It was obvious where the series was going with the Rule of Two and all but it was still well done and threw up a few unexpected developments.
This book is set another ten years after the first book, with Bane and Zannah still in the same master/apprentice relationship, though splits are beginning to show. Bane starts off still obsessed with finding more holocrons while Zannah is starting to look for an apprentice of her own. Into this mix are thrown two figures from Bane’s past and a ‘Dark Jedi’, not a full blown Sith but a Jedi who’s abandoned the Jedi teachings to focus on himself.
I think the new characters in this book really made it. The novel is relatively evenly split between all of the POV’s and the plot moves at a good pace. I had feared in the beginning that it was going to be another re-hash but after the first quarter or so all the threads started coming together towards a pretty climatic end.
There’s a few cracks beginning to show in Bane’s perfection which is always more interesting to read about, while Zannah has to come to terms with what she needs to do. Serra and Lucia were both deeper than initially appeared and I really liked the edge that came to Serra especially as we learned more about her. Set was a cliche but I always have a soft spot for the lazy unscrupulous decadent type, brings back certain memories both real and imagined.
As always I am struck by the Star Wars universe, while technically light hearted in tone can actually be quite dark and again brings up the devastation that civilisation can bring to planets. It’s constantly referenced through the many books I’ve read in it now, how planets are completely destroyed in the search for materials and not always by the ‘bad’ guys. It’s never a major part but can play minor points and I’m glad so many writers include it.
Overall I really enjoyed this series. There was a good mix of action and introspection that I think was handled well, it could have been all action which can get repetitive sometimes. The character’s, though always leaning towards cliche, were still interesting to read about and considering the vast majority of them were villains, I still found myself kind of rooting for them. It’s no longer canon as such, but I think Bane is and there’s not too much contradicting it so far so it’s worth a read.