The Shadow Within is the seventh book in the series of original Babylon 5 novels. It was written by Jeanne Cavelos, author of the The Passing of the Techno-Mages trilogy.

The events of the novel detail two nearly unrelated plotlines early in 2257, just prior to The Gathering. The main plot deals with the voyage of the Icarus to Z'ha'dum and the fate of Anna Sheridan, wife of future Babylon 5 commander John Sheridan. The secondary plotline deals with John Sheridan's command of an Earthforce ship and a Homeguard plot to destroy Babylon 5.

Shadow Within 1

Original book cover for "The Shadow Within"

This novel details how Anna became involved with the IPX expedition to Z'ha'dum, how she met Morden and how she became the Shadow-infested shell of who she had once been who turned up in the final episode of season three of Babylon 5.

It also details how and why Morden chose to become an agent of the Shadows. He was widower whose wife and daughter were killed in a terrorist attack on a jumpgate. The Shadows were able to tap into his guilt and terror that the people he had loved most were somehow still suffering still, and he thus promised to serve them in return for their promise that they could end their suffering and the guilt that tormented him. It is an interesting subversion of one of the series' most enigmatic villains into a man who is essentially suffering in purgatory for those he loves most. This is particularly interesting given how the series portrayed not dissimilar changes of character and perspective on other main characters.

These details are referenced in Jeanne Cavelos's Technomage Trilogy, which is considered 100% canon.


According to Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski: "The story of the Icarus as presented in this book is considered canon."[1]


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