There’s a point in the latest adult novel in the High Republic era — Zoraida Cordova’s novel Convergence — where a character says, “Fighting for peace is like coming to the desert for rain. You’ll wait forever.” It’s a poignant statement encapsulates the senseless fighting and chaotic path within the novel. First, by two societies that are stuck in a forever war. Second, in a broader sense, when discussing the nature of the Jedi in the Outer Rim.

Picking up 150 years before Light of the Jedi, the book introduces us to two feuding cultures — the Eirami and E’ronoh. They live on separate planets, but those planets share a moon and a societal history that has recently been torn apart. As we enter the picture, they’ve been at war continuously for the past five years. Only now are they agreeing to a temporary ceasefire?

Enter the Republic. And the Jedi. Neither of which is wanted on the planets but who are needed to help supply the enfeebled populaces. And, perhaps, broker a peace. It’s not an easy task, especially when it’s undermined by an antagonizing group calling itself the Path of the Open Hand.

The Chaotic Path

One of two Republic chancellors in Convergence

The setup is familiar. Anyone who’s read Romeo and Juliet can see the similarities between the two factions and their respective heirs. It’s a love story, with planet-crossed youths trying to forge peace, but the hate on both sides is far more potent than in most Shakespearean tragedies. From the beginning, something insidious is at play. A movement to keep the two planets apart and use their resentment as leverage toward a bigger goal.

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As pieces of it unfold, this goal leads through chaotic twists and turns. First, it’s peeled back to reveal a group headed by a mysterious person called Mother, who by all accounts, is a cult. While its objectives are still unknown, its methods and targets are eerily familiar, especially for those who’ve read the first phase of the High Republic. This is confirmed when a particular ship’s name is revealed and when one considers the nature of the manufactured poisonous gas.

Why this group has targeted these two planets has yet to be revealed. Yet, the group is very intent on keeping the conflict alive, calling in favors and members from across the galaxy. One of whom encapsulates chaos in its purest form.

The Path To Nihil(ism)

Son of a Republic chancellor in Convergence on a chaotic path

As with the previous adult trilogy, Convergence lays bare the inherent problem with the Republic and the Jedi. They aren’t wanted. Not in an Outer Rim full of planets and cultures that enjoy independence and freedom from oversight. While some might welcome the safeties granted by Republic and Jedi bureaucracy, enough are resistant. And when pooled together, they form a pretty strong block.

In this novel, however, that block doesn’t yet have a name. The organization behind the discontent hasn’t come forward, unlike the Nihil, but the seeds of its formation are there. This is most apparent in one character in particular. He’s a flashy youth who gambles, drinks, and experiences life in its rawest form. Unsurprisingly, he has no direction or real purpose other than to numb himself and watch the galaxy descend into mayhem.

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This type of youth will one day make up the Nihil. And eventually, stand idly by as the Republic implodes on itself and gives birth to an empire. It’s a mindset that’s profoundly discontented and in pain. And it firmly rejects everything the Jedi represent.

Convergence Of Two Worlds

One of two warring worlds in Convergence

As the Republic and Jedi do their best to mend the Eirami and E’ronoh, the heirs aren’t the only ones discovering themselves. There’s another pair full of flirtation who spends most of the book learning what matters most. And by the end, they see that purpose in each other.

The only problem is that one is a Jedi, and the other is a criminal. Yet, who they are at heart isn’t the same as what’s on the surface. Both need validation. Both want someone to help and care for them. It’s just that, in this instance, their worlds are too far apart. Worlds that will never collide and never meet safely in the middle.

While the heirs find solace in a life’s work ahead of them, the Jedi and the criminal are parted. Their futures as loners are set, each meant to scour the galaxy’s edges in an unending search for something elusive. Something that may one day unite them.

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Convergence On A Scale

Star Wars rating featuring Leia Organa

Like the other High Republic adult novels, Convergence is well-written and nicely mapped out. Its plot is generally easy to follow and enjoyable to digest. While the setting is new and many characters come and go, the numbers are far more manageable than in previous books. The ending does speed up when compared with the rest of the narrative, but that’s a minor gripe.

What’s more challenging are the plots within plots that unfold and how and why the Path is involved. That, of course, will lead to the next books, but it’s important to remember that the previous trilogy ended with Starlight Beacon crashing onto Eiram. That’s home to the Eirami.

Coincidence? Unlikely.

For further reading about the High Republic, check out our reading list.

THE GOOD
Nice character studies
Wonderful action and set pieces
Familiar setup but nicely woven
THE BAD
Perhaps too layered at points
Speeds up at the end
8
Great

Review Summary

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