Jedi Apprentice: The Ties That Bind

February 10, 2017 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , )

tiesJedi Apprentice: The Ties That Bind by Jude Watson

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The Ties That Bind starts another trilogy within the Jedi Apprentice series, which returns Qui-Gon and Tahl, and old friend of Qui-Gon’s who has featured in a handful of books in the series so far, to Apsolon, a planet they helped free from tyranny six years before. The new leader has been killed, and his daughters have requested they return because they don’t feel safe. The ties that bind Tahl to the planet force her to return, and Qui-Gon follows, based on a vision he has concerning Tahl.

(Spoilers ahead.)

Watson has written some great books in this series so far, but as I come to the end of it, I feel she’s losing focus. The characters start to act as they need to for the story instead of acting as they should, and she plays loose with the Jedi tenets in this book. At the end of the book, Qui-Gon and Tahl confess their love to one another (though, curiously, Watson never uses the word “love” in the scene) and effectively get married. This makes sense for their characters (seriously, was there anyone who read the series who didn’t get that these two were going to reach this point?), but it doesn’t make sense for Jedi never forming attachments. At least with the prequel trilogy, there’s a lot of angst surrounding Anakin’s love (or, you know, whatever it was he was feeling) for Padmé, but here, the two of them make their confessions and move on like it’s no big deal. I get the feeling Watson is leading us to the point where we see why the Jedi eschew attachments, but if these two Masters are as well-trained as they seem to be, why would they further their relationship?

In addition, I don’t understand why Watson feels the need to further their relationship. They’re already close, and the affection they feel for each other comes through the stories, so when she winds up being kidnapped at the end of the book, he would have gone after her anyway. There’s no need for her to suddenly become his betrothed, unless she’s setting her up to be the girlfriend in the refrigerator to further Qui-Gon’s own character development. Considering that the next book in the series is titled The Death of Hope, and the one following The Call to Vengeance, I get the feeling she is, which is a shame. Tahl has been an independent, strong, layered character all on her own, and Watson is doing her a disservice by taking her down this road. I think it’s inevitable, though, and to paraphrase just about ever Star Wars character ever, “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”

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