The Year of Kenobi: Jedi Apprentice #14: The Ties That Bind

Missed a post? Catch up on The Year of Kenobi here.

The Story

Time jumping ahead from the end of the last one – for which I am marginally relieved – we find 16 year old Obi-Wan now comfortable in his apprenticeship with Qui-Gon. So naturally he’s about to get thrown for a loop.

Qui-Gon has visions of his friend Tahl in distress, and discovers she is heading back to the world of Apsolon, where she and Qui-Gon oversaw the transfer of power from the hands of an elite minority to a more democratic system. Though initially she heads out on the mission alone, weeks of no contact make Qui-Gon restless, and he and Obi-Wan head out to check on her.

When they arrive, they find a world ostensibly at peace, but with a lot of turmoil simmering just beneath the surface. The ruler is dead, and his daughters are being looked after by an uncle, but everyone’s motives are suspect. Not to mention Tahl has managed to infiltrate the remaining cell of elites, known as the Absolutes, with the intention of stopping their rise to power.

Thoughts and Impressions

Ok. So.

I am all for the political intrigue. The concept of the ruling elite wanting to strip democratic rights from “less desirable” citizens is unfortunately just as relevant today as it likely was in 2001. But as interesting as the mystery behind the political unrest is, that is far from the highlight of the book.

No, the highlight of the book is 100% Qui-Gon and Tahl realizing their friendship is maybe more than just friendship. So much so that they pledge their hearts to each other before separating for the mission towards the end.

Angsty longing between adult Jedi?? In a book aimed at 10 year olds?? I was not expecting this and yet it has taken over my entire brain. The way Qui-Gon was driven by this pull he feels for Tahl without really realizing why it is he feels the pull.

Also, the surprisingly thoughtful way they approach things, knowing they can’t really ever have a life together per se, but vowing to still matter more to one another, and to be together in every way they can despite their jobs not permitting it.

What on Earth could possibly go wrong?

What do you mean the book ends with Tahl going missing?

What’s Next?

To quote every Star Wars ever: I have a bad feeling about this.


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