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On Sale: June 28, 2011
Pages: 304 | ISBN: 978-0-307-79554-0
Published by : LucasBooks Ballantine Group

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The dazzling Star Wars space adventure continues in The New Jedi Order as Luke Skywalker, Anakin Solo, Mara Jade Skywalker, and others battle their deadliest enemy in a tale of nonstop action, shadowy evil, and spectacular triumph . . .

No longer content with the destruction the Yuuzhan Vong have already sown, Warmaster Tsavong Lah has demanded the heads of all the Jedi. Now the Jedi Knights are in terrible danger–and none more so than the young students at the Jedi academy on Yavin 4. Already the sympathizers known as the Peace Brigade are in the Yavin system–and a Yuuzhan Vong fleet is not far behind.

At Luke Skywalker’s request, Talon Karrde mounts an expedition to rescue the young students. Anakin Solo has his own ideas. Impatient, and figuring that forgiveness is easier to come by than permission, he takes off for Yavin 4 in his X-wing.

When it comes to confidence, courage, and raw Force talent, Anakin has few peers. But when his friend Tahiri is separated from the other academy kids and captured by the Yuuzhan Vong, even Anakin may be in over his head. For the aliens have a different future in mind for Tahiri, and they will stop at nothing to achieve their horrific ends . . .


Talon Karrde clasped his hands beneath his goatee and studied the scene on the Wild Karrde's command deck viewscreen through pale blue eyes.

"Well, Shada," he told the striking woman at his right hand, "it appears that our baby-sitting chore has become somewhat more . . . interesting than anticipated."

"I would say so," Shada D'ukal replied. "The sensor shroud shows at least seven ships in orbit around Yavin 4 and another six on the surface."

"None of them are Yuuzhan Vong, I take it."

"No. A mixed bag, but I'd lay odds that they are Peace Brigade."

"Gambling is a foolish occupation," Karrde said. "I want to know. And I want to know what they're doing." He ticked his finger against the armrest. "I knew we should have found some way to leave sooner. Skywalker was right." He sighed and leaned forward, studying the long-range sensors.

"There's some sort of firefight on the surface, yes,

"Looks like it," the Togorian mewled.

"Solusar?" Karrde wondered. "Maybe. How long before we can be there?"

"They outnumber us badly," Shada pointed out. "We should call the rest of our ships before we do anything."

"We should certainly call them, but we can't wait for them. Someone down there is fighting for his life, most likely one of the people I told Skywalker I would protect. What's more, the fact that there are still ships on the surface suggests they haven't finished what they came here to do. That is, they don't have the Jedi children yet. If we wait until they have them aboard, in space, the job of rescuing them will become much more complicated."

"I see that," Shada said. "But it will be more complicated yet if they blow us out of the sky."

Karrde laughed. "Shada, when will you learn to trust my instincts? When have I ever gotten you killed?"

"YOu have a point there, I suppose."

Karrde pointed at Yavin 4, at the moment a dark disk silhouetted against the larger orange profile of its primary. "So I want to be there, now. Dankin, keep full cloak, but let me know when they notice us."

"Of course, sir."
That point came an hour later, when they were almost sitting on the nearest of the orbiting ships.

"They're hailing us, sir," Dankin told him. "And powering up weapons."

"Put them on."

A moment later, a thick-featured human male with thin, graying hair appeared on the communication holoscreen.

"Freighter, identify yourself." He chopped the words out in even syllables.

"My name, sir, is Talon Karrde. Perhaps you've heard of me."

The man's eyes pinched warily. "Yes, I've heard of you, Captain Karrde. It's rude to sneak up on someone like that. And dangerous."

"And it's rude to be given a name and not offer one," Karrde returned.

A look of annoyance crossed the fellow's face. "Don't try me, Captain Karrde. You may call me Captain Imsatad. What do you want?"

Karrde favored the man with a wan smile. "I was going to ask you the same question."

"I don't follow you," Imsatad said.

"You seem to be having some sort of trouble. I'm offering my assistance."

"We need no assistance, I assure you. And to be blunt, Captain Karrde, I don't believe you. I remember you as a smuggler, a pirate, and a traitor to the Empire."

"Then perhaps you remember, as well, what became of those who treated me with disrespect," Karrde said icily. "But if we are being blunt--and perhaps that is best here, since you seem to lack the education for more civilized discourse--I am undoubtedly here for the same reason you are--to collect the bounty on the young Jedi below."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

Karrde leaned toward the screen, eyes glittering dangerously. "You are a liar, Captain, and a poor one. I see no reason for us to play games."

"I trust you've noticed you're outnumbered."

"I trust you noted I was able to drop in on you in, shall we say, an unannounced fashion. Do you really think I brought only one ship?"

Imsatad glared at him, then cut his visual. Karrde waited patiently until, a few moments later, the image
"This is none of your business," the man said.

"Profit is always my business."

"There is no profit here, and if there were, you would already be too late."

"Oh, I don't think so. Why are your ships still on the surface? Why do my sensors show what seems to be protracted search activity? You've let your quarry slip through your fingers, Captain." Karrde smiled and leaned back in his chair. "Consider my offer of help. I ask little in return, and I could be a nuisance if you spurn my kindness."

"That sounds like a threat."

Karrde spread his hands. "Take it however you please. Shall we discuss this further or not?"

"You say you ask for little. What, exactly, would
that be?"

"A few kind words in the ears of the Yuuzhan Vong. An introduction. You see, Captain, for some years now I've been retired from my chosen profession. But these are very interesting times, exactly the sort of times my kind thrives on, if you know what I mean. I'd like to come out of retirement."

"Go on."

Karrde stroked his mustache thoughtfully. "The Yuuzhan Vong have promised a truce if the Jedi are delivered to them. I would like to bargain for passage through Yuuzhan Vong space, once the borders are established."

"Why should they allow a smuggler to use their space?"

"There may be things they need. I can get them. If not, I would be doing them no harm; all of my activities would be aimed at the scattered remnants of the New Republic. But those remnants are separated, at times, by Yuuzhan Vong-occupied systems. The cost of circumventing them, frankly, would be prohibitive."

Imsatad nodded, and a brief look of disgust wrinkled his features. "I see. You realize I can promise none of that."

"I only asked for a mention of my help in this affair. You can promise that."

"I could," Imsatad acknowledged. "What exactly can you offer me?"

"Better sensors than you have, for one thing. Detailed knowledge of Yavin 4 that I believe you lack. A crew that is very, very good at finding things. Certain special defenses against Jedi--and the means of finding them."

Imsatad stiffened, and his voice dropped low. "I was with Thrawn at Wayland. You still? . . ."

"Ah. You know what I mean, then."

"I know you betrayed him."

Karrde rolled his eyes. "How tiresome. Very well, Captain, if you don't wish my services, there are others who will."

"Wait!" Imsatad chewed his lip for a moment. "I need to consult with my officers on this."

"Take a few moments," Karrde said, lifting a finger. "But do not bore me." He cut the transmission.
Greg Keyes|Author Q&A

About Greg Keyes

Greg Keyes - Conquest: Star Wars (The New Jedi Order: Edge of Victory, Book I)
Born in Meridian, MS, in 1963, Greg Keyes spent his early years roaming the forests of his native state and the red rock cliffs of the Navajo Indian reservation in Arizona. He earned his B.A. in anthropology from Mississippi State University and a master's degree from the University of Georgia, where he did course work for a Ph.D. He lives in Savannah, GA, where, in addition to full-time writing, he enjoys cooking, fencing, the company of his family and friends and lazy Savannah nights.  Greg is the author of The Waterborn, The Blackgod, the Babylon 5 Psi Corps trilogy, the Age of Unreason tetrology (for which he won the prestigious "Le Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire" award), and three New York Times bestselling Star Wars novels in the New Jedi Order series.

Author Q&A

Inteview with Greg Keyes

Q: EDGE OF VICTORY is the first book in the next series of New Jedi Order novels. How many sequels will follow EDGE OF VICTORY, and will you be writing any of them?

Greg Keyes: EDGE OF VICTORY is actually a ?basket? title?the two books which make up EDGE OF VICTORY are CONQUEST and REBIRTH. I?m writing both of them.
Q: Tell us about EDGE OF VICTORY. Where does the action take place? Who are the heroes and villains this time? How are things looking for the New Republic as the book opens?

GK: Conquest opens a few months after the end of BALANCE POINT, and things are not going well for the Jedi. At the end of BALANCE POINT, the Yuuzhan Vong Warmaster, Tsavong Lah, promised that he would conquer no more New Republic planets if all of the Jedi?and especially Jacen Solo?were turned over to him. CONQUEST begins with some of the results of that call for Jedi heads. Jedi are being hunted and killed all over the galaxy. Naturally the students and teachers on Yavin 4 are in danger. Luke contacts Talon Karrde to evacuate them, but Anakin Solo, concerned for his friend Tahiri, won?t wait for Karrde and flies there on his own.
CONQUEST is basically an Anakin adventure. Other prominent characters appear, but Anakin is the star here. In CONQUEST, we see a lot of two Yuuzhan Vong castes we haven?t seen before -- the Shapers, who manipulate Yuuzhan Vong biotech, and the Shamed Ones. The Shamed Ones are those whose bodies won?t except bio-implants or who don?t take scarification and tattooing very well. This is taken as a sign that the gods don?t like them very much, and they are treated accordingly.

Q: The bond between Anakin and his friend Tahiri Veila reminded me in some ways of the closeness Jaina and Jacen share. Like them, Anakin and Tahiri are able to use the Force as almost a single being, becoming capable of feats together that neither one could perform alone. It makes sense that twins like Jaina and Jacen can link up in the Force, but Anakin and Tahiri aren?t related. How do they do it?

GK: They?re very close, and their personalities are complimentary, but ultimately there is a mystical connection. Ikrit, a Jedi master, prophecized that they would be far stronger together than the sum of their parts.

Q: Would I be wrong to see romance in Anakin and Tahiri?s future?

GK: Hmm. Tahiri is fourteen when CONQUEST opens, and Anakin sixteen, and they?ve been friends since they were respectively nine and eleven. This is the time in their lives when Anakin is noticing, ?hey, Tahiri is a girl?, and they?re trying to make the transition from childhood best friends to?well, to whatever comes after that. Saying any more would be telling.

Q: As the New Jedi Order continues, some fans are growing impatient to see Luke Skywalker take a more active role. In EDGE OF VICTORY, he?s struggling to hold the Jedi together as they are threatened from without by the Yuuzhan Vong and the cowardly Peace Brigade, and from within by Jedi Knights like Kyp Durron and others who want to lash out aggressively at every foe, even if it means flirting with the dark side. How much longer can Luke continue to walk this tightrope?

GK: Well, I think that?s one of the central questions of the series. Add to that, what does Luke do now that his Knights are being hunted all over the galaxy? Luke has to make some choices, and he has to make them soon.

Q: EDGE OF VICTORY delves deeper than any novel yet into the alien religion and psychology of the Yuuzhan Vong. Anakin actually teams up, in a manner of speaking, with a renegade Yuuzhan Vong, Vua Rapuung. And we come to learn a lot about the powerful and mysterious Vong caste known as shapers. How much creative freedom did you have to explore these areas? Were you told exactly what you could and couldn?t reveal, or were you able to do a little world-building of your own?

GK: Writing the Shapers and Rapuung were both great fun, and I was able to exercise a lot of creativity in doing so. When you work within the Star Wars universe, there are always boundaries?not the least of which is what has been written by previous authors?but once you understand the boundaries, it?s possible to do quite a bit of exploring on your own.

Q: The big mystery, of course, is why the Yuuzhan Vong don?t show up in the Force like all other living things. I know you can?t reveal the solution to this mystery, but I wonder if you know it? I mean, is there a solution at all?

GK: Yep and yep.

Q: You?ve written a number of well-received Babylon 5 novels. How would you compare the universe according to J. Michael Stryzinksi with the universe according to George Lucas?

GK: They were very different experiences in a many ways. STAR WARS has a lot more history to account for. I am a big Babylon 5 fan, or I wouldn?t have done the books. However, A New Hope hit the screen when I was sixteen or so, and it was the movie I had been waiting sixteen years for someone to make. Now a whole generation has grown up who never knew the world without STAR WARS, and the breadth of Lucas? original vision has grown exponentially in the novels. To write a part of this enormous whole without betraying it is a very daunting challenge. It?s enjoyable but it makes me nervous. I had a similar but much milder reaction to Babylon 5 because it was easier to come to grips with the already existing material.

Q: You?re also the author of the fantasies THE WATERBORN and THE BLACKGOD, and the alternate history series The Age of Unreason, which featured Benjamin Franklin and a host of famous personages from the 18th century in a world where the scientific method detours into magic. Are there any common threads that run through your books?

GK: Probably. Someone recently pointed out that I often have female characters who are intellectually repressed by their societies and often end up with artificial hands. I?d really hate for a Freudian to get hold of that. The nature of the hero is something I?ve explored in several permutations, and I do this again with Anakin. Conquest and the Age of Unreason have in common a meditation on what science is and isn?t. I tend to seek understanding of villains? motives without trying to make them likable.
Ultimately, however, my focus is on characters and storytelling rather than theme or subtext.

Q: What are some of the things that led to your becoming a science fiction and fantasy writer?

GK: I?m sure reading in the genre from the day I knew how to read on has a lot to do with it. I wanted to provoke and entertain in the same way my literary heroes did. I could give a more complex answer, but it wouldn?t be any more true.

Q: You?ve studied mythology extensively. What insights into STAR WARS did your studies give you?

GK: STAR WARS is certainly mythic in scope, and was conceived of that way from the very beginning. Embedded in the STAR WARS universe are themes and archetypes that existed at least as early as Babylon and probably for hundreds of thousands of years earlier.
Specifically, in CONQUEST, I had a chance to flesh out some of the beliefs of the Yuuzhan Vong -- their pantheon, their ?science? their relationship to the universe. All of these things are reflexes of belief systems, and its the construction, reconstruction , and deconstruction of belief systems that preoccupies me as an anthropologist. I didn?t borrow any existing system of belief for the Yuuzhan Vong, but used general principals to build upon the legacy of my predecessors in the New Jedi Order.

Q: What are you working on now?
GK: Right now, that would be EDGE OF VICTORY II, REBIRTH. While CONQUEST is really a Solo adventure (pun intended) Rebirth moves back to a larger, more ensemble cast.
After that, I?ll finish the first book of a four part fantasy, also for Del Rey. I don?t have a series title yet, but book one is entitled THE BRIAR KING. It?s my first return to the heroic fantasy novel since THE BLACKGOD. It?s got a large cast of characters, and the world is totally new for me. Great fun to write. I?ve also been writing a series of short stories for Dragon magazine set in the same world as my first novel THE WATERBORN, but featuring a character who doesn?t show up in the books.

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