Review: Winner Lose All

Scoundrels is coming and because we were all good little girls and boys, Del Ray and Timothy Zahn teamed up to give us a short digital exclusive story that serves as a sort of prequel to the forthcoming novel as an early Christmas present.

As the title might indicate, Winner Lose All takes place around a sabacc tournament and stars none other than the king of gamblers himself, Lando Calrissian.  Lando just wants to win the tournament and get rich.  Obviously, because this is Lando, things don’t go his way and he finds himself involved in a scheme he hadn’t planned on once he encounters the Kitik twins and learns that the grand prize could very well be a fake.  Things end up spiraling out of control as they quickly realize how convoluted the scam is and it’s going to take a master scheme and a fair bit of luck for them to wind up on top.

Winner Lose All is a fun and entertaining read and exactly the sort of thing I hope we see more of with these e-stories.  It tells a good story and lets you get to know all of the characters and also plays in a corner of the Star Wars universe that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.  Zahn does a good job with each of the characters, not letting just one overwhelm the story.  The plot also has enough twists and turns without becoming ridiculous and keeps the reader engaged and wanting to know what happens.

Above all, the story serves its purpose well: to serve as a prequel and to introduce readers to some of the new characters who will be appearing in Scoundrels.  In just fifty pages, I already found myself getting attached to Tavia and Bink Kitik, the twin ghost thieves who have differing levels of approval for their business.   They may share the same face but they definitely have their own distinct personalities and don’t fall into the any tiring twin tropes.  Zahn also introduces the twins’ partner in crime, Zerba Cher’dak who will also be appearing in the forthcoming Scoundrels.  He’s definitely not someone you’d want to play against at sabacc though because he is just that good at cheating.

Bottom line is that I suggest you all go get this because not only is it a fun read but it’ll help tide you over these last two weeks until we can all finally read Scoundrels.

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