Thursday, March 10, 2016

Review: Lords of the Sith

Lords of the Sith By Paul S Kemp
Publisher: Del Ray
Release Date: April 28th 2015
Format: Epub, 320 pages

My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD
When the Emperor and his notorious apprentice, Darth Vader, find themselves stranded in the middle of insurgent action on an inhospitable planet, they must rely on each other, the Force, and their own ruthlessness to prevail.

“It appears things are as you suspected, Lord Vader. We are indeed hunted.”

Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight, is just a memory. Darth Vader, newly anointed Sith Lord, is ascendant. The Emperor’s chosen apprentice has swiftly proven his loyalty to the dark side. Still, the history of the Sith Order is one of duplicity, betrayal, and acolytes violently usurping their Masters—and the truest measure of Vader’s allegiance has yet to be taken. Until now.

On Ryloth, a planet crucial to the growing Empire as a source of slave labor and the narcotic known as “spice,” an aggressive resistance movement has arisen, led by Cham Syndulla, an idealistic freedom fighter, and Isval, a vengeful former slave. But Emperor Palpatine means to control the embattled world and its precious resources—by political power or firepower—and he will be neither intimidated nor denied. Accompanied by his merciless disciple, Darth Vader, he sets out on a rare personal mission to ensure his will is done.

For Syndulla and Isval, it’s the opportunity to strike at the very heart of the ruthless dictatorship sweeping the galaxy. And for the Emperor and Darth Vader, Ryloth becomes more than just a matter of putting down an insurrection: When an ambush sends them crashing to the planet’s surface, where inhospitable terrain and an army of resistance fighters await them, they will find their relationship tested as never before. With only their lightsabers, the dark side of the Force, and each other to depend on, the two Sith must decide if the brutal bond they share will make them victorious allies or lethal adversaries.
This book is basically what I thought Aftermath was going to be. A concise story about a band of rebels trying to take down the Empire. I really enjoyed this one and I think it actually brings a lot of the new star wars canon together. If you watched Clone Wars or are currently watching Star Wars Rebels, Cham Syndulla the leader of the Ryloth rebellion with seem really familiar. (Spoiler Alert he's Hera's father). So if you know that, you know that you will see him again and see how what he does in this book affects the rest of this universe.

What I like about this one is that it's a nice way to bridge the gap between Revenge Of The Sith and A New Hope. This is about Darth Vader shortly after he became a Sith, but Anakin Skywalker is not completely gone. You can still sense his hesitation to do things the Emperor asks of him, and he's still has spare thoughts about Padme and Ahsoka. He is not the Vader from a New Hope, at least not yet and I really like that. I also think it helped me understand why Vader does turn on the Emperor in the end of Return of The Jedi. Vader did still have good in him, but it was masked by his desire for power and his anger. This book is Vader at his start, but it's also just one big test for him. With all the crazy stuff that goes on in this book, The Emperor is just essentially testing that Vader can be his apprentice, and that's why he's so unfazed by the assassination attempts they face. He knows Vader will succeed, because he has to.

What I also liked about this one was that I got a better understanding of the Twi'Lek species. I didn't know that much about them prior to this book, but I did enjoy reading about their plight and seeing them on their home planet. I definitely what to know a little bit more about their culture and what their planet was like before they were occupied.

I do admit that towards the end I felt like the book started to drag on. It got a little too much when Vader and the Emperor were killing creatures in caves. I just felt that was a little unnecessary and didn't really do anything for the plot. I could have been happier with this part left out.

Of the new Star Wars Canon, I think this might be my favorite. I've only read a few that are considered part of the new official disney canon and I haven't been that impressed. This one finally reads like a Star Wars book to me. So if you love the Legends Expanded Universe, I think you would like this one too.

Happy Reads Everyone!