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Abyss

Cover of Abyss

Abyss

Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi Series, Book 3
Following a trail of clues across the galaxy, Luke Skywalker continues his quest to find the reasons behind Jacen Solo’s dark downfall and to win redemption for the Jedi Order. Sojourning among...More
Following a trail of clues across the galaxy, Luke Skywalker continues his quest to find the reasons behind Jacen Solo’s dark downfall and to win redemption for the Jedi Order. Sojourning among...More
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  • Following a trail of clues across the galaxy, Luke Skywalker continues his quest to find the reasons behind Jacen Solo’s dark downfall and to win redemption for the Jedi Order. Sojourning among the mysterious Aing-Tii monks has left Luke and his son Ben with no real answers, only the suspicion that the revelations they seek lie in the forbidden reaches of the distant Maw Cluster. There, hidden from the galaxy in a labyrinth of black holes, dwell the Mind Walkers: those whose power to transcend their bodies and be one with the Force is as seductive and intoxicating as it is potentially fatal. But it may be Luke’s only path to the truth.

    Meanwhile, on Coruscant, the war of wills between Galactic Alliance Chief of State Natasi Daala and the Jedi Order is escalating. Outraged over the carbonite freezing of young Jedi Knights Valin and Jysella Horn after their inexplicable mental breakdowns, the Jedi are determined to defy Daala’s martial tactics, override Council Master Kenth Hamner’s wavering leadership, and deal on their own terms with the epidemic of madness preying on their ranks. As Han and Leia Solo, along with their daughter Jaina, join the fight to protect more stricken Knights from arrest, Jedi healers race to find a cure for the rapidly spreading affliction. But none of them realize the blaster barrel is already swinging in their direction–and Chief Daala is about to pull the trigger.

    Nor do Luke and Ben, deep in the Maw Cluster and pushing their Force abilities beyond known limits, realize how close they are–to the Sith strike squad bent on exterminating the Skywalkers, to a nexus of dark-side energy unprecedented in its power and its hunger, and to an explosive confrontation between opposing wielders of the Force from which only one Master–good or evil–can emerge alive.


    From the Hardcover edition.
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    In the Jade Shadow's forward canopy hung twin black holes, their perfect darkness surrounded by fiery whorls of accretion gas. Because the Shadow was approaching at an angle, the two holes had the oblong appearance of a pair of fire- rimmed eyes-- and Ben Skywalker was half tempted to believe that's what they were. He had begun to feel like he was being watched the instant he and his father had entered the Maw cluster, and the deeper they advanced, the stronger the sensation grew. Now, at the very heart of the concentration of black holes, the feeling was a constant chill at the base of his skull.

    "I sense it, too," his father said. He was sitting behind Ben in the copilot's seat, up on the primary flight deck. "We're not alone in here."

    No longer surprised that the Grand Master of the Jedi Order always seemed to know his thoughts, Ben glanced at an activation reticle in the front of the cockpit. A small section of canopy opaqued into a mirror, and he saw his father's reflection staring out the side of the canopy. Luke Skywalker looked more alone and pensive than Ben ever remembered seeing him-- thoughtful, but not sad or frightened, as though he were merely trying to understand what had brought him to such a dark and isolated place, banished from an Order he had founded, and exiled from a society he had spent his life fighting to defend.

    Trying not to dwell on the injustice of the situation, Ben said, "So maybe we're closing in. Not that I'm all that eager to meet a bunch of beings called the Mind Drinkers."

    His father thought for a moment, then said, "Well, I am."

    He didn't elaborate, and he didn't need to. Ben and his father were on a mission to retrace Jacen Solo's fiveyear odyssey of Force exploration. At their last stop, they had learned from an Aing- Tii monk that Jacen had been bound for the Maw when he departed the Kathol Rift. Since one purpose of their journey was to determine whether Jacen had been nudged toward the dark side by something on his voyage, it only made sense that Luke would want to investigate a mysterious Maw- dwelling group known as the Mind Drinkers.

    What impressed Ben, however, was how calm his father seemed about it all. Ben was privately terrified of falling victim to the same darkness that had claimed his cousin. Yet his father seemed eager to step into its depth and strike a flame. And why shouldn't he be? After everything that Luke Skywalker had suffered and achieved in his lifetime, there was no power in the galaxy that could draw him into darkness. It was a strength that both awed Ben and inspired him, one that he wondered if he would ever find himself.

    Luke' s eyes shifted toward the mirrored canopy section, and he caught Ben's gaze. "Is this what bothered you when you were at Shelter?" He was referring to a time that was ancient history to Ben--the last part of the war with the Yuuzhan Vong, when the Jedi had been forced to hide their young at a secret base deep inside the Maw. "Did you feel like someone was watching you?"

    "How should I know?" Ben asked, suddenly uneasy-- and unsure why. By all accounts, he had been an unruly, withdrawn toddler while he was at Shelter, and he recalled being afraid of the Force for years afterward. But he had no clear memories of Shelter itself, or what it had felt like to be there. "I was two."

    "You did have feelings when you were two," his father said mildly. "You did have a mind."

    Ben sighed, knowing what his father wanted, then said, "You'd better take the ship."

    "I have the ship," Luke confirmed, reaching for the copilot's yoke. "Just close your eyes. Let the Force...

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Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi Series, Book 3
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Troy Denning
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