Star Wars: Darth Bane: Rule of Two by Drew Karpyshyn

So this starts off immediately after the events of the first book, at least for the first third, then there is a ten year time jump.

Bane has his apprentice and is starting his new philosophy of the ‘Rule of Two’ for the Sith going forward. He has planted enough seeds that the Jedi think that the Sith are extinct and now must set a few tests for his apprentice to make sure she is definitely the right choice. The story then follows similar beats to the first book in that Bane is seeking holocrons to increase his knowledge and power while Zannah is learning to fully embrace the dark side. We also have a good few chapters from a Jedi Knight’s POV in Johun who has doubts the Sith are not as extinct as they are thought to be.

Though I still had fun reading this it was definitely not as enjoyable as the first one. I think I missed the nuance of Bane from the first book, here he’s just an unstoppable Sith machine and however much I enjoyed learning more about the Sith, it just lacked something to really keep me interested in his chapters.

Zannah’s POV’s were more interesting, especially at the start though I still had the most fun reading hers throughout. Even though, like Bane, she does not have many redeeming factors, her thoughts and motivations seemed a bit more realistic and she wasn’t as cartoonish villain as Bane can be. The other two characters weren’t fleshed out as well and though they weren’t disagreeable, I felt they were mostly there for plot and characterisation purposes.

This book definitely suffered too much from the middle book issue by rehashing elements of the first book and not moving forward enough. It wasn’t boring by any means but it definitely didn’t keep my interest as much, though actually the end properly shocked me which was great. I have hopes the final book will move back up a notch and I’m looking forward to how the author is going to play out the philosophy of the master and apprentice, should be interesting.

3 stars

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