIGHT SPOILERS AHEAD!
Stellan Gios and Elzar Mann really shine in this book. Lots of other masters are present as well, including Avar Kriss who is familiar to readers of Light of the Jedi. The book builds upon some of the relationships set forth in those stories. Stellan finds himself dealing with Jedi PR. Elzar searching for answers in looking for a way to stop the threat. Indeera working with her new Padawan and building that relationship. Cavan Scott is phenomenal at giving each character their own unique voice and outlook. I really loved the way Light of the Jedi introduced us to the different ways the Jedi connect to the Force and each other. This book builds on that and sometimes the Jedi almost feel elemental and unique in the way each of their personalities and Force abilities take shape.
Bell Zettifar is back! Here we find Bell and his trusty and adorable charhound Ember making the best of their lessons. A lot has changed for Bell since Light of the Jedi and seeing that growth in him is refreshing. Watching Bell take the lessons given is both heartwarming and sometimes bittersweet. We stan this Padawan giving their all to live up to the Masters before him.
The political story returns with Chancellor Lina Soh planning a huge Republic Fair to promote the grand ideals of unity across the Republic. Certain senators and other political minds disagree with this idea as it uses resources which they feel could be better spent towards protecting the Republic citizens from the Nihil and Drengir threat. Valid concerns all around, not to mention a galaxy-wide gathering like the Republic Fair could be a huge target for a Nihil attack.
Because that would be bad.
Marchion Ro returns, planning an even bigger attack against the Republic. The Nihil prepare to spread fear across the galaxy to solidify their threat. The Tempest Runners return each with their own idea of the direction the Nihil should take. I loved the interactions between the leaders and Marchion Ro. Everyone has their own endgame in mind and while the Nihil work together they also have their own interests at heart.
So the question remains. Can they remain a threat to the Jedi or will they fight among themselves for power?
For Light and Life
Once the action in this book starts it does NOT stop. And every moment builds beautifully across the narrative. Each Jedi. senator, Nihil, and Ex-Jedi/Monster Hunter is given a wonderful through line and a powerful clear voice. Cavan Scott does an amazing job of speaking through each character!
There’s a whole lot I can’t say without giving away too much but the story is INTENSE.
Bits and Pieces
Remember when way back the whole Project Luminous thingie was inspired by somebody asking “What scares the Jedi?” Yeah I think this book delivers on that idea and more. The story juggles each character with ease although now that we have multiple books and comics we might be a bit more familiar with each one. I’ve already talked about how wonderfully each piece of the high Republic puzzle fits together but the whole endeavor is shaping up beautifully.
This is a must-read for any High Republic reader but also for those who are interested in the Jedi facing a well thought out enemy. Enemies who can rise to the threat level that strikes fear in even a Jedi master!
- Sal P.