For the Empire.

Christie Golden’s latest "Star Wars" novel, "Battlefront II: Inferno Squad," acts as a prequel to the upcoming video game, giving fans a chance get to know the titular Imperial special forces unit ahead of the game’s release in November.

We meet TIE fighter pilot Iden Versio as she survives the destruction of the first Death Star. Her father, Admiral Garrick Versio, forms the elite Inferno Squad in an effort to counter intelligence leaks like the one that led to that defeat.

Iden joins — and is ultimately put in charge of — fellow pilot Gideon Hask, engineering expert Del Meeko and intelligence prodigy Seyn Marana, with Garrick Versio acting as their supervisor.

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After a breezy setup, the team’s first assignment is a fun "Mission: Impossible"-style set piece that gives readers a taste of what’s to come.

The main plot centers on an operation in which Inferno Squad infiltrates the surviving members of Saw Gerrera’s extremist rebel Partisans, now known as the Dreamers. All four members of the team go undercover separately, in an effort to figure out where these rebels have been getting the intel they’ve been using to attack the Empire.

We get POV sections from all four members of the squad, but Iden is by far the most developed. She’s a great lead and the novel highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the idealized Imperial upbringing. She is a talented soldier, but struggles with emotion and attachment.

Even though we only see them from an Imperial perspective, the Dreamers prove to be one of the most likeable, nuanced rebel groups we’ve encountered. Del’s friendship with the Chadra-Fan Piikow is particularly believable and heartwarming, adding to the squad’s moral quandary.

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As with most undercover tales, things get dangerous and exciting quickly. Christie does an excellent job of dialing up the tension — more than in 2015’s covert Jedi adventure "Dark Disciple" — with the last fifth of the novel proving particularly gripping.

The book is held back slightly by a few instances of spotty writing and unclear descriptions, but the overall narrative thrust and fascinating character development will keep readers engaged.

The 2015 "Battlefront" tie-in novel, "Twilight Company," only had the most tenuous thematic connection to the game, but this novel’s narrative links to "Battlefront 2" are clear. Any fans looking forward to playing as the Imperial team in the game’s campaign mode should be thrilled to get to know these characters.

Even in isolation, "Inferno Squad" offers a riveting military tale and anyone who enjoys the Imperial perspective should dive right in.

Christie Golden’s "Star Wars Battlefront II: Inferno Squad," published by Penguin Random House, is available July 25, while "Star Wars Battlefront II" will be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on Nov. 17.