Star Wars: Lords of the Sith
Published by: Del Rey
Written by: New York Times Bestselling Author Paul S. Kemp
Cover Art by: Aaron McBride Jacket Design by: Scott Biel
Publication Date: April 28, 2015
Précis: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away… Eight years have passed since the Clone Wars ended, and the Empire rules the galaxy with an iron grip. Emperor Palpatine and his apprentice Darth Vader, Dark Lords of the Sith, are at the height of their power. Feared by most, there are those who would like to crush the Empire…
On Ryloth, a planet that supplies slave labor to the Empire, and a narcotic known as ‘spice,’ a resistance movement sees an opportunity to quash the Empire and gain its independence. Led by Cham Syndulla and Isval (former slave and trusted confidante), they set in-motion a bold plan, which, if successful, will free the galaxy, once and for all.
Unaware of the evil they’re dealing with, Syndulla and Isval bring the Emperor and Vader crashing to the surface of Ryloth. Stranded, without communications and hunted from all sides, Palpatine and Darth Vader must rely on the Force, their implacable skills, and – each other, to survive.
Or…could it be, that the Emperor’s vengeful apprentice will use this opportunity to usurp his master’s power..?
The Story: A short time ago at a Barnes & Noble in a city very close by… I recently picked up this brilliant book (which comes in at 299 pages), and I was immdiately swept-up in that far-away galaxy from the first page! This is good Sith! For me, Lords of the Sith is right up there with The Thrawn and Darth Bane Trilogies, as well as Kenobi. I know there have been reams of Star Wars novels written over the decades, but – I, myself, have only read about a dozen; and only a few of those have focused on Palpatine and Vader’s relationship, in particular. I found Lords of the Sith to be quite refreshing, in this regard, because Kemp does exactly that – shining the spotlight on both of them in a wholly-new approach. (Please, feel free to correct me on this, if I’m wrong; as I’m not as versed in SW lore as, no doubt, the rest of you.)
After a phenomenal space battle upon entering the Ryloth System, Palpatine continues to display the utmost-confidence in [their] situation; as all the while, he seems to question Darth Vader’s loyalty, testing and goading his apprentice at every turn. I loved seeing the Emperor manipulating Vader, even as he’s teaching the tormented former-Jedi-turned-Sith invaluable lessons. Also, we’re given the opportunity to see just how powerful the Emperor truly is in the ways of the Dark Side. Kemp had me awed; I was on the edge of my seat during several of their close-call misadventures.
And, don’t discount Darth Vader, who proves he’s no slouch in wielding the Force. I was slack-jawed on a couple of occasions, as the armored menace to the galaxy, at-large, effortlessy displayed his incredible skills. He, also, proves that – despite being haunted by his past – he can hold his own against his master; not afraid to question Palpatine whenever he feels it’s necessary, while absorbing the knowledge the Emperor imparts throughout, becoming evermore powerful. I loved getting inside of Vader’s head, too; as Kemp lays bare the roiling emotions and – the ghosts of his past, that forever consume him, using his feelings of hate and anger to fuel his lust for power.
What I found fascinating, also, was Cham Syndulla (shown above) and Isval. Knowing that Lords Sidious and Vader will go on reigning in dictatorial fashion for decades to come, I kept wondering: How in the hell can this resistence succeed?! You find yourself hoping – against the odds – that these would-be heroes will, indeed, pull this implausible scheme off! And, damned if they don’t give it their best. But, the endgame sets up everything that is to come, leaving me completely satified – filled with ‘new hope’, as it were. I loved the many characters and plot twists that Kemp brings to his writing, weaving an engrossing tale of action, adventure, betrayal, deceit, and – yes, loyalty to all they believe in, all the way to its conclusion.
My Take: As I’ve been writing this, I’ve been watching A New Hope (today, May 25th, marks the 38th anniversary of its theatrical release, in 1977); which – inevitably, has led to watching The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi… In regards to Lords of the Sith, it’s no wonder that in just two-weeks time, it’s gone to a third printing. This book is HOT! I guarantee, you will be astounded and amazed by this incredible book. And – Luke, Leia, Han and Chewie are nowhere to be found within its pages! Who knew, that a Star Wars novel could be this AWESOME, without that lot?! If you’re a true fan, Lords of the Sith is must-have novel.
My Amazon Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
‘Til, next time, see ya ‘out there…’
Lt. Eric Cone