'A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…’ there was more to the story than we Earthlings realised.
As the saying goes, there are two sides to every story and Paul S Kemp’s offering to the world of Star Wars certainly gives readers the opportunity to explore what that means in a world dominated by the struggle between light and dark, hope and darkness.
Set eight years after the Clone Wars and the devastation they caused, Lords of the Sith sees a galaxy which has been repressed by Emperor Palpatine his apprentice and sworn disciple Darth Vader. In this new order, the Republic is no more but the Sith Lords become aware of pockets of the resistance who are beginning to rise up.
This novel fits well within the Star Wars universe and is an action-packed continuation which will appeal to fans of both the films and novels, but what was so interesting about this novel was that whilst the rebels do feature within the main plot, the focus is placed primarily on the villains. These are the characters for me, which provide the intrigue in the story.
I find it intensely interesting to discover the motivations behind a villain, their psychopathy and the reason why they are so formidable and fearsome within their respective realms. This is a point on which this novel does not disappoint. The way in which Darth Vader’s pain and suffering have transformed him from Jedi to Sith is woven intricately throughout the narrative and provides if not sympathy for Vader then at least a level of understanding for the intensity of his hatred.
In a novel which explores power relationships and what it means to be on the side of darkness and evil, there is also a poignant note of emotion, an intensity of feeling and an exploration what has become of a former Jedi when his life is inexorably altered. What this novel provides Star Wars fans is almost an origin story for Darth Vader – who is revealed to still be a man behind that famous black mask – which shows what can happen when hatred and fear become the foundation of power and a Sith Lord is born….
I highly recommend this novel for any fan who is looking to know more about the Star Wars Universe in the intervening years between the films and anyone seeking more insight into one of science fiction’s greatest villains.
Star Wars Lords of the Sith was published in paperback by Arrow in January 2016.