Dark Journey (novel)
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|Cover artist||Steven Anderson|
|Series||The New Jedi Order|
|Genre||Science fiction novel|
|February 1, 2002|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|Preceded by||Star by Star|
|Followed by||Enemy Lines: Rebel Dream|
The Yuuzhan Vong have claimed Coruscant as their new capital and the survivors of the battle of the planet, including the Skywalkers and the Solos, escape to rendezvous with other survivors within the Hapes Consortium. Meanwhile, in the Myrkr system, Jaina Solo and the survivors of the mission to exterminate the voxyn escape aboard a captured Yuuzhan Vong frigate named the Ksstar in order to meet up with Jaina's family on Hapes. On the Ksstar's heels is Khalee Lah, the fanatical warrior son of Vong Warmaster Tsavong Lah, and his charge, Priest Harrar. Their pursuit of Jaina and her comrades convinces Jaina to rename the captured Vong ship the Trickster in order to play mind games on the invaders; as one of their goddesses, Yun-Harla, is a trickster, Jaina's audacity is looked upon as blasphemy. As this happens, the Skywalkers and Solos' Jedi friends sense Jacen Solo's death, although, strangely enough, Jacen's family members themselves do not sense this.
On Hapes, Jaina's dead brother, Anakin, is given a proper funeral by cremation. Meanwhile, former Hapan Queen Mother Ta'a Chume sees how weak are the current Queen Mother and her daughter-in-law, Tenenial Djo. Since the Hapans had suffered a grievous loss about a year earlier against the Yuuzhan Vong at Fondor, that event sent waves of loss and pain into the Force-sensitive Tenenial that caused her to miscarry her unborn child. As a result, Tenenial became weak, both physically and emotionally from the trauma of the experience. So Ta'a Chume looks to find a replacement for the Queen Mother. Tenenial's own daughter, Tenel Ka, is an unlikely replacement due to her Jedi and warrior heritage. Jaina, on the other hand, in the midst of her brothers' losses and her anger and hatred for the Yuuzhan Vong, displays a commanding air about her that makes her a potential candidate to replace Tenenial Djo.
Meanwhile, Jaina, with the help of Kyp Durron and Jagged Fel, fights back against the combined forces of the Yuuzhan Vong and their supporters. However, these experiences begin to pull Jaina closer to the dark side of the Force, just like her grandfather, Anakin Skywalker. In the end, however, with the help of her friends and family, Jaina overcomes the temptations of the dark side, remembers her place as a Jedi, and rejects Ta'a Chume's offer to become the next Hapan Queen Mother. Instead, in the wake of Tenenial Djo's mysterious death by poison, Tenel Ka assumes the throne in time to combat the incoming Vong fleet.
As for Khalee Lah and Harrar, the former's experience in combating Jaina has driven him to feel such shame and self-loathing that Harrar assists in his suicide. The priest himself wonders whether or not Jaina herself is the human avatar of Yun-Harla.
Cunningham commented in an interview that the story is a personal one focusing on a difficult time in Jaina's life.
- Cunningham, Elaine (February 1, 2002). Dark Journey. USA: Del Rey Books. pp. 301 pp. ISBN 0-345-42869-2.
Dark Journey reached 11 on the New York Times bestseller list on February 17, 2002.