A woman with a blue streak in her hair is wearing an orange jacket. She is looking at three stormtroopers who are on top of a building.

Black Spire was written by Delilah S. Dawson. It was released in 2019. I was given the Barnes & Noble exclusive edition of this book, which contains a painting of Black Spire Outpost. The painting opens up into what is meant to look like a hand drawn map of the location.

At the start of the book, Vi Moradi is sent out on a mission given to her by General Leia Organa. Vi is a Resistance spy, and hadn’t entirely recovered from her previous mission. She was caught by the First Order and tortured by one of them. She managed to turn her torturer, Captain Cardinal, against the First Order. In short, this was discovered, and he was nearly killed. Vi brought him back with her.

General Organa wants to send Vi Moradi to Batuu, but only if she is ready. It is not a vacation, but an important strategic location. After Vi agrees to go, General Organa informs her that she has been assigned a partner. His name is Archex. General Organa explains that this is the same man who tortured Vi. He has been rehabilitated.

There is, of course, an explanation. General Organa feels that Vi and Captain Cardinal (who has now reverted to his name before he was part of the First Order) have things in common. She wants Vi to not only lead the mission, but to find out useful information from her former torturer. Vi agrees to go.

Their ship crash lands on Batuu, and they awaken after someone has stolen most of their belongings. A droid that accompanied them now has some parts missing. They have no food, and very little shelter.

As time goes on, Vi finds employment at a place that goes through scrap metal (and other tossed away items). The owner appears to somehow just know things. A woman who is a co-worker points out that he is hoping to find some relics in the debris that has been gathered. The implication is that he might be force-sensitive.

Archex (previously Captain Cardinal) is having a rough time. His body wasn’t entirely healed before the mission, and the crash landing caused more injuries. He is in a lot of pain, but trying to hide it from Vi. Archex longs for the drugs that he was issued while in the First Order. A painkiller would be nice.

One of the key characters is Oga, proprietress of Oga’s Cantina. As Vi interacts with more of the locals, she learns that Oga is not one to be messed with. She has a small, but very dangerous, group of thugs that will do her bidding.

Vi’s biggest concern is that the people of Batuu believe that their little part of the universe is too small to be noticed. Most feel like the war between The First Order and the Resistance is far away. Eventually, The First Order shows up.

I’m leaving out many parts of the story so as to avoid spoilers. What I can say is that I absolutely loved this story. It has a cast of interesting characters (which I will leave you to discover). There are moments of fun and also parts where things get seriously intense. In my opinion, some of the characters are seeking redemption for mistakes they made in the past.

Black Spire made me feel as though I was walking around in Batuu, a few steps behind the characters. I read this book not long after visiting the Star Wars part of Disneyland with my husband. The entire area has cast members who roleplay as people who grew up on Batuu, or who arrived there from somewhere else. Speak with any of them, and they will tell you about their life.

We went to Batuu shortly before COVID-19 broke out across the world. While in the thick of a crowd, I spotted a woman wearing an orange jacket, despite the day being warm. She had a blue streak in her black hair. When I made eye contact with her she put her finger to her lips to say “shhh”. I nodded as we passed each other by.

I had no idea who she was until I looked at the cover of Black Spire. It turns out I “met” Vi Moradi when both of use were visiting Batuu. I would love to return to the little outpost someday.

#Blaugust2021

Black Spire – by Delilah S. Dawson is a post written by Jen Thorpe on Book of Jen and is not allowed to be copied to other sites.

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