In Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, Palpatine tells Amidala that "the Chancellor has little real power . . . he is mired down by baseless accusations of corruption. A manufactured scandal surrounds him." In this prequel novel, which takes place shortly before the events of The Phantom Menace, Valorum struggles with his fall from power. As part of this struggle, he has the Jedi Council send some Jedi Knights to a political hotspot, in the hopes of solving a problem and reconsolidating his power.