A summary of Timothy Zahn’s Allegiance was found by a TFN user on Amazon U.K. I wouldn’t put too much faith in it, as there are two listings for the book and the summary seems a rather rough rewording of the first look at the novel. And they have the movie placement wrong. But, for posterity:
A “Star Wars” novel set between the events of “Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi”, it features a younger Han, Leia, and Luke, as well as Mara Jade. Mara Jade, the Emperor’s Hand, is looking into the illicit financial affairs of a planetary governor, hoping to find evidence that he might be funding the Rebellion. Luke, Han, and Chewbacca are sent on a mission to help some rebel supporters. Leia is busy being a diplomat, trying to drum up support for the Rebel Alliance. And a band of 5 stormtroopers, on the run after refusing a direct order, finds itself in the strange position of doing good deeds…and perhaps even aiding the Rebellion. The paths of all of them will crisscross back and forth as they come closer and closer to meeting up with one another…but never quite managing to.
However, we do have something from an official source: Sue Rostoni posted an excerpt from Allegiance on the starwars.com boards today. Text beneath the cut, nothing all that spoilery, IMO.
The Emperor’s library was a large and very private place, used only by a few of his top people, and only with his express permission. Normally, there were a handful of attendants on hand to assist, but as Mara walked between the tall stacks of data card file cabinets toward the retrieval stations at the center she was struck by the unusual silence. Apparently all the attendants had suddenly found a need to be elsewhere.
As she rounded the last cabinet she discovered the reason for their absence. Seated alone at one of the three computer stations was Darth Vader.
“Lord Vader,” she said politely as she stepped past, her eyes flicing automatically to the display screen in front of him.
His arm came up, just high enough to block her view. “Emperor’s Hand,” he greeted her in turn, his voice deep and stiff and darker even than usual. “What do you want?”
“I was given permission to do some research, ” Mara said, continuing past him and seating herself at one of the other stations.
But even as she turned on the console and started keying for her data search, she could sense his brooding attention switch from his research to Mara herself. Vader had always been polite enough, but even without Mara’s Force sensitivity it would have been abundantly clear that he didn’t like her.
I expect wank to erupt over the fact that Vader and Mara are IN THE SAME ROOM in about… three hours. Give or take.