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Book Review

Book Cover

Star Wars
Knight Errant


Author: John Jackson Miller
RRP: £7.99, US $7.99
ISBN: 978 0 099 56245 0
Available 17 February 2011

Following a disastrous foray into Sith space, which saw the destruction of her companions, Kerra Holt finds herself alone, with no easy way back to Republican space. Arrayed against her is a pantheon of formidable Sith Lords: Lord Daiman who believes himself to be the creator of the universe, and his brother Lord Odion, who seems intent on destroying it. Behind the scenes other forces are at play, as Kerra makes a bid to eliminate Daiman once and for all...

Star Wars: Knight Errant is a new novel by John Jackson Miller, set many hundreds of years before the start of the Star Wars film franchise. The book also includes a special, full colour excerpt from the concurrent Dark Horse comic.

At three hundred and seventy-two pages, there was lots of room for exposition and exploration of this new universe and its characters; however this is not how the novel feels. The narrative feels more like a collection of incidences strung together. We have Kerra’s initial plan to attack Daiman, which inevitable leads to an action sequence, the story moves to its next phase, which gives us another action sequence and so on. The logical foundation of some of Kerra’s behaviour required a bit more explanation than was provided.

It reminded me very much of the episodic writing which is produced for comics and as Miller is writing the new comic for Dark Horse, probably this should not be a surprise.

The problem with this approach is that the novel misses significant opportunities to examine its characters and geosocial background. I’m not sure that I knew that much more about Kerra and the world she inhabited, apart from surface details, at the close of the book, than I did at its start, except some worrying traits regarding revenge and anger, which is not normally associated with Jedi. The book also demonstrated a lack of real novel imagery; Arkadia could have been a stand-in for the White Witch of Narnia, whereas Rusher is so similar to Solo that there is a specific passage detailing who he is not.

Don’t get me wrong, the book is written well, but the episodic nature of the action and the lack of overall depth to the characters made the story feel a bit like a missed opportunity, but perhaps I’m being too critical as this is designed as entertainment.

For action fans there is much to enjoy as Miller has a good visual sense of an action sequence. I would have like to have seen more varied environments; here we have an ice planet and a volcanic wasteland, both of which have already been depicted in the films.

So the novel does well on narration and description, but fares less well in the areas of argumentation and exposition.


Charles Packer

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