Alphabet Squadron: Victory’s Price Speculation

In the wake of Yrica Quell’s shocking decision—and one of the fiercest battles of their lives—the remnants of Alphabet Squadron seek answers and closure across a galaxy whose old war scars are threatening to reopen.

Soran Keize has returned to the tip of Shadow Wing’s spear. Operation Cinder, the terrifying protocol of planetary extermination which began in the twilight of the Imperial era, burns throughout the galaxy. Shadow Wing is no longer wounded prey fleeing the hunters of the New Republic. With its leader, its strength has returned, and its Star Destroyers and TIE squadrons lurk in the darkness between stars, carrying out the fallen Emperor’s final edict of destruction—as well as another, stranger mission, one Keize has championed not for the dying Empire, but for its loyal soldiers.

Alphabet Squadron’s ships are as ramshackle and damaged as their spirits, but they’ve always had each other. Now, as they face the might of Keize’s reborn juggernaut, they aren’t even sure they have that. How do you catch a shadow? How do you kill it? And when you’re finally victorious, who pays the price?

In a surprise announcement, which I suspect was meant to be at the cancelled Star Wars Celebration that would have happened in a week or so, the cover image and the blurb for the upcoming final instalment of the ‘Alphabet Squadron’ trilogy were released. The cover features Wyl Lark an the front, as well as the ships that make up the team, with a noticeable lack of an X-Wing.

From here on, ‘Alphabet Squadron: Shadow Fall’ SPOILERS will be rife.

Let’s start with the heroes first.

The noticeable lack of Yrica Quell’ X-Wing goes to show that the Squadron probably won’t be replacing her, or if they do it ‘lol be a surprise. Given the timeline, this third book could be happening close to the ‘Battle of Jakku’, meaning that the final fight between Alphabet Squadron and Shadow Wong.

Wyl Lark will still be in command of the Squadron, and will have probably settled into the role a lot more. He may still be wary of Nath after the latter caught Wyl trying to contact Shadow Wing the night before the fledgling New Republic forces were about to try to retake Troithe from the Empire.

Nath will continue being the guy who is friends with everyone, maintaining relationships with other Squadrons. Part of me considers Nath to be the heart of the group almost and it’d be very possible that he will be killed at some point, maybe about halfway through which will spur the remaining Squadron members to join the ‘Battle of Jakku’.

Chass will make it to the end, she will be disappointed that she doesn’t get the kind of meaningful death that Jon Erso had, but may possibly return to Troithe to return to ‘The Children of the Empty Sun’, probably because outside of the Squadron, which after Jakku would be disbanded, ‘The Children of the Empty Sun’ is the only place that exists that she felt like she had a place, even though she mocked it.

I hope Kairos has more to do in the next book. She was utilised brilliantly in the first book but in ‘Shadow Fall’ she was sidelined after an injury, only to return at the end, and revealing herself to Nath and Hera to be some sort of humanoid insect-like species. I imagine she would be heavily utilised during the ‘Battle of Jakku’, ferrying soldiers in her U-Wing. It would also make a nice link to Chuck Wendig’s ‘Empires End’ if she was piloting the ship that Jon Barell saved by sacrificing himself.

I’m trying not to speculate heavily on Hera Syndulla’s involvement. I assume she will remain in charge of the Squadron and act as a mentor to Wyl as he takes a heavier command role. I do wonder if we will finally get a mention of Jacen, or his whereabouts, which has been strangely ignored so far in the trilogy.

Now for the Empire.

At the end of ‘Shadow Fall’, Yrica Quell had returned to Shadow Wing and her former Squad Leader, Soren Kieze after her actions during Operation Cinder were revealed to her team. I’m interested to see how her arc plays out in ‘Victory’s Price’. I can’t see her playing double agent and bringing Shadow Wing down from the inside. I’m sure Kieze will be keeping an eye on her.

Kieze, who spent time using an alternate persona, Devon, during the first book, has taken his Squadron back under the wing of the Empire, pledging allegiance to Rae Sloane’s remnant. Their resources will feel infinitely greater than we have seen so far and their threat level will be much higher.

If Shadow Wing is involved with the ‘Battle of Jakku’, I do wonder if the survivors join Rae Sloane and the other escaped Imperials that head off into the Unknown Regions that eventually becomes The First Order, or will Kieze leave and return to his life as Devon? Leaving Quell to lead in his place, which could be a very interesting turn of events.

Needless to say, I am very much excited for this book to come out next year, I have really enjoyed the first two parts of the trilogy and I’m absolutely certain Alexander Freed will knock this one out of the park.

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