Jedi Apprentice: The Defenders of the Dead

December 19, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

deadJedi Apprentice: The Defenders of the Dead by Jude Watson

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Book four in the Jedi Apprentice series isn’t playing around. The stakes here are high, and the events are unexpected. Qui-Gon and Obi Wan are on a new planet, Melida/Daan, so named because two factions have been at war with one another for centuries, and can’t agree on the planet’s name. The two Jedi are there to rescue another Jedi who has been captured by one of the factions, but while there, Obi Wan falls under the spell of the Young, a third faction made up of the children of the other two factions who want to bring about the end of the eternal war.

Like the previous books in the series, The Defenders of the Dead takes on a hefty theme for a juvenile novel, this time the effects of war on a culture. Watson doesn’t glamorize war, but instead shows us the tragedy that befalls family, and how holding on to a grudge can cause so much pain. The Young are depicted as the heroes of the story, but even then, their methods are questionable, enough so as to drive a wedge between Obi Wan and Qui-Gon. By the end of the book, we see how severe that wedge is and how much it divides the two Jedi.

Also like previous books in the series, this novel sets us up for another book which will follow immediately after these events. The story arcs aren’t necessarily complex, but they rely enough on earlier events and future stories that they’re reminiscent of how Gravity Falls accomplishes the same thing. With The Defenders of the Dead, though, this is the first incident where the two books (or more?) serve as a single story broken down over multiple volumes.

So far, this has been the best book of the bunch for me. The emotion in the story is sincere, and the tension palpable. Some of the motivations of the characters (specifically Qui-Gon and Obi Wan) are questionable, but only once you’ve finished reading the story. Chances are, you’ll be too caught up in the events to think too much on whether or not the characters are acting as you would expect them to.

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