I revisited TPM, and have now jumped back into my EU collection.
Jedi Apprentice #1. This is the reason I don't despise the Prequels completely. The single best thing to come out of Ep. I-III. In this first book, 13 year old Obi-Wan is being thrown out of the Jedi Temple. He has reached the age where not being taken as an apprentice can no longer become a Jedi. He is to be a farmer.
Yes it's a kids book. It's better than most if not all the post Zahn adult EU. Still reads well today.
It works, it feels like Star Wars, the characters are well developed, and it only gets better. Book #2 pits Qui-Gon against his former apprentice who turned to the Dark side...these books really get darker as they go along, with surprising plot turns and virtually every bit of Obi-Wan's character is born then scrutinized then developed. Qui-Gon's past, war, turmoil, love interests, siege, genocide, depression, resignation, society, slavery and the list goes on...
And in the end of Book #1, Obi-Wan still has an uncertain future! Pre-OT tension? Yay!
Heck, I'm gonna re-read all 20. Damn well written, fun books. The first one has a different author than the other 19, so it's a bit rougher. 2-20 are exceptional.
10 training lightsabers out of 10 conniving Hutts, Togorian pirates and Yoda schemes.
I read most of these books back in the day, and really liked them. Most of them were written before the worst prequelisms from AOTC & ROTS were established, which adds to their appeal.