Victory's Price (Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron, #3) By Alexander Freed

Where to start? This is the best Star Wars Canon novel. Yeah that's where I'll start. I will likely be in the minority in thinking that. But I have never read Star Wars book that has more effectively examined the nuances of ethics and morality like this one did. And Freed explored these complex themes while also crafting original characters that, by the end of the trilogy, the reader is intimately familiar with. The best thing I can liken the end of this trilogy to, is the feeling you get at the end of Tolkien's Return of the King; You've reached the end of a beautiful journey, and while you don't want it to end, you do feel a bittersweet satisfaction for the characters you've come to know and love. English Alexander Freed has done what no one else has been able to for post-Endor Star Wars in the new canon. The Alphabet Squadron trilogy is a bold, honest look at the galaxy as it deals with the aftermath of the Empire and the establishment of the New Republic. In this concluding volume, Victory’s Price, the threads of the series (and the year after Endor as a whole) are brought together in satisfying, complex ways. The Emperor’s Messenger, which has lurked in the background of the previous two novels, now becomes something more—and what it’s connected to is something that finally allows Star Wars to comment on current issues in the real world. (None of the new-canon books, and certainly not the sequel trilogy, has done that at all.) George Lucas originally saw a number of connections between the first trilogy of films and current events, and I suppose he must have thought he was making some statements about contemporary politics through the prequel trilogy. But since Disney took over, the series has been adrift, even where it has occasionally been thoroughly entertaining as Star Wars stories (Rogue One, Solo, Rebels). Alphabet Squadron (and, to a lesser extent, The Mandalorian) is what should have launched the Disney era.

The fascinating thing about the mission that’s generated by the Emperor’s Messenger in this novel is that it is a moral quandary. It isn’t a simple good-vs.-evil narrative, nor is it a retread of any typical SW plots; it’s genuinely complicated, and any of the possible outcomes, even up to the climactic moment, seems justifiable. It’s resolved in a nuanced way that allows Quell to confront her past, skillfully blending a personal journey with something that’s also significant to the galaxy. Freed never lets his characters off with easy answers to the burdens they bear from the war. “I’ve accepted what I’ve done,” says one character. “I know the awful deeds I’ve committed and I’ve tried to move past my guilt, because it stopped being useful long ago. . . . I live with the memory of what I’m capable of every day. I need the memory to do better” (420).

There are no easy answers, but there are points along the way where a person simply needs to move ahead. As Hera tells Quell, “What you deserve . . . is a question for philosophers” (440). For a lot of characters in this series, the easiest answer would be to die in battle and not have to confront what life means after the war; in fact, there were points during this novel at which I thought that by the end of the story, none of the original Alphabet Squadron ships (and maybe none of the pilots) would survive to the end—which seemed appropriate. But this is not Rogue One. Some of the characters are asked to survive and endure, which is a much harder quest.

This all relates to what is perhaps my favorite thing about Freed’s perspective on Star Wars: individual lives matter. He shows us space battles, almost tempting us to get so involved in the exciting action sequences that we stop caring about the almost anonymous people who are dying. But he always reminds us that the lives of individual are exactly what’s important. Some poignant, beautiful things happen during the battle of Jakku that bring the value of life right to the forefront even while the battle continues.

Alphabet Squadron is not perfect, but it’s tremendous. Some of its shortcomings: We never learn nearly enough about the perspective of Shadow Wing. I wouldn’t mind if Freed would write another book from their side of this story. Wyl Lark may be a little too perfect (and his idealistic communication attempts only just barely pay off at the end), and Kairos a little too mysterious. And I would have preferred to see Chass persist in her religious faith, rather than discard it relatively quickly, after a lot of buildup. In this final novel, I felt there is at least one epilogue too many. Especially the last one is unnecessary, but it may have been better to eliminate all of the “what happened to them after the war” segments. Let the reader stay at the end of the war and ponder the future possibilities.

Those criticisms aside, this series has easily been the best Star Wars I’ve read. Freed not only crafts stories that are intriguing, but he seems to understand what it would feel like to be in Star Wars, a skill that no other current SW authors have demonstrated to this extent. He captures little moments of Star Wars that made me smile and think, “Yes, it would feel like that, wouldn’t it?” It’s like reading an author who can channel memories of how I played SW as a child, much of which I’d forgotten in all the years since. I had a great time being brought back to the wonder of the SW galaxy. English This is an extremely emotionally heavy book. I really enjoyed this book. I am glad it is 460 pages as it was all needed for the character development. There is a lot of action in the book, but this is more the soldier's tale. I am glad the story is done this way. It is very much in the style of Battlefront Twilight Company by the same author. I would give this 4.5 stars but the more I though about it it deserves a round up instead of down.

Some time has passed since the last book, and aligences have changed. One of the things I did not like about the last book was I really did not understand the characters motivations for the side they chose and the choices they made. Here it is explained a lot better, however the characters are still changing and each choice opens up mor paths. I am glad Hera Sundulla had a much bigger part in this book. Personally I think it is past time she had her own book or series.

The is a great ending to the Alphabet Squadren trilogy, with room to revisit some characters as well as an ending for others. It does start off slow and has a lot of characters and emotions to cover. Once I got past the first 50 pages the book got a lot more interesting. The slow burn really does fit the story well. I would like to see more of some of the survivors of this book return. English It took me 53 days to read this book, so for me that tells me the real story. Pleasure reading shouldn't feel so much like work.

Freed is a great writer, and the plotting and characterizations were well done, but this just wasn't for me, nor was the trilogy on the whole if I'm being honest.

To all those who enjoyed it and this more sombre reflection on the tolls the war took on the forces of the Rebellion or Empire alike, outstanding. For me this was enjoyable overall, but not storyline or group of characters I ever feel like revisiting as it stands. English Simply stated, Alexander Freed sticks the landing in the conclusion to his Alphabet Squadron trilogy. The time he spent over the first two books introducing us to his new characters pays off in a story that blends deep character moments with the sort of expertly crafted military sci-fi we've come to expect from Freed. Heartfelt introspection and emotional tension for the characters don't so much alternate with fast-paced action as they are interwoven with it, all as the narrative builds to an epic conclusion. It was one of those books I hated to see end. At the same time, it made me excited for whatever Freed has in store for us next. English


In the wake of Yrica Quell’s shocking decision—and one of the fiercest battles of their lives—the remnants of Alphabet Squadron seek answers and closure across a galaxy whose old war scars are threatening to reopen.
Soran Keize has returned to the tip of Shadow Wing’s spear. Operation Cinder, the terrifying protocol of planetary extermination which began in the twilight of the Imperial era, burns throughout the galaxy. Shadow Wing is no longer wounded prey fleeing the hunters of the New Republic. With its leader, its strength has returned, and its Star Destroyers and TIE squadrons lurk in the darkness between stars, carrying out the fallen Emperor’s final edict of destruction—as well as another, stranger mission, one Keize has championed not for the dying Empire, but for its loyal soldiers.
Alphabet Squadron’s ships are as ramshackle and damaged as their spirits, but they’ve always had each oth Victory's Price (Star Wars: Alphabet Squadron, #3)

Alexander Freed ë 3 characters

The truth being...?
We were murderous bastards, she said. and being true to one another doesn't make it any better. It just means we don't stop when we figure out how bad it's gotten.

Star Wars Sparkles: ✨✨✨✨✨

This was SO GOOD. I'm gutted to be done with Alphabet Squadron - this trilogy has honestly been the most enjoyable, free and mature Star Wars fiction I've ever had the privilege of reading.

VICTORY'S PRICE picks up where SHADOW FALL left off - Quell returned to the 204th Imperial Fighter Wing, and the remainder of Alphabet Squadron - Wyl, Kairos, Nath and Chass - processing her betrayal and part in the atrocities of Operation Cinder while still on the tail of the 204th, with Shadow Wing resorting to more and more desperate strategies and tactics to survive and wipe out 'traitorous' Imperial remnants.

From the very first book I have been so impressed with the maturity of Freed's characters - an enormous, galaxy spanning war would have immense fallout on those who fought in it (let alone two enormous, galaxy spanning wars in a lifetime) and while some Star Wars fiction pays lip service to the idea of PTSD or war guilt, the ALPHABET SQUADRON books have from the start been very realistic and gritty with how it has been portrayed.

VICTORY'S PRICE is no exception, with the main players all grappling with their personal damage and how they cope with it - drink, hero complexes, prayer, self-loathing. Half of the book features Yrica Quell, who was pushed into defecting from the Empire after burning a planet, back with her Imperial squadron and wrestling with her newfound responsibility to the New Republic and her knowledge and care for her people.

The guilt and rage that Chass and Kairos feel over the betrayal of Quell and the revelation that she was a willing participant in Operation Cinder consumes them, filling their minds with revenge and judgement. Wyl is forced into leading the squadron over Nath, but Nath has to face that he isn't a Han Solo type afterall and step up to the plate. Soran Keize, the leader of Shadow Wing, struggles with a future where the Empire is defeated and every single soldier or pilot who followed orders is hunted down by a vengeful New Republic and held to account.

More than any other, the ALPHABET SQUADRON books portray Imperials as.. people. People fighting for what they believe, for their families, for their comrades - but people. Not every Stormtrooper is a heartless murderer, not every TIE pilot dreams of burning down civilian cities, and at a certain point when you have spent your entire adult life fighting for a regime, all you have left is your squadmates.

Most Star Wars fiction features bombastic, exciting combat - VICTORY'S PRICE is no exception, but the combat in this final book of the trilogy takes on a far more melancholy, inevitable and pointless feel compared to the others. People laugh and cheer, but it feels hollow - Shadow Wing aren't going to surrender, Alphabet aren't going to stop - they're all circling death together, it's only a matter of who falls in first.

I was very satisfied with the ending - I won't spoil anything, but the outcome feels very natural and... right for this group of misfits. As much as I would dearly love more books with this group, I think that's just my greediness talking.

A fantastic end to an amazing trilogy. I can't wait to reread it. English It’s rare for a Star Wars book to feel so important. It ripped my heart out and resuscitated me dozens of times throughout the course of the story. It’s also a rarity for a singular author to pen a trilogy in its entirety; for that reason this trilogy has a tremendous continuity in story and in tone throughout. If you liked the previous two entries in the trilogy, you’re bound to love this one as well. In particular, I liked what Victory’s Price did with the Keize-Quell relationship, the elevated role for Hera Syndulla of Rebels fame, and the adventure on Kairos’s home planet. Overall, it’s perhaps one of the best-written Star Wars books on a literary level. Freed is truly a master of characters and of emotional depth in his prose. I, for one, feel the need to see a therapist after reading this book—especially if that therapist is formerly a torture droid. . . English This book is the third book of a series. I recommend reading them in order. This one takes place a year after the Battle of Endor. Alphabet Squadron is still nipping at the heels of Shadow Wing and what does this mean for Quell who is now a member of Shadow Wing.

This was a fitting end for this series that had its ups and downs. This book and series is probably the most realistic book for this universe and I believe this will affect one's enjoyment. It doesn't glamorize war but looks into how it affects the common person who is fighting it. The question is are you looking for a realistic look into war or are you looking for escapism with fantastic battles and humble heroes and dastardly villains. For me, I am looking for the latter and I think that is why this isn't my favorite series. I love the idea of the last days of The Empire and the Rebels finding the last remnants of it. I also love the concept of what happens to members of The Empire after the war. When we concentrated on these concepts I loved this book. The problem is when we do a deep dive into this book. I really don't care for the characters. Why would I care if a person is obsessed with a cult? And what is with this book and all the chatting between opposing sides during a battle? All I could imagine is Luke starting his trench run in the Death Star and Vader chasing him. Then they start talking like they are old friends while Vader is trying to blow him to smithereens. It would remove the tension of the moment.

The overall arc is terrific as it leads up to Jakku. I just didn't love the characters involved in the whole book besides Hera. I was interested in the whole book but there were ideas that I just did not like. I appreciate what the author was going for with the realism but I think I look forward more to the fantasy portrayal when I read a book from this universe. I did like the whole series. It just could have been better. English Star Wars: Victory's Price was written by New York Times Best Selling Author, Alexander Freed. It was published by Del Rey.

Victory's Price concludes the Alphabet Squadron trilogy.

Here’s my YouTube video review:

SUMMARY: After the events that took place in the Cerberon System, the New Republic has the 204th Imperial Unit Shadow Wing mostly on the run playing defense. Between each run in, the 204th strikes its judgment on select Imperial holdouts in the galaxy. Operation Cinder phase II, has begun. The New Republic, specifically the group lead by General Syndulla, is to put an end to the 204th. The mission gets tricky, as it appears there is a mole within Syndulla's New Republic ship, as well as one within the 204th!

Many twists and turns entangle the opposing sides, all the way up to the epic, final battle of the Republic and the Empire - over the sands of Jakku.

CHARACTERS: The cast of characters is great, I'm only picking two to discuss.

Wyl Lark: He's been commanding the squadron, and he's still homesick. He doesn't have the fight in him anymore. He want's the war to end and just go home already. His relationship with his unit is on the rocks, but they still have a bond that holds them together, even by the weakest thread. Whyl is the one character that actually made me feel anger and bitter. Alexander Freed's writing is just too good.

Kairos: She's always been the odd one, the mysterious female with something going on internally. She's unique, the mystery continues with Kairos. She's a hunter, which makes her an excellent tracker.

Yrica Quell: All I'll say in this review, is that she surprised me.

Chass Na Chadic: She's a wild one, after her wild adventure in the Cerberon system, she's left scarred and emotionally on edge. She's a bad A, with an attitude, and shows no fear of anyone or anything. She's my favorite character in this trilogy.

OVERALL THOUGHTS: I liked this book. It was mostly everything I was hoping it would be. The last time we saw these characters, they were all put in really tough and surprising situations. That element continues as many of the cast goes through extreme changes and adjustments. By the time the story concludes, I found some of the character arcs satisfying, while some were left open or just a tad too awkward.

Alexander Freed’s writing is outstanding. The novel feels more than just sci-fi/fantasy - it feels real. From the dialogue to the descriptions, every moment was fleshed out nicely. The way Freed creates characters and what he puts them through is just incredible. The war has changed people, there’s no easy walk in the park for anyone, the hero’s suffer. The desperation for victory or death drives the plot

The book read quickly, not one moment did I feel I was wasting my precious time or drift off from boredom. I was glued to the pages all the way to end! The only negative I have to say, is there is one moment in the end that feels like a check the box, gotta include that thing in the story, it came across unnatural and as an afterthought. However, Overall - Victory's Price is a fast paced nail-biting conclusion to the Alphabet Squadron trilogy. Freed's brilliance and storytelling ability is just, next level.

RATING: I give this novel an A. English Alphabet Squadron: Victory’s Price is an Emotionally Satisfying Conclusion to the Trilogy  (READ MORE:

Alphabet Squadron: Victory’s Price picks up right where Shadow Fall left us. Delivering the final act of a trilogy is no easy feat, and yet Alexander Freed delivers an action-packed, edge-of-your-seat, and satisfying conclusion to the beloved Alphabet Squadron series. 

With Wyl Lark on the cover of Alphabet Squadron: Victory’s Price, it’s safe to assume that his story is at the center of the novel — and it is. He also has a few close calls that had me seriously concerned about what direction this book was heading in. His journey is an emotionally satisfying one and the trauma that all of the characters have endured is mentioned, though not delved into as fully as I may have wanted to see. But there is a great note about the fact that they haven’t had a therapist aboard since Adan. 

As a fan of Star Wars: Rebels, I was thrilled with how much of a prominent role Hera Syndulla had in Alphabet Squadron: Victory’s Price. She was a driving force of motivation for the new characters that the series introduced us to and provided the perfect anchor for those who may need external character connections when delving into the literary universes of Star Wars. 

And don’t worry, Yrica Quell’s story is far from over since we last met with her. Victory’s Price delves deep into her character, motives, and actions — exploring her character arc with all of the grace and respect that should be afforded to her character. 

It would have been easy for Freed to choose a path where Mon Mothma decided to make an example out of Yrica Quell’s traitorous actions over the course of the Alphabet Squadron trilogy, but instead, he wrote a path that I hope more Star Wars creators are brave enough to tread in the future. Quell’s choices are not forgotten, her actions related to the destruction of Nacronis are not forgotten, but she is allowed to live with them. Despite it all, she even gets the girl in the end. 

The “Victory’s Price” segment of the novel brings satisfying closure for not only the readers, but for the characters. Readers are not left to worry about the fates of the characters they’ve grown fond of, as Freed elaborates on the “after” that they share together and independently, while smartly leaving it with the potential to revisit this chapter of the Star Wars story in the future. 

Alexander Freed’s strength lays in making nuanced characters that come alive on the pages of his novels. Each character in the Alphabet Squadron trilogy has had a distinct voice, a distinct personality, and a distinct way of resonating with all of us. Whether it’s stories about duty, acceptance, trust, or victory — Freed’s unique voice has created a Star Wars story that is worthy of sitting alongside the great sci-fi classics dwelling on anyone’s bookshelf.  

Alphabet Squadron: Victory’s Price is a fitting end to a trilogy that reinvigorated the imaginations of so many Star Wars fans. From daunting tales of piloting feats, to the human stories that resonate through every Star Wars tale, and the connections that make all of us who we are, you won’t want to miss out on the end of this story.  English