Corran Horn's wife Mirax wants to start a family with him; he agrees, but only when his current assignment [destruction of the "Invids", a pirate organisation] has been completed. As the Invids have managed to evade Rogue Squadron's traps, Mirax decides to go undercover - and ends up missing.
Corran is the only person who can rescue her, but first he joins Luke's Jedi Academy to harness his jedi skills. This section of the book merely tells the events of Jedi Academy Trilogy [JA3] from a different perspective.
Horn goes to Correllia, his homeworld, and meets his foster-Grandfather. Grandpa Horn is Eliot from "Brotherhood of the Rose" - an all-powerful manipulator and blackmailer, who passes himself off as a doddering old fool with a flower fixation. Eliot gives Corran a fake identity, that of a small-time crook called Jenos Idanian - who, unbeknownst to the Horns but knownst to those who have read Ann C. Crispin's "Young Han Solo" trilogy, was once, you've guessed it, Han "the man" Solo himself.
As an interesting note, take a look at the name "Jenos Idanian" again. It's an anagram.
Don't worry, I didn't get it the first time either.
Anyway, "Jenos" embarks on his quest, and goes undercover among the pirates.
Lolita makes an appearance, as the Dala-esque Imp Admiral who is the greatest thorn in the side of the New Republic - yet another attempt to put "Jedi Academy Trilogy" into perspective.
The climax introduces a group of Anti-Jedi, which gives Corran the opportunity to give his Force powers the ultimate test, and earn the right to call himself a Jedi!
This book is the climax of Stackpole's Corran Horn Story Arc.
Certain underlying themes are noticeable in the book, and it is entirely plausible that Stackpole set out to deliberately "correct" the "damage" done by JA3. An obvious example is the Mara-Lando relationship. Originally KJA set out to pair them off in JA3, as Lucasfilm insisted Luke could have no long-term love interest. KJA corrected this in Darksaber, when he had Mara explain she never had any relationship with Lando. Here, Stackpole reiterates that - but during the time period during which the "relationship" was meant to have taken place.
Another insipid JA3 romance that Stackpole attacks is that of Wedge Antilles [Corran Horn's commander] and Qwi Xux [pronounced "kwee sucks"], a boring and character-less near-human scientist. Horn warns his boss not to get involved; the fans heartily agree with such a sentiment!
The third part of JA3 that gets a subtle nod is Admiral Dala, who KJA had threatening the entire New Republic armed only with 3 Star Destroyers. Stackpole intrduces Admiral Talvira, a hot-tempered aggressive young woman who slept with the most high-ranking Imperial whose eye she caught, and ended up in charge of a small fleet. Talvira only has one Star Destroyer, but she has alliances with a number of other pirate groups, and attacks the New republic from her secret hidden bases while avoiding the traps they lay for her.
Rating: 70 %
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