Title: Master and Apprentice
Author: Claudia Gray
Series: Star Wars Disney Canon
Genre: Science Fiction
Audience: Adult (appropriate for younger audiences)
Narrator: Jonathan Davis
Length: 330 pages
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Release Date: April 16, 2019
Source: Library (Libby app)
An unexpected offer threatens the bond between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi as the two Jedi navigate a dangerous new planet and an uncertain future.
A Jedi must be a fearless warrior, a guardian of justice, and a scholar in the ways of the Force. But perhaps a Jedi’s most essential duty is to pass on what they have learned. Master Yoda trained Dooku; Dooku trained Qui-Gon Jinn; and now Qui-Gon has a Padawan of his own. But while Qui-Gon has faced all manner of threats and danger as a Jedi, nothing has ever scared him like the thought of failing his apprentice.
Obi-Wan Kenobi has deep respect for his Master, but struggles to understand him. Why must Qui-Gon so often disregard the laws that bind the Jedi? Why is Qui-Gon drawn to ancient Jedi prophecies instead of more practical concerns? And why wasn’t Obi-Wan told that Qui-Gon is considering an invitation to join the Jedi Council—knowing it would mean the end of their partnership? The simple answer scares him: Obi-Wan has failed his Master.
When Jedi Rael Averross, another former student of Dooku, requests their assistance with a political dispute, Jinn and Kenobi travel to the royal court of Pijal for what may be their final mission together. What should be a simple assignment quickly becomes clouded by deceit, and by visions of violent disaster that take hold in Qui-Gon’s mind. As Qui-Gon’s faith in prophecy grows, Obi-Wan’s faith in him is tested—just as a threat surfaces that will demand that Master and apprentice come together as never before, or be divided forever.
I love the depth Claudia Gray brings to the Star Wars universe. This book gave us a new perspective on Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan’s relationship and the struggles they faced learning to understand each other to form an effective partnership. We also learned more about the Jedi prophecies concerning the Chosen One, so this was a good prequel to Episode I.
I loved the way the mystery unfolded. I think Gray is skilled at balancing action, politics, espionage, and interpersonal relationships in her space epics. The twists in the story were surprising and well executed.
I was initially confused by he inclusion of new original characters’ perspectives to the story; I expected this book to alternate exclusively between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan’s points of view. However, once I understood these new characters and the roles they played in the story, I grew to appreciate the inclusion of their POVs.
I really enjoyed how this particular mission forced Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan to confront their differences and work through them to finally build the strong Master/Padawan relationship they both wanted. I also loved the flashbacks to Qui-Gon’s own training with Dooku, and I wouldn’t appreciated more.
I did not love the portrayal of the Jedi Council. I understand why that portrayal served the story, but I thought there were some inconsistencies with some of the characters, particularly Yoda.
The audiobook was amazing. I love listening to Star Wars novels on audio because they are always a complete production with sound effects, music, and character voices. For example, Yoda was Yoda, not the narrator mimicking a Yoda voice. During battle scenes, you hear the sounds of blasters firing and lightsabers clashing. And the Star Wars score we know and love was included to add drama to key scenes.