Missed a post? Catch up on The Year of Kenobi here.
Seemingly no worse for wear after his experience on Kegan, Obi-Wan and his master Qui-Gon are headed to the world of Rutan at the behest of their King. The leaders of Rutan and Senali have the habit of sending their eldest children to the other planet to spend their formative years. The hope is that the two worlds can avoid war, but the plan works a little too well. Leed, heir to the throne of Rutan has zero intention of returning home.
Convinced his son is being held there under duress, the king sends the Jedi to investigate, along with his younger son Taroon. On Senali they find that Leed is perfectly happy to stay where he is, feeling at home at last. They also meet Drenna, niece to the leader of Senali whom Leed sees as a sister and Taroon sees as an annoyance, and then possibly through less hostile eyes.
Thoughts and Impressions
The overall message of the book, celebrating differences and allowing young people to find their own paths as they gain more responsibility might seem a tad on the nose to someone in her 30s like me, but it’s never a bad time for younger readers to get the lesson.
We also see that Obi-Wan is not quite over his experience on Melida/Daan. It’s not so much the loss of his friend, but more the nagging conviction that returning to the Jedi Order was the right thing to do, and yet staying on to help the young with their rebellion wasn’t wrong either. He spends the book contemplating his warring sense of duty, only for Qui-Gon to tell him that these things have no simple answer, much like Leed’s desire to be happy on Senali versus his duty to his father and people on Rutan are neither of them wrong.
While Qui-Gon’s role is mostly relegated to mediator while Obi-Wan figures himself out, we do get a delightfully unexpected moment when Obi-Wan believes Taroon and Dreena to be too at odds to ever get along, and Qui-Gon gently points out that the animosity might be masking an attraction between them. Enemies to lovers in my Star Wars? Love to see it.
It’s hard to guess at a future direction for the series since this one felt like such a one-off. I’m hoping Siri Tachi comes back though. I assume she will, since she was prominent enough to get a name drop in Mike Chen’s Brotherhood.
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