E

very story has an ending; every Star Wars book trilogy, an explosive conclusion.

Since the release of Alexander Freed’s first Alphabet Squadron novel in 2019, readers have been hooked. And its 2020 sequel, Shadow Fall, only intensified the anticipation, leaving us on a cliffhanger that has led to months of speculation and prayers for Wyl Lark’s well-being (protect him at all costs).

Now, the end of the trilogy is upon us. With less than a week to go until the release of Alphabet Squadron: Victory’s Price, we’ve been graced with not one but two additional short sections of the book to hold us over until release day.

The below excerpt features Wyl Lark leading a team of pilots on a mission that unexpectedly uncovers a secret.

--

The glow of hyperspace faded as the jolt of deceleration hit. Wyl’s harness dug into his chest as stars fell into place and the jade light of Midgor winked from the darkness. His head swam and he looked to the console, trying to parse the readings as his instruments recalibrated themselves.

“Picking something up!” Wyl heard Vitale, curt and professional—the woman he’d flirted with, almost befriended, before he’d become her commanding officer on Troithe. “Three, maybe four ships.”

“I hear you, Wild Two,” he said. Wyl adjusted his sensors, felt the reassuring click of toggles through his gloves, and confirmed Vitale’s assessment. His comm scanner flickered, suggesting encrypted Imperial chatter in the system.

“Wild and Hail, hold position,” he said. “Flare, with me for a better look.”

Affirmative responses came in. Wyl opened his throttle and swung his vessel toward the bright marks on his scanner. When his course was set, the universe seemed still and his roaring thrusters impotent—in the vastness of realspace, the only signs he was in motion were his console indicators and, far behind, the lights of the other starfighters.

It was almost a minute before he could pick out specks against the darkness. His sensors estimated the distant vessels’ speed and mass. They were too large to be fighters but smaller than frigates—gunships, maybe, but Wyl couldn’t guess at their specifications. He didn’t have the encyclopedic knowledge Yrica Quell had possessed.

Quell.

Wyl had seen many friends die in the war. But the loss of Quell was different from the loss of Sonogari or Sata Neek.

“I need an ID,” he said. “Anyone recognize them?”

“One in the back looks like an Imperial cargo hauler,” Ghordansk replied. Ghordansk had an answer for everything, and half the time he was right. “Running hot, too—maybe a radiation leak.”

Wyl altered his approach, angling to one side. The specks of the Imperial vessels were flickering around the edges, as if their shields were alive with energy or—

He checked his sensors again, noted the heat signatures.

“Keep your distance,” he said. “I’m going for a flyby.”

--

You can read the full excerpt and listen to a section of the audiobook exclusively on Polygon.

Another exclusive excerpt was also posted to IGN on Thursday, featuring Nath Tensent coming face-to-face with near-disaster (again) while onboard a Star Destroyer.

The final installment of Freed’s brilliant trilogy arrives March 2. You can view our complete Book Profile for more details and pre-order your copy now.

For a complete list of recent and upcoming Star Wars book and comic releases, visit our regularly updated Release Schedule.

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Meg is a writer, podcaster, and photographer. She lives in Illinois with her dog and medal-worthy book collection, and believes any conversation in which Star Wars references are applicable is one worth having.

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