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Books The High Republic: Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Ancient Whills, Jan 4, 2021.

  1. Ancient Whills

    Ancient Whills Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 12, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2021
  2. WebLurker

    WebLurker Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 12, 2016
    Liked her first installment, so am looking forward to this.
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  3. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    Wonder if there will be a digital copy. I only see the hardcover version available for pre-order on Amazon currently.

    Don't think I'm willing to spend the money for a hardcover of this book.

    It's either digital Kindle copy or waiting for a paperback copy.
  4. WebLurker

    WebLurker Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 12, 2016
    Hard to imagine them not.
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  5. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    Yeah, almost everything else has been available digitally.

    So maybe it is just being listed weird on Amazon.
  6. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Jun 29, 2003
    Some of the children's books have been limited to just hard or paperback (The Great Jedi Rescue and Race to Crashpoint Tower). Some have digital (Test of Courage). YA novels almost always have Kindle/digital formats available, but for some reason I'm not seeing it with this one. My guess is they haven't listed it yet.

    I do recall I got Justina Ireland's Spark of Resistance book last year as hard cover, and I think it might have been because there was no Kindle version at the time.
    starfish and devilinthedetails like this.
  7. devilinthedetails

    devilinthedetails Force Ghost star 5

    Jun 19, 2019
    @Barriss_Coffee Thank you for your insights!

    I think most of the New Canon Star Wars books I've read have been adult or YA, so that explains why I've always been able to get Kindle copies without issue.

    I could understand especially for picture books only carrying paperback and hardcover editions.

    I was able to get the Test of Courage book on Kindle (yay) and am reading it now (about 25% through).

    Perhaps how much I enjoy that book will help me decide whether to get the hardcover or wait for the paperback if a Kindle copy remains unavailable for this title.

    Either way, I can't be too mad with so much High Republic content coming out so quickly.
  8. starfish

    starfish Chosen One star 5

    Oct 9, 2003
    I’m going with mostly digital versions for this whole project, with a few exceptions, it’s just cheaper

    so I hope this one eventually is available on kindle, I’m pretty curious about it
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  9. Merric

    Merric Jedi Master star 3

    Jan 26, 2013
    Loved A Test of Courage so I'm extremely excited for this one. I was kinda hoping that the boy on the cover would be an older Imri who finally became a knight but oh well. I'm sure he'll be in the book in some way even if it is just a mention. Happy to see Avon back and front and center, she was easily my favorite character in the book.
    devilinthedetails likes this.
  10. Ancient Whills

    Ancient Whills Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 12, 2011

    Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press
    Format: 13+ Young Adult Novel
    Author: Justina Ireland
    Artist: n/a
    Cover Artist: Disney Publishing art team
    On-Sale Date: July 22, 2021

    The darkest secrets are the hardest to bring to light….

    Sylvestri Yarrow is on a streak of bad luck with no end of sight. She’s been doing her best to keep the family cargo business going after her mom’s death, but between mounting debt and increasing attacks by the Nihil on unsuspecting ships, Syl is in danger of losing all she has left of her mother. She heads to the galactic capital of Coruscant for help, but gets sidetracked when she’s drawn into a squabble between two of the Republic’s most powerful families over a patch of space on the frontier. Tangled up in familial politics is the last place Syl wants to be, but the promise of a big payoff is enough to keep her interested…

    Meanwhile, Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh has been summoned to Coruscant, but with no idea of why or by whom. She and her Padawan Imri Cantaros arrive at the capital along with Jedi Master Cohmac Vitus and his Padawan, Reath Silas—and are asked to assist with the property dispute on the frontier. But why? What is so important about an empty patch of space? The answer will lead Vernestra to a new understanding of her abilities, and take Syl back to the past…and to truths that will finally come out of the shadows.
  11. Senpezeco

    Senpezeco Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 27, 2014
    This is the line that hooked me in --
    "a squabble between two of the Republic’s most powerful families"

    Who? WHO?! Which two?! I must know! I thrive on galactic family feuds. Can I get a formidable but wacky Tagge ancestor, please? [face_batting] What famous names would you guys like to see involved?
    Barriss_Coffee and Golbolco like this.
  12. Jedi Ben

    Jedi Ben Chosen One star 9

    Jul 19, 1999
    Maybe this will see some of the San Tekka secrets coming to light.
    clone commander bossk likes this.
  13. Darth Corydon

    Darth Corydon Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 4, 2018
    I find it funny we got a Girl named Sylvestri and her nickname is Syl and then in Swtor we got Syl who is Satele's Student and the new body for
  14. The Positive Fan

    The Positive Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Jan 19, 2015
    I'm going to put my money, all $0.00 of it, on one of them being the Organa family. The other?

    I'd totally give another shiny $0.00 for it to be... the Skywalkers.

    Lol nah it'll be the Tarkins or Tagges, probably.
    clone commander bossk likes this.
  15. Fredrik Vallestrand

    Fredrik Vallestrand Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Jan 15, 2018
    It woundt be the palpatines would it.
    clone commander bossk likes this.
  16. clone commander bossk

    clone commander bossk Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 5, 2019
  17. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Jun 29, 2003
    Oooo this game is fun!

    I'm going to go for... San Tekkas vs... Palpatine? That might make sense if only because the San Tekkas were hanging out on Naboo in that one book. Then again that doesn't make much sense... why would they buy real estate next door to their enemy?

    OK I'm pretty sure one's gotta be San Tekka. Not sure about the other. I'd be down for a wild card like Kuat.
  18. clone commander bossk

    clone commander bossk Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Nov 5, 2019
    Kuat and Sienar?
    Barriss_Coffee and Senpezeco like this.
  19. Golbolco

    Golbolco Jedi Knight star 2

    Jan 20, 2016
    I recall the Starros and San Tekka clans being mentioned in early promotional material, so I’m guessing it’s them.
  20. Ancient Whills

    Ancient Whills Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 12, 2011
    The whine of the hyperdrive powering up on the small ship drew Vernestra away from her thoughts, and she was surprised to find Imri watching her with concern. Vernestra frowned. “Is something wrong?”

    He shook his head. “Just a feeling. But I don’t know what it is. Don’t mind me,” he said, leaning back against his chair and closing his eyes, his breathing becoming deep and even as he began to meditate. Or nap. Vernestra wasn’t sure which one.

    The ship bumped and jumped, and then the blue of hyperspace streamed past the cockpit windows. Vernestra yawned once, and then twice, and the next thing she knew—

    She was in the desert on a planet she’d never seen before. She walked forward in a dreamlike state, everything around her a little hazy and unreal.

    Oh, no, she thought, alarm surging through her. It’s happening again.

    Vernestra had enough awareness of the moment to know she was having one of her hyperspace visions, which she hadn’t had since becoming a Knight, but she was thoroughly unable to pull herself from the reverie. She found herself carried along, so she eventually relaxed and let the vision show her what it would.

    The red sand of the desert gave way to scrub brush and a small culvert with a sickly trickle of blue moss growing thick at the lowest point. Vernestra walked along the top of the ridge toward a small town that consisted of a handful of weathered buildings. At the end of the town’s lone road was a Jedi temple, the Order’s insignia painted on the front the only thing in the landscape Vernestra recognized.

    Blasters fired and people roared. A ragtag group fired haphazardly into the buildings, unchallenged.

    “For the Strike! For the Tempest! For the Storm!” they yelled. A blue-skinned Jedi came out of the temple, his lightsaber powered up and ready to do battle.

    Someone was calling her.

    Vernestra walked as a ghost, stepping away from the battle raging in the street and slipping into the shadows of a lodging house. A family of Ugnaughts huddled in a back room, their eyes going to something on the table.

    “I told you it was a bad idea to steal from the Nihil!” the woman yelled at the man. “You have killed us all.”

    “The old Jedi will handle it,” the man said, even as he flinched at every sound of blaster fire. Sitting in a tray on the table was a box. It looked like a holocron, but there were glyphs Vernestra did not recognize on the outside. Squiggles and slashes in shades of black and silver.

    Take it. Find me. I have something for you, said a voice Vernestra did not recognize and was definitely not her own.

    In the dream, Vernestra reached out for the box, for the secrets it held, for the chance to answer a call—

    “Vern! Hey, are you awake?”

    Vernestra startled upright, blinking as the last remnants of the dream—vision?—fell away. Imri stood over her, and he took a step back as Vernestra straightened.

    “I—I must have fallen asleep,” Vernestra said, rubbing her eyes, heart pounding with the lie. “Are we still in hyperspace?”

    “No, we just exited, and now we’re heading to the next jump point. Are you okay?” Imri asked, a dozen questions in the look he gave Vernestra.

    “I’m great, just fine.” She hated the way she was pulled from her body, the lack of control as she was moved from one part of the scene to the next. But Vernestra still wanted to take some time to analyze what she had seen, meditate on it and pick it apart as she did every problem. Before, when she was still a Padawan, having one of her attacks left her feeling scared and shaken, like she was somehow misusing the Force.

    Now Vernestra was just wondering why they were happening again.

    Visions were not uncommon to those connected deeply to the Force, but prophecy was no gift; rather, many Force users saw it as a curse to be endured. Vernestra was not prone to prophecy. Those Force users were usually discovered very early on, and none of her previous mental wanderings had ever come true, so the vision must be something else entirely. Was someone trying to reach out to her? Was she seeing things that were happening in that moment? But how, and why now?

    Imri, ever the sensitive one, frowned as the questions raged through Vernestra. He gave her a concerned look and opened his mouth to speak. But whatever he was about to say was cut off as the comm unit began to beep.

    “What’s happening?” Vernestra asked, standing and walking away from both Imri’s concern and the lingering strangeness of the vision.

    “It looks like the temple on Tiikae has sent out a request for aid. They’re reporting a number of Nihil fighters looting and menacing the local populace.”

    “How far away is that?” Imri asked, coming up behind Vernestra. She could feel the questions he wanted to ask her, but she would put him off for now. This was no time for pondering her wayward abilities.

    “Not far,” Reath said, worry twisting his pale brow. “We should assist.”

    “Agreed,” Cohmac said. “Reath, update our course. Vern and Imri, I can drop you in from above to save time? From the message it seems as though the fighting just began.”

    “Of course, Master Cohmac. We’ll do what we can. Come on,” Vernestra said to Imri. “The sooner we can stop these Nihil, the better the chances there won’t be too many casualties.”

    “I’ll come along, as well,” Reath said as he finished inputting the new location. He unbuckled from his seat. “The ship only needs a single pilot to land.”

    “Once we’re over the heart of the fighting, I’ll open the loading ramp,” Master Cohmac said. “Looks like I’m going to take this fancy array for a spin.”

    Vernestra nodded, and the three Jedi ran to the loading ramp. She pushed the strangeness of her vision aside to be dealt with later and turned all her attention to the battle that lay before her.

    It was time to remind the Nihil that the Jedi would not tolerate their violence.

    Vernestra handed both Imri and Reath communicators to slip over their ears before placing one over hers. After a quick comms check to make sure she could hear not just Imri and Reath but also Master Cohmac, she palmed her lightsaber and took a deep breath, centering herself in the Force. Vernestra wasn’t much worried about Reath—she knew he was capable enough—but she turned back to Imri.

    “You think you’ve got this?” she asked. Imri was a proficient fighter, but Vernestra tended to worry about him anyway. She worried that every battle left more of a mark on Imri than it should. He was no coward, but he lacked the fire of Jedi like the Trandoshan Master Sskeer.

    Imri pulled his lightsaber from his holster and tossed the hilt from hand to hand, spinning it around to limber up his wrist. “Let’s handle these Nihil.”

    Reath nodded and shifted his stance but said nothing.

    The door to the loading dock opened slowly, and they all peered down at the landscape below. Master Cohmac kept the ship about ten meters off the ground. They were above a city in the middle of a desert. Roofs curved into brightly painted domes, and below them was a market square with a fountain and a number of combatants. Blaster fire rained down from windows and flew from doorways, and in the midst of the chaos, a lone Jedi in ivory temple robes repelled the incoming blaster fire, his bright green lightsaber a blur as it moved. He looked to be fighting completely by himself.

    The scent of heat and sunbaked sand made Vernestra blink stupidly for a long moment. She knew this place, although she had seen it from a different point of view last time.

    The town was the one she had just seen in her vision.
  21. Ancient Whills

    Ancient Whills Force Ghost star 6

    Jun 12, 2011
    Reath Silas and Vernestra Rwoh are struggling with some very relatable teen problems in the next book from Star Wars: The High Republic, Out of the Shadows by Justina Ireland, out later this month. The two young Jedi knights are worried about changes in the galaxy and living up to expectations, while also continuing to hone their skills as Force users.

    When we first met Vern in A Test of Courage, she was a prodigy just trying to keep herself and her friends safe on a dangerous jungle planet. “It’s been more than a year since we last checked in with Vern and Imri, and what a year it’s been,” Ireland says. “No spoilers, but these characters have been through a lot since the destruction of the Steady Wing, and I think that shows in how they approach problems. They’re still teenagers and still Jedi, but they aren’t soulless lightsaber-wielding machines. The tragedy in the galaxy has impacted them, and they’ve seen a lot. That would make anyone question their faith and how they use it to improve the world around them, and the Jedi are no different.”

    Fans will recognize Reath from Claudia Gray’s Into the Dark, a debut that Ireland says made it easy for her to write the character in this next stage of his journey. “Taking his characterization and extrapolating it based on who he is at the end of Into the Dark and considering what he and Cohmac have been up to gave me a pretty good idea of the kind of ways Reath was most likely to change and grow,” Ireland says. “And, honestly, that’s part of the fun of The High Republic. These characters are growing and changing in very tangible ways, and I dig that.”

    And the book will introduce us to Sylvestri Yarrow, an average denizen who’s just trying to make her way in the galaxy as a pilot and trader. “I like Jedi, but I have always been endlessly fascinated about the regular folks in the galaxy. Like, what is it like to be a lunch lady in the High Republic?” Ireland quips. “Who works in the laundry room in the Jedi Temple? These are the kinds of questions I always have and so of course I wanted to bring another scoundrel into the High Republic, even if it was just a fledgling scoundrel. Sylvestri Yarrow is like so many of us who are just trying to get through the day with our sanity intact, and throwing the complications of Jedi, Republic politics, and warring kajillionaires at her was really, really fun.”

    Although the book doesn’t arrive for a couple more weeks, today is thrilled to share an exclusive excerpt from Star Wars: The High Republic: Out of the Shadows, the forthcoming Star Wars: The High Republic Young Adult novel by Ireland. In the passage, the Jedi Reath and Vernestra are dealing with the fallout of their journey so far. Ireland promises a story full of intrigue and excitement. “Nihil! Lightsabers! Jedi! Sadness! Electric cats! It’s Star Wars, fam. Get in, buckle up, and have fun.”

    Read the preview below, and pick up your own copy when Out of the Shadows arrives July 27, 2021.
  22. Senpezeco

    Senpezeco Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 27, 2014
    Still really excited about the
    "warring kajillionaires" / "powerful families" thread of this story. Those kinds of characters are so often my favorite vehicles for galactic intrigue.
  23. FiveFireRings

    FiveFireRings Jedi Master star 4

    Nov 26, 2017
    I know who you're rooting for because me too. Most likely the ones that've already played a part in HR stories, but... we can hope.
    Senpezeco likes this.
  24. Senpezeco

    Senpezeco Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 27, 2014
    Another excerpt, a scene aboard the Gaze Electric, via CNET:
    Nan stood off to the side of the temple in the Gaze Electric and watched as the Eye met with his Tempest Runners. Like most of the ship, the room was dimly lit and smelled faintly of rust and decay. Once, this room had been a place of worship, even though Nan didn't recognize any of the symbols etched into the walls. Once, the Eye never would have dreamed of having Tempest Runners come to his ship, but in the past few months the Republic and their Jedi had done a number on the Nihil's many hidden bases, leaving them scrambling to muster up a response.

    "You're not supposed to be here," whispered a boy a few years younger than her, his pale blond hair covering most of his face.

    "And you are?" Nan said, smoothing her dark hair back and pretending to be unbothered by the challenge. Krix was right. She wasn't technically supposed to be in the room, but if that annoying mynock was going to hang out and eavesdrop, then she was going to do the same. "Leave me be before I slide a blade between your ribs."

    The boy laughed in his throat before moving away, and Nan considered how she could end his life just to remove the stench of him from the room.

    In the past year Nan had lived a hundred lifetimes. She'd fought Jedi and raided shipyards. She'd collected more intelligence for the Eye than any of his other trusted spies. Her young appearance and effortless ability to lie had made her invaluable. She could make just about anyone believe whatever she wanted, and she had used that ability all in the name of the Eye, Marchion Ro.

    She had earned her place at his side, unlike Krix, who was nothing but a slimy, bucktoothed human who spent more time causing trouble than bringing glory to the Storm. Nan really did want to murder the pale boy, but she worried that Ro might actually like him for some reason, so instead she glared at him from across the room and hoped that he'd end up on the wrong side of a blaster bolt.

    "Why am I hearing reports of a Nihil loss at Dalna?" Marchion Ro asked. He slumped in a massive chair that looked down on those occupied by his Tempest Runners, seeming for all the stars bored by the conversation. It gave Nan a thrill every time she saw him like this: helmet off, black hair free to hang over his bare, leathery skin and his star-marked shoulders. His pitiless eyes were all black, and Nan stood close enough that she could see the slight ruffle on the edge of his ears. No one knew just who Ro's people were. Every time someone asked him his species they ended up dead. He was as deadly as he was beautiful, and Nan counted herself lucky to be allowed to occupy the same space as him.

    "It's just another ploy by the Republic to undermine our victories," said the newest Tempest Runner, Kara Xoo, a brutal Quarren who thought torture was a spectator sport. Nan liked Kara's way of doing things, which was mostly smash and a little grab. The one time Nan had gone along with the Quarren's Tempest on a run, it had been great fun, if not particularly lucrative. She was only a Tempest Runner because Pan Eyta had gone missing in the aftermath of the attack on Valo. Most everyone thought him dead. He was not missed.

    "If that's the case, why is your fleet down twenty ships?" Lourna Dee said. Like Ro, she reclined in her chair, utterly at ease. Lourna was a sickly green Twi'lek who wore armor and was much deadlier than she appeared, and it was a mistake for any opponent to underestimate her ruthlessness. She didn't bluster or brag like Kara or the previous Tempest Runner, Pan Eyta; she smiled prettily and then killed anyone who annoyed her. Members of her Tempest were just as coldly efficient as she was, and just as reserved. She was the only Tempest Runner who made Nan uncomfortable. Not because she was dangerous, but because her speech patterns sometimes slipped into a moneyed Hosnian Prime accent. No matter how much Nan had tried to discover Lourna's secrets, she'd always come up dry.

    "Twenty ships?" the Eye said, straightening. "Who was in charge of that run?"

    "I was," said an Ithorian, his translator crackling as he spoke. "I lost half of my Strike and all of my Storm. The Republic was waiting for us. We didn't have any kind of chance, not even with the Path drives." The Ithorian still wore his mask, which Nan took to be an insult to Lord Ro. The Gaze Electric was the safest ship in all the galaxy. The Jedi had managed to ransack the base on Grizal and a number of other safe houses the Nihil used. But the Gaze Electric was so far untouched, and some of the younger Nihil had begun speaking of Marchion Ro as though he were more than a mere man.

    Nan didn't think the Eye had any unusual abilities, but he was a survivor just like her and knew to plan accordingly, with several plans going at any single point in time. She liked that about him.

    Marchion Ro picked up a small object next to his chair and threw it at the Ithorian. Nan had only a glimpse of it before it attached to the Ithorian's face. The other pirate pulled at the thing, which Nan now could see was one of the sticky charges the Nihil sometimes used to get through particularly stubborn airlocks.

    There was no time for the Ithorian to say anything before the entire top half of his body exploded, the detonation also taking out his friends who stood too close to him. The rest of the Nihil didn't even flinch.

    It wasn't a party without at least a little murder.

    "Speaking of ships, Lourna, where is my weapon you promised me?" Ro said, turning on the Tempest Runner just as Kara gestured for a couple of her followers to drag away the bodies. Her Tempest was now down at least another Strike's worth of Nihil, but Marchion Ro had moved on. "And my promised Jedi? With the last one gone, the butcher grows anxious for test subjects. I'd hate to see him start finding volunteers in other places."

    Lourna shrugged, unbothered by the threat. "Science takes time, Ro. We're still mapping the overlapping routes that pass through the area. And as for the Jedi, I'm on it. Politics, as you also know, are impossibly slow. But the Graf family and I have enjoyed a long and fruitful partnership. You will have your replacements."

    "The Jedi are less important than the weapon. The Republic has more than enough of our Path drives to begin researching in earnest. It is only a matter of time before the Republic understands the Paths," Ro said. He didn't seem to be any less bored than he was before, but the drum of his obsidian talons on the arm of his chair gave truth to the lie of his posture. "You promised me a way to disrupt that."

    "And the Gravity's Heart will do just that. But without understanding all of the routes in the sector, we can't disrupt anything but those manifests we already hold. You did get the tithing of coaxium, did you not?"

    "Yes, but that was not what I tasked you with," Ro said. Lourna Dee smiled at him. "If you were to give me the assistance of your savant I could finish the project more quickly."

    Ro's scowl melted into an expression of surprise. "Is that so?"

    "Yes. She knows and has forgotten even the most tenuous Paths, untold byways through hyperspace. She can help us route and track the energy spikes in the area. She was the one who suggested the Berenge sector in the first place."

    Ro sat up, suddenly interested. "She did? Have you been poking through my currents, Lourna?"

    "Not at all. It was the Path I asked you for in the aftermath of Valo. Or have you forgotten?"

    Lourna's words were nearly a direct challenge to Ro, and everyone in the room heard it. A collective breath was held, and everyone adjusted slightly as they waited to see whether Ro would take her words as a threat or not. The Nihil were always ready for a fight, but with their dwindling numbers Nan worried that a full-out brawl was unwise.

    If there was a fight, Nan knew exactly where she was aiming. As though Krix heard her thoughts, his eyes met hers across the dim room, and Nan showed the boy her teeth.

    But Ro merely smiled, flashing his own jagged teeth at Lourna before settling back into his chair. "And why should I give you my savant? Where is the benefit?"

    Lourna sat up and gave Ro a sly look. "Where do you think I got the coaxium? The weapon is already a success, but is imprecise. Better mapping, along with better intelligence, would mean more profitable hauls. And the weapon could be most powerful in an offensive the next time the Republic comes calling. After all, it would be disastrous if we were taken unaware again like Pan was on Cyclor."

    Marchion Ro's nails dug into the arm of his chair, shredding the metal. The reminder of their defeat on Grizal was a risky subject for Lourna to bring up. So many Nihil had been lost, and their scattered forces had been on the run ever since.

    "Eye, I can see that I have displeased you," Lourna said to Marchion Ro with an incline of her head, her challenge melting away into obeisance. "I only meant to indicate that your impending travels will render the Paths useless to you in the interim. With the help of your savant, we could better prepare the weapon so that it will be ready after your travels."

    Ro stared at Lourna Dee, and there was a long moment when Nan's heart pounded. She did a mental calculation of the knives she wore and the location of Lourna's faithful in the hall. Just in case. She liked to be ready when the killing started.

    But the Eye did not stand in challenge. Instead he laughed heartily. "Yes, yes, of course. Perhaps I should have you bring your mysterious scientist to the Gaze Electric instead of giving you my savant."

    Anyone who had not studied Lourna Dee would have missed her surprised blink, but Nan saw it. Just as she saw the way Lourna stretched and sighed, her languorous movements drawing the eyes of any number of people in the hall as she settled back into her chair. "Eye, you know how academics are. If I bring you my scientist she will be unsettled for weeks, and then the final adjustments to the weapon will never be made. But, as always, I am at your disposal. As faithful as I have always been."

    Marchion Ro smiled, and this time it was genuine. Nan relaxed. Her lord was amused, which meant that he found something Lourna said funny. Nan wished she knew what it was. "I see. It's all starting to make perfect sense. You can borrow the savant. I have no use for her on my undertaking. But she isn't going alone. Nan!"

    Nan startled and ran over to kneel near Marchion Ro. "Lord Ro, I am at your command."

    "You will accompany my savant to Lourna's Gravity's Heart. Safeguard my prize with your life."

    Nan's heart pounded in her ears, and she fought to hide her disappointment as she stood. She'd seen the savant once, a frail human woman who looked like she'd died thrice over. Everyone knew the woman had been alive as long as there had been Nihil. She was ancient. What if the old woman perished from a heart attack while Nan was supposed to be caring for her? There was no mistaking what Ro meant by Nan putting her life behind guarding the old woman.

    If the crone died, so would she. This wasn't a task; it was a death sentence. What had she done to earn the Eye's ire? Where had she failed?

    Not a flicker of her distress made its way to Nan's face. Instead, she bent over at the waist in one last show of respect.

    "I am honored to have this duty, Lord Ro."

    "Indeed," Marchion Ro said, his gaze not on her but on Lourna. "Go to the labs and find the doctor. Tell him to prepare the savant for travel. He will accompany you."

    Nan gave a short nod. "For the Storm!"

    Nan turned on her heel and left. But not before she saw Krix grinning at her evilly from across the way.

    She decided that maybe she would kill the boy after all.

    Not today, but soon.

    From this Comic-Con panel (specifically @13:09-14:19), it sounds like the two competitors are...
    the Graf family and the San Tekka clan. If so, congrats to everyone above who guessed the San Tekka clan!
    MercenaryAce likes this.
  25. MercenaryAce

    MercenaryAce Force Ghost star 5

    Aug 10, 2005
    Fascinating stuff. Love seeing Nan and Krix interacting while a discussion is being held over the events of the last main book. Really bringing everything together.