Review: Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule

Title: Light of the Jedi
Author: Charles Soule
Series: Star Wars: The High Republic
Source: Library
Genre: Space opera/western
Trigger Warning: Loss of life
Summary: Long before the First Order, before the Empire, before the Clone Wars…Jedi lit the way for the galaxy in the High Republic.

It is a golden age. Intrepid hyperspace scouts expand the reach of the Republic to the farthest stars, worlds flourish under the benevolent leadership of the Senate, and peace reigns, enforced by the wisdom and strength of the renowned order of Force users known as the Jedi. With the Jedi at the height of their power, the free citizens of the galaxy are confident in their ability to weather any storm. But even the brightest light can cast a shadow, and some storms defy any preparation.

When a shocking catastrophe in hyperspace tears a ship to pieces, the flurry of shrapnel emerging from the disaster threatens an entire system. No sooner does the call for help go out than the Jedi race to the scene. The scope of the emergence, however, is enough to push even Jedi to their limit. As the sky breaks open and destruction rains down upon the peaceful alliance they helped to build, the Jedi must trust in the Force to see them through a day in which a single mistake could cost billions of lives.

Even as the Jedi battle valiantly against calamity, something truly deadly grows beyond the boundary of the Republic. The hyperspace disaster is far more sinister than the Jedi could ever suspect. A threat hides in the darkness, far from the light of the age, and harbors a secret that could strike fear into even a Jedi’s heart. 

I am not a new Star Wars fan, but I am new to this series, and have not read a Star Wars book in so long that I can’t even remember the name of the last one I read. (It was pre-GoodReads account, sorry past self.)

Loden Greatstorm – Sass Master Jedi

That being said, even though it’s been a while since I read a SW book I could still close my eyes and picture what was happening as the words flowed through my mind as smoothly as the light of the Jedi. This book, with it’s ensemble of heroes, Jedi and non-Jedi alike, and villains, raiders and scavengers alike was a fun re-entry into the written world of Star Wars, and man did I latch onto some of the characters more than others.

Avar Kriss felt like a more traditional, stoic Jedi to me, and so I found myself turning away from her toward those like Loden Greatstorm, with his edge of snark, his Padawan Bell Zettifar and of course, the rebel with a cause, Elzar Mann. They did however make me wonder if having a certain ability to sass was as part of the Jedi Order as being given your first light sabre. Because the it is strong within these ones.

The world building is as it often is, in depth and described so nicely that it’s not hard to picture what the different systems and planet might look like.

The villains are the Nihils, and if that word evoked some impression of what they might be like, you’re probably right. They have plots on plots on plots. They are violent, and manipulative and intriguing.

This book is as divisive as anything can be in the Star Wars canon (and fanon), even when setting aside the new canon versus Legends but I found it to be filled with meaningful messages and quotes I found myself jotting down in rapid pace, before I could turn the page.

I’m super excited for the sequel.

Favourite Quotes:

“There was nothing so big it could not be swallowed up. Nothing so strong it could not be humbled. Nothing so tall it could not be made small. Not a mountain, and not the Republic.”

Soule, Charles. Star Wars, the High Republic: Light of the Jedi. Del Rey Books, 2021.

“If I do everything, no one learns anything.”

Soule, Charles. Star Wars, the High Republic: Light of the Jedi. Del Rey Books, 2021.

“Being a Jedi was not about saving oneself. It was about saving others.”

Soule, Charles. Star Wars, the High Republic: Light of the Jedi. Del Rey Books, 2021.

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