We are all the Republic.
Making her entry into the Star Wars universe with 2018’s Lando’s Luck, Justina Ireland brought not only serious literary chops as a New York Times bestselling author and college creative writing instructor, but also an established reputation as a fierce advocate for underrepresented voices in young adult fiction.
Working as a civil servant and adjunct lecturer while pursuing a doctorate, she’s clearly also a master at time management. In addition to a growing portfolio of immensely enjoyable Star Wars junior readers, young adult novels, and graphic novels, Ireland is also the author of the Dread Nation historical fiction/horror series as well as three other novels.
With a track record for strong female characters, her Spark of the Resistance features Rey in a growing leadership role in General Organa’s movement between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. Since then, in her High Republic works including A Test of Courage and Out of the Shadows, she’s gone on to introduce us to Vernestra Ro, a young Mirialan Jedi Knight who finds herself thrust into challenges far beyond her years—but not beyond her capacity for strength, leadership, and empathy.
As you may have heard or read from us here at Youtini before, don’t let the Young Adult—or, in this case, even junior novel—label lead you to dismiss these titles. Justina Ireland is a gifted storyteller who weaves fast-paced and entertaining plots with wonderfully developed and compelling characters, all told in a fresh voice that’s a welcome addition to Star Wars storytelling.
Part of the Flight of the Falcon publishing program, tying into both Solo and Galaxy's Edge, Lando's Luck is a fun story about Lando caught in a moral dilemma. He's tasked with delivering the Solstice Globe—a renewable energy source—to the Empire, but a stowaway princes pleads with him to save her people instead.
Disney/Lucasfilm Press have released several middle-grade novels leading up to each of the Sequel Trilogy films, and have been wonderful contributions to Star Wars storytelling. They even feature several illustrations by legendary comics artist Phil Noto! Justina Ireland's book fits into the Journey to The Rise of Skywalker publishing program as a prequel to Episode IX. This book feels like exactly what we’ve been waiting for, as it places Rey, Rose, and Poe on a quest for the Resistance including a battle against the First Order, classic Star Wars creatures, and even a superweapon. Although billed as a middle-grade novel, you’ll be disappointed if you skip it, no matter your age!
Part of the first wave of High Republic titles, Justina Ireland delivers the middle-grade title, A Test of Courage. Surprisingly young prodigy Jedi Knight Vesnestra Roh is charged with the protection of Avon Starros, an adventure-seeking Senator’s daughter, on their way to the dedication of the Starlight Beacon. The Nihil, villains established in Light of the Jedi, infiltrate their transport ship and their sabotage rips the ship apart. . . leading Vernestra and the traumatized crew to take on an evil beyond anything they could have imagined.
Justina Ireland focuses on Vernestra Ro (and also Yoda) in the second High Republic Young Adult novel. She follows up on the characters from Avon Starros and Vernestra Rwoh from her middle-grade book, A Test of Courage. But this time they’re alongside Reath Silas as the authors show how characters can cross over between formats and authors can handle one another's characters. Plus all-new, unannounced characters!
For the first time ever, The High Republic delivers an original manga (not an adaptation of an existing novel). The story is a collaboration between Ireland and Japanese writer Shima Shinya and the art is from Mizuki Sakakibara. The Edge of Balance is the first in a new series! The High Republic continues to press the limits of collaboration and a true multimedia experience.