Star Wars: Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
I have finally reached the last book in the Star Wars: Darth Bane Trilogy. I can't wait to see what happens. When we last left our villains (can't really call them heroes, can we?), Bane's life had just been saved by Zannah. He was a tad bit annoyed with her, thinking that she had taken on a new apprentice and that she may have led him into a trap loaded with Jedi, but he finally figured out that she was willing to do just about anything to keep the existence of the Sith alive.
The trouble, as we begin to see in Star Wars: Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil, is that Bane is beginning to have doubts about Zannah's willingness to overthrow her master. Time has passed since Zannah forced Caleb to save Bane's life. Bane has begun to notice that his body is breaking down on him. He is still as strong in the Force as ever, but he has begun to experience a tremor in his left hand. Yet, Zannah has not attempted to dethrone him as Master of the Sith. Could it be that she is unwilling to do so, content to wait until Bane's infirmities become so great that he could never hope to defeat her? If so, that would make Zannah unworthy of the title of Master in Bane's eyes.
When Bane learns of a holocron created by a Sith Lord who believed he had found a way to immortality, he jumps on the opportunity to find it. Possessing this knowledge would erase Bane's worries about Zannah. Should she prove to be an unworthy successor, Bane could transfer his essence into another, buying time to find and train another apprentice to take his place.
As a distraction from his true mission, he sends Zannah to Doan to find Sith talismans that led to the death of a Jedi. While on Doan, Zannah finds Set Harth, a Dark Jedi also seeking to possess these talismans. Finding Set strong in the Dark Side of the Force, Zannah wonders if he could be her apprentice. After all, she has realized that it is only a matter of time before she will have to enact the Rule of Two, taking out her Master and training a new apprentice so that the cycle can continue. Could it be that Set Harth is destined to become her apprentice?
Meanwhile, Princess Serra of Doan, distraught after just having lost her son to rebel miners, has just learned of her father's death at the hands of an old enemy. Sent away from Apatros by her healer father Caleb years ago, Serra went underground, becoming a healer herself and traveling from planet to planet plying her skills. Her constant companion is Lucia, former Gloomwalker soldier turned bounty hunter. Once Serra married the Prince of Doan, Lucia became her bodyguard and it is Lucia's actions in an effort to give Serra some peace after the death of her husband, that has brought the news of Caleb's death to her. Serra has vowed to avenge her father. Hiring an assassin strong in the Force, Serra set about her plan to take down Darth Bane once and for all. But will a taste for vengeance be enough against the most powerful Sith Lord to ever exist?
This novel, the last of the Darth Bane series, was the fastest read of them all. Perhaps this was owing to the knowledge that someone in the Master/Apprentice relationship was going to have to die. The reader keeps wondering who to root for. Should we root for Bane to find the key to immortality? Can we believe Zannah to weak to lead the Sith into the future? Or should we root for Zannah to overthrow Bane? Can we believe that Bane is too frail to continue the Sith legacy?
I found the writing in Star Wars: Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil to be incredibly fast-paced, action-packed and enjoyable. I wasn't enamored with Set Harth's character, although his lightsaber throw was pretty awesome. I did, however, enjoy the characters of Lucia, Serra and The Huntress. The fact that Lucia had fought alongside the man who would eventually become Darth Bane was a poignant part of this story. Having seen other followers of the Sith make their way toward redemption, could we really believe that Des had no redeeming qualities left? Serra was another intriguing character and one I had not expected to see ever again after the first novel. It is her character who actually goes through the redemption phase and it is interesting to see her get to that point. And The Huntress...as evil as this woman is, it's hard not to like this character.
Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil was a great way to wrap up the Darth Bane Trilogy. This novel marks the final battle between the Master and the Apprentice. I should forewarn readers that there is a shocking ending here. One that, although it was predictable, still offers up a question or two. I don't want to ruin things for those who plan on reading the trilogy, so I won't go into it in depth, but suffice it to say that it will be difficult to tell who the real winner is here. Having worried if I would like this series, I now find myself very happy that I decided to read it anyway. The Darth Bane Trilogy was well worth my time and an excellent segment in the Star Wars Universe timeline.