As the Rebellion gathers force, Prince Xizor proposes a cunning plan to the Emperor and Darth Vader: smash the power of the Bounty Hunters Guild by turning its members against each other. Only the strongest and most ruthless will survive, and they can be used against the Rebellion. It’s a job for the fiercely independent Boba Fett, who jumps at the chance to destroy his rivals. But Fett soon realizes the game is rigged, as he finds himself the target of murderous factions, criminal conspiracies, and the evil at the Empire’s dark heart. Boba Fett has always finished first. And in this game, anything less is death.
This is the first book in a three part series that helps fill in the backgrounds of Boba Fett and the Bounty Hunters Guild. It starts just after the events in Jedi, when Boba Fett has escaped from the Sarlacc, and continues beyond that point. There is judicious use of flashbacks and narrative which allow us to see into the psyche of the famous bounty hunter.
The story captures the imagination as it spans years of manipulation of the guild by both the infamous Prince Xizor and Emperor Palpatine. It covers a period of instability in both the Empire and The Guild, and the fight between the many underworld factions for control of the guilds destiny. Filled with a myriad of background information, I suspect it will form the blueprint for many future novels. Roleplayers will especially find it useful due to the sheer possibilities for character expansion that it opens up.
This book is not a classic, but it is very readable and has you hooked from the beginning to the end. Bearing this in mind, and also remembering that this book forms a part of the new Star Wars chronology, then readers are really going to enjoy the ending. It leaves you on a splendid cliff-hanger in preparation for the next book. A thoroughly good read!
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