It’s finally here. After months of waiting, Cavan Scott’s highly anticipated Star Wars The High Republic: The Rising Storm is finally here. The next installment in The High Republic picks up after the calamity known as The Great Disaster. The Republic has settled and the Nihil have retreated. All is going too well while the Galaxy prepares for The Republic Fare. But in the shadows, Marchion Ro and his Nihil wait for the perfect opportunity to unleash their new-found power.
I was lucky enough to received a copy just before it was officially released- I spent five minutes parading it around my room simply too excited to read it. So I just admired it for a while before opening to the first page and before I knew it… I had blasted off into hyperspace and was nearing the end. I can’t wait for people to experience The Rising Storm. In terms of books, Star Wars has been doing a fantastic job at introducing new elements and adding to the vast mythos and The High Republic is an event unlike any other. The Rising Storm proves that and it does not hold back.
Not only is it a worthy addition to the Star Wars universe, but it’s also an excellent sequel. I absolutely loved Light of the Jedi but I was not expecting The Rising Storm to shake things up so quickly and aggressively. If you thought The Great Disaster was bad… Just you wait. It incorporates everything that was great about Light of the Jedi but gives the reader and entirely different experience . Action, romance, space battles, shocks and twists. Like the Jedi, I was truly unprepared for the carnage that the Nihil had in store
The Rising Storm written by Cavan Scott
What’s really interesting about The Rising Storm is its overall approach. Light of the Jedi threw us immediately into the action with a bombardment of intense and rapid chapters that detailed the destruction of the Great Disaster as well as the immediate response. The Rising Storm, on the other hand, takes its time. Not in a bad way, of course. But there is this gradual build up. There is quite literally a “rising storm”. What this does is actually allow us more breathing room in regards to some of the characters. We get to see the various Jedi assume different roles. Elzar Mann, Stellan Gios and Bell Zettifar are all doing their own thing so we’re able to really explore them as characters without the stress of the galaxy crumbling at the seams.
While the stakes are certainly high throughtout the entire book, it was incredibly refreshing to take a more emotional route at the start. That’s not to say that Light of the Jedi lacked any form of emotion, but the characters are given more time to prosper in the temporary harmony and that leads to some interesting developments, particularly when it comes to the Jedi code that we all know.
As a reader, we’re gifted with a more empathetic journey where we can really understand how the Great Disaster impacted particular characters and the fact that being a Jedi comes with many different obstacles not just in terms of skill but also in regards to personal desires. We’ve had some fantastic romances throughout the Star Wars universe, but Cavan Scott takes a more playful approach with some really innocent and sweet teasing that reminds us that the Jedi are… still people.
I also found myself reminiscing. Anakin and Obi-Wan had a fantastic bond that went beyond Master and Apprentice and that’s what I really loved about The Rising Storm. Elzar and Stellan have a lovely relationship that allows them to be stern, fun and childish. It really echoed and, to an extent, mimicked that relationship many of us adored from the prequels and The Clone Wars. They may have different ways of harnessing and interpreting the Force, but their teachings and styles never stop them from being friends. Unfortunately, if you remember the ending of Light of the Jedi you’ll know that Elzar had a vision. That haunting image of his friends dying while the Galaxy screams weighs him down significantly and it plays a big part in shaping Elzar’s bonds as well as his very essence.
The unity that runs through all of the Jedi provides a nice juxtopostion when following the book’s antagonist and his Nihil. Marchion Roh and his elite force are among the most captiviating villains in Star Wars. Their hierachy is utterly intriguing but what really makes them stand out is the tense dynamic between Ro and his lieutenants- or Tempest Runner. Much like the Sith, the Nihil are constantly at war with eachother whether it’s fighting among themselves or plotting against the Eye. Of course, Marchion has his own agenda that is kept very much underwraps.
After the gradual build up towards the Nihil’s inevitable attack, it’s pretty much non-stop action until the end. Scott has a brilliant way of writing action that makes it appear spectacular and grand. There’s a cinematic feel to it. The words come alive and you’re transported to the battlefield fighting alongside the Jedi. Compared to Light of the Jedi, the action is a lot heavier but despite the scale being smaller than the prospect of world-killing projectiles, the peril and danger feels just the same. That is Marchion Ro.
The only real drawback is that I still feel as though I’m in the transitional period where I’m adjusting to new characters and familiarising myself with the new lore. The Rising Storm adds quite a few more characters which made that a bit more of a challenge. However, we did get to meet Ty Yorrick, the mercenary Jedi, who is one of the coolest additions to the Universe. Apart from that small hurdle, readers can expect an epic, immensely satisfying and emotional ride that promises a lot more for the future. There are quite a few teases that allude to Ro’s grand scheme as well as additional stories transpiring elsewhere, but those extra teases never overtly interfere with the main story. As Star Wars fans, we certainly have a lot to look forward to.
Are you excited to read The Rising Storm? Let us know in the comments. The High Republic: The Rising Storm is now available so what are you waiting for? The hardback edition will cost £20 and you can order it from Waterstones and other retailers now. You won’t want to miss it.
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