|Release Date:||February 2021|
Last year Star Wars: The High Republic was launched and I thoroughly enjoyed the first novel for adults a lot. I ended up ordering the YA and youth books too and this title A Test of Courage is the first book for children from ages 6-8.
In this book we follow a young Jedi Knight named Vernestra who is on an escort mission. She has to keep a girl named Avon Starros safe, but she feels like this is more of a babysitting mission than something serious. They’re aboard a ship called the Steady Wing, but early on in their journey the ship explodes and they’re sucked into the vacuum of space. By using the Force Vernestra manages to save Avon, her droid J-6, a boy named Honesty and a young padawan named Imri, but alas they crash land on a nearby planet’s moon and are stranded in a strange and extremely dangerous jungle.
This book handles quite a few heavy subjects, mainly the loss of parents/guardians and because the book focusses on a small group of young people we get to experience how each of them deals with the sudden change in their lives. Imri loses his master and Honesty his father during the explosion of the Steady Wing and the book really takes the time to explore the characters’ feelings about their predicament. Sometimes there’s some repetition, but seeing as this is a book for children, that’s no coincidence.
I really liked the story and the start wasn’t a generic adventure as I had initially thought it would be. The range of emotions shown by the characters is done quite well by Justina Ireland. The book also explores how Jedi are drawn to the Dark Side of the Force and at one point I really felt for Imri, who had lost his Master. There are also some interesting things about the young Jedi Knight Vernestra, which I hope will come back in future novels of this series.
Although the book is written very well, the story isn’t extremely well fleshed out and could have used a bit more in the way of world building, in my opinion. The story isn’t overly original either, after a great start, which is why I end up at a three star mark. I’d definitely recommend this to younger readers, as it is still a very fun adventure, but especially once they crash land the story ends up becoming a much more generic adventure than it could have been.
Writing style: 🌟🌟🌟🌟