#StarWars Jedi Trial Clone Wars Novel Mini Review

Jedi Trial tells the story of the mission that finally grants Anakin the position of full-fledged Jedi Knight. 

Whilst Obi-Wan is off in the galaxy on other missions, Anakin is appointed to assist Jedi Master Nejaa Halcyon as he takes what limited resources are available in this time of war to go and defend the planet of Praesitlyn.
The planet is home to the key republic intergalactic communications center and is under attack by an excellently portrayed villain and minion of Count Dooku, Poors Tonith - a ruthless and calculating ex-banking clan turned military commander Muun with a love of a narcotic tea that leaves a black stain over his mouth and makes him seem all the more evil... 

Currently, the planet's only defense is a rebel faction, led by Commander Zozrider Slayke, who puts me in mind a little of Saw Gerrera from the Rogue One film as a battered and bruised militant, who Halcyon must begrudgingly assist - Slayke had once stolen a starship under the command of Halcyon out from under his very nose... The Jedi, with the help of clones, clone commandos, pilots, arc troopers and a battle hungry Rodian, must employ a variety of tactics to defend as best they can the communications center and the hostages within.

I found this entry in the Clone Wars novels to be a good page turner, but not without it faults. So far, many of the stories have focused on the deceit, corruption and the dark, political underworld of the Star Wars universe in the decent to the dark side. Jedi Trial is pretty much a war story, that just happens to be set in the Star Wars universe. Many of the events are written around the varying deployment of military tactics, and how 2 steps forward can often lead to 3 steps backward when something doesn't go according to the strategy, as is so often the case in Jedi Trial. At one point, Tonith is able to relay orders on behalf of Halcyon and things go very much awry as the armies unquestioningly follow their orders.

I also like the mix of characters, and I enjoyed the relationships that develop throughout, especially between Anakin and Halcyon who actually have a lot in common. That being said, a lot of the time I felt this to be very rushed and I feel could have been fleshed out a lot, especially between Anakin and Grudo the Rodian. At one point he didn't seem to have done much apart from be there with Anakin, then all of a sudden they seem to profess a mutual love for one another? This confused me slightly, and as the characters are actually all really likable and well described, I would definitely have liked a longer book to accommodate proper development of these relationships. 

However, as I said before, this definitely feels like a war story, and the battles are all suitably chaotic and exciting; peril laden and adrenaline pumping. Anakin takes control beautifully, and the struggles he faces as the force flows through him remind you that he's younger than his capability for command would suggest, and that he's always battling between the dark and the light. 

So, whilst not perfect I did find this exciting. It's also fairly short with quick chapters so if you're a Star Wars fan, especially of the Clone Wars; or like good, exciting military stories, then Jedi Trial is worth a punt. There are better Star Wars books, but definitely worse ones, too. 

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