|Author||Walter Jon Williams|
|Cover artist||Cliff Nielson|
|Series||The New Jedi Order|
1 October 2002
1 July 2003
|Media type||Hardcover & Paperback|
|Followed by||Ylesia (occurs within Destiny's Way)|
Jacen Solo, son of Han Solo and Princess Leia, has escaped from the Yuuzhan Vong with the aid of a Jedi Master from the time of the Old Republic, Vergere. Besides making cryptic references to Jacen's destiny, Vergere also reveals that she has spent the last fifty years with the Yuuzhan Vong in order to save the living world of Zonama Sekot, as well as to gather intelligence on the Vong themselves.
Meanwhile, Han and Leia Organa Solo were visiting the Imperial Remnant, trying to coax it into allying with the New Republic. Though the Remnant's leader, Grand Admiral Gilad Pellaeon, refuses the offer, he does give them the locations of the Galactic Empire's old hideaways in the deep core in order to help the Republic's war against the Yuuzhan Vong. In exchange, the Solos offer information on Yuuzhan Vong technology, especially the yammosks.
A new government is forming on Mon Calamari after the fall of Coruscant. Luke Skywalker wants to prevent an anti-Jedi government from forming, so his friends in the Smugglers' Alliance blackmail the majority of New Republic Senators into voting for Jedi-supporting Senator Cal Omas rather than the anti-Jedi Fyor Rodan. Luke inducts nine Jedi Knights into the new Jedi order he is forming, among them Jacen, his sister Jaina Solo, and the new Hapan Queen Mother Tenel Ka. The New Republic forces, now assembled on the water world of Mon Calamari, plan their next attack on the Yuuzhan Vong with the aid of the now-retired Admiral Ackbar.
However, some elements in the New Republic are desperate enough—the Bothans especially—to make the war against the Yuuzhan Vong one of extermination as well as victory. One method meant to accomplish such a task is through Alpha Red, a biological virus developed by New Republic agent Dif Scaur and Chiss scientists that had been successfully tested to eliminate anyone and anything with Yuuzhan Vong DNA. When word of Alpha Red got out, Vergere was able to infiltrate security and use the chemical compounds she manufactured through the Force, residing in her system, to transform Alpha Red into something harmless. Until Alpha Red can be concocted into something lethal against the Yuuzhan Vong again, it is ruled out as an option to use against the galactic invaders.
The success of the operation against Ebaq 9, a long-neglected world on a former Imperial trade route, leads the Yuuzhan Vong into a trap that halts their advance by killing nearly every warrior who went to Ebaq, including Warmaster Tsavong Lah, who died in combat against Jaina Solo. Vergere sacrifices herself to save Jacen from the Vong by plowing a stolen A-wing into Ebaq 9's surface. In the aftermath of the Battle of Ebaq 9, the New Republic is reformed into the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, or the Galactic Alliance for short.
The Yuuzhan Vong agent provocateur Nom Anor, who suggested the assault on Ebaq 9, is obliged to give his life for his plan's failure, but he disguises himself and hides beneath Yuuzhan'tar's (formerly Coruscant's) streets.