After the events on Troithe, Alphabet Squadrom would never be the same again. Picking up some time later, ‘Victory’s Price’ throws us right into the emotional aftermath of Quell’s defection and how the Squadron must come together as the end of the war draws closer.
Alexander Fred’s work in the Star Wars canon has been nothing short of fantastic. After throwing us into the front lines in ‘Battlefront: Twilight Company’ it was hardly a surprise to me when it was announced that he was writing the novelisation of ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’, which he absolutely nailed. When he was announced to be writing a Trilogy about star fighter pilots I was ecstatic and the first two instalments in the ‘Alphabet Squadron’ Trilogy were fantastic, and I had no doubt that the third would follow suit.
Boy, did I underestimate it.
‘Victory’s Price’ is phenomenal, I can’t put it any other way whatsoever. The emotional journeys that the main characters went through in ‘Shadow Fall’ really resonate here, the events of the last book changed all of them drastically, and Freed really lets us feel that here, and as the character development continues, it gives us some new dynamics that you (or the characters themselves) probably never would have thought possible.
Not even the Empire’s 204th Fighter Squadron, came out of the last book unscathed, with Shadow Wing being crammed into a “rinky-dink freighter” and Yrica Quell back with her former commander, Soran Keize and now under the command of Admiral Rae Sloane, Shadow Wing has a new mission which could have serious repercussions for the rest of the Galaxy and its down to Hera Syndulla’s Star Destroyer, The Deliverance to stop them.
Freed not only crafts an amazing story here, but he weaves details from other books, specifically to Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath: Empire’s End’ and allusions to the game ‘Star Wars: Squadrons’ which tied more into ‘Shadow Fall’ but gets referenced here.
‘Victory’s Price’ gives us an incredibly emotional, action filled and satisfying conclusion to a brilliant trilogy, it was a tough book to put down. Whilst the previous two books had more action sequences, the action here is more tightly packed into a couple of areas but once the action gets going it is all encompassing and as always with Freed, written to perfection. Where we don’t get the action, the character depth we get into is wonderful, seeing what this group of characters go through in this one really drives the story and how they move forward as the story builds just shows how well written they are.
At 460 pages (hardback edition), it’s one of the more heftier books in the Star Wars Canon but at no point does the story feel like it’s dragging, every beat of the story is well placed and works to move the story forward, putting characters in the right place or situations at the right time to drive the story.
The end feels well earned, things come as a surprise, others are expected but not obvious, and, without giving anything away, felt reminiscent of the last episode of the Netflix series ‘The Haunting of Bly Manor’ and it worked so well.
A brilliant end to a brilliant Trilogy. Freed doesn’t pull any punches and puts the characters through the ringer for a well deserved and satisfying conclusion, it’s left me wanting more Star Wars books from this great author.
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