[Spoiler-Free Review] I will fully admit – When I first learned that the new era of Star Wars storytelling would focus on The High Republic, I was skeptical. The golden age of the Republic hardly seemed like it would wield the same gravitas as the other eras we’ve come to know and love… And then came Charles Soule’s novel Light of the Jedi. Although a bit frenzied at times, the novel provided an intriguing and exciting introduction into the High Republic. Cavan Scott’s follow-up, The Rising Storm, however, truly makes this new era of Star Wars compelling.

Light of the Jedi; The High Republic; Star Wars; The Rising Storm
Supreme Chancellor Lina Soh prepares for The Republic Fair with her trusted pets. (Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.)

The second novel in the series picks up where the first left off. The Great Hyperspace Disaster has passed and the Nihil seemingly gone back to the shadows. Republic Chancellor Lina Soh delivers a welcoming message of unity throughout the galaxy in advance of The Republic Fair. Like the great World’s Fairs of our time, the Republic Fair is meant to showcase all that the Republic has to offer. It is a time of celebration… Until The Rising Storm obliterates the notion of peace.

The High Republic: The Rising Storm – stoked by action and heartbreak

From the publisher:

“…[A]s the eyes of the galaxy turn to the fair, so too does the fury of the Nihil. Their leader, Marchion Ro, is intent on destroying this unity. His storm descends on the pageantry and celebration, sowing chaos and exacting revenge. As the Jedi struggle to curb the carnage of the rampaging Nihil, they come face-to-face with the true fear their enemy plans to unleash across the galaxy – the kind of fear from which even the Force cannot shield them.”

Star Wars; The High republic; The Rising Storm
Image: Lucasfilm Ltd./Del Rey

The Rising Storm mimics the frenetic pace of Light of the Jedi in many respects, but the effect is wholly different in this case. This time the pace truly establishes the confusion, fear and emotion we’re meant to feel during the Nihil attack. Likewise, this Star Wars novel dives even deeper into the emotional states of some key characters. The empathy that Scott invokes is palpable. We can relate to the struggles of Bell Zettifar and Elzar Mann, especially, on a very real level. Likewise, we recoil in disgust as we learn more of Marchion Ro’s true cruelty and depravity.   

The High Republic: an exciting era of Star Wars

Marchion Ro shows his hand in the novel’s final chapters. For the Jedi, the cards he holds are truly terrifying. With its cliffhanger ending, The Rising Storm sets up what should be a heart-stopping conflict between the Nihil and the Jedi. All in all, this new era of Star Wars seems that it will hold my attention far better than I had originally anticipated, thanks to Cavan Scott.

Star Wars: The High Republic ~ The Rising Storm arrives June 29th. You can preorder it now from any number of retailers, links to which you can find HERE.