Luke Skywalker And The Shadows Of Mindor: Star Wars Legends by Matthew StoverLuke Skywalker And The Shadows Of Mindor: Star Wars Legends by Matthew Stover

Luke Skywalker And The Shadows Of Mindor: Star Wars Legends

byMatthew Stover

Mass Market Paperback | February 23, 2010

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Emperor Palpatine and Darth Vader are dead. The Empire has been toppled by the triumphant Rebel Alliance, and the New Republic is ascendant. But the struggle against the dark side and the Sith Order is not over. Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and their faithful comrades have had little time to savor victory before being called on to defend the newly liberated galaxy.

Powerful remnants of the vanquished Empire, hungry for retaliation, are still at large, committing acts of piracy, terrorism, and wholesale slaughter against the worlds of the fledgling New Republic. The most deadly of these, a ruthless legion of black-armored Stormtroopers, do the brutal bidding of the newly risen warlord Shadowspawn. Striking from a strategically advantageous base on the planet Mindor, they are waging a campaign of plunder and destruction, demolishing order and security across the galaxy–and breeding fears of an Imperial resurgence. Another reign of darkness beneath the boot-heel of Sith despotism is something General Luke Skywalker cannot, and will not, risk.

Mobilizing the ace fighters of Rogue Squadron–along with the trusty Chewbacca, See-Threepio, and Artoo-Detoo–Luke, Han, and Leia set out to take the battle to the enemy and neutralize the threat before it’s too late. But their imminent attack on Mindor will be playing directly into the hands of their cunning new adversary. Lord Shadowspawn is no freshly anointed Sith Chieftain but in fact a vicious former Imperial Intelligence officer–and Prophet of the Dark Side. The Emperor’s death has paved the way for Shadowspawn’s return from exile in the Outer Rim, and mastery of ancient Sith knowledge and modern technology has given him the capability to mount the ultimate power play for galaxy wide dominion. Dark prophecy has foretold that only one obstacle stands in his way, and he is ready–even eager–for the confrontation.

All the classic heroes, all the explosive action and adventure, all the unparalleled excitement of Star Wars come breathlessly alive as the adventures of Luke Skywalker continue.

From the Hardcover edition.
Matthew Stover is the New York Times bestselling author of the Star Wars novels Revenge of the Sith, Shatterpoint, and The New Jedi Order: Traitor, as well as Caine Black Knife, The Blade of Tyshalle, and Heroes Die. He is an expert in several martial arts. Stover lives outside Chicago.From the Hardcover edition.
Title:Luke Skywalker And The Shadows Of Mindor: Star Wars LegendsFormat:Mass Market PaperbackDimensions:400 pages, 6.9 × 4.3 × 1.1 inPublished:February 23, 2010Publisher:Random House Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0345477456

ISBN - 13:9780345477453

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Rated 2 out of 5 by from Cover: Explosive, Story: Not so much This book was not as exiting as it depicts, following on from the cover. Yes, the first rule of reading is don't judge a book by its cover, which I did not do, so please, bear with me. The story happens too fast in some places and too slow in others. One moment you're fighting against Melters, a weird, sort-of-bipolarish-bunch-of-characters and the next you are trying to get out of a dream. Out of all this mild confusion come Luke Skywalker! Hero and villain in this tome. The main evil, a man named Cronal who is strong in the Dark Side of the Force, that he calls his "Dark" is just a frail old man who is possessing bodies of various characters to get to Mademoiselle Organa. Loyalties change, ideas get muffled oh, and did I mention that the Millennium Falcon is stolen? *gasps* All of this adds up to a story that does not go anywhere. Oh, me move alot but the plot and the Prologue and Epilogue are just not in key with the events that come in the novel. It is a book to add to your collection but read with patience.
Date published: 2011-07-01
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Musings from Mindor Here is what I liked: 1) The character of Cronal who seems to be quite powerful in the force. In fact so powerful, his defeat comes with his belief that he is also infallible. 2) the return of characters like Nick Rostu and Kar Vastor from Stover's previous work "Shatterpoint". Also, I liked the many references to the Clone Wars era and the way they have changed over the years: the surviving clones, the Mandalorians, etc. Here is what I did not like: the Melters, are they good or bad, sentient or non-sentient? They seem to be there when Stover needs a quick out of a jam or needs a new jam for our heroes to fall into. 2) The invincibility of Rogue Squadron. They go up against thousands of TIE fighters and no one, not one member of the squad dies. Or for that matter, do they even get injured. Incredible. If you are a Star Wars fan, this is a book you'll enjoy for no other reason than Stover stays true to the characters; otherwise, there is little else to brag about.
Date published: 2010-05-09

Read from the Book

CHAPTER 1The Corellian Queen was a legend: the greatest luxury liner ever to ply the spaceways, an interstellar pleasure palace forever beyond the grasp of all but the galaxy’s super-elite—beings whose wealth transcended description. Rumor had it that for the price of a single cocktail in one of the Queen’s least- exclusive dining clubs, one might buy a starship; for the price of a meal, one could buy not only the starship, but the port in which it docked, and the factory that had built it. A being could not simply pay for a berth on the Corellian Queen; mere wealth would never suffice. To embark upon the ultimate journey into hedonistic excess, one first had to demonstrate that one’s breeding and manners were as exquisite as would be the pain of paying one’s bar bill. All of which made the Corellian Queen one of the most irresistible terrorist targets ever: who better to terrorize than the elite of the Elite, the Powers among the powerful, the greatest of the Great?And so when some presumably unscrupulous routing clerk in thevast midreaches of the Nebula Line corporation quietly offered forsale, to select parties from Kindlabethia to Nar Shaddaa, a hint as tothe route of the Corellian Queen’s upcoming cruise, it attracted considerable interest.Two pertinent facts remained concealed, however, from the winningbidder. The first pertinent fact was that this presumably unscrupulousrouting clerk was neither unscrupulous nor, in fact, arouting clerk, but was a skilled and resourceful agent of the intelligenceservice of the New Republic. The second pertinent fact wasthat the Corellian Queen was not cruising at all that season, havingbeen replaced by a breakaway disposable shell built to conceal a substantial fraction of a star fighter wing, led by—as was customary in such operations—the crack pilots of Rogue Squadron.It was approximately the moment that R4-G7 squalled a proximityalarm through his X-wing’s sensor panel and his HUD lit upwith image codes for six TIE Defenders on his tail that LieutenantDerek “Hobbie” Klivian, late of the Alliance to Restore Freedom tothe Galaxy, currently of the New Republic, began to suspect thatCommander Antilles’s brilliant ambush had never been brilliant atall, not even a little, and he said so. In no uncertain terms. Strippedof its blistering profanity, his comment was “Wedge? This plan wasstupid. You hear me? Stupid, stupid, stuYOW—!”The yow was a product of multiple cannon hits that disintegratedhis right dorsal cannon and most of the extended wing it had beenattached to. This kicked his fighter into a tumble that he fought withboth hands on the yoke and both feet kicking attitude jets and almosthad under control until the pair of the Defenders closest on his tailblossomed into expanding spheres of flame and debris fragments.The twin shock fronts overtook him at exactly the wrong instant andsent him flipping end- over- end straight at another Defender formationstreaking toward him head- on. Then tail- on, then head- onagain, and so forth.His ship’s comlink crackled as Wedge Antilles’s fighter flashedpast him close enough that he could see the grin on the commander’sface. “That’s ‘stupid plan, sir,’ Lieutenant.”“I suppose you think that’s funny.”“Well, if he doesn’t,” put in Hobbie’s wingman, “I sure do.”“When I want your opinion, Janson, I’ll dust your ship and scanfor it in the wreckage.” The skewed whirl of stars around his cockpitgave his stomach a yank that threatened to make the slab of smokedterrafin loin he’d had for breakfast violently reemerge. Strugglinggrimly with the controls, he managed to angle his ship’s whirl just ahair, which let him twitch his ship’s nose toward the four pursuingmarauders as he spun. Red fire lashed from his three survivingcannons, and the Defenders’ formation split open like an overripesnekfruit.Hobbie only dusted one with the cannons, but the pair ofproximity- fused flechette torpedoes he had thoughtfully triggered atthe same time flared in diverging arcs to intercept the enemy fighters;these torpedo arcs terminated in spectacular explosions thatcracked the three remaining Defenders like rotten snuffle eggs.“Now, that was satisfying,” he said, still fighting his controls tostabilize the crippled X-wing. “Eyeball soufflé!”“Better watch it, Hobbie—keep that up, and somebody might start tothink you can fly that thing.”“Are you in this fight, Janson? Or are you just gonna hang backand smirk while I do all the heavy lifting?”“Haven’t decided yet.” Wes Janson’s X-wing came out of nowhere,streaking in a tight bank across Hobbie’s subjective vertical. “MaybeI can lend a hand. Or, say, a couple torps.”Two brilliant blue stars leapt from Janson’s torpedo tubes andstreaked for the oncoming TIEs.“Uh, Wes?” Hobbie said, flinching. “Those weren’t the flechettetorps, were they?”“Sure. What else?”“Have you noticed that I’m currently having just a little troublemaneuvering?”“What do you mean?” Janson asked as though honestly puzzled.Then, after a second spent watching Hobbie’s ship tumbling helplesslydirectly toward his torpedoes’ targets, he said, “Oh. Uh . . .sorry?”The flechette torpedoes carried by Rogue Squadron had been designedand built specifically for this operation, and they had one primarypurpose: to take out TIE Defenders.The TIE Defender was the Empire’s premier space- superiorityfighter. It was faster and more maneuverable than the Incom T-65(better known as the X-wing); faster even than the heavily modifiedand updated 65Bs of Rogue Squadron. The Defender was also moreheavily armed, packing twin ion cannons to supplement its lasers, aswell as dual- use launch tubes that could fire either proton torpedoesor concussion missiles. The shields generated by its twin Novaldexdeflector generators were nearly as powerful as those found on capitalships. However, the Defenders were not equipped with particleshields, depending instead on their titanium- reinforced hull to absorbthe impact of material objects.Each proton torpedo shell had been loaded with thousands of tinyjagged bits of durasteel, packed around a core of conventional explosive.On detonation, these tiny bits of durasteel became an expandingsphere of shrapnel; though traveling with respectable velocity oftheir own, they were most effective when set off in the path of oncomingDefenders, because impact energy, after all, is determined byrelative velocity. At star fighter combat speeds, flying into a cloud ofdurasteel pellets could transform one’s ship from a star fighter into avery, very expensive cheese grater.The four medial fighters of the oncoming Defender formation hitthe flechette cloud and just . . . shredded. The lateral wingers managedto bank off an instant before they would have been overtakenby two sequential detonations, as the explosion of one Defender’spower core triggered the other three’s cores an eyeblink later, so thatthe unfortunate Lieutenant Klivian was now tumbling directlytoward a miniature plasma nebula that blazed with enough hard radiationto cook him like a bantha steak on an obsidian fry- rock atdouble noon on Tatooine.“You’re not gonna make it, Hobbie,” Janson called. “Punch out.”“Oh, you’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Hobbie snarled under hisbreath, still struggling grimly with the X-wing’s controls. Thefighter’s tumble began to slow. “I’ve got it, Wes!”“No, you don’t! Punch out, Hobbie—PUNCH OUT!”“I’ve got it—I’m gonna make it! I’m gonna—” He was interruptedby the final flip of his X- wing, which brought his nose into line withthe sight of the leading edge of the spherical debris field expandingtoward him at a respectable fraction of lightspeed, and Hobbie Klivian,acknowledged master of both profanity and obscenity, humanand otherwise, not to mention casual vulgarities from a dozenspecies and hundreds of star systems, found he had nothing to sayexcept, “Aw, nuts.”He stood the X- wing on its tail, sublights blasting for a tangent,but he had learned long ago that of all the Rogues, he was the onewho should know better than to trust his luck. He reached for theeject trigger.Just as his hand found the trigger, the ship jounced and clanged asif he had his head trapped inside a Wookiee dinner gong at nightmeal.The metaphorical Wookiee cook must have been hungry, too,because the clanging went on and on and kept getting louder, andthe eject still, mysteriously, didn’t seem to be working at all. Thismystery was solved, however, by the brief shriek of atmospherethrough a ragged fist- sized hole in the X- wing’s canopy. This holewas ragged because, Hobbie discovered, the fragment that had madethis opening had been slowed by punching through the X- wing’stitanium- alloy ventral armor. Not to mention the X- wing’s controlpanel, where it had not only ripped away the entire eject trigger assembly,but had vaporized Hobbie’s left hand.He glared at his vacant wrist with more annoyance than shock orpanic; instead of blood or cauterized flesh, his wrist jetted onlysparks and smoke from overheated servomotors. He hadn’t had areal left arm since sometime before Yavin.Of more concern was the continuing shriek of escaping atmosphere,because he discovered that it was coming from his environmentsuit’s nitroxy generator.He thought, Oh, this sucks. After everything he had survived in theGalactic Civil War, he was about to be killed by a minor equipmentmalfunction. He amended his previous thought: This really sucks.He didn’t bother to say it out loud, because there wasn’t enoughair in his cockpit to carry the sound.There being no other useful thing he could do with his severedleft wrist, he jammed it into the hole in his canopy. His suit’s autosealplastered itself to the jagged edges, but the nitroxy generator didn’tseem mollified; in fact, it was starting to feel like he had an unshieldedfusion core strapped to his spine.Oh, yeah, he thought. The other hole.He palmed the cockpit harness’s snap release, twisted, andstretched out his left leg, feeling downward with the toe of his boot.He found a hole—and the rising pressure sucked the entire bootright out the bottom of his fighter before the autoseal engaged toclose that hole, too. He felt another impact or two down there, buthe couldn’t really tell if something might have ripped his foot off.It had been a few years since he’d had his original left leg.With the cockpit sealed, his nitroxy unit gradually calmed down,filling the space with a breathable atmosphere that smelled onlyfaintly of scorched hair, and he began to think he might live throughthis after all. His only problem now was that he was deharnessed andstretched sideways in an extraordinarily uncomfortable twist that lefthim unable to even turn his head enough to see where he was going.“Arfour,” he said quietly, “can you please get us back to the PRP?”His current position did let him see, however, his astromech’s responseto the task of navigating toward the primary rendezvouspoint, which was a spit of gap sparks and a halo of sporadic electricaldischarge from what was left of its turret dome. Which was slightlyless than half.He sighed. “Okay, ejection failure. And astromech damage. Crippledhere,” he said into his comm. “Awaiting manual pickup.”“Little busy right now, Hobbie. We’ll get to you after we dust theseTIEs.”“Take your time. I’m not going anywhere. Except, y’know, thataway.Slowly. Real slowly.”He spent the rest of the battle hoping for a bit of help from theForce when Wedge sent out the pickup detail. Please, he prayedsilently, please let it be Tycho. Or Nin, or Standro. Anyone but Janson.He continued this plea as a sort of meditation, kind of the wayLuke would talk about this stuff: he closed his eyes and visualizedWedge himself showing up to tow his X- wing back to the jumppoint. After a while, he found this image unconvincing—somehowhe was never that lucky—and so he cycled through the otherRogues, and when those began to bore him, he decided it’d be Lukehimself. Or Leia. Or, say, Wynssa Starflare, who always managed tolook absolutely stellar as the strong, independent damsel- sometimesin-distress in those pre- war Imperial holodramas, because, y’know,as long as he was imagining something that was never gonna happen,he might as well make it entertaining.It turned out to be entertaining enough that he managed to passthe balance of the battle drifting off to sleep with a smile on his face.This smile lasted right up to the point where a particularly brilliantflash stabbed through his eyelids and he awoke, glumly certainthat whatever had exploded right next to his ship was finally about tosnuff him. But then there came another flash, and another, and witha painful twist of his body he was able to see Wes Janson’s fightercruising alongside, only meters away. He was also able to see thehandheld imager Janson had pressed against his cockpit’s canopy,with which Janson continued to snap picture after picture.Hobbie closed his eyes again. He would have preferred the explosion.“Just had to get a few shots.” Janson’s grin was positively wicked.“You look like some kind of weird cross between a star fighter pilot and a Bat -ravian gumplucker.”Hobbie shook his head exhaustedly; dealing with Janson’s patheticexcuse for a sense of humor always made him tired. “Wes, I don’teven know what that is.”“Sure you do, Hobbie. A star fighter pilot is a guy who flies an X- wingwithout getting blown up. Check the Basic Dictionary. Though I canunderstand how you’d get confused.”“No, I mean the—” Hobbie bit his lip hard enough that he tastedblood. “Um, Wes?”“Yeah, buddy?”“Have I told you today how much I really, really hate you?”“Oh, sure—your lips say ‘I hate you,’ but your eyes say—”“That someday I’ll murder you in your sleep?”Janson chuckled. “More or less.”“It’s all over, huh?”“This part is. Most of ’em got away.”“How many’d we lose?”“Just Eight and Eleven. But Avan and Feylis ejected clean. Nothing acouple weeks in a bacta tank won’t cure. And then there’s my Batraviangumplucker wingman . . .”“You’re the wingman, knucklehead. Maybe I should say, wingnut.”Hobbie sighed again. “I guess Wedge is happy, anyway. Everything’sproceeding according to plan . . .”“I HATE when you say that.”“Yeah? How come?”“Don’t know. It just . . . gives me the whingeing jimmies. Let me getthis tow cable attached, and you might as well sleep; it’s a long cruise to thePRP.”“Suits me just fine,” Hobbie said, closing his eyes again. “I havethis dream I really want to get back to . . .”“Good job, Wedge.” General Lando Calrissian, commander ofSpecial Operations for the New Republic, nodded grave approvaltoward the flickering bluish holoform of Wedge Antilles that hovereda centimeter above his console. “No casualties?”“Nothing serious, General. Hobbie—Lieutenant Klivian—needs anotherleft hand . . .”Lando smiled. “How many does that make, all told?”“I’ve lost count. How’s it going on your end?”“Good and less than good.” Lando punched up his readout of thetracking report. “Looks like our marauders are based in the Taspansystem.”Wedge’s brilliant plan had become brilliant entirely by necessity;the usual method of locating a hidden marauder base—subjecting acaptured pilot or two to a neural probe—had turned out to be muchmore difficult than anyone could have anticipated. Shadowspawnseemed very determined to maintain his privacy; through dozens ofraids over nearly two months, many deep inside Republic territoryand costing thousands of civilian lives, not one of Shadowspawn’smarauders had ever been taken alive.This was more than a simple refusal to surrender, though the maraudershad shown a distressing tendency, when they found themselvesin imminent danger, to shout out words to the effect of ForShadowspawn and the Empire! Forward the Restoration! and blow themselvesup. Forensic engineers examining wreckage of destroyed TIEDefenders hypothesized that the star fighters were equipped withsome unexplained type of deadman interlock, which would destroythe ship—and obliterate the pilot—even if the pilot merely lost consciousness.The brilliant part of Wedge’s brilliant plan had been to concealhundreds of thousands of miniature solid- state transponders amongthe flechettes inside Rogue Squadron’s custom- made torpedoes, beforegiving the marauders a fairly decent pasting and letting the restescape. Unlike ordinary tracking devices, these transponders gaveoff no signal of their own—thus requiring no power supply, and renderingthem effectively undetectable. These transponders were entirelyinert until triggered by a very specific subspace signal, whichthey then echoed in a very specific way. And since the only transpondersof this very specific type in the entire galaxy were loaded inRogue Squadron’s torpedo tubes, drifting at the ambush point indeep space along the Corellian Run, and lodged in various parts ofthe armored hulls of a certain group of TIE Defenders, locating thesystem to which said Defenders had fled was actually not complicatedat all.Wedge’s holoform took on a vaguely puzzled look. “Taspan.Sounds familiar, but I can’t place it . . .”“The Inner Rim, off the Hydian Way.”“That would be the less- than- good part.”“Yeah. No straight lanes in or out—and most of the legs runthrough systems still held by Imperials.”“Almost makes you wish for one of Palpatine’s old planet- killers.”“Almost.” Lando’s smile had faded, and he didn’t sound like hewas joking. “The Empire had a weapons facility on Taspan II—it’swhere they tested their various designs of gravity- well projectors—”“That’s it!” The image snapped its fingers silently, the soundeliminated by the holoprojector’s noise filter. “The Big Crush!”Lando nodded. “The Big Crush.”“I heard there was nothing left at Taspan but an asteroid field, like theGraveyard of Alderaan.”“There’s an inner planet—Taspan I is a minor resort world calledMindor. Not well known, but really beautiful; my parents had a summerhouse there when I was a kid.”“Any progress on this Shadowspawn character himself ?”“We’ve only managed to determine that no one by that name wasever registered as an Imperial official. Clearly an assumed identity.”“The guy’s got to be some kind of nutjob.”“I doubt it. His choice of base is positively inspired; the debrisfrom the Big Crush hasn’t had time to settle into stable orbits.”“So it is like the Graveyard of Alderaan.”“It’s worse, Wedge. A lot worse.”Wedge’s image appeared to be giving a low whistle; the holoprojector’snoise filter screened it out. “Sounds ugly. How are we supposedto get at them?”“You’re not.” Lando took a deep breath before continuing. “Thisis exactly the type of situation for which we developed the Rapid ResponseTask Force.”Wedge’s image gave a slow, understanding nod. “Hit ’em with ourBig Stick, then. Slap ’em good and run like hell.”“It’s the best shot we’ve got.”“You’re probably right; you usually are. But it’ll sting, to not be there.”“Right enough. But we have other problems—and the RRTF is invery capable hands.”“Got that right.” Wedge suddenly grinned. “Speaking of those capablehands, pass along my regards to General Skywalker, will you?”“I will do that, Wedge. I will indeed.”From the Hardcover edition.