My review: In the Shadow of the Spire is a much-needed Star Wars story

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: author February Grace is probably one of the kindest people ever to be found on Twitter. She’s really a delight, so consider following her! Aside from being a lovely human, she’s also a brilliant writer with over 30K followers on Wattpad alone. This month, I found out why, after reading her Star Wars fan fiction story, In the Shadow of the Spire.

She had me at the first chapter.

Book cover: In the Shadow of the Spire, February Grace. A young male Jedi apprentice wears a brown cloak over a white vest. His eyes stare intensely at us. His face sports a stubbly beard. His blue lightsaber is ignited.

In the Shadow of the Spire takes place after The Last Jedi and during and after Black Spire by Delilah S. Dawson. It’s about the fate of two brothers who had been under Master Skywalker’s tutelage when Ben Solo became Kylo Ren. One brother, Rook, turned to the dark side with a mission to kill his brother Evar, who insisted on staying with the light. Evar escapes his doom by way of his Jedi student teacher, Lilia Dae. Teaming up with Savi, who fans will recognize from Star Wars Galaxy Edge, the trio split up to keep the boy safe from Rook, Ren, and the First Order.

Woven into the seamless word-building, and giving even more life to Savi’s workshop on Batuu, are the rich character arcs and a romantic element that makes this reader sigh dreamily. The romance isn’t clunky or tacked on. It doesn’t take away from the action and the rich tapestry of knowledge Grace has of this part of the outer rim. I was completely sucked into the setting, storytelling, and my Star Wars geekiness loved that Grace hit all the details dead on.

For me, In the Shadow of the Spire is a much-needed Star Wars story. After watching Episode IX, I felt hungry for a story written through the female gaze. This is not to say Grace doesn’t write male-characters extremely well, but the women in In the Shadow of the Spire are so satisfyingly portrayed with a balance of strength and vulnerability that finally feels realistic.

And the resolution of the conflict between the two brothers was just right.

If you’re a Star Wars fan, I really recommend this work. To me, it should be part of canon. Grace put every scene inside my head so vividly, I felt like I watched this book as a series. And the best part? You can read it free on Wattpad!

(Now I’m secretly hoping for more Star Wars stories from this author. In the meantime, there are many other titles for you to read in her Wattpad profile!)

Cait Gordon, in a black and white digital sketch

Cait Gordon is a disability advocate and the author of Life in the ’Cosm and The Stealth Lovers. When she’s not writing, Cait’s editing manuscripts and running The Spoonie Authors Network, a blog whose contributors manage disabilities and/or chronic conditions. She also teamed up with Kohenet Talia C. Johnson to co-edit the Nothing Without Us anthology in an attempt to take over the world. Narf.

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