Elaine Cunnigham, author of the NJO book Dark Journey, is writing a new Star Wars novel. It's called Blood Oath, and it weighs in at 352 pages. It's due for release in April 2009, and listed as a paperback, which suggests it's part of a series, though I have no idea yet what the setting is.
I'm really happy with this news. Dark Journey is a novel I've returned to very often and with great pleasure, but at the time, it was rather overshadowed by Star by Star, and I'm glad that Cunningham's getting another chance in the franchise here.
I'm hoping that this is another post-NJO book, sorting out Jaina Solo's tangled love-life and Jag Fel's characterization (and hopefully giving full weight to a well-written Kyp Durron in doing so). Other alternatives are the Old Republic era, or a computer game tie-in of some sort. Perhaps it's both - something to do with the rumoured KotOR MMORPG.
Thanks to Christian from the German fan-site StarWars-Union.de for the heads-up. This was apparently spotted by one of their readers earlier today.
UPDATE: The guys over at EUCantina.net have contacted Elaine Cunningham regarding the news surrounding Blood Oath and here is what they heard back...
"Iím not sure when the Del Rey announcement will be made. My editor told me itís possible that it may be this week, but I wouldnít be surprised if there are further delays. The info on the Del Rey catalog page looks about right.
This will be a very different story from DARK JOURNEY. Obviously, I canít give any details at this point, but I can confirm that itís a stand-alone book, rather than an episode in a larger story arc."
More as we hear it!
UPDATE #2: Elaine Cunningham has offered up some new info regarding her upcoming novel, Blood Oath, on her Live Journal. See the excerpt below and click here for the full entry:
"For several months now, I've been mentioning a project that's due October 1. As of today, I finally have the go-ahead to announce what it is: Blood Oath. a standalone Star Wars novel scheduled for April 2009. It has been listed for over a week now on the Randomhouse online catalog, and is now listed on Amazon.com. The story takes place after the events of Legacy of the Force, during the early days of the period covered by upcoming series, The Fate of the Jedi. I can't give details about the story, characters, or setting at this point, but I do have a few observations about Star Wars in general..."
"...Blood Oath is an adventure shadowed by political intrigue, with a bit of humor and maybe a hint of romance. I canít hope to recreate the sense of wonder I found in my first trip to a theater back in 1978, but Iím keeping that memory firmly in mind as I write."
UPDATE #3: Lots of Star Wars publishing news today from StarWars.com laying out the schedule for the next three years, including our first concrete details on Blood Oath:
"Also that spring, Elaine Cunningham (The New Jedi Order: Dark Journey) returns to the Star Wars galaxy with Blood Oath, a standalone paperback featuring Zekk that is set soon after the events of the Legacy of the Force series."
The fact that this novel will focus on Zekk post-Legacy of the Force is fairly stunning considering his fate at the end of that series.
UPDATE #4: A little more information on Blood Oath and Zekk in Sue Rostoni's Blog Entry today:
"April 28, 2009 - Paperback: BLOOD OATH, by Elaine Cunningham. This is Zekk's story and takes place after his mishap in the battle in INVINCIBLE. Yes, he still lives. We have just received cover concepts on this one - the artist is Dave Seeley."
UPDATE #5: While on the Starwars.com boards, Sue Rostoni recently talked about the cover for Elaine Cunningham's upcoming novel Blood Oath. Here's what she had to say:
"Well, I don't have much to add. I don't have the manuscript yet, although I think it's due next week. I'm excited to read it....
We received the "final" cover art yesterday, but one of the other characters on the cover had to have her blaster changed -- it looked too earth-bound, so we're having it changed to a more Star Wars hold-out blaster style. Dave Seeley is painting the cover, and it looks awesome -- At first glance it looks a bit like a romance novel cover, but don't let that put you off. The cover features Zekk up front, with two women in the background... Hapan women... women you may remember from a previous LotF novel... oh, I just spilled my coffee -- hang on a moment..."
UPDATE #6: Elaine Cunninghan spoke about the cover for Blood Oath on her Livejournal:
"UPS just delivered a package of cover flats for my upcoming Star Wars book. The design is flat-out gorgeous. Zekk is flat-out gorgeous. The color scheme is NOT PINK, which in and of itself is sufficient occasion for celebration, but I've gotta say, the use of color on this cover is wonderful.