Allies is the fifth book of the Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi series and has definitely been my favorite thus far. Luke and Ben enter a tenuous alliance with The Lost Tribe of the Sith in order to hunt down their mutual opponent who is allegedly responsible for the malady afflicting Jedi Knights throughout the galaxy. In addition, things heat up on Coruscant as Daala orders a battalion of Mandalorian commandos to monitor and control the Jedi. Golden also introduced an interesting subplot as Tahiri Veila goes to trial for her role in the murder of Admiral Gilad Pellaeon at the battle of Fondor during the Second Galactic Civil War (the events of which are depicted in the Legacy of the Force series).
I enjoyed Allies and I think that Golden did a great job on this book, her writing in the Star Wars universe felt more natural and comfortable than in Omen. Once again, I think one of Golden’s greatest strengths were the viewpoints of Ben and Vestara. Luke and Ben are holding Vestara prisoner and there is a budding romance as Ben and Vestara grow closer throughout the novel. It is a very tense relationship because they both know that in the long run such a relationship is impossible to turn out well, and are both aware that eventually Vestara will betray the Jedi. I greatly enjoyed watching their relationship develop when that knowledge and expectation is completely known to both the characters and the reader. As a reader I expect her to be lying and tricking him, Ben does too, but at the same time I share Ben’s hope that some of her feelings are genuine. I always love reading dialogue where Sith are involved because it integrates a wonderful layer of intrigue when the characters are pretty much expected to lie.
The other viewpoints back on Coruscant were quite solid as well, Dorvan was developed a bit in this book and it helped me understand his motivation and shape him into something more than an intelligent lackey.
One aspect of the book that I didn’t really understand was a variety of viewpoints that illustrated a portrait of slavery in the current Galactic Alliance. All that was really established was a seed for potential future conflict. I look forward to the coming books and I hope that the seed will grow into some cool political conflict other than the crazy Jedi stuff that has been driving most of the plot on Coruscant more most of the series.
Allies has a great story and really pushed the series forward. If you are reading this far into the series I’m sure you will agree that Allies by Christie Golden is fantastic payoff for some patience during the earlier books of the series.