Biweekly Book Review: Convergence

Zoraida Cordóva, romance writer extraordinaire, giving us a High Republic novel? Yes please. When there’s a promise of a by-the-book Jedi and a space rake who’s too handsome and morally grey for his own good, I feel like she is uniquely qualified to deliver on this. And wow was I right. Let’s dive in to Convergence by Zoraida Cordóva.

The Story

The worlds of Eiran and E’ronoh are at war, and their people are suffering. While the conflict itself is theirs to deal with, the Republic delivers relief shipments when needed. A sabotaged delivery results in Xiri, a military leader and princess of E’ronoh, crash-landing on Eiran, and being pulled from the sea by Eiran’s prince Phan-tu. Though people are out to kill them both, the two of them decide that the best way to ensure a lasting peace is an old tradition where the heirs of the two planets marry.

Marriage of convenience? Check.

Along on the adventure are the Jedi, specifically Jedi Knight Galla Nattai, who intensely feels her connection to the Force, but doesn’t quite know what it means to her specifically. She spends the mission trying to feel out what her connection actually is and what it means to her, while also having to intensely defend the Jedi and their way of life from skeptical space rake Axel Greylark, whose blasé attitude masks an old pain and a growing crush on Galla.

Enemies to lovers? Check. I knew Zoraida wouldn’t let us down.

My Impressions

Every bit of the concept art for this — brooding bad boy Axel Greylark most specifically — was designed to appeal to me. And appeal it certainly did. I understand this is a Star Wars book and must still fit the sci-fi genre before all others. But to lean this hard into so many romantic tropes all at once, for two different couples? It’s one of those things I had hoped for, but didn’t really expect.

Galla, Axel, Xiri and Phan-tu all have a degree of pain all their own, which they manage to repress (or not) to varying degrees of success, which makes for an interesting character study throughout. Xiri and Phan-tu are traumatized by five years of war, and years of politicking before that, and in choosing to marry, embrace taking that step towards living their lives on their own terms, with a brand-new partnership and a love built on a foundation of trust and respect. I hope those crazy kids make it work, they were really sweet.

Axel…oh Axel. A broody bad boy with damage and anger, and just enough disillusionment that he falls in with the Path of the Open Hand, only to reconsider things when he meets a pretty girl and wants to change his ways. I am sorry to be so fucking predictable, but here I am again, ready to clown for this very specific (dare I say reylo-esque) dynamic. His changes of heart are exactly what I love in a reformed bad boy.

There is also a quiet hair-braiding scene, where Axel helps Galla fix her hair, and can I just say that if I didn’t know Zoraida Cordóva wrote romance, the tension in that moment alone would make me go look it up.

As far as Galla goes, she is the one I am most curious to see where she goes. She is eager to learn and loves her connection with the Force, but has enough questions about the order as a whole that she ends the book deciding to be a Wayseeker. The potential of this is fascinating, because we’ve had Wayseeker Jedi before, but usually only see them when they get involved with the Order’s business. What will it be like to follow her on her Wayseeking journey? Will we realize that she was the embodiment of what it means to be a good Jedi all along? Because honestly, of all the characters we’ve had in The High Republic, and arguably Star Wars, so far, she seems to have the best concept of what balance looks like.

Random Thoughts

A quick reference to some trouble on the world of Melida/Daan had me clutching my face in a very Jedi Apprentice fangirl kind of way. Apparently all of my faves need to be traumatized on the eternally warring world at some point in their life.

I also found the reference especially interesting because the conflict between Eiram and E’ronoh reminded me a lot of Melida/Daan, with its two factions locked in a war so long-standing and destructive that no one can remember why they’re even fighting anymore.


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