[SPOILER-FREE REVIEW] Yrica Quell. Nath Tensent. Chass na Chadic. Wyl Lark. Kairos. Together they embody a rag-tag bunch of reluctant heroes of the New Republic. Individually, however, they represent so much more. That’s never more on display than it is in Victory’s Price, the exciting conclusion to Alexander Freed’s Alphabet Squadron trilogy of novels. Victory does indeed come at a price… The price each character pays in the series finale assaults the reader with a barrage of conflicting emotions, leaving you spent when you turn the final page. And that, my friends, is why Alexander Freed has become such an amazing cog in the Star Wars storytelling machine.

Victory's Price; Alphabet Squadron; star wars
Image: Del Rey Books

The story picks up after a short time jump from the end of Shadow Fall, the second novel in the series. Alphabet Squadron has lost its leader in the wake of Yrica Quell’s big reveal – her participation in Operation Cinder. She’s returned to the 204th Fighter Wing, Shadow Wing, of the Imperial Navy. But to what end? Victory’s Price answers that question, and many others, as the series comes to a more than satisfying conclusion.

Victory’s Price and its cost to Alphabet Squadron

Alphabet Squadron
Image: Del Rey Books

Freed once again delivers a story perfectly balanced with action and emotion. Too often Star Wars character arcs seemed forced or lacking, but not here. Yrica Quell’s internal conflict just feels real as she struggles to find her place in the ever-changing aftermath of the Empire’s fall. Wyl Lark battles his own moral dilemma, as well. Should he stay with the Republic, and continuing being an instrument of war? Or is it finally time to return to Home? In Victory’s Price, we see just how badly the seemingly never-ending war affects each member of Alphabet Squadron. Freed allows us, almost compels us, to empathize with each character as the series comes to a conclusion.

What’s even better is that it’s not just the members of Alphabet Squadron whose personal journeys we see unfold in Victory’s Price. Shadow Wing’s commander, now Colonel Soran Keize, is perhaps one of the most complex characters of the entire series. In him we see a man trying to maintain a delicate balance of loyalty and duty…. Whether he ultimately succeeds, well, you’ll just have to read the book.

Image: Del Rey Books

All in all I’d consider the Alphabet Squadron series as a whole one of the best entries in the Disney era of Star Wars canon. It’s both rich in character and content, allowing the reader to truly relate, sympathize, understand, appreciate, and in some cases even pity these characters we’ve come to know across the series’ pages. Victory’s Price lives up to its title, reminding us that there really is no true winner in war.

Victory’s  Price: An Alphabet Squadron Novel from Del Rey goes on sale March 2. Stay tuned here for a more in-depth analysis then.