BRIEF SYNOPSIS: A man from a mining colony on the galactic rim learns that his uncanny premonitions are more than just luck and, after a bad fight with some Republic navy officers, escapes to join the Sith. And it is there he learns his true calling…
PROS: The transition of Darth Bane through the book really shows him growing in power and understanding of the dark side. No namby pamby Skywalkers.
CONS: One scene near the end just didn’t feel necessary to me.
BOTTOM LINE: Finally, a novel about the dark side that starts to tell more about the dark side, and its a great Star Wars book.
I have already stated that I am a Star Wars fanboy and this book really appealed to me. It is what I want and expect from a Star Wars story. It is not incredibly deep and I doubt you will learn any sort of life changing philosophy here. But if you are looking for that, I doubt you will be reading Star Wars books. This book, unlike most other books, deals with a couple of subjects in this universe that have been woefully lacking from a novel perspective. The subjects are the Old Republic and the Sith. The Old Republic seems to be an area that was touched on in a couple of video games and some comic books but seems to be an area that is not explored more. The origins of the current Sith order is another area that sees much more attention through comics from Dark Horse, and that is somewhat understandable given that the Sith tend to be the bad guys of many Star Wars novels.
This is the story of a man who grows up on a mining colony out on the galactic rim. His existence is pretty crummy given an abusive father and a company who keeps their workers in abject poverty since they are gathering a resource that is key to armor and starship hulls. So things are not going well for this guy, but he has plans, darn it (and yeah I was thinking – great Luke Skywalker but done to the “dark side”). Things turn bad after a fight with another miner and then get worse after an altercation with some Repubilic navy officers. That leaves him with only one choice, to join the Sith and leave the mining planet. And the story is off and running… This is just the introduction to the first part of the story which is where we learn about the man who will become Darth Bane. The second part deals with his apprenticeship on Korriban and ends his transition to full dark lord of the Sith. It is this progression that I really liked in the book. I know there are clear lines where the story transitions, but those transitions are well done. I dare say done cinematically. Furthermore the emergence of dark side powers in the story’s protagonist really work well to demonstrate his potential. The only part that I really did not like is near the end of the book. There is a scene that is intended to set up the ending, but I felt could have been left out without impacting the story too much. Now this is a minor ding in the totality that is this book.
Books like this fit into my guilty pleasure category since it does not cover deep science nor does it have multifaceted characters with multilayered motivations. Now don’t get me wrong, this book has a some interesting things to say about the whole concept of good and evil, and how can a man who does not see himself as evil – embrace the dark side. But those really don’t get explored fully and more or less offer some depth to the character that eventually becomes Darth Bane. I really recommend this for any Star Wars fan who wishes to see a darker side of force users. Also, this book is downright fun – hence my 5 star rating.