Set decades before the events of The High Republic: Light of the Jedi and Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Quest for the Hidden City has arrived. It sees Jedi Padawan Rooper Nitani and her Master Silandra Sho investigating the disappearance of a crew of Pathfinders. However, this investigation sends the Jedi to the planet of Gloam, which is said to be infested with terrifying monsters! Written by George Mann, the middle-grade novel was released on November 1st 2022.
The Story of Quest for the Hidden City
After finding a distress call in outer space, Silandra Sho and her Pathfinder team set out to the twin worlds of Aubadas and Gloam. Their mission is to track down the missing Pathfinder crew responsible for the message. Meanwhile, Dass Leffbruk and his father are stranded on Gloam and desperately fighting to survive as an onslaught of mysterious monsters attacks them! Quest for the Hidden City is a story filled with adventure, intrigue and heart.
Much like Path of Deceit by Tessa Gratton and Justina Ireland, this story focuses on its brand-new characters. However, It introduces the audience to the new time period of The High Republic that Phase Two offers!
The author George Mann manages to build various mysteries through the book’s chapters, and while most of them pay off well, I can’t feel like some of the revelations featured leave a little more to be desired. There were moments when I was intrigued by certain elements, yet nothing much further happened with them. As is the nature of The High Republic’s interconnectivity, these reveals may be featured in a future story. However, it’s unclear how likely that is, and it hurts Quest for the Hidden City as a standalone title.
Padawan Rooper Nitani and her Master Silandra Sho are Quest for the Hidden City’s primary Jedi characters. Rooper is a young Jedi who yearns for adventure and excitement. Most of Quest for the Hidden City is told from her perspective. Therefore, we learn much about her relationship with her Master and Pathfinder team. In many ways, she seems familiar to other Padawan characters we’ve met in other Star Wars content. Characters like Ahsoka Tano, Bell Zettifar and Ezra Bridger. Therefore, she has an abundance of respect for her Master, but her eagerness for adventure and excitement can occasionally get the better of her.
Silandra carries a circular shield with her, preferring to use it over her lightsaber wherever possible. Mann manages to very quickly describe what kind of Jedi Silandra is, peaceful, philosophical and headstrong. Her relationship with Padawan Rooper is a highlight of this story. She puts a lot of faith in her apprentice, which is nice. However, Silandra feels instantly iconic in a galaxy filled with iconic Jedi characters, and Mann left me wanting to see even more of her.
The resident species of the planet Aubadas, the Katikoot, are a mysterious species with a strange history that forms one of this book’s most interesting plot lines. Mann provides world-building for this new bat-like species and the planet’s Aubadas and Gloam. My only complaint about these characters is they all share similar-sounding names. Therefore, it can be easy to confuse them with one another. Thankfully, they are all well differentiated outside their names, so you’ll soon pick up who is who.
Dass is arguably Quest for the Hidden City’s other main protagonist. Stranded on Gloam with his father, Spence Leffbruk, a hyperspace prospector who has been injured. Dass is forced to fend for himself and step up to protect his father from the monsters of Gloam and hunt and scavenge for food. He’s an endearing character who cares a lot for his father, and he grows as a person over the course of the story. His relationship with his father is some of the best things explored in this story.
The remaining supporting cast comprises Rooper and Silandra’s Pathfinder crew. The crew comprises Pilot Dietrix Jago and Obik Dennisol, as well as two droids, EX-9B and GT-11. Dietrix is a definite standout of these Pathfinders, likely because they are explored the most. They also seem to be unique characters compared to the pilot archetypes we’ve had before in the franchise. Dietrix stands strong against Han Solo, Poe Dameron and Leox Gyasi. Unfortunately, the remaining crew members of the Pathfinder team are a little less developed and feel much more forgettable. As fun as their scenes can be, these characters feel much less engaging than the rest of the cast.
Quest for the Hidden City by George Mann is a fun romp with plenty of intrigue and excitement. Much like other stories in The High Republic, it manages to explore an area between familiar Star Wars storytelling while also being something unique that we’ve not seen before in the franchise. Some plot points are better than others; however, the characters are constantly endearing, and you’ll find yourself having so much fun you’ll find it hard to put this book down.
The adventure continues in ‘Quest for Planet X’ by Tessa Graton, coming 2023, as well as more High Republic stories coming soon, including ‘The Battle of Jedha’ by Quest for the Hidden City author George Mann, an original audio story coming this January!
Quest for the Hidden City is available wherever books are sold. There will also be an audiobook version coming soon!