Long before the Clone Wars, the Empire, or the First Order, the Jedi lit the way for the galaxy in a golden age known as the High Republic!
Vernestra Rwoh is a new Jedi Knight at age sixteen, but her first real assignment feels an awful lot like babysitting. She’s been charged with supervising twelve-year old aspiring inventor Avon Starros on a cruiser headed to the dedication of a wondrous new space station called Starlight Beacon.
But soon into their journey, bombs go off aboard the cruiser. While the adult Jedi try to save the ship, Vernestra, Avon, Avon’s droid J-6, a Jedi Padawan, and an ambassador’s son make it to an escape shuttle, but communications are out and supplies are low. They decide to land on a nearby moon, which offers shelter but not much more. And unbeknownst to them, danger lurks in the forest….
Thanks to the publisher and author for a listening copy of Star Wars: A Test of Courage (The High Republic) for review consideration. This did not influence my thoughts or opinions.
I want to start off my review by stating that I am clearly not in the intended audience for this story. A Test of Courage is for grade levels 3-7 (age ranges 8-12), so a solid 18 years younger than me. That being said, while the content may not live up to my expectations, Ireland is a phenomenal writer who provides a fantastic story for a much younger audience.
This is now the 3rd book so far that I’ve read/listened in the High Republic series (Light of the Jedi by Soule and The Great Jedi Rescue by Scott) and while both of those focused on the major disaster plaguing the galaxy, this one is a bit smaller in scope. It was little refreshing not having the same plot from a different perspective.
I really enjoyed the characters Ireland portrayed here and definitely became fast friends with the lot of them. While I wasn’t too keen on the ‘stranded’ plot, it provided an opportunity to really peel back each character and learn more about their past. Vernestra is a character I want to see more of and one I hope becomes a mainstay in future novels. And of course, like all Star Wars novels, you get a quirky droid that provides the comic relief.
I think this is a perfect starting point for young readers who want to get into Star Wars (or have been forced into watching it by their nerdy parents – my daughter will be one of those). The characters are enjoyable, the plot isn’t too cumbersome or weighty, and it is just a fun adventure to get lost in.
Oh. and if you do enjoy audio, Keylor Leigh does a PHENOMENAL job with the added sound effects SW audiobooks are known for.