|X-wing: Wedge's Gamble|
X-wing: Wedge's Gamble is the second installment in the X-Wing series of novels, written in 1996. It was written by Michael A. Stackpole. Narration for the audio version was performed by Henry Thomas.
- ISBN 0553568027; May 2, 1996, Bantam Spectra, 357-page paperback
- ISBN 0553474197; May 2, 1996, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Abridged cassette
- ISBN 3442247667; May 1997, Blanvalet, 375-page German paperback
- ISBN unknown; Transworld Publishers, ?-page UK paperback
- ISBN 0001054104; September 15, 1997, HarperCollins Publishers, UK abridged cassette
- ISBN 978-80-252-2172-3; August 2012, EGMONT ČR, 348-page, Czech paperback (X-wing: Wedgův gambit)
It is the evil heart of a battered and reeling Empire: Coruscant, the giant city-world from whose massive towers the Imperial High Command directs the war. The Rebels will invade this mighty citadel in a daring move to bring the Empire to its knees. But first Wedge Antilles and his X-wing pilots must infiltrate Coruscant to gain vital intelligence information. Capture means death, or worse—enslavement by the vicious leader known as "Iceheart," Ysanne Isard, now Emperor in all but name. And one of Rogue Squadron's own is already her slave, a traitor hidden behind a mask of innocence, working to betray both colleagues and the Rebellion itself.
A month after the conquest of Borleias, the Rebels and Rogue Squadron have to deal with Imperial probes by the rogue Warlord Zsinj, the apparent death of member Bror Jace, and re-populating the squadron with new, hotshot members, Aril Nunb and Pash Cracken. With worries of attacks by Zsinj's forces, the Provisional Council of the Alliance, including Princess Leia Organa and Borsk Fey'lya, meet and decide that an invasion of Coruscant must proceed. With a decision that criminals from the Black Sun organization, imprisoned on Kessel, could be released on Coruscant to help bring resistance against the Empire, the Rogues are first sent to Kessel. After freeing a number of criminals that Corran himself sent there, including Zekka Thyne and his girlfriend, Inyri Forge, sister to former Rogue member Lujayne.
After the Black Sun members are placed on Coruscant, Rogue's members are covertly inserted onto the planet in small groups. Corran and Erisi Dlarit are put together and meet with Alliance Intelligence agent Winter, Wedge and Pash Cracken are together and meet with agent and Corran's former partner Iella Wessiri, and the rest of the Rogues are brought by Mirax Terrik to the Invisisec, an underworld for many of the poor, non-Humans on Coruscant. After Mirax is compromised and meets with Wedge and Corran sees Tycho Celchu speaking to Imperial agent Kirtan Loor, the Rogues think they may have a traitor in their midsts. Meanwhile, the Imperial forces, led by Ysanne Isard, are creating a virus that attacks non-Humans, the Krytos Virus, and are planning on giving the Rebels Coruscant when it is ready. They believe that the Rebels will be taxed for resources if they try to help everyone with the virus and will soon lose Coruscant once again and be finally defeated.
The Rogues are informed, after plans from Admiral Ackbar and Fey'lya are approved, that they must take down Coruscant's planetary shields at a precise time in order for the Rebel attack to succeed. After some minor failures and the capture of Aril Nunb, the group formulates a plan. Told of the Rebels impending invasion by a traitor in Rogue Squadron, Isard accelerates the plan to release the virus, informs Loor that he is to stay as a form of resistance when the Rebels invade, and readies herself for an escape from the planet. With help from Black Sun, a group of Bothan spies, and the rest of the Alliance Intelligence on the planet, the Rogues are able to take down the shields in time for the Rebel fleet to arrive. With only two Star Destroyers sent to defend the planet, it easily falls into Rebel hands, however, Corran, investigating a fleeing ship, crashes his Z-95 Headhunter when an outside force takes control of it. Although Aril Nunb is found safe and the non-Humans of the Rogues are treated and cured of the virus, the squadron ends in turmoil with Corran's apparent death and the arrest of Tycho as the apparent traitor responsible for his death. The novel ends with Corran waking as a captive aboard a ship, where Isard informs him that he is on his way to the prison and torture facility, Lusankya.
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This is a gallery of the different cover variations of X-wing: Wedge's Gamble.