I finished Bane’s second outing yesterday, and it was even more enjoyable than the first! 🙂 Drew Karpyshyn is really coming into his own, and with the third book in the series on the way (the title has been recently released, and it is Dynasty of Evil) we’ve been practically guarunteed that the book will be an excellent climax to Bane’s story! 🙂
This book follows Bane and his new, young apprentice immediatly following the climax of Path of Destruction; they are still on Ruusan, the planet that saw the deaths of thousands on Jedi and Sith when Lord Kaan released the most devastating Force-weapon I’ve ever seen: the thought bomb. In the aftermath of it being released, Bane in the only Sith Lord still alive, but that’s part of the plan – he looked upon the Sith and saw them as weak, and knew that the Order would need to be broken and then recreated into a force (pardon the word) capable of destroying the Jedi and taking over the Galactic Republic. Sound familiar? Yes, Bane was the Sith Lord that began the Rule of Two, and if it wasn’t for him, Palpatine (Darth Sidious) would probably never have existed.
So, Bane has survived but is suffering terrible headaches, and is also seeing visions of two of the Sith Lords he betrayed and murdered – yes, Kaan did release the thought bomb, but Bane was the one who convinced him to do it. Bane has found Zannah, and after a detour back to the caves to see the remnants of the thought bomb (and someone from Zannah’s past), Bane leaves for Dxun, the planet orbiting Onderon where the tomb of the ancient Sith Lord, Freedon Nad, is; he leaves Zannah on Ruusan, without food or shelter, and tells her that her first important test is to travel to Onderon and meet him there – how she does so is up to her.
This sets the stage for the steep learning curve that all Sith before Sidious and up to Bane must have gone through, and throughout the book Drew puts Zannah through hell – but it makes sense, in terms of who the Sith are, what they represent, and what their ultimate goal is.
The book is an easy, enjoyable read – what I mean by this is that there are no passages that slow you down, nothing to get stuck in, and no re-reads of any portion of the text because you didn’t understand what was written. Drew’s style is fluid and engaging, and you’ll find that you’ve finished three or four chapters before you realize the world is out there! 🙂
The action scenes are pure Star Wars – and because of Drew’s time on the Knights of the Old Republic PC game, also something more; when Drew’s character’s fight or duel, it’s never just combatants moving around each other and twilrling blades, and he also writes the scenes in a way that make them seem very possible. 🙂
I did, though, find myself becoming a bit irritated with Zannah – for a Sith, she seems a bit too undecisive, and the choice (and its ramifications) that she makes at the book’s climax somehow didn’t seem strong enough to really sell it to me.
Other than that, I’ve got no problems at all with the book; it’s a solid read, an excellent Star Wars novel, and a great way of really understanding the differences between the Sith and the Jedi – put it this way; read Path of Destruction and Rule of Two and you’ll understand Darth Sidious, Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus, Darth Vader, Darth Lumiya and Darth Caedus a bit more. 🙂
Sith are incredibly interesting creatures, and I for one am very glad that Drew Karpyshyn is the one who was chosen to tell their story! 🙂