The 25 Best Star Wars Books (From Both Legends & Canon)

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While it’s possible to argue for hours over which of the Star Wars movies is the best, there’s at least one argument in the fandom that’s potentially even more contentious:

Deciding which novels constitute the best Star Wars books.

Image via StarWars.com

After all, there are only nine films in the Skywalker saga, plus two standalone anthologies so far (and no, I’m not counting the Christmas special, thank you very much).

And after the original trilogy, those 11 movies have varied wildly in quality.

But between the official (now Disney-owned) canon and the Legends series, there are dozens and dozens of great Star Wars books in print, and the quality difference between the top titles is much subtler and more subjective than the quality gap between the movies.

To help you suss out the ones most worth reading, in this post I’ve rounded up the 25 best Star Wars books from both canon and Legends.

In addition to providing the official synopsis of each book, I’ve also provided their aggregate ratings on Amazon, so you can get a sense of which Star Wars novels our fellow fans value most.

Let the reading (and let’s just be the honest – the arguing) begin!

The Best Star Wars Novels

Breaking Down the Absolute Best Star Wars Books to Read

The Best Canon Star Wars Books ↓

Aftermath

By Chuck Wendig

Star Wars Aftermath Cover

4.6 Stars on Amazon*
Official Synopsis:

As the Empire reels from its critical defeats at the Battle of Endor, the Rebel Alliance—now a fledgling New Republic—presses its advantage by hunting down the enemy’s scattered forces before they can regroup and retaliate.

But above the remote planet Akiva, an ominous show of the enemy’s strength is unfolding.

Out on a lone reconnaissance mission, pilot Wedge Antilles watches Imperial Star Destroyers gather like birds of prey circling for a kill, but he’s taken captive before he can report back to the New Republic leaders.

Meanwhile, on the planet’s surface, former rebel fighter Norra Wexley has returned to her native world—war weary, ready to reunite with her estranged son, and eager to build a new life in some distant place.

But when Norra intercepts Wedge Antilles’s urgent distress call, she realizes her time as a freedom fighter is not yet over. What she doesn’t know is just how close the enemy is—or how decisive and dangerous her new mission will be.

Determined to preserve the Empire’s power, the surviving Imperial elite are converging on Akiva for a top-secret emergency summit—to consolidate their forces and rally for a counterstrike.

But they haven’t reckoned on Norra and her newfound allies—her technical-genius son, a Zabrak bounty hunter, and a reprobate Imperial defector—who are prepared to do whatever they must to end the Empire’s oppressive reign once and for all.

*This book kicks off the Aftermath trilogy, which also includes Life Debt and Empire’s End. The trilogy has 4.6 stars on Amazon, but it’s worth noting that Aftermath itself is generally considered the weaker of the three books.

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Ahsoka

By E.K. Johnston

Star Wars Ahsoka cover

4.7 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

Fans have long wondered what happened to Ahsoka after she left the Jedi Order near the end of the Clones Wars, and before she re-appeared as the mysterious Rebel operative Fulcrum in Rebels.

Finally, her story will begin to be told. Following her experiences with the Jedi and the devastation of Order 66, Ahsoka is unsure she can be part of a larger whole ever again.

But her desire to fight the evils of the Empire and protect those who need it will lead her right to Bail Organa, and the Rebel Alliance…

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Alphabet Squadron

By Alexander Freed

Star Wars Alphabet Squadron cover

4.5 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

The first novel in a new trilogy starring veteran New Republic pilots!

On the brink of victory in a brutal war, five New Republic pilots transform from hunted to hunters in this epic Star Wars adventure.

Set after Return of the Jedi, Alphabet Squadron follows a unique team, each flying a different class of starfighter as they struggle to end their war once and for all.

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Battlefront: Twilight Company

By Alexander Freed

Battlefront: Twilight Company cover

4.5 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

The bravest soldiers. The toughest warriors. The ultimate survivors.

Among the stars and across the vast expanses of space, the Galactic Civil War rages.

On the battlefields of multiple worlds in the Mid Rim, legions of ruthless stormtroopers—bent on crushing resistance to the Empire wherever it arises—are waging close and brutal combat against an armada of freedom fighters.

In the streets and alleys of ravaged cities, the front-line forces of the Rebel Alliance are taking the fight to the enemy, pushing deeper into Imperial territory and grappling with the savage flesh-and-blood realities of war on the ground.

Leading the charge are the soldiers—men and women, human and nonhuman—of the Sixty-First Mobile Infantry, better known as Twilight Company.

Hard-bitten, war-weary, and ferociously loyal to one another, the members of this renegade outfit doggedly survive where others perish, and defiance is their most powerful weapon against the deadliest odds.

When orders come down for the rebels to fall back in the face of superior opposition numbers and firepower, Twilight reluctantly complies.

Then an unlikely ally radically changes the strategic equation—and gives the Alliance’s hardest-fighting warriors a crucial chance to turn retreat into resurgence.

Orders or not, alone and outgunned but unbowed, Twilight Company locks, loads, and prepares to make its boldest maneuver—trading down-and-dirty battle in the trenches for a game-changing strike at the ultimate target: the very heart of the Empire’s military machine.

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Battlefront II: Inferno Squad

By Christie Golden

Battlefront II: Inferno Squad cover

4.6 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

After the humiliating theft of the Death Star plans and the destruction of the battle station, the Empire is on the defensive.

But not for long. In retaliation, the elite Imperial soldiers of Inferno Squad have been called in for the crucial mission of infiltrating and eliminating the Partisans—the rebel faction once led by notorious Republic freedom fighter Saw Gerrera.

Following the death of their leader, the Partisans have carried on his extremist legacy, determined to thwart the Empire—no matter the cost.

Now Inferno Squad must prove its status as the best of the best and take down the Partisans from within. But the growing threat of being discovered in their enemy’s midst turns an already dangerous operation into a do-or-die acid test they dare not fail.

To protect and preserve the Empire, to what lengths will Inferno Squad go . . . and how far beyond them?

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Bloodline

By Claudia Gray

Star Wars Bloodline cover

4.5 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

When the Rebellion defeated the Empire in the skies above Endor, Leia Organa believed it was the beginning to a lasting peace. But after decades of vicious infighting and partisan gridlock in the New Republic Senate, that hope seems like a distant memory.

Now a respected senator, Leia must grapple with the dangers that threaten to cripple the fledgling democracy—from both within and without.

Underworld kingpins, treacherous politicians, and Imperial loyalists are sowing chaos in the galaxy.

Desperate to take action, senators are calling for the election of a First Senator. It is their hope that this influential post will bring strong leadership to a divided galaxy.

As the daughter of Darth Vader, Leia faces with distrust the prospect of any one person holding such a powerful position—even when supporters suggest Leia herself for the job. But a new enemy may make this path Leia’s only option.

For at the edges of the galaxy, a mysterious threat is growing. . . .

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Lando’s Luck

By Justina Ireland

Lando’s Luck cover

4.3 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

When Lando Calrissian gets caught smuggling on the planet Hynestia, the queen agrees to let him go if he delivers something called the Solstice Globe to the Empire on her behalf.

Lando is relieved that his punishment is a simple delivery mission-but he soon discovers things are not as simple as they seem.

The queen’s daughter, Princess Rinetta, has stowed away on the Millennium Falcon and demands Lando and L3-37 take the globe back to its home planet, which needs the globe to survive.

Now Lando has to choose: Do what’s right, or do what’s best for Lando.

But if he’s lucky enough, he just might be able to do both….

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Lost Stars

By Claudia Gray

Star Wars Lost Stars cover

4.7 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

The reign of the Galactic Empire has reached the Outer Rim planet of Jelucan, where aristocratic Thane Kyrell and rural villager Ciena Ree bond over their love of flying.

Enrolling at the Imperial Academy is nothing less than a dream come true for both of them. But Thane sours on the dream when he sees firsthand the horrific tactics the Empire uses to maintain its ironclad rule.

Bitter and disillusioned, he joins the fledgling Rebellion–putting Ciena in an unbearable position between her loyalty to the Empire and her love for the man she”s known since childhood.

Now on opposite sides of the war, will these friends turned foes ever find a way to be together, or will duty tear them–and the galaxy–apart?

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Queen’s Shadow

By E.K. Johnston

Star Wars Queen’s Shadow cover

4.6 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

Written by the #1 New York Times best-selling author of Ahsoka! When Padmé Naberrie, “Queen Amidala” of Naboo, steps down from her position, she is asked by the newly-elected queen to become Naboo’s representative in the Galactic Senate.

Padmé is unsure about taking on the new role, but cannot turn down the request to serve her people.

Together with her most loyal handmaidens, Padmé must figure out how to navigate the treacherous waters of politics and forge a new identity beyond the queen’s shadow.

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The Weapon of a Jedi

By Jason Fry

The Weapon of a Jedi cover

4.5 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

Set between Star Wars: A New Hope and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, the story finds Luke Skywalker, C-3PO, and R2-D2 stranded on a mysterious planet, and explores a dangerous duel between Luke and a strange new villain.

Hidden in the story are also clues and hints about the upcoming film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, making this a must-read for fans old and new!

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‍Master & Apprentice

By Claudia Gray

Star Wars ‍Master & Apprentice cover

4.7 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

A Jedi must be a fearless warrior, a guardian of justice, and a scholar in the ways of the Force. But perhaps a Jedi’s most essential duty is to pass on what they have learned.

Master Yoda trained Dooku; Dooku trained Qui-Gon Jinn; and now Qui-Gon has a Padawan of his own. But while Qui-Gon has faced all manner of threats and danger as a Jedi, nothing has ever scared him like the thought of failing his apprentice.

Obi-Wan Kenobi has deep respect for his Master, but struggles to understand him.

Why must Qui-Gon so often disregard the laws that bind the Jedi? Why is Qui-Gon drawn to ancient Jedi prophecies instead of more practical concerns?

And why wasn’t Obi-Wan told that Qui-Gon is considering an invitation to join the Jedi Council—knowing it would mean the end of their partnership? The simple answer scares him: Obi-Wan has failed his Master.

When Jedi Rael Averross, another former student of Dooku, requests their assistance with a political dispute, Jinn and Kenobi travel to the royal court of Pijal for what may be their final mission together.

What should be a simple assignment quickly becomes clouded by deceit, and by visions of violent disaster that take hold in Qui-Gon’s mind.

As Qui-Gon’s faith in prophecy grows, Obi-Wan’s faith in him is tested—just as a threat surfaces that will demand that Master and apprentice come together as never before, or be divided forever.

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The Best Star Wars Legends Books ↓

Heir to the Empire

By Timothy Zahn

Star Wars Heir to the Empire cover

4.7 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

It’s five years after the Rebel Alliance destroyed the Death Star, defeated Darth Vader and the Emperor, and drove the remnants of the old Imperial Starfleet to a distant corner of the galaxy.

Princess Leia and Han Solo are married and expecting Jedi twins. And Luke Skywalker has become the first in a long-awaited line of Jedi Knights.

But thousands of light-years away, the last of the Emperor’s warlords, Grand Admiral Thrawn, has taken command of the shattered Imperial fleet, readied it for war, and pointed it at the fragile heart of the New Republic.

For this dark warrior has made two vital discoveries that could destroy everything the courageous men and women of the Rebel Alliance fought so hard to build.

This is the first book in the Thrawn Trilogy, which also includes Dark Force Rising and The Last Command (on which more below).

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The Rising Force

By Dave Wolverton

Star Wars The Rising Force cover

4.5 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

Twelve-year-old Obi-Wan Kenobi desperately wants to be a Jedi Knight. After years at the Jedi Temple, he knows the power of the lightsaber and the Force.

But he cannot control his own anger and fear. Because of this, the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn will not take him on as a Padawan apprentice.

Now Obi-Wan is about to have his first encounter with true evil. He must face off against unexpected enemies–and face up to his own dark wishes.

Only then can his education as a Jedi truly begin.

This is the first book in the Jedi: Apprentice series, which also includes The Dark Rival and The Hidden Pastamong others.

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Kenobi

By John Jackson Miller

Star Wars Kenobi cover

4.6 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

The Republic has fallen.
Sith Lords rule the galaxy.
Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi has lost everything . . .
Everything but hope.

Tatooine—a harsh desert world where farmers toil in the heat of two suns while trying to protect themselves and their loved ones from the marauding Tusken Raiders.

A backwater planet on the edge of civilized space. And an unlikely place to find a Jedi Master in hiding, or an orphaned infant boy on whose tiny shoulders rests the future of a galaxy.

Known to locals only as “Ben,” the bearded and robed offworlder is an enigmatic stranger who keeps to himself, shares nothing of his past, and goes to great pains to remain an outsider.

But as tensions escalate between the farmers and a tribe of Sand People led by a ruthless war chief, Ben finds himself drawn into the fight, endangering the very mission that brought him to Tatooine.

Ben—Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, hero of the Clone Wars, traitor to the Empire, and protector of the galaxy’s last hope—can no more turn his back on evil than he can reject his Jedi training.

And when blood is unjustly spilled, innocent lives threatened, and a ruthless opponent unmasked, Ben has no choice but to call on the wisdom of the Jedi—and the formidable power of the Force—in his never-ending fight for justice.

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Republic Commando: Hard Contact

By Karen Traviss

Republic Commando: Hard Contact cover

4.8 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

As the Clone Wars rage, victory or defeat lies in the hands of elite squads that take on the toughest assignments in the galaxy–stone-cold soldiers who go where no one else would, to do what no one else could. . . .

On a mission to sabotage a chemical weapon research facility on a Separatist-held planet, four clone troopers operate under the very noses of their enemies.

The commandos are outnumbered and outgunned, deep behind enemy lines with no backup–and working with strangers instead of trusted teammates.

Matters don’t improve when Darman, the squad’s demolitions expert, gets separated from the others during planetfall. Even Darman’s apparent good luck in meeting an inexperienced Padawan vanishes once Etain admits to her woeful inexperience.

For the separated clone commandos and stranded Jedi, a long, dangerous journey lies ahead, through hostile territory brimming with Trandoshan slavers, Separatists, and suspicious natives.

A single misstep could mean discovery . . . and death. It’s a virtual suicide mission for anyone–anyone except Republic Commandos.

This is the first book in the five-book Republic Commando series.

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Revenge of the Sith

By Matthew Stover

Revenge of the Sith novel cover

4.7 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

Based on the screenplay of the movie, “Star Wars: Episode III”, the novel brings the epic full circle, revealing at last just how the young Jedi, Anakin Skywalker, became the most evil villain in the galaxy, Darth Vader, and father to Luke and Leia.

When the novel opens, the Clone Wars are still in full cry, and numerous Jedi have already been lost. Anakin is struggling with his dual life: Jedi Knight and husband (in secret) to Padme Amidala.

The time is drawing near for the machiavellian Darth Sidious – the Sith Lord determined to wrest control of the galaxy from the Republic – to draw tight the noose he has been creating around Anakin Skywalker…and create a new Sith Lord with unmatched dark-side Force powers…

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Scoundrels

By Timothy Zahn

star wars Scoundrels cover

4.5 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

Han Solo should be basking in his moment of glory.

After all, the cocky smuggler and captain of the Millennium Falcon just played a key role in the daring raid that destroyed the Death Star and landed the first serious blow to the Empire in its war against the Rebel Alliance.

But after losing the reward his heroics earned him, Han’s got nothing to celebrate. Especially since he’s deep in debt to the ruthless crime lord Jabba the Hutt. There’s a bounty on Han’s head—and if he can’t cough up the credits, he’ll surely pay with his hide. The only thing that can save him is a king’s ransom. Or maybe a gangster’s fortune?

That’s what a mysterious stranger is offering in exchange for Han’s less-than-legal help with a riskier-than-usual caper. The payoff will be more than enough for Han to settle up with Jabba—and ensure he never has to haggle with the Hutts again.

All he has to do is infiltrate the ultra-fortified stronghold of a Black Sun crime syndicate underboss and crack the galaxy’s most notoriously impregnable safe. It sounds like a job for miracle workers . . . or madmen.

So Han assembles a gallery of rogues who are a little of both—including his indispensable sidekick Chewbacca and the cunning Lando Calrissian. If anyone can dodge, deceive, and defeat heavily armed thugs, killer droids, and Imperial agents alike—and pull off the heist of the century—it’s Solo’s scoundrels.

But will their crime really pay, or will it cost them the ultimate price?

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Shadows of the Empire

By Steve Perry

Star Wars Shadows of the Empire cover

4.7 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

Shadows of the Empire illuminates the shadowy outlines of a criminal conspiracy that exists in the background of the events in the movies, ruled by a character new to us.

Prince Xizor is a mastermind of evil who dares to oppose one of the best-known fictional villains of all time: Darth Vader.

The story involves all the featured Star Wars movie characters, plus Emperor Palpatine and, of course, Lord Vader himself.

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Traitor

By Matthew Stover

Star Wars Traitor cover

4.7 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis

After the capture of Coruscant, the mighty heart of the New Republic, a stunned galaxy fears that nothing can stop the Yuuzhan Vong. Still, that crushing defeat produces one small miracle: Jacen Solo is alive.

Yet he can scarcely imagine himself in stranger circumstances.

The young Jedi Knight is in the care of Vergere, a fascinating creature of mystery and power, her intentions hard to fathom, her cruelties rarely concealed.

But this master of inscrutable arts has much to teach the young Jedi . . . for she holds the key to a new way to experience the Force, to take it to another level—dangerous, dazzling, perhaps deadly.

In the wrong hands, the tremendous energies of the Force can be devastating. And there are others watching Jacen’s process closely, waiting patiently for the moment when he will be ready for their own dire purposes.

Now, all is in shadows. Yet whatever happens, whether Jacen’s newfound mastery unleashes light or darkness, he will never be the same Jedi again. . .

This is one of the long-running The New Jedi Order series.

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Rogue Squadron

By Michael A. Stackpole and Aaron Allson

Star Wars Rogue Squadron cover

4.7 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

They are sleek, swift, and deadly. The are the X-wing fighters. And as the struggle rages across the vastness of space, the fearless men and women who pilot them risk both their lives and their machines.

Their mission: to defend the Rebel Alliance against a still-powerful and battle-hardened Imperial foe in a last-ditch effort to control the stars!

Its very name strikes fear into enemy hearts. So when Rebel hero Wedge Antilles rebuilds the legendary Rogue Squadron, he seeks out only the best — the most skilled, the most daring X-wing pilots.

Through arduous training and dangerous missions, he weeds out the weak from the strong, assembling a group of hard-bitten warriors willing to fight, ready to die. Antilles knows the grim truth: that even with the best X-wing jockeys in the galaxy, many will not survive their near-suicidal missions.

But when Rogue Squadron is ordered to assist in the assault on the heavily fortified Imperial stronghold of Black Moon, even the bravest must wonder if any at all will survive. . .

This is the first book in the 10-book Star Wars: X-Wing series.

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Yoda: Dark Rendezvous

By Sean Stewart

Yoda: Dark Rendezvous cover

4.4 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

As the Clone Wars rage, Jedi Master Yoda must once again face one of his greatest adversaries: Count Dooku. . . .

The savage Clone Wars have forced the Republic to the edge of collapse. During the height of the battle, one Jedi Knight escapes the carnage to deliver a message to Yoda on Coruscant.

It appears that Dooku wants peace and demands a rendezvous. Chances are slim that the treacherous Count is sincere but, with a million lives at stake, Yoda has no choice.

The meeting will take place on Djun, a planet steeped in evil. The challenge could not be more difficult.

Can Yoda win back his once promising pupil from the dark side or will Count Dooku unleash his sinister forces against his former mentor?

Either way, Yoda is sure of one thing: this battle will be one of the fiercest he’ll ever face.

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Path of Destruction

By Drew Karpyshyn

Path of Destruction cover

4.8 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

“Two there should be; no more, no less.
One to embody the power, the other to crave it.”
–Darth Bane, Dark Lord of the Sith

On the run from vengeful Republic forces, Dessel, a cortosis miner, vanishes into the ranks of the Sith army and ships out to join the bloody war against the Republic and its Jedi champions.

There, Dessel’s brutality, cunning, and exceptional command of the Force swiftly win him renown as a warrior. But in the eyes of his watchful masters, a far greater destiny awaits him.

As an acolyte in the Sith academy, studying the secrets and skills of the dark side, Dessel embraces his new identity: Bane.

But the true test is yet to come. In order to gain acceptance into the Brotherhood of Darkness, he must defy the most sacred traditions and reject all he has been taught.

It is a trial by fire in which he must surrender fully to the dark side–and forge from the ashes a new era of absolute power.

The first of three books in the Darth Bane series.

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The Paradise Snare

By A.C. Crispin

Star Wars The Paradise Snare cover

4.6 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

Here is the first book in the blockbuster trilogy that chronicles the never-before-told story of the young Han Solo.

Set before the Star Wars movie adventures, these books chronicle the coming-of-age of the galaxy’s most famous con man, smuggler, and thief.

The first book in this exciting new Han Solo series begins with a recounting of Han’s late teen years and shows us how he escaped an unhappy adopted home situation to carve out an adventurous new life for himself as a pilot.

Han Solo, the handsome rogue, is every girl’s dream man, and every boy’s hero.

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The Mandalorian Armor

By K. W. Jeter

The Mandalorian Armor cover

4.6 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

He’s the most feared and successful bounty hunter in the galaxy. He is Boba Fett, and even the most hardened criminals tremble at his name.

Now he faces the deadliest challenge of his infamous career–an all-out war against his most dangerous enemies.

As the Rebellion gathers force, Prince Xizor proposes a cunning plan to the Emperor and Darth Vader: smash the power of the Bounty Hunters Guild by turning its members against each other.

Only the strongest and most ruthless will survive, and they can be used against the Rebellion. It’s a job for the fiercely independent Boba Fett, who jumps at the chance to destroy his rivals.

But Fett soon realizes the game is rigged, as he finds himself the target of murderous factions, criminal conspiracies, and the evil at the Empire’s dark heart.

Boba Fett has always finished first. And in this game, anything less is death.

The first book in the three-book the Bounty Hunter Wars series.

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The Last Command

By Timothy Zahn

Star Wars The Last Command cover

4.8 Stars on Amazon
Official Synopsis:

The embattled Republic reels from the attacks of Grand Admiral Thrawn, who has marshaled the remnants of the Imperial forces and driven the Rebels back with an abominable technology recovered from the Emperor’s secret fortress: clone soldiers.

As Thrawn mounts his final siege, Han and Chewbacca struggle to form a coalition of smugglers for a last-ditch attack against the empire, while Leia holds the Alliance together and prepares for the birth of her Jedi twins.

Overwhelmed by the ships and clones at Thrawn’s command, the Republic has one last hope — sending a small force, led by Luke Skywalker, into the very stronghold that houses Thrawn’s terrible cloning machines.

There a final danger awaits, as the Dark Jedi C’baoth directs the battle against the Rebels and builds his strength to finish what he had already started: the destruction of Luke Skywalker.

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Irreverent Gent founder Dave Bowden is a men’s style specialist, an Amazon bestselling author, an unrepentant introvert, a long-suffering (but very patient) Toronto sports fan and the husband of a wonderful (and thankfully even more patient) wife.

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