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When a transport ship is abruptly kicked out of hyperspace as part of a galaxy-wide disaster, newly-minted teen Jedi Vernestra Rwoh, a young Padawan, an audacious tech-kid, and the son of an ambassador are stranded on a jungle moon where they must work together to survive both the dangerous terrain and a hidden danger lurking in the shadows….


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When a transport ship is abruptly kicked out of hyperspace as part of a galaxy-wide disaster, newly-minted teen Jedi Vernestra Rwoh, a young Padawan, an audacious tech-kid, and the son of an ambassador are stranded on a jungle moon where they must work together to survive both the dangerous terrain and a hidden danger lurking in the shadows….

30 review for A Test of Courage

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jared Mayes

    A wonderfully enjoyable middle-grade entry in the High Republic publishing program, A Test of Courage chronicles the misadventure of prodigy 16-year-old Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh alongside the mischievous Senator’s daughter Avon Starros as their lives are turned upside down by a Nihl attack. We see how grief tempts Jedi Padawan Imri to give into his desire for revenge in a totally believable way, lending the book emotional depth. Plus it develops some cool lightsaber lore with Vernestra’s light A wonderfully enjoyable middle-grade entry in the High Republic publishing program, A Test of Courage chronicles the misadventure of prodigy 16-year-old Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh alongside the mischievous Senator’s daughter Avon Starros as their lives are turned upside down by a Nihl attack. We see how grief tempts Jedi Padawan Imri to give into his desire for revenge in a totally believable way, lending the book emotional depth. Plus it develops some cool lightsaber lore with Vernestra’s lightwhip and Avon’s desire to experiment on kyber crystals. As an overachiever, I really identified with Vernestra’s character and can’t wait to see how the series develops her and Avon!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Grace

    As a partisan for the prequel Jedi, I'm interested to see what the High Republic era has to say for itself. This was a pretty good introduction. The idea of a sixteen-year-old full Jedi knight is a little bit odd, but it's Star Wars. We believe in giving teenage girls a scary amount of power. Other than that, this was a good, solid kids' adventure. It had enough philosophy, enough action, and enough emotions to make it all-around enjoyable. As a partisan for the prequel Jedi, I'm interested to see what the High Republic era has to say for itself. This was a pretty good introduction. The idea of a sixteen-year-old full Jedi knight is a little bit odd, but it's Star Wars. We believe in giving teenage girls a scary amount of power. Other than that, this was a good, solid kids' adventure. It had enough philosophy, enough action, and enough emotions to make it all-around enjoyable.

  3. 4 out of 5

    TheGeeksAttic

    Star Wars: A Test of Courage was written by New York Times Bestselling Author, Justina Ireland. This is the second tale within the High Republic Era. A Test of Courage is a young readers book and is published by Disney-Lucasfilm Press. SUMMARY: A few members of the Nihil are at Port Haileap, with a plan to infiltrate the luxury liner ship, the Steady Wing. They want to cause chaos, to instill fear in the republic, and most importantly, to make a name for themselves and impress one of the Tempest Star Wars: A Test of Courage was written by New York Times Bestselling Author, Justina Ireland. This is the second tale within the High Republic Era. A Test of Courage is a young readers book and is published by Disney-Lucasfilm Press. SUMMARY: A few members of the Nihil are at Port Haileap, with a plan to infiltrate the luxury liner ship, the Steady Wing. They want to cause chaos, to instill fear in the republic, and most importantly, to make a name for themselves and impress one of the Tempest Runners, which is one of the leaders in the Nihil. There are many people on the Steady Wing, all headed to the Starlight Beacon's opening ceremony. When the Nihil's plans for the Steady Wing come to fruition, a young group of survivors find themselves alone on a moon, far off from space lanes. The group consists of two young Jedi, the son of the Dalna Ambassador, and another child with the familiar name in the Star Wars comic line, Starros. The group must figure out how to survive on the terrifying moon, and somehow reach out to someone among the stars to rescue them. Will the youth survive? Will the young Jedi stray from their path and give into fear? What more does the Nihil have planned? You'll have to read the book to find out! CHARACTERS: We have a few characters to talk about, I'll mention one character I found a little interesting and another I was annoyed by. Vernestra Rwoh is a green skinned Mirialan. She’ a prodigy within the Jedi Order, passing the Jedi trials at the age of just 15, one of the youngest Jedi Knights around. She’s not too thrilled with her first mission as a Jedi Knight, spending time on the planet Dalna. She’s keeping an eye on an ambassadors daughter, making sure she’s kept safe. She’s good with a lightsaber, but still a little unsure of herself. She’s young for a Knight, and must face some difficult decisions when she’s thrust into an unexpected disaster. Honesty Weft, son of the Dalna Ambassador. Honesty does not want to be on the Steady Wing, he’d much rather find out what vocation would suit him best, he’d like to be a warrior, to join the Dalna military. Even though the planet hasn’t had a full scale war in a century. But, his father wants Honesty with him, to witness diplomacy first hand as they attempt to join the Republic. Honesty is a very emotional young man. Who cry’s about absolutely everything. OVERALL THOUGHTS: This book was fine. It’s a young readers story, and for some reason I find the young reader books pretty tedious. The story isn’t bad at all, it's just very simple and straight forward. The book definitely has a mature theme, with a lot of death and some violent moments. For a kids story, I'd think if it were a film, it would still have to be PG-13. There are some really dark moments. The characters are written well. Honestly, I found only two characters interesting, the others I could have done without. The idea that one of the young Jedi is a prodigy was a bit silly, I think the story would have been more interesting if the cast contained not 1 Padawan, but 2 or maybe even 3. The Nihil didn't seem to intemidating in the book, of course they did a dark deed, but they were just dumb villians, I would say that's most likely due to the targeted age group for the book, then again... the book was packed with death and other dark points. The dialogue was well written. Some of the plot points were really interesting as one of the youth turns toward a darker path. We get a good tease at some of the lore of the Jedi, and their conflict with the Sith. Like I said, the book was fine, it wasn't bad at all, but I wouldn't say it was great. Do I recommend you pick up Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage? If you are a completest, yes. If you could care less about young reader books, I think you could pass on this one. RATING: I give this novel an B-

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    Arc provided by NetGalley. Ok, I have many thoughts. Let’s preface this review with some quantifying statements. -This is technically a middle-grade book, I don’t often read middle grade and thus don’t have much to say in regards to that aspect of the book. -I am a huge Star Wars fan. I have read several of the books and am well versed in the universe. -Quantifying the previous statement, Jedi are not my favorite element of the Star Wars universe. So this book does have to stand outside of Jedi be Arc provided by NetGalley. Ok, I have many thoughts. Let’s preface this review with some quantifying statements. -This is technically a middle-grade book, I don’t often read middle grade and thus don’t have much to say in regards to that aspect of the book. -I am a huge Star Wars fan. I have read several of the books and am well versed in the universe. -Quantifying the previous statement, Jedi are not my favorite element of the Star Wars universe. So this book does have to stand outside of Jedi being cool. These things being said, let’s start the review. I loved this book. I had such a fun time reading this book. I also got so into it you don’t understand. While reading I was highlighting elements in different colors and making notes. I never do this when reading fiction books, I’ve only ever done it in some nonfiction books, that is how into this book I got. As a Star Wars fan, I was so excited by the setting this new sub-series is covering. The universe outside of the Skywalker saga and the Skywalkers holds so much potential. There is so much potential in this unexplored time in the galaxy. Going back to the intended age range I do believe that this book is in some ways able to transcend the stereotypes of that descriptor. Of the middle grades that I have read after exiting the target age range where you would expect one to read them, one was another Star Wars middle grade. Comparing the two without really comparing them, I feel that this one has a much wider appeal. This book goes into some complex topics and deals with some pretty heavy stuff. There were only a few times when I felt the influence of middle grade seep into the story. I feel like everyone could enjoy this book. Moving on to how much fun as a star wars fan I had spotting references, let’s put that at a 7 and an 8 for those more well versed in different species and planets. This book was also really funny. There were several lines that I had to save because they brought a smile to my face. For those interested in Jedi culture and mentality this book dealt with those topics pretty heavily. With two of the four main characters being force users a significant amount of the conflict present in this book comes as a result of dealing with your place as a Jedi. How you interact with the force and it with you. Jedi codes of conduct and rules are also frequently brought up and referenced. If you didn’t know about Jedi before reading this you definitely know how they operate by the end. We also spent a suspicious amount of time in there talking about kyber crystals. It felt sort of out of place and like it was set up for future plots and events. These events are either going to tie back in with more high republic books or they could just be tying us to things like Rogue One. I feel that one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much was because of some similar elements it shares with the new Thrawn books. We are in star wars but we are outside of the familiar realm we usually operate in. This gives the story so much more room to roam and it shows at times. I also liked the imped bigger threat that will turn up again at a future date. Thrawn also had these, enemies, in the shadows just outside of the story but sure to impact it significantly. On a final note, let’s talk about some things I wasn’t so jazzed about as no book is without some flaws. There was the bit about the kyber crystals I mentioned earlier but it’s not too big of a deal. The start of the book put me a bit off at first. It felt like we were switching between characters too much and it was hard to get into. There was this promise of excitement just around the corner but the intrigue was just a bit lacking. I also found the ending to be a bit rushed. The resolution to the stranding dilemma comes too easily and closure for the characters doesn’t really happen satisfyingly. I can’t quite put my finger on everything in the ending that put me off but it was there and otherwise, I would have rated the book much higher. I can’t wait to see how more of The High Republic plays out.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor (bookishcourtier)

    I really enjoyed this book! This is one of the first books in the new High Republic era of Star Wars and whilst this did only offer quite a limited view of the new world, it has definitely made me excited to continue. My favourite character was Vernestra, she was very cool. I cannot wait to explore this era in more detail.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    It is possible to simply adore the characters in a book, but be totally turned off by the plot? That’s exactly how I felt about this book. Vernestra, a fifteen-year-old Jedi who is tasked with watching over Avon Starros, a trouble-making young aspiring inventor and J-8, her wacky droid. They are well-crafted and form the core of the story… and it is these young , strong characters that kept me reading. The basic plot: A new space station called Starlight Beacon is about to be dedicated. It will b It is possible to simply adore the characters in a book, but be totally turned off by the plot? That’s exactly how I felt about this book. Vernestra, a fifteen-year-old Jedi who is tasked with watching over Avon Starros, a trouble-making young aspiring inventor and J-8, her wacky droid. They are well-crafted and form the core of the story… and it is these young , strong characters that kept me reading. The basic plot: A new space station called Starlight Beacon is about to be dedicated. It will become a key communication and supply relay between Coruscant and the Outer Rim. Thousands are on their way to the big party! The characters in A Test of Courage are on a luxury liner headed for the big event… but on their way a series of explosions rips the vessel apart and a spare maintenance ship enables them to escape the wreckage. They find themselves floating in deep space until a habitable moon is located. Is it deserted? Will the mystery be solved… My biggest beef with this book is that I never felt a connection to this new High Republic. Some distinct things are mentioned, but none of the reveal I was expecting. I wanted to see and hear The Time of the Jedi… only to ultimately get a lost-on-a-deserted-planet plot. As I said above, the characters were great… each flashback and interaction gave me better insight into their lives and personalities, but I never saw they connect to the new whole. I’ll try not to pan this one too much because I think Ireland’s writing is damn good… Read it for a decently fun adventure and some good characters… a book which I think will be a delight for new readers of the SW Universe. For all my reviews: https://paulspicks.blog

  7. 5 out of 5

    sassyspines

    "Death. Destruction. Desolation." This book definitely portrays a variety of emotions to the reader. This book has humor, lessons, hurt, and questioning one's self. The story follows two young Jedis Vernestra and Imri, a senator's daughter Avon and her droid J-6, and a Dalnan ambassador's son Honesty. If you have read The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and loved Iko, you will love reading about Jay-Six. "Perhaps the people who had actually suffered got to make decisions sometimes." Our "Death. Destruction. Desolation." This book definitely portrays a variety of emotions to the reader. This book has humor, lessons, hurt, and questioning one's self. The story follows two young Jedis Vernestra and Imri, a senator's daughter Avon and her droid J-6, and a Dalnan ambassador's son Honesty. If you have read The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer and loved Iko, you will love reading about Jay-Six. "Perhaps the people who had actually suffered got to make decisions sometimes." Our main characters are thrown into action when the ship they are on, the Steady Wing, starts to fail. They wind up on a moon and have to survive and find a way off. All of the characters are dealing with the events from the Steady Wing, and a few of them begin to contemplate what that they've been told. Will someone be swayed to join the Dark Side? Or will they feel the force's call and stay on their path as a Jedi? While on the moon, they face various challenges from survival to atmospheric changes. Will they survive the moon and make it back home? "Don't always be in a hurry to be the first one out of the gate. Sometimes the first of the herd is just quickest to the slaughter." I loved Avon's character and reading about her growth throughout the story. Seeing how much her mother cares about her was nice to read because parents in Young Adult and Middle-Grade books are depicted very differently. I loved seeing how Avon and J-6 interacted with one another and the protectiveness he felt for Avon. I do wish we had a longer book to learn more about Honesty and Imri and their stories. Since this is a shorter book, we get a glimpse into the lives of our characters. However, we are left wanting to know more. Also, I would have loved to read more about Vernestra and her journey to a Jedi Knight. Trigger & Content Warnings: Death, kidnapped, loss of a loved one I was fortunate to read an arc of this. All quotes are from an uncorrected advance reader copy.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kai Charles(Fiction State Of Mind)

    The High Republic is here! In this middle grade story we meet young Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh who is joining a delegation of Jedi Masters, diplomats and padawans to celebrate the activation of Starlight Beacon. This book is in alignment with the events of Light of the Jedi but what is great about the HR universe so far is that you can read this book without reading Light of the Jedi. Though the reader is very quickly introduced to some representatives of the Nihl the main leads of this book are i The High Republic is here! In this middle grade story we meet young Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh who is joining a delegation of Jedi Masters, diplomats and padawans to celebrate the activation of Starlight Beacon. This book is in alignment with the events of Light of the Jedi but what is great about the HR universe so far is that you can read this book without reading Light of the Jedi. Though the reader is very quickly introduced to some representatives of the Nihl the main leads of this book are in the dark of the events that unfold. When bombs explode on the the ship heading to the beacon a group of children/teens make their way to an escape pod and find themselves the last survivors. Venestra and Avon shine in this novel. Their personalities are very different but they both quickly realize the benefits of collaboration. I also enjoyed that Ireland doesn't shy away from exploring the emotions of loss as the son of a diplomat and a Jedi padawan deal with the death of their Father and Jedi Master. Add a sassy robot and adventures on a small planet with deadly acid rain and you get a fast paced and satisfying adventure. It's been recently announced that we will see more of these characters in the future and I'm really excited for it. Especially Avon Starros.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Timothy

    Another great book that has kicked off the High Republic era of Star Wars! I’ve always loved the Jedi, ever since I was a kid in the 80’s. Even though this book is geared towards young readers, I found it to include a great little story filled with some very solid Jedi philosophy that weaves well into established Star Wars lore. The little insights and conversations about the mysterious Nature of the force, about the light and dark side of the force are just as important in the fictional world of Another great book that has kicked off the High Republic era of Star Wars! I’ve always loved the Jedi, ever since I was a kid in the 80’s. Even though this book is geared towards young readers, I found it to include a great little story filled with some very solid Jedi philosophy that weaves well into established Star Wars lore. The little insights and conversations about the mysterious Nature of the force, about the light and dark side of the force are just as important in the fictional world of Star Wars as it is in the real world. For what this book aims to be, my expectations were exceeded, and I very much encourage any other adult readers who are interested in the High Republic era to pick it up and give it a read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    The second book to be released set in The High Republic era is A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland, the first being Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule. A Test of Courage opens with the targeted destruction of a luxury ship, the Steady Wing, on its way to the opening ceremony for the Starlight Beacon space station. Two members of the Nihil, an organized group of pirates dedicated to instilling fear in the Republic, are responsible. In the aftermath of the destruction, four young individuals are l The second book to be released set in The High Republic era is A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland, the first being Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule. A Test of Courage opens with the targeted destruction of a luxury ship, the Steady Wing, on its way to the opening ceremony for the Starlight Beacon space station. Two members of the Nihil, an organized group of pirates dedicated to instilling fear in the Republic, are responsible. In the aftermath of the destruction, four young individuals are left stranded on a moon far from known space lanes. Among the survivors are newly minted Jedi Knight Vernestra Rwoh, Padawan Imri Cantaros, Honesty Weft, son of the ambassador for the planet Dalna, and Avon Starros, daughter of Senator Ghirra Starros. (The name Starros is likely familiar to readers of Marvel's Star Wars comics, which have featured a character named Sana Starros. Since this story takes place 200 years prior to The Phantom Menace, there's no confirmation there's a relation.) Vernestra, or Vern as she's nicknamed, is young for a Jedi Knight. At just 15 years of age, she is considered a prodigy in the ways of the Force. Avon is a tech wiz, an inventor, and a bit precocious to say the least. She's a challenge for Vern, who is tasked with her safety. Imri's master, Douglas, was killed in Steady Wing‘s destruction. This leaves him feeling unmoored and vulnerable to the temptations of the dark side of the Force. Honesty's father was also killed in the explosion and he's left with anger and feelings of guilt over things unsaid. The four are also accompanied by Avon's droid, J-6. Avon has made certain adjustments to the droid's programming, making it a real character in its own right. As the four try to find their way on the mysterious moon where they've become stranded, they encounter dangers both from the natural world and the two Nihil pirates responsible for the Steady Wing‘s destruction, who also find themselves stranded. A Test of Courage is a middle-grade book aimed at readers between 8-12 years of age, so I'm not the targeted audience. That said, I found it quite enjoyable. The characters are developed nicely, each with a distinct personality and the pros and cons that follow. Imri in particular is troubled by self-doubt, something he experienced while his master was alive and is greatly amplified after his death. Once the pirates are discovered, Imri decides to take the situation into his own hands, and he sees Honesty's anger as a useful tool. Vernestra finds herself having to deal with the aftermath, and bringing Imri back from the precipice of falling into darkness. There are some pretty mature themes found in A Test of Courage, but they're handled responsibly. It didn't feel like things were just tossed into the mix because it's a “kids book” and no one will take it seriously. There's a real plot and the things that happen to the characters do so for actual reasons, and there are valuable lessons to be learned. A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland was released the same day as Light of the Jedi by Charles Soule. While the stories set in The High Republic era are interconnected, you don't need to read everything to follow the story. However, having read Light of the Jedi first, I found A Test of Courage to be complementary. The younger intended audience and adult readers alike will find something to appreciate in this well-crafted tale. Thank you to Disney Lucasfilm Press for providing an uncorrected galley proof for review purposes.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jerome Azbell

    A safe title that, on its own, would provide little to set it apart among the pile of juvenile science fiction or even among Star Wars titles for that audience. It may prove an integral piece of the new High Republic line, though, which hints from this title show may still have promise. Hundreds of years before the Skywalker Saga, the Republic is in talks to add Dalna to its numbers. When a ship carrying Dalnan ambassadors is destroyed, the survivors (naturally including a Jedi and a Padawan) ar A safe title that, on its own, would provide little to set it apart among the pile of juvenile science fiction or even among Star Wars titles for that audience. It may prove an integral piece of the new High Republic line, though, which hints from this title show may still have promise. Hundreds of years before the Skywalker Saga, the Republic is in talks to add Dalna to its numbers. When a ship carrying Dalnan ambassadors is destroyed, the survivors (naturally including a Jedi and a Padawan) are in a fight for their own survival. This book tries to serve both as a character-driven and an action-driven story. While each character is unique and fleshed out, Star Wars continues its streak of droids being the most interesting characters. I found myself wanting to know more about each character individually (except, unfortunately, the one whose internal struggles form the novel's climactic tension) and wouldn't mind seeing more of each of them. The third act of the book moves to a more action-focused direction. This pull of a longer survival story moving directly into an action sequence seems a little forced but will be welcomed by readers who get this far. The epilogue reaches out to what I assume will be the main arc of the High Republic storyline, for which I will reserve my judgment due to insufficient evidence. Overall, this is a perfectly enjoyable title that will appeal to the existing Star Wars fan who is on board with Disney's methods.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    I received an ARC from Baker & Taylor! I highly recommend this book, especially if your family likes Star Wars. I will add this title to our library collection. However, you don't have to know that much about Star Wars to enjoy the story. I was most impressed with the dialogue and the character development. It was natural and it did not seem forced. Well done, Justina Ireland! :) I received an ARC from Baker & Taylor! I highly recommend this book, especially if your family likes Star Wars. I will add this title to our library collection. However, you don't have to know that much about Star Wars to enjoy the story. I was most impressed with the dialogue and the character development. It was natural and it did not seem forced. Well done, Justina Ireland! :)

  13. 4 out of 5

    Shireen Hakim

    A great adventure. Middle grade readers will enjoy Jedi heroes of their age. Thank you for the e ARC Disney Lucasfilm and NetGalley!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Maggie

    A galaxy at peace… starts the opening crawl of the second novel in Lucasfilm Publishing’s newest multi-media initiative The High Republic.  A Test of Courage is written by New York Times best-selling author Justina Ireland and is aimed towards young readers between the ages of 8 and 12. While the book may be aimed towards a younger demographic, it’s a perfect book for all readers.  READ MORE: https://yourmoneygeek.com/review-a-te... In a lot of ways, the story reminded me of “The Gathering,” an epi A galaxy at peace… starts the opening crawl of the second novel in Lucasfilm Publishing’s newest multi-media initiative The High Republic.  A Test of Courage is written by New York Times best-selling author Justina Ireland and is aimed towards young readers between the ages of 8 and 12. While the book may be aimed towards a younger demographic, it’s a perfect book for all readers.  READ MORE: https://yourmoneygeek.com/review-a-te... In a lot of ways, the story reminded me of “The Gathering,” an episode from the fifth season of The Clone Wars. Through external and internal exploration, young characters learn important lessons and grow under duress. But A Test of Courage is set 200 years before the events of The Clone Wars and Ireland brings to life a new cast of endearing characters.  Sixteen-year-old Vernestra Rwoh, a Mirialan Jedi Knight, unexpectedly becomes the guardian of a ragtag bunch of children after a disastrous calamity. Those children include; Avon Starros, the eleven-year-old daughter of a senator and her snarky J-6 protocol droid; Honesty Weft, the eleven-year-old son of a Dalnan ambassador; and Imri, a fourteen-year-old Jedi Padawan.  The book opens with a Nihil-centered prologue as Klinith Da and Gwishi sabotage the High Republic luxury liner, Steady Wing in an attempt to prevent an alliance between the Republic and the Dalnan ambassador. Following the events of Light of the Jedi, it is quite clear that the Nihil are determined to sabotage the Republic’s attempts at spreading into the Outer Rim. While the Nihil may be marauding pirates, I can’t help but sympathize with their distaste for the High Republic assuming they can come into the sector and start patrolling it. Maybe their motives aren’t pure, but two books into The High Republic and I’m really liking the Nihil.  Ireland is truly talented at bringing the characters to life and taking them through a full emotional journey over the course of the book. Oftentimes books geared towards young readers will brush over tragedy, but not A Test of Courage. Imri and Honesty both suffer crushing losses and they’re allowed to cry, emote, and express that grief through anger and frustration. Each child is so drastically different, it was extremely satisfying to see how they came together and for each other as they dealt with situations so much bigger than themselves.  I think that is why A Test of Courage reminded me of The Clone Wars. The novel is filled with poignant, thought-provoking lessons that are perfect for not just young readers, but all readers that turn to Star Wars for important life lessons. Through the experiences of the children, we learn more about the Jedi, the origin of the Sith and the dark side, and gain further understanding of the world at large in the Star Wars universe.  If you have read any of my previous reviews, you will know that I am a huge fan of worldbuilding when it comes to Star Wars, which is why A Test of Courage ticks all of the boxes for me.  I was particularly fond of three lines in the book that tie The High Republic to more recent Star Wars content. Pasaana, which was first introduced in The Rise of Skywalker, is referenced in connection to the apparent sand ghosts residing on the planet; Batuu, which is connected to not only the Sequel Trilogy but the Disney Theme Parks is briefly mentioned in relation to Batuu knots; and there was a brilliant inclusion of joppa stew, a delicacy (as long as you’re not Avon) from Mon Cala.  The only downside to A Test of Courage was that the book was not nearly long enough. I wanted to stay with these characters longer. I’m looking forward to seeing these characters return as the stories are drawn together. Justina Ireland has crafted a book that is perfectly suited in the hands of a youngling or a sage Jedi Master. It’s a satisfying tale brimming with heart, friendship, and masterfully dealt world-building and Star Wars mythology.  Get your copy of A Test of Courage ahead of the January 5th unveiling of Star Wars: The High Republic.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joseph Born

    Note: I received an uncorrected advance proof of this book therefore I will not factor in editing or grammatical errors into my review. A Test of Courage was my second High Republic novel. This new era of storytelling is set during a time of renaissance for the Republic; as the Jedi Order helps the Republic expands westward 200 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace. In A Test of Courage we see a prodigy Jedi Knight, a mere 16 years old, as she is suddenly thrown into Note: I received an uncorrected advance proof of this book therefore I will not factor in editing or grammatical errors into my review. A Test of Courage was my second High Republic novel. This new era of storytelling is set during a time of renaissance for the Republic; as the Jedi Order helps the Republic expands westward 200 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace. In A Test of Courage we see a prodigy Jedi Knight, a mere 16 years old, as she is suddenly thrown into a chaotic situation The Great Disaster is still fresh in everyone's minds. That catastrophic event that yanked ships across the galaxy out of hyperspace and threatened planets has people wary of traveling at lightspeed. The Nihil, sinister agents of anarchy, decide to bomb a ship to sow more fear in the heart of the Republic. That is the very beginning of A Test of Courage. The main characters are the aforementioned Knight Vernestra Rwoh, 12 year old inventor Avon Starros and her droid J-6, Padawan Imri, and Honesty, the son of an ambassador. This ragtag group finds themselves struggling to survive on an exotic and dangerous moon following the destruction of the ship they were traveling on. Vernestra herself is a well written character; and a Mirialan alien which was refreshing compared to Star Wars' human-heavy protagonists. You really get a sense of the weight Vernestra feels being one of the youngest Jedi Knights in recent history. She is charged with protecting Avon; and they don't always see eye-to-eye. Avon also has a delightfully fun dynamic with her acerbic droid J-6. Imri and Honesty also are solidly fleshed out as the story unfolds; both sharing the sharp pain of grief. A Test of Courage itself for the first 2/3rds goes the way you'd expect reading the synopsis. Oftentimes junior, in this case middle-grade, are fun romps but don't take much risks due to their target audience. The final act of this novel surprised me though in some fun and at times insightful ways. It felt more YA than junior almost; and I mean that in the best way possible. Justina Ireland also is quite descriptive with her prose. At times I could easily imagine what was happening thanks to how rich the writing was. And I won't say much to avoid spoilers; but towards the end there's a fight that I enjoyed a lot. Both how it was written and the stakes. Overall I'd say A Test of Courage is well worth reading whether you're an adult or younger. It does suffer from being rather straightforward with its story and themes, but that is a restriction of the age level and not the writer. This High Republic entry won't disappoint. 4.5/5 stars.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Antonia

    The Star Wars universe has always been my comfort place. On sick days I love to put on any one of the movies no matter how many times I’ve seen it. Naturally then, my comfort reads tend to also be from Star Wars titles because nothing can help you forget about the craziness of real life faster than a trip to a galaxy far, far away. 2021 is bringing a new aspect of that galaxy to life, taking us even further back than ‘a long time ago.’ Geared towards a variety of age groups and type of reader, th The Star Wars universe has always been my comfort place. On sick days I love to put on any one of the movies no matter how many times I’ve seen it. Naturally then, my comfort reads tend to also be from Star Wars titles because nothing can help you forget about the craziness of real life faster than a trip to a galaxy far, far away. 2021 is bringing a new aspect of that galaxy to life, taking us even further back than ‘a long time ago.’ Geared towards a variety of age groups and type of reader, the books and comics of Star Wars The High Republic will take readers back in time 200 years before the events of Episode I: The Phantom Menace when the Republic is at its height and the Jedi truly are defenders of peace and justice in the galaxy. One of the first books to be released (on the same day as Charles Soule’s Light of the Jedi) is Justina Ireland’s middle grades novel, Star Wars the High Republic: A Test of Courage. I was lucky enough to read a galley-proof of the book, which I can FINALLY share a review of. A Test of Courage introduces us to Vernestra Rwoh, the Jedi order’s youngest knight, who has been assigned to keep an eye on the precocious daughter of a Republic senator, Avon Starros. The name might ring bells for readers of the 2015 Star Wars comics, which introduced the character Sanna Starros, who first introduces herself as Han Solo’s wife (it’s a long story). Vernestra and Avon, along with her nanny droid, J-6, and members of a foreign delegation depart on what can only be described as a luxury space cruise ship, the Steady Wing, to attend the dedication of Starlight Beacon – a waystation at the outer edges of Republic space, meant to help expand their reach into the frontier with a goal of a more united galaxy. Catastrophe strikes the Steady Wing soon after departure, but not before we are introduced to a young Padawan named Imri and a member of a noble family, a boy named Honesty. In the aftermath of the disaster, Vernestra, Avon, Imri, Honesty, and J-6 must make their way back to civilization, if they can survive long enough. The story is a little bit on the predictable side, but nonetheless enjoyable. It introduces some new technology in the Star Wars universe and is anchored by relatable characters. The dynamic and relationships between each of the kids are well-written, and Ireland did a great job writing dialogue between them that captures the seriousness of the situation while still making it engaging and fun for young readers. I enjoyed the young Jedi introduced in this book and would love to see more of Avon in the future, but J-6 was a surprising favorite of mine. I don’t tend to gravitate towards protocol droids, but let’s just say that Avon has been doing some tampering with her personality matrix that I very much approve of. It seems like every time a new Star Wars story comes out, I say that I have a new favorite droid, but J-6 takes some of the best aspects of our recent favorites and puts them together into a sassy baby-sitting machine. Prior to the release of The Rise of Skywalker, I read another of the author’s entries into the canon universe, Spark of Resistance. While these may be “kid’s books,” I enjoyed the writing and characterizations, so of course upon hearing of her involvement in The High Republic, I was excited to see what Justina Ireland would do with a new time period and characters within the universe and I was not at all disappointed by the result. I look forward to seeing more from Ireland and her characters after finishing this book and can’t wait to share it with my own Younglings. Publisher : Disney Lucasfilm Press (January 5, 2021) Language: : English Hardcover : 256 pages ISBN-10 : 1368057306 ISBN-13 : 978-1368057301 Reading age : 8 – 12 years Grade level : 3 – 7 Disclaimer: This review was written based on an uncorrected proof provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Farseer

    This is a middle grade Star Wars novel, with a target audience of 8 to 12 years, so I'll judge it bearing that in mind. The story is quite short, and that means that it moves fast. It is an adventure story, as expected of Star Wars, but it is surprisingly character-focused. That is a good thing in my book, since making the characters distinct individuals makes it easier for the reader to care about what happens to them. One problem is that when you write a book and you want to make it an adventu This is a middle grade Star Wars novel, with a target audience of 8 to 12 years, so I'll judge it bearing that in mind. The story is quite short, and that means that it moves fast. It is an adventure story, as expected of Star Wars, but it is surprisingly character-focused. That is a good thing in my book, since making the characters distinct individuals makes it easier for the reader to care about what happens to them. One problem is that when you write a book and you want to make it an adventure story, and a character-focused story and also very short, something's got to give. So, the adventure part was quite light. There just wasn't much to it, and the villains did not seem formidable at all. The character work was more interesting, although once again the short length means that it felt a bit rushed. All the stuff going on with Imri, for example, I felt that it could have been handled better, maybe foreshadowing it in a more subtle way, because as it was introduced it seemed to come out of nowhere. The story combines some heavy stuff, real loss and trauma, with a light middle-grade storytelling tone, and that didn't always work. It's probably part of it being so short, there was just no room to explore the issues more deeply. Nevertheless, I appreciated that there was more emotional depth than I would have expected of a quick middle-grade adventure. I'm not a fan of the idea of a 15-year-old Jedi Knight. It seems to ignore how much formation becoming a Jedi requires, not just academic and in physical skills, but also in terms of maturity, leadership and spiritual skills. For those worried about the author's politics being included in the story, they are not, other than the fact that of the four main characters the two white male ones display negative character traits while the two female non-white ones display admirable character traits. The sample size is too small to know if it's systematic or coincidence. Despite the misgivings I have mentioned, I think it was a competent story, and Star Wars fans who are in the target audience or who are open to middle-grade fiction will enjoy it. It doesn't take the extra step to raise it above so many other competent middle-grade stories, but it did not feel like a writer for hire phoning it in to get the paycheck.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karen Cohn

    Vernestra Rwoh is a 16 year-old Jedi Knight, one of the youngest to ever pass the trials. Avon Starros is a few years younger than Venestra, the daughter of Senator Ghirra Starros, and an avid scientist and inventor. J-6 is a protocol droid assigned to Avon; her roles also include warrior and nanny; Avon has modified her programming somewhat, and the changes are ongoing. Honesty Weft is a 12 year-old boy, son of the Dalnan ambassador, and unhappy about the interruption of the expected sequence o Vernestra Rwoh is a 16 year-old Jedi Knight, one of the youngest to ever pass the trials. Avon Starros is a few years younger than Venestra, the daughter of Senator Ghirra Starros, and an avid scientist and inventor. J-6 is a protocol droid assigned to Avon; her roles also include warrior and nanny; Avon has modified her programming somewhat, and the changes are ongoing. Honesty Weft is a 12 year-old boy, son of the Dalnan ambassador, and unhappy about the interruption of the expected sequence of events this trip is having on his life. Imri Cantaros is a 14 year-old Padawan learner, accompanying his Master, Douglas, on a diplomatic journey. All of them are traveling to Starlight Beacon, to see if the Dalnans choose to join the Republic on the interstellar luxury ship Steady Wing. They all meet aboard the ship, at a diplomatic meal intended to welcome the Dalnan delegation - until disaster strikes. The ship begins to explode, the result - unknown to any of the passengers or crew - due to sabotage by a group calling itself the Nihil. In the course of the ship's breakup, the teens, along with the droid J-9, are separated from the adults while trying to teach escape pods, and in desperation, board a maintenance shuttle. The novel then follows events as they try to find a safe haven on which to land, and from which to return to Port Haileap, or, really, anywhere safe. This novel deals with many themes that impact teens - family, loss, grief, coming of age, doubt, emotional control, and learning one's strengths, weaknesses, and limitations - as they deal with the situation into which they are thrust. Join them as they help one another through their experiences.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Vera

    Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book! It was...fine. It's about a group of kids, including a Jedi Knight, a padawan, and two other kids who escape from their exploding ship and land on a nearby moon. They figure out who blew up their ship (not a spoiler since the prologue sets up who blows up the ship explicitly) and it all ties up well. Most of the book is spent talking about the various characters' feelings about what happened to the Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read an ARC of this book! It was...fine. It's about a group of kids, including a Jedi Knight, a padawan, and two other kids who escape from their exploding ship and land on a nearby moon. They figure out who blew up their ship (not a spoiler since the prologue sets up who blows up the ship explicitly) and it all ties up well. Most of the book is spent talking about the various characters' feelings about what happened to them and about their relationships with people who were aboard the exploded ship. In other words, nothing much happens in the book, and the characters aren't interesting enough for me to care particularly about all of their angst. This is yet another very mediocre Disney Star Wars book. With each new series, I keep thinking that something mindblowing is going to happen, and it never does. The High Republic doesn't excite me in the way that the non-Disney canon Old Republic did, and I feel like Disney just can't manage to make a Star Wars book with new characters that I really care about. The writing style in this book was good, since Justina Ireland is a good writer, but good writing is not enough to make a book interesting. Unfortunately, this one was a miss for me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    (Review will not be published until Dec 14th) Star Wars: A Test of Courage was a fun first foray into a new time period for the Star Wars universe. Justina Ireland did a great job setting the stage for more novels to come with good world building and very distinct exciting characters. Justina did such a good job with her characters that for the first time I was actually more interested and entertained by the “non-Jedi” characters than I was by the main driving force of Star Wars universe! I did f (Review will not be published until Dec 14th) Star Wars: A Test of Courage was a fun first foray into a new time period for the Star Wars universe. Justina Ireland did a great job setting the stage for more novels to come with good world building and very distinct exciting characters. Justina did such a good job with her characters that for the first time I was actually more interested and entertained by the “non-Jedi” characters than I was by the main driving force of Star Wars universe! I did feel a bit at odds with the pacing of the book. I would have liked to see a bit more time spent on the conflicts (both internal and external) that took up the last 20% of the book as opposed to the large amount of introspection in the middle. Their were plenty of Easter eggs for Star Wars fans and I am very excited to see how they play out across the High Republic publishing initiative.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sean

    We were sent copies of the first three High Republic novels to review. A Test of Courage is a junior novel written by Justina Ireland that you shouldn't sleep on. A confined, fun and unexpected adventure awaits that's rewarding for both casual and core fans, no matter if they're kids or adults. Which is what makes the book so fun. Anyone can enjoy it. We're also introduced to a cast of new characters wholly separate from Light of the Jedi, but when you start to read these books back to back, you We were sent copies of the first three High Republic novels to review. A Test of Courage is a junior novel written by Justina Ireland that you shouldn't sleep on. A confined, fun and unexpected adventure awaits that's rewarding for both casual and core fans, no matter if they're kids or adults. Which is what makes the book so fun. Anyone can enjoy it. We're also introduced to a cast of new characters wholly separate from Light of the Jedi, but when you start to read these books back to back, you'll notice some characters in the background or some who are mentioned may show up in another book. It feels connected while not being directly connected to the plot. This story doesn't take place in the middle of the Great Disaster, but in its own disaster, with its own set of consequences and turmoil. Full review can be found here! >>> https://screenhub.blog/2020/12/16/sta...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    This was an ARC sent to me in exchange for an honest review. This is my first venture into the High Republic era of “Star Wars.” Even though I’m not the target age demographic, I still had an enjoyable time following along with the adventure as it unfolded. Notably, Justina Ireland does a fantastic job of distinguishing just how different the Jedi of this era are from the ones around during the Clone Wars. She delves into the ongoing battle between the light and dark sides of the Force, and in do This was an ARC sent to me in exchange for an honest review. This is my first venture into the High Republic era of “Star Wars.” Even though I’m not the target age demographic, I still had an enjoyable time following along with the adventure as it unfolded. Notably, Justina Ireland does a fantastic job of distinguishing just how different the Jedi of this era are from the ones around during the Clone Wars. She delves into the ongoing battle between the light and dark sides of the Force, and in doing so, shows just how understanding the Jedi are of that, all the while encouraging to steer clear of giving in to the dark side. The acceptance, encouragement, care, and humanity displayed by the Jedi is so refreshing to see, and the way it all plays a role in the story is well executed. So I enjoyed this first dive into this era of “Star Wars.” It has helped ease my way in and I await to see what comes next in the upcoming books.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chris Wermeskerch

    Fun adventure in the High Republic era. While Light of the Jedi had to do a LOT of legwork preparing the whole era, leaving it with a huge cast, Test of Courage is the opposite: it does a lot of work on its core five characters, but doesn't do nearly as much worldbuilding. I really liked most of the characters here - and I think one that I didn't like as much was intentional. Lots of fun concepts explored here, like lightwhips and their morality (!), exploring new places, relationships and frien Fun adventure in the High Republic era. While Light of the Jedi had to do a LOT of legwork preparing the whole era, leaving it with a huge cast, Test of Courage is the opposite: it does a lot of work on its core five characters, but doesn't do nearly as much worldbuilding. I really liked most of the characters here - and I think one that I didn't like as much was intentional. Lots of fun concepts explored here, like lightwhips and their morality (!), exploring new places, relationships and friendships, and pushing yourself to be brave. As an opener to the High Republic era, I came with hopes to see more world-building, but shouldn't have expected as much from a book like this one. Either way, it's worth reading this book. We'll follow these characters through the next round of novels, and they're an enjoyable group as it is!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anna Catherman

    I was delighted to stumble across the NetGalley High Republic Sample. "A Test of Courage" was the first book featured. I wasn't totally blown away by it - probably because I'm not the target audience Ireland is writing to - but it nevertheless offered plenty to keep older fans reading. Vernestra seems a bit young for a full-blown Jedi Knight, but it's done believably enough and wasn't overwhelmingly annoying. I was especially delighted by Avon Starros' early appearance and...unique...presence. A I was delighted to stumble across the NetGalley High Republic Sample. "A Test of Courage" was the first book featured. I wasn't totally blown away by it - probably because I'm not the target audience Ireland is writing to - but it nevertheless offered plenty to keep older fans reading. Vernestra seems a bit young for a full-blown Jedi Knight, but it's done believably enough and wasn't overwhelmingly annoying. I was especially delighted by Avon Starros' early appearance and...unique...presence. As an avid Star Wars comics reader, it was the icing on the cake to see Sana Starros' kin in a very different societal position than Sana finds herself in several hundred years later. I can only speak for the first three chapters, which were solid and made me eager to continue.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Evelien

    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this chapter sampler in exchange for an honest review. "A Test of Courage" by Justina Ireland follows a young Jedi knight, Vernestra Rwoh, who is escorting a Senator's daughter to a new space station: Starlight Beacon. This story didn't click with me at first because I wasn't aware this was a Middle-Grade novel. I've only read a few Star Wars universe books so far, but all of them were aimed at adults, so the tone and language had me Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to read this chapter sampler in exchange for an honest review. "A Test of Courage" by Justina Ireland follows a young Jedi knight, Vernestra Rwoh, who is escorting a Senator's daughter to a new space station: Starlight Beacon. This story didn't click with me at first because I wasn't aware this was a Middle-Grade novel. I've only read a few Star Wars universe books so far, but all of them were aimed at adults, so the tone and language had me baffled the first few pages, even though the story itself was engaging. However, in hindsight, I think it will be a delight to young fans of Star Wars, as the tone is light-hearted and the character's personalities really shone through even in these first few chapters.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Akindle

    Star Wars: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland This book was an ARC from NetGalley. I don’t get paid(except to keep the ARC) to write these. I also don’t get paid to give these 5 Star reviews. The High Republic is finally here!! Starting from Project Luminous and finally rolled out now, after many delays! Here is my review. Things I liked -New villain(We have seen too many dark jedi/Sith) - J-6, a great droid -The people grieving for Jedi (view spoiler)[Master Douglas (hide spoiler)] killed early in Star Wars: A Test of Courage by Justina Ireland This book was an ARC from NetGalley. I don’t get paid(except to keep the ARC) to write these. I also don’t get paid to give these 5 Star reviews. The High Republic is finally here!! Starting from Project Luminous and finally rolled out now, after many delays! Here is my review. Things I liked -New villain(We have seen too many dark jedi/Sith) - J-6, a great droid -The people grieving for Jedi (view spoiler)[Master Douglas (hide spoiler)] killed early in the book -The(view spoiler)[ handsie Chiri, a friend, until his death to Imri (hide spoiler)] -Starlight Beacon(view spoiler)[One of Chancellor Soh’s “Great Works Program” stations (hide spoiler)] -The jungle world of (view spoiler)[: Wevo (hide spoiler)] -A female young Jedi Knight(if you want one of those, the best place to find them is New Republic and beyond Legends books) Things I didn’t like -The ending felt rushed -The fact that ~200 years before TPM, they are still exploring the outer rim, not like (spoilers for Clone Wars: Wild Space)(view spoiler)[Bail and Obi-Wan’s mission to Ziggola, in Wild Space (hide spoiler)]

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tara A

    Vernestra’s first mission as a young Jedi Knight is to keep Avon safe as she travels to meet her mother on the new space station, Starlight Beacon. After the cruiser has been sabotaged, Vernestra finds this to be a much more difficult challenge than she’d thought. This is such a fun and exciting adventure! The High Republic takes place long before Anakin’s story in the Star Wars saga. There is a nice variety of young characters, including two strong and intelligent females in Vernestra and Avon. Vernestra’s first mission as a young Jedi Knight is to keep Avon safe as she travels to meet her mother on the new space station, Starlight Beacon. After the cruiser has been sabotaged, Vernestra finds this to be a much more difficult challenge than she’d thought. This is such a fun and exciting adventure! The High Republic takes place long before Anakin’s story in the Star Wars saga. There is a nice variety of young characters, including two strong and intelligent females in Vernestra and Avon. Readers won’t need a Star Wars background to understand or enjoy the story. I look forward to more stories of the High Republic.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Thanks to Disney Publishing and Netgalley for a copy of this book to review. This is a fun quick read about the new high republic era that Disney is focusing on. While still familiar to the stories we already know and love, these new characters and time in the galaxy bring new life and a fresh take. I especially love learning more about how the Jedi have been in the past. With this book in particular, being a junior novel, it’s a good introduction to the era, especially if you’re unsure if it’s Thanks to Disney Publishing and Netgalley for a copy of this book to review. This is a fun quick read about the new high republic era that Disney is focusing on. While still familiar to the stories we already know and love, these new characters and time in the galaxy bring new life and a fresh take. I especially love learning more about how the Jedi have been in the past. With this book in particular, being a junior novel, it’s a good introduction to the era, especially if you’re unsure if it’s for you. I had a lot of fun reading it. Great adventures and actions you come to expect with the galaxy far far away.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kyle

    This is the first book I’ve read from the High Republic era. It’s also the first middle grade Star Wars book I’ve read. And I’m very impressed. It’s fast and action-heavy, but it’s also surprisingly mature in its treatment of grief and anger. Test of Courage can easily hold its own against any adult Star Wars novel. I’m excited for the rest of the High Republic, obviously, but I’m now especially interested in the continued story or Vernestra, Imri, Avon, and Honesty. This may be for a younger aud This is the first book I’ve read from the High Republic era. It’s also the first middle grade Star Wars book I’ve read. And I’m very impressed. It’s fast and action-heavy, but it’s also surprisingly mature in its treatment of grief and anger. Test of Courage can easily hold its own against any adult Star Wars novel. I’m excited for the rest of the High Republic, obviously, but I’m now especially interested in the continued story or Vernestra, Imri, Avon, and Honesty. This may be for a younger audience but rest assured Justina Ireland doesn’t pull her punches. The stakes are real and Ireland isn’t afraid to take these characters into the dark. Highly recommended.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kaci Lister

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. *Was able to read an advanced readers copy to review* Great introduction for me into The High Republic era. Really enjoyed learning about each of the characters and I loved seeing another character with a purple lightsaber THAT’S ALSO A LIGHT WHIP! I take into account that this is a middle grade book so I understand why the length is what it is. I would’ve loved for it to be longer and to be able to learn more about the characters and the story. Hopefully we see these characters in other stories *Was able to read an advanced readers copy to review* Great introduction for me into The High Republic era. Really enjoyed learning about each of the characters and I loved seeing another character with a purple lightsaber THAT’S ALSO A LIGHT WHIP! I take into account that this is a middle grade book so I understand why the length is what it is. I would’ve loved for it to be longer and to be able to learn more about the characters and the story. Hopefully we see these characters in other stories!

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