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Author: Paul S. Kemp
Reading Date: January 01 to 04, 2016
Book Summary: A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . .
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.
Book Review: Real Rating: 4.5
As a kid, I grew up on both Star Wars and Star Trek but Star Wars was always my favorite. I was always happy whenever it came on television and even more thrilled with both the original versions and special editions were released to VHS.
Darth Vader was a favorite of mine. I think he was always one of the most misunderstood villains out there. Misguided by the emperor who, I felt, needed more of a guard dog to keep his throne and a character drawn to the seductive whims of the darker side of human nature. At the time, we really had no idea the extension of what his past was like and although not everyone has been thrilled with the prequels, it was enough to give us some insight into Vader and what changed his life to this point.
Now five years after the prequels canon timeline, we find out what Vader has been up to. He is one of the second most feared Sith Lords to exist.
Twi’leks rebels led by Cham Syndulla are trying to keep planets like Ryloth out of the hands of the Empire's encroaching shadow and the only way to do so is set a daring plan into motion - kill both the Emperor Palpatine and his loyal Sith Lord, Darth Vader. With the rebels failure imminent, what price will they have to pay once Vader finds them?
I was truly impressed with the Paul Kemp's portrayal of Vader's character and the way he got into his head giving us glimpses into the powerful mind of the Sith Lord. It also examined the relationship between Palpatine and Vader. Vader is loyal to his emperor, always willing to do whatever it is his friend and mentor orders but there are moments here and there where Vader finds himself struggling against brief flashes of the past. A past that still shapes him in some way or another.
This has been the first book where the villains take center stage and the heroes are mostly in the background trying desperately to keep their plans and hopes afloat even knowing time is not on their side.
If you are a big fan of Vader, then I recommend this book. even if you are not but a fan of the star Wars universe, then definitely give this book a chance. You might find yourself unable to put this book down until you have devoured every page is finished.