Karen Traviss
A Youtini Collection

Star Wars books you should read if you like
Karen Traviss

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Karen Traviss
“If we don't stand up for others, who will be left to stand up for us?”

What other author can claim having created an entire culture and language from scratch,incorporating them into their books with such effectiveness that it becomes second-nature to the readers? No, not J. R. R. Tolkien, we’re talking about Star Wars Legends author Karen Traviss. 

Known for her military science fiction such as Halo and Gears of War, she started her Star Wars run with Republic Commando: Hard Contact in the tie-in novel to the video game for the original XBox and Nintendo GameCube. From there, she more than doubled the cast of its series, deepened the characters in truly remarkable ways, and established herself as a force to be reckoned with when it came to writing Star Wars. 

For the mid-to-late 2000s, Traviss was a staple among Legends authors. She wrote her own 5-book series set during the Clone Wars, featuring a Mandalorian who adopts a squad of Clones as his sons. From there, she was one of three authors selected to collaborate on Legacy of the Force alongside Aaron Allston and Troy Denning—which she used as a golden opportunity to incorporate elements of the Mandalorian culture she had created in Republic Commando and to continue the tales of a few key characters. 

In fact, Travis holds the illustrious honor of being one of only a handful of authors whose work has reached number one on the New York Times Bestsellers List, with Legacy of the Force: Revelation (though it was the Mass Market Paperback list)!

Her time in a galaxy far, far away was ultimately cut short as she went out in a blaze of glory. As George Lucas, Dave Filoni, and crew were developing Mandalore for the Clone Wars animated series, they chose to go in a different direction. Thus she chose to depart from writing for Star Wars. That being said, we at Youtini think both versions of Mandalorian lore are incredibly strong and equally enjoyable! They overlap and dovetail in key ways, challenging your imagination to tie them together. 

Her impact on the Legends universe as well as the fandom of the armor-clad was massive, making her a fan-favorite among many. In this guide you’ll find all five of her Commando books, her Legacy of the Force books, as well as Clone Wars: No Prisoners. 

Beyond her books, Traviss wrote a significant amount of short stories, a novella, and a handful of articles for Star Wars Insider. “Boba Fett: A Practical Man being the most substantial of the lot. Boba Fett made his long-awaited return to Legends after an extended absence, bringing in an army of Mandalorians to repel the Yuuzhan Vong It is included in the paperback edition of Legacy of the Force: Sacrifice

Targets” is paired with Republic Commando: Triple Zero. “Odds” is included with Republic Commando: True Colors. Both of her Republic Commando short stories are excellent inclusions in the series and are referenced within the subsequent novels, making them well worth the read (especially considering that the series was cut short). 

Although writing Star Wars books again looks to be a long shot, Karen Traviss graced the galaxy with impactful characters and made the Mandalorians into a culture that felt as real as any to ever exist in fiction. For that, she’s royalty to us.

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Books in this Collection

The Youtini Collections team has hand-selected the books in this collection
Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Order 66: A Republic Commando Novel

Written by
Karen Traviss
Artwork by

The job of the clone troopers is simple: destroy the enemy at all costs. But as the war wages on and its atrocities add up, some clones start question their purpose and plan to lay down their arms altogether. Suddenly, a seemingly simple command from Chancellor Palpatine ruins those plans and also leaves them wondering exactly who the enemy is that they’re supposed to destroy.

Karen Traviss—who has proved more than capable of placing the reader inside the helmet of a trooper—is once again successful with this novel. The pain and suspense of the Order 66 scene in Revenge of the Sith is somehow stretched the entire length of the novel. Readers who have followed the Republic Commandos series can’t miss this part of the story!

After the fierce combat of Hard Contact, Triple Zero, and True Colors comes the spectacular culmination of New York Times bestselling author Karen Traviss’s gripping Republic Commando series. As a battle-scarred era nears its end, a shattering power play is about to stun the entire galaxy . . . and set in motion events that will alter destinies and resound throughout history.

Even as the Clone Wars are about to reach an explosive climax, no one knows if victory will favor the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) or the Separatists. But no matter who wins, the stakes are highest for elite Special Ops clones like the Republic Commandos in Omega and Delta squads–and the notorious renegade Advance Recon Commando troopers known as Null ARCs.

With Republic forces stretched to the max and casualties mounting, the last thing these beleaguered warriors need to hear is that Chancellor Palpatine is keeping vast armies of secret clone troops in reserve. Sergeant Skirata, a mentor to the clone commandos, has no intention of standing idly by while Palpatine sends them into battle like lambs to the slaughter. Skirata begins to plan the clones’ escape from the GAR, but his heroic effort will be in vain unless he can reverse the clones’ accelerated aging process.

Caught in the treacherous dealings of their leaders, and locked in the battles of their lives, the disillusioned Null ARCs and Commandos nonetheless fight with everything they’ve got, determined to wrest victory from the Seps and save the galaxy.

But even the deadliest weapons may not be powerful enough to defeat the real menace. And nothing will stop the apocalyptic horror unleashed when Palpatine utters the chilling words The time has come. Execute Order 66. Translation: The Jedi have tried to stage a coup, and all must be shot on sight.

With their faith in the Republic and their loyalty to their Jedi allies put to the ultimate test, how will the men of Omega and Delta squads react to the most infamous command in galactic history? All the breathtaking action, suspense, and intrigue of Karen Traviss’s Republic Commando series comes alive in Star Wars: Order 66.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Imperial Commando: 501st

Written by
Karen Traviss
Artwork by

Order 66 may have unified the galaxy under the Empire’s control, but it split members of the clone army. Just weeks after the order was carried out, former brothers-in-arms now find themselves on opposite sides. Will they ultimately choose to serve their Emperor or their ex-comrades, the Jedi? And just how far are they willing to go in the process?

While the Jedi may have gotten the worst of it, Karen Traviss manages to brilliantly portray the struggle of the clones following Order 66. This book serves as a fitting end to her run with the Republic Commandos.

The Clone Wars are over, but for those with reason to run from the new galactic Empire, the battle to survive has only just begun. . . .

The Jedi have been decimated in the Great Purge, and the Republic has fallen. Now the former Republic Commandos–the galaxy’s finest special forces troops, cloned from Jango Fett–find themselves on opposing sides and in very different armor. Some have deserted and fled to Mandalore with the mercenaries, renegade clone troopers, and rogue Jedi who make up Kal Skirata’s ragtag resistance to Imperial occupation. Others–including men from Delta and Omega squads–now serve as Imperial Commandos, a black ops unit within Vader’s own 501st Legion, tasked to hunt down fugitive Jedi and clone deserters. For Darman, grieving for his Jedi wife and separated from his son, it’s an agonizing test of loyalty. But he’s not the only one who’ll be forced to test the ties of brotherhood. On Mandalore, clone deserters and the planet’s own natives, who have no love for the Jedi, will have their most cherished beliefs challenged. In the savage new galactic order, old feuds may have to be set aside to unite against a far bigger threat, and nobody can take old loyalties for granted.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Republic Commando: Hard Contact

Written by
Karen Traviss
Artwork by

A tie-in novel to the Republic Commandos video game, Hard Contact is the first in a five book series. This novel introduces a squad of clone troopers as they take on a precarious mission to destroy a nanovirus production facility on the Separatist-controlled planet of Qiilura. When the clones find themselves split up behind enemy lines, their chances of success seem slim. If they’re to be successful and make it out alive, each trooper will have to rely on his clone brothers to have his back.

Karen Traviss’ Republic Commando series is one of the most celebrated and dearly loved Legends series out there. Hard Contact, its first installment, is responsible for laying the foundation for fans’ staunch dedication.

As the Clone Wars rage, victory or defeat lies in the hands of elite squads that take on the toughest assignments in the galaxy–stone-cold soldiers who go where no one else would, to do what no one else could...

On a mission to sabotage a chemical weapon research facility on a Separatist-held planet, four clone troopers operate under the very noses of their enemies. The commandos are outnumbered and outgunned, deep behind enemy lines with no backup–and working with strangers instead of trusted teammates. Matters don’t improve when Darman, the squad’s demolitions expert, gets separated from the others during planetfall. Even Darman’s apparent good luck in meeting an inexperienced Padawan vanishes once Etain admits to her woeful inexperience.

For the separated clone commandos and stranded Jedi, a long, dangerous journey lies ahead, through hostile territory brimming with Trandoshan slavers, Separatists, and suspicious natives. A single misstep could mean discovery...and death. It’s a virtual suicide mission for anyone–anyone except Republic Commandos.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Republic Commando: Triple Zero

Written by
Karen Traviss
Artwork by
The second installment in the Republic Commando series brings Omega Squad together with Delta Squad—units with plenty of rivalry between them—in order to stop an internal terror threat on Coruscant. It also develops the Mandalorian mercenary-turned commando instructor Kal Skirata as a main character. It takes the foundation laid in Hard Contact and adds more complexity, character development, and clones into the mix for an excellent Clone Wars novel.

Following the eruption of the bloody Clone Wars at the battle of Geonosis, both sides remain deadlocked in a stalemate that can be broken only by elite warrior teams like Omega Squad, clone commandos with terrifying combat skills and a lethal arsenal. . . .

For Omega Squad, deployed deep behind enemy lines, it’s the same old special ops grind: sabotage, espionage, ambush, and assassination. But when Omega Squad is rushed to Coruscant, the war’s most dangerous new hotspot, the commandos discover they’re not the only ones penetrating the heart of the enemy.

A surge in Separatist attacks has been traced to a network of Sep terror cells in the Republic’s capital, masterminded by a mole in Command Headquarters. To identify and destroy a Separatist spy and terror network in a city full of civilians will require special talents and skills. Not even the leadership of Jedi generals, along with the assistance of Delta squad and a certain notorious ARC trooper, can even the odds against the Republic Commandos. And while success may not bring victory in the Clone Wars, failure means certain defeat.

Legends
Legends
Short Story

Boba Fett: A Practical Man

Written by
Karen Traviss
Artwork by
Set just prior to the Yuuzhan Vong war, this short story fills in the gaps that lead Boba Fett to lead the Mandalorians against the Vong. Although Mandalorians historically have not been on the same side with the Jedi, this war brings them together. This short story fits into Karen Traviss’s Legends-continuity development of the Mandalorian society and culture.

On the surface, it seems like just another routine contract for Boba Fett and his Mandalorian commandos, but the mystery client who hires them to start a small war is more dangerous than any of them can possibly imagine. When the Yuuzhan Vong invasion force sweeps into the galaxy, the Mandalorians find they’re on the wrong side–fighting for an alien culture that will bring about the end of their own.

Now Fett has to choose between his honor and the survival of his people. Since he’ s a practical man, he’s determined help the resistance beat the Yuuzhan Vong—even if it means working with a Jedi agent. Trouble is, no one trusts a man with Fett’ s reputation. So convincing the New Republic that they’re fighting on the same side is a tall order. Denounced as traitors, Fett’s Mandalorians need to stay one step ahead of their Yuuzhan Vong paymasters–and the Republic who sees them as collaborators with the most destructive enemy the galaxy has ever faced. . . .

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Bloodlines

Written by
Karen Traviss
Artwork by
In this solid entry in the Legacy of the Force series, a number of storylines intertwine, revolving around the Solo family. Jacen continues down the dark path he began down in this book’s predecessor, Betrayal, under the influence of a dark side Force user from Luke’s past, Lumiya. Meanwhile, Han and Leia seek to intervene in the pending Civil War that threatens the Galactic Alliance by returning to Han’s homeward of Corellia. Upon returning, they find out that Han’s estranged cousin, Thrackan, has a bounty out for Han! Another major plot point in this book is concerning an aging Boba Fett, whose past has caught up with him and who might have to team up with an old nemesis in order to get a job done. For both Fett and the Solos, they will have to reckon with the idea of legacy. This book relies heavily upon numerous elements of the Legends universe, including the New Jedi Order, the Corellian trilogy, the Mandalorian culture fleshed out in Karen Traviss’s Republic Commando series, and even the old Marvel comics!

A new era of exciting adventures and shocking revelations continues to unfold, as the legendary Star Wars saga sweeps forward into astonishing new territory.

Civil war looms as the fledgling Galactic Alliance confronts a growing number of rebellious worlds-and the approaching war is tearing the Skywalker and Solo families apart. Han and Leia return to Han's homeworld, Corellia, the heart of the resistance. Their children, Jacen and Jaina, are soldiers in the Galactic Alliance's campaign to crush the insurgents.

Jacen, now a complete master of the Force, has his own plans to bring order to the galaxy. Guided by his Sith mentor, Lumiya, and with Luke's young son Ben at his side, Jacen embarks on the same path that his grandfather Darth Vader once did. And while Han and Leia watch their only son become a stranger, a secret assassin entangles the couple with a dreaded name from Han's past: Boba Fett. In the new galactic order, friends and enemies are no longer what they seem.…

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Republic Commando: True Colors

Written by
Karen Traviss
Artwork by
This is the third installment in Karen Traviss’s Republic Commando series, focusing on the Omega and Delta Companies of special ops clone commandos, their Mandalorian father-figures Kal Skirata and Walon Vau, and Jedi generals Etain Tur-Mukan and Bardan Jusik. This story develops the themes of family and loyalty as the clones investigate Palpatine’s plot and track down the cruel Kaminoan cloner Ko Sai. Will the commandos' loyalty ultimately lie with the Republic for which they fight, or the Mandalorians with whom they identify culturally?

As the savage Clone Wars rage unchecked, the Republic’s deadliest warriors face the grim truth that the Separatists aren’t their only enemy–or even their worst.

In the Grand Army’s desperate fight to crush the Separatists, the secret special ops missions of its elite clone warriors have never been more critical . . . or more dangerous. A growing menace threatens Republic victory, and the members of Omega Squad make a shocking discovery that shakes their very loyalty.

As the lines continue to blur between friend and enemy, citizens–from civilians and sergeants to Jedi and generals–find themselves up against a new foe: the doubt in their own hearts and minds. The truth is a fragile, shifting illusion–and only the approaching inferno will reveal both sides in their true colors.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Revelation

Written by
Karen Traviss
Artwork by
Legacy of the Force continues in this entry from the infamous Legends author Karen Traviss. And it wouldn't be a Traviss book if it didn't have Mandalorians! Jaina Solo trains under Boba Fett himself to learn the skills it will take to defeat Darth Caedus.

During this savage civil war, all efforts to end Jacen Solo’s tyranny of the Galactic Alliance have failed. Now, with Jacen approaching the height of his dark powers, no one–not even the Solos and the Skywalkers–knows if anything can stop the Sith Lord before his plan to save the galaxy ends up destroying it.

Jacen Solo’s shadow of influence has threatened many, especially those closest to him. Jaina Solo is determined to bring her brother in, but in order to track him down, she must first learn unfamiliar skills from a man she finds ruthless, repellent, and dangerous. Meanwhile, Ben Skywalker, still haunted by suspicions that Jacen killed his mother, Mara, decides he must know the truth, even if it costs him his life. And as Luke Skywalker contemplates once unthinkable strategies to dethrone his nephew, the hour of reckoning for those on both sides draws near. The galaxy becomes a battlefield where all must face their true nature and darkest secrets, and live–or die–with the consequences.

Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

Sacrifice

Written by
Karen Traviss
Artwork by
In order for Jacen Solo to complete his transformation into a Sith Lord, he must make a drastic sacrifice. His former Jedi Master, Mara Jade Skywalker, investigates his turn to the dark side. Jacen continues his negative influence over Ben Skywalker by tasking him with an assassination. Karen Traviss picks up plot threads from her Republic Commando series by sending Boba Fett on a quest for a cure for complications with his compromised clone body. He teams up with Null ARC Jaing Skirata and Darman's son Venku.

Civil war rages as the Galactic Alliance–led by Cal Omas and the Jedi forces of Luke Skywalker–battles a confederation of breakaway planets that rally to the side of rebellious Corellia. Suspected of involvement in an assassination plot against Queen Mother Tenel Ka of the Hapes Consortium, Han and Leia Solo are on the run, hunted by none other than their own son, Jacen, whose increasingly authoritarian tactics as head of GA security have led Luke and Mara Skywalker to fear that their nephew may be treading perilously close to the dark side.

But as his family sees in Jacen the chilling legacy of his Sith grandfather, Darth Vader, many of the frontline troops adore him, and countless citizens see him as a savior. The galaxy has been torn apart by too many wars. All Jacen wants is safety and stability for all–and he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal.

To end the bloodshed and suffering, what sacrifice would be too great? That is the question tormenting Jacen. Already he has sacrificed much, embracing the pitiless teachings of Lumiya, the Dark Lady of the Sith, who has taught him that a strong will and noble purpose can hold the evil excesses of the dark side at bay, bringing peace and order to the galaxy–but at a price.

For there is one final test that Jacen must pass before he can gain the awesome power of a true Sith Lord: He must bring about the death of someone he values dearly. What troubles Jacen isn’t whether he has the strength to commit murder. He has steeled himself for that, and worse if necessary. No, the question that troubles Jacen is who the sacrifice should be. As the strands of destiny draw ever more tightly together in a galaxy-spanning web, the shocking answer will shatter two families . . . and cast a grim shadow over the future.
Legends
Legends
Adult Novel

The Clone Wars: No Prisoners

Written by
Karen Traviss
Artwork by
Torrent Company’s Captain Rex takes Ahsoka on a three-day cruise on Captain Pellaeon's new ship. However, what was intended as a training cruise turns into a rescue mission as an undercover agent for the Republic goes missing. The Clone Wars: No Prisoners continues to tie into the popular Clone Wars TV show, adding to the development of the characters in the show while expanding on plot lines from its episodes.
The Clone Wars rage on. As insurgent Separatists fight furiously to wrest control of the galaxy from the Republic, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine cunningly manipulates both sides for his own sinister purposes.