Master and Apprentice Delves Into Qui-Gon’s Past (book and audio review)

Dooku. Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan.

The list of Jedi Master and Padawan Apprentice is connected from beginning to end in the Star Wars Universe.  But little is known about the relationship between Count Dooku and Qui-Gon Jinn.  What was this like and how did it affect Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan?  What was it like for Qui-Gon to train Obi-Wan and how did that duo develop?  These questions are answered in Del Rey’s newest book in the Star Wars universe, Master and Apprentice by Claudia Gray.

Cover for Claudia Gray’s book Master and Apprentice

Qui-Gon was always a bit of a “different” Jedi.  Willing to do some un-Jedi like things like betting on a podrace or fixing the results of a throw of the dice, Qui-Gon seemed to operate from a different code of ethics than the more straight-laced Obi-Wan.  In the films, the two seemed an odd pair and that wasn’t by accident as this new novel reveals.  Qui-Gon almost didn’t finish Obi-Wan’s training and could have assumed a seat on the Jedi Council.  But instead the path that seemed about to tear them apart, brought them together.  To find out how, you’ll have to read (or listen to) the novel.

As with most of these “background” stories that fill in the history of our beloved characters, this story of Master and Apprentice is wrapped around another story of political intrigue, assassination attempts, and a rather bizarre Jedi Knight Rael Averross who is even more “different” than Qui-Gon.  The two had not only been friends but shared the same Jedi Master – Dooku.   But these two have a past that put them at odds and yet have a mutual respect for one another.  Rael is now the regent of Pijal, taking care of the young princess until she becomes of age and assumes the throne for herself.  That alone is an unusual position for a Jedi, but Rael is an unusual Jedi.  And then events happen that threaten the princess’ life and Rael calls for Qui-Gon’s help.

Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan discussing Anakin’s future

Claudia Gray expands on her short story of the same name which she wrote in the landmark collection of stories, From A Certain Point of View. In that original short story, she delved into the relationship of Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan after Qui-Gon’s passing into the Force and the words of advice he shared with Obi-Wan along with hints that he would teach his former padawan the secrets to near corporeal existence after death.  But in this novel she goes backward in time to reveal the origins of that relationship. As she has done with other Bloodline she expertly weaves this story together to be as intriguing as a novel on its own and as a story about characters in the Star Wars universe fans love.

Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon facing off against Darth Maul

She teams up again with audio artist Jonathan Davis who is well-known among Star Wars fans and who also did the reading of the original short story in From A Certain Point of View.  His rendition of Qui-Gon Jinn is nearly flawless and captures the essence and cadence of Liam Neeson’s portrayal so accurately.  More astounding is he ALSO captures the essence of a young Obi-Wan Kenobi and does a masterful rendition of Rael Averross.  Fans already know Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, but his portrayal of Jedi Knight Averross adds depth to the character beyond Claudia Gray’s excellent work. For fans of Qui-Gon Jinn, this is a welcome addition to Star Wars lore and for those who crave to know more about the Jedi, you need to add this to your collection.  And if you want to “hear” the book as if it were a movie, the audiobook is more than excellent!

  • Read our exclusive interview with Claudia about her book Bloodline
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