Book Review, Middle Grade, Science Fiction

A Test of Courage (Star Wars Disney Canon Junior Novel) by Justina Ireland

Vernestra Rwoh is a new Jedi Knight at age sixteen, but her first real assignment feels an awful lot like babysitting. She’s been charged with supervising twelve-year old aspiring inventor Avon Starros on a cruiser headed to the dedication of a wondrous new space station called Starlight Beacon.

But soon into their journey, bombs go off aboard the cruiser. While the adult Jedi try to save the ship, Vernestra, Avon, Avon’s droid J-6, a Jedi Padawan, and an ambassador’s son make it to an escape shuttle, but communications are out and supplies are low. They decide to land on a nearby moon, which offers shelter but not much more. And unbeknownst to them, danger lurks in the forest….

I would say, this was dark for a middle grade book, but after my previous middle grade read, this is not the case. The medium paced story kept me on my toes from beginning to end. The tempo was right on with this type of story. I enjoyed this little side story and am glad I picked it up. This story coincides with part two of Light of the Jedi, but you do not have to read it in order to understand this story. Like Light of the Jedi, this story takes place during the High Republic era, a new era for Star Wars.

Vernestra (Vern) Rwoh was, not too long ago, promoted from Jedi Padawan to Jedi Knight, passing her trials at first try at age fifteen. At sixteen, she not only was one of the youngest Jedi, but considered a prodigy. Vern is a well thought out and written character. What I liked was you see her flaws throughout the novel. She felt she had the responsibilities of the galaxy over her shoulder, but throughout the novel, she doubts herself. Vern takes it upon herself to be the leader of the group, helping each of them while doubting herself along the way.

Avon and J-6 are quite the pair. Avon is a girl who wants to grow up and become an inventor. J-6 is a bodyguard droid who becomes a nanny for Avon. Avon always asks questions and tries to get her hands on anything and everything to see how it ticks. She thinks of ways to either improve or refurbish items or droids into something better. Her goal, during this story, is getting her hands on Vern’s or Imri’s lightsaber.

J-6 has been through multiple tinkers from Avon. Because of these tinkers, J-6 has taken upon a strong humanistic personality. The personality is so strong; it frightens Honesty and concerns Avon to where she makes a mental note to fix it later when she can. She has attitude, a typical trait you find in most republic droids. J-6 reminds me of L3-37 from the movie Solo. Avon and J-6 are probably my favorite characters in this book.

Honesty and Imri are different but experience the same issues. Avon and Vern in their own way try to help, but in the end, they made their own path. These two were not the strongest characters starting out, but I think they had the best arcs compared to the girls. Both are questioning themselves on what they should and could have done. They are going through things alone, even though they are among strangers and not sure how to talk about their issues. They try their best to move their problems behind them and help with what they could, but the feelings creep back.

A moon is the primary setting of this book. The atmosphere is a forest with no water in sight. The vegetation is green, and weird monkey like creatures are around, which tells the group food and water must be around and possibly scarce. As far as they could tell, they are the only people around. The weather is not typical. It is sunny and then turns to rain and the rain is acid. This adds on top of the many issues this group faces in this book.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fun, adventure, life learning, and Star Wars books.

I give this book a 4/5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

You can purchase this book here!

If you would like to make a donation to help support this blog, you can go here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *