The High Republic: Convergence by Zoraida Córdova Review

Without a doubt, I can definitely say I really enjoyed this Audiobook, having listened to it three times since it’s release.

Set against the backdrop of a seemingly never ending war between two neighbouring planets, Eiram and E’ronoh and full of mystery, suspense and politics, ‘Convergence’ piles on layers and layers of story, weaving characters together in ways that wouldn’t seem likely and introduces us to some of the MVP’s of the Second Phase of ‘The High Republic’.

The story of the Jedi and one of the two Republic Chancellors coming together to broker a peace treaty between to two planets leads the story, with a secret layer of intrigue showing the machinations behind the current wave of violence.

The arrival of the second Republic Chancellor’s wayward Son causes more of a stir eventually leading the children of the two warring leaders to take the peace talks into their own hands and, in an effort to bridge the gap, choose to get married to unite their planets.

As the betrothed, Xiri A’lbaran, the Princess of E’ronoh and Phan-tu Zenn of Eiram take a tour of E’ronoh’s villages, offering aid supplies to those affected by the hostilities, they soon realise that the war with Eiram has led some of the population to believe that Xiri is a traitor, leading to complications along the way. Factoring in, Axel Greylark, the spoilt son of Chancellor Greylarl with his disdain for the Jedi and Jedi Knight Gella Nattai, who after a disastrous mission is trying to find her place in the Order make for an interesting team.

The real threat however lurks in the shadows, manipulating events and those on power, returning from the pages of ‘Path of Deceit’ is ‘The Path of the Open Hand’ and their enigmatic leader, The Mother whose influence stretches much farther than I had even considered when reading ‘Path of Deceit’.

We are also introduced to a Jedi Master who seems to be playing a larger role in this Phase, Creighton Sun, who acts as a guide for Gella and also works with fellow Jedi Master, Char-Ryl Roy and his Padawan Enya Keen on working with the feuding monarchs in building peace between their worlds and making sure the upcoming wedding goes ahead without a hitch (and of course, it doesn’t).

‘Convergence’, whilst continuing the (seeming) overall plot started in ‘Path of Deceit’ acts almost like a separate beginning to the story, and I suppose it could work without reading ‘Path of Deceit’ first, however, I do think that the inclusion of ‘The Path of the Open Hand’ would be lost on someone starting with this book. I get the feeling that Phase 2 will be more closely connected than Phase 1 in which each wave connected but readers weren’t required to consume everything to enjoy the overall stories.

One thing, that did take me a while to remember is that the Eiram/E’ronoh conflict has been mentioned before during Phase 1, specifically in ‘Into the Dark’ by Claudia Grey where Jedi Master Cohmac Vitus and Orla Jereni were dispatched during their Padawan years to find the missing monarchs of the two planets which led to Eiram and E’ronoh’s acceptance of The Republic and allow the construction of Starlight Beacon in their system.

I really enjoyed the new characters (given that ‘The Mother‘ is the only returning character that means pretty much everyone). The leads, Xiri and Phan-tu are really well fleshed out and have great arcs when they could have easily have fallen into the ‘Romeo and Juliet’ trope. Axel Greylark is almost relatable in terms of his motivations. His dislike of the Jedi stemming from the death of his father and being whisked away by a Jedi before he could be harmed any more than he already was in the explosion. His ire towards the Jedi starts to wane and a real bond starts to form between himself and Gella which made for a nice subplot, and gave his character some added depth over what could have been another “spoilt son of a rich politician” trope.

A great continuation of ‘The High Republic’ Phase 2. So far my trepidation for the change in time period has been completely unwarranted. I’m looking forward to revisiting George Mann’s ‘The Battle of Jedha’ audio-drama.

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