This review was originally posted on The Geeky Waffle. It has been reposted here with permission.
Hearing that Zoraida Córdova was going to be writing for The High Republic, one of my absolute favourite ongoing series, was an exciting prospect. Not only because of the stories she’s previously told in the Star Wars universe, but because as a fan of her work generally, I was excited to see how the larger political/historical framing of the era would fit together with the kind of character- and emotion-driven stories she usually tells.
Needless to say her novel Convergence, the first adult-geared novel in Phase II, did not disappoint in any respect. It was exactly what I could have hoped for and then some.
The story is centered around the worlds of Eiran and E’ronoh who have been at war for five years, and naturally everyone involved is suffering for it. When a relief shipment delivered by the Jedi coincides with an escalation in tensions, E’ronoh’s princess Xiri and Eiran’s prince Phan-tu decide they should get married, and begin a goodwill mission to convince their people of the ceasefire and to garner their support for the union.
Along for the ride are Jedi Knight Galla Nattai, who is attempting to keep the two safe from the dangerous factions that would see one or both of them dead, and the space rake himself Axel Greylark, son of one of the Republic’s chancellors, who has reasons both above- and below-board for coming along on the trip.
Convergence has all the hallmarks of what makes The High Republic so great, with that interconnected story we love to see, and elements of other stories popping in to round out the mystery and intrigue. But what really, really makes this book soar are the core cast of characters.
Xiri and Phan-tu were such a surprise, because the official description of the book made me think the two of them would be background characters, secondary to the concerns of the Jedi and the Republic. Don’t ask me why. I should have known Córdova would never do that to us.
A marriage of convenience? In my Star Wars? Between two people just trying to do their best? I’m all in.
Galla Nattai is yet another reason why The High Republic is such a fascinating study in the Jedi. She is dedicated to the Force, and feels it keenly as a part of herself, and is particularly attuned to the feelings of those around her. She has a curiosity and a desire to learn that she never apologizes for, and indeed never lets it hold her back. She feels both like the purest expression of what it means to be a Jedi, and so grounded in the reality and messiness that is life, that she stands wholly apart in her own way.
And then of course we have our space rake Axel Greylark. A Chacellor’s son with just enough damage/I-can-fix-him-ness mixed with just enough redeemability and angst that he is going to steal the hearts of readers everywhere. Every era of Star Wars just gifts me with a broody, angry, dark-haired boy to root for, and Phase II is no exception.
I sound like a broken record at this point, but if you’re not reading The High Republic, you are genuinely missing out. More to the point, if you are a romance reader, who is in any way interested in Star Wars, then this book more than any other is for you. The characters and tropes hit that sweet spot just so, and will have you anxiously awaiting the next book (is it spring yet?)
Convergence hits shelves on November 15, 2022. Special thank you to Del Rey for the advance copy for review purposes.