Master and Apprentice- Book Review
(Nobody asked for this review but here it is. This is spoiler free but it does contain spoilers for the prequel movies. I’m not a book expert and I don’t even know how to speak in English to begin with, so excuse my poor grammar.)
“Master and Apprentice” is a canon novel written by Claudia Gray about the relationship between Qui-Gon Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi eight years prior to The Phantom Menace, and how a single mission changes the dynamic between the two forever. So, this book is a prequel to “The Phantom Menace”.
If you are a prequel’s fan and you really want to know more about the master and apprentice relationship between Qui-Gon and Kenobi and also expand your knowledge on the prophecies side of the jedi culture, this book is going to be a MUST read. Like, I’m telling you right now, you are going love it. It offers a new perspective on the Star Wars saga as a whole and a lot of stuff started to make more sense to me after reading this.
One of the first positive things I can say of the book is that I really liked the dynamic between them. The relationship between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan is not near as perfect as we see it on The Phantom Menace, but get to know more about why they liked each other so much. It’s almost a family bond and the struggle they go through feels really real. They are complete opposites in some aspects but in this story, you’ll find out why they stick together and why Obi-wan appreciated his master that much. Also, it gives an insight to the relationship between Qui-Gon and Dooku as well, and that alone makes the book worth a read.
The new characters introduced in this story are perfect and I loved them deeply. Their backstories and development were incredible. Their role in the story is more than helping the protagonists: it’s about highlighting the differences between the morals of Qui-Gon and the Jedi Council, and through how the Council and Qui-Gon reacts to certain situations that arise because of these characters you can see why the jedi council was decaying already.
The prophecies make a lot more sense after reading this book, and that was the only aspect of the prequels that I never really understood. The Mortis Arc on Clone Wars shed a light on one of the prophecies, but this book goes deeper and shows more than one prophecy, as well as saying where they do come from and why Qui-Gon is so invested in it.
All of this development occurs while main story is taking place on the planet of Pijal, where this duo goes to help another jedi solve a series of crimes and also help with the diplomacy of the entire planet. The plot is really surprising, to the point that I was following the story but never knowing what was going to happen and it was great. The story always makes sense and the turns the story takes are amazing. There are things we as viewers of the movies already know, like the fact that Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan will continue to be master and apprentice at least until The Phantom Menace, but the other things that are a stake here will keep you interested from the beginning to the end of the book.
Qui-Gon really steals the show in this one. I’m going to be honest; I didn’t really care much about him before this book (And Queen’s Peril, of course). I didn’t hate him but I wasn’t really sad about his fate as I was with other characters of the franchise, but this book just turned Qui-Gon into one of my favourite Jedi. Knowing what he is thinking about and how he operates is really fascinating, and also it does wonders to explain why Obi-Wan is the way he is.
One of my favourite bits of the novel was that every now and then there are some flashbacks to Qui-Gon as an apprentice of Dooku, and those flashbacks really changed the way I saw both characters and makes Dooku falling to the dark side way sadder.
This book made me nostalgic, sad and really excited at the same time. If you have read my other reviews, you will know that I really like prequels, especially The Phantom Menace, and this was such a treat for my brain. I loved it. I really liked how it gave me a more adult perspective of some of the themes mentioned in that movie while keeping the plot feeling like a Star Wars story still.
The story kept me turning pages. I forced myself to only read five chapters a day because I don’t want to run out of books to read, but if I hadn’t done that I would probably had finished it in two days at max. It was so entertaining.
I didn’t find anything I didn’t like about the book, like, at all. I will give it a second read and will update this review if I find anything in particular that I didn’t like. This book, alongside with Guardians of the Whills, is definitely one of my favourite Star Wars books (for now).
Overall, this is a fantastic book. I would recommend this book to prequel’s fans, people that like crime stories, people interested in the prophecies, people that like Obi-Wan, people that enjoyed the mortis arc, people interested in the dynamics between the jedi prior to the appearance of the first sith in a thousand years, people interested in the downfall of the jedi council, people that love found family and to everyone to be honest, this is an amazing book.
If you are triggered by slavery, I suggest to not read it because it is a heavily featured and mentioned thorough the whole plot and it could disturb you. Also, if you are really really young, I wouldn’t exactly recommend it to you know right now because it does contain mildly inappropriate content here and there. Nothing really explicit, but it would contain a T in AO3 if it was a fanfic. You also need to know that the book does get angsty at some points of the story, so if you are looking for a read that makes you feel good from beginning to end, this is book maybe its not for you at the moment, but maybe you could check Queen’s Peril, that goes on a more hopeful vibe and I had already reviewed it here.
Otherwise, it adds a lot to the Star Wars lore as a whole and I wouldn’t recommend skipping it.
I hope you find this review useful and give this book a chance if you are interested!
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