After a thousand generations of peace, the
Galactic Republic is crumbling. On Coruscant,
at the center of civilized space, greed and
corruption riddle the Senate, beyond even
the abilities of Supreme Chancellor Valorum
to remedy. And in the outlying systems, the
Trade Federation dominates the hyperlanes
with its gargantuan vessels.
But now even the Trade Federation finds
itself assailed from all quarters, preyed
upon by pirates and raiders, and victimized
by terrorists, who demand an end to the
Federation's tyrannical practices.
It is a time that tests the mettle of all
those who strive to hold the Republic
together—none more than the Jedi
Knights, who have long been the
Republic's best hope for preserving peace
Mired in greed and corruption, tangled in bureaucracy, the Galactic Republic is crumbling. In the outlying systems, where the Trade Federation maintains a stranglehold on shipping routes, tensions are boiling over—and now even the comfort of Coruscant is being invaded, as Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi foil an assassination attempt on Supreme Chancellor Valorum.
As humans and aliens gather for an emergency trade summit, conspiracies sealed with large sums of money run rampant, and no one is entirely above suspicion. But the greatest threat of all remains unknown to everyone except three members of the Trade Federation who have entered into a shadowy alliance with a dark overlord. While the trio will be content with more money and fewer problems, Darth Sidious has grander, far more terrifying plans.
My second attempt at Cloak of Deception proved all the worthiness as James Luceno's prior novels. Luceno brings depth to the apprenticeship of Obi-Wan Kenobi and the brilliance and wisdom of Qui-Gon Jinn. Set prior to the events of the Trade Blockade of Naboo, this novel brings curiosity again to watch Phantom Menace and see the repercussions of these events.
Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon are set investigating actions of the Nebula Front terrorist group around Outer Rim world Dorvalla. Neimoidian Daultay Dofine Captain of the ship Revenue's mining actions on Dorvalla was unaware of the stown away Jedi. After the invasion of the Revenue by Captain Cohl's Nebula Front, the Jedi are quick on the tail of Cohl, but eludes the Jedi after the Revenue explodes.
This novel politically plants the seeds for the birth of the Separatists. Also including multiple assassination attempts on the Super Chancellor Valorum's life. Senator Palpatine is also sowing the seeds of the ultimate destruction of the Old Republic, and is using Valorum as a puppet for his own interests. There is much depth to the story and we journey with so many Jedi that are so untouched in the movies: Vergere (bird like humanoid), Yaddle (female of yoda's species), Oppo Ranscis (snake creature) and Even Piell (pink version of yoda). We also witness the beginnings of Govenor Tarkin, and the beginning of the reigning Queen of Naboo. If you are biased to the movie Phatom Menace, the adventure that is Cloak of Deception may change your views on the movie.
I know Phantom Menace is probably the most criticized Star Wars movie, but this novel made me appreciate a lot the movie and enjoy it in its entirety.
"Qui-Gon Jinn was perhaps the greatest Jedi alive, a commanding presence at Council, a strong and brave warrior who refused to be intimidated by even the most daunting challenge, and a good and kind man."
Star Wars Hitchhiker