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Lords of the Sith (Star Wars)
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May 2015 - Lords of the Sith > Lords of the Sith Chapters 15-18

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message 1: by Aaron, Jedi Master (new) - rated it 3 stars

Aaron Goins (avgoins) | 213 comments Mod
This thread is for discussing chapters 15-18. Everything is free game. Spoilers abound!


Matthew Rushing | 52 comments I have to say, this is my favorite book since AND. This is really everything I hoped it would be, in-depth with Vader and Cham was just a treat.


Jared Mayes | 16 comments I've gotta say that ending really rocks. Glad Cham lives and Vader finally acts like a Sith Lord and takes care of business. Did anyone notice how many times Kemp described the sound of Vader's breathing? Gave me goosebumbs every time


Matthew Rushing | 52 comments He really does feel like the menace of doom in this book


Mike Tennill | 47 comments loved this book more than i lived kenobi. there was nothing better the dialog between vader and the emporoer. love how neither is disalusioned on what their relationship actually is


Sean Heller | 3 comments Great book overall. I did like how it ended. I do wish we would have had a confrontation between Mors and Vader/Emperor. I wasn't a fan of Cham. But I did enjoy how we got glimpses to Vader and the ghosts of his past, and how he did have have more thoughts in the apprentice role. Killing his master and the like. But I do agree with Jared above, that he did take care of business as a Sith Lord.


message 7: by Danielson (new) - added it

Danielson W. I don't think anyone has written Vader so ruthlessly as Kemp. I loved the book, I enjoyed it the most of all canon novels so far. It has a fast moving pace throughout, Vader is written well, so is Palps and it was interesting to see one of the royal guard was a clone. Vader flashing back to his past and Palpatine seemingly taunting him about Padme was bone chilling!


Mike Tennill | 47 comments vader has been written amazingly in the new marvel comics.


Albert Nguyen I really like where Cham and Isval ended up, with Cham coming to the cathartic realization the huge gamble he took in this entire crusade cost him everything and with Isval finally understanding there's more to life than just killing Imperials. Her final stand with Vader really shows how much she's developed as a character!

I did have a few complaints though. The ending really lacked resolution as it ends shortly after the climax and for a book titled "Lords of the Sith" it felt to me that Cham and Isval were the main characters, not Vader and Sidious. Really the book should have been longer to give the two Sith lords more development and to give more resolution to the ending.


Scott Rushing I was glad to see Cham Syndulla live, and now I want to see him appear as a Rebel leader in Star Wars: Rebels.


Scott Rushing This book also provides insight into the conflict between good and evil within Vader. He saves the Twilek girl, only to slaughter the villagers. The emperor's work is not complete, and Luke senses this. Luke is the only one who could turn Vader.


message 12: by J (new) - rated it 3 stars

J (qwartx) Did anyone else hate, or at least really dislike the ending? The Bond-villain monologue the Emperor gives right at the end. In and of itself isn't the worst, but the fact that Vader doesn't kill her, waits, just so the Emperor can lord it over her, then kills her. What purpose did that serve?

The Emperor could have just explained it to Vader. The point of the whole exercise was to show him how far ahead of Vader he is in planning. He's the only one that needs to hear that.


Albert Nguyen J wrote: "Did anyone else hate, or at least really dislike the ending? The Bond-villain monologue the Emperor gives right at the end. In and of itself isn't the worst, but the fact that Vader doesn't kill he..."

Agreed! I think it was just Kemp's way of saying, "Look how the Emperor taunts his victims before they die. Oh he's so evil!"


Brittanie Oxner | 5 comments Albert I totally agree with you. I felt from the beginning that this book was a little light on the Sith side for a book called Lords of the Sith. It did feel more like Cham's story. I was hoping for something more like Plagueis and the Bane Trilogy where there was a little story line for the good guys but 75% was the Sith Lord. But it was still done well. I feel like most writers don't do Vader well and Kemp did a great job with him.

I also totally agree with Scott. I loved how this book showed the conflict in Vader. As Padme said, "There is good in him." This book really showed that he didn't just flip a switch and forget his past life. The pain of losing Padme and Ahsoka and all the others is still with him and he still struggles with killing innocent people. That conflict is still in there and I think because we can't see it in his eyes behind that mask, we forget about that. But it brings to life what Luke felt in his father. He sensed the conflict. It brings a whole new feeling to his turn back to the light. Love it.


message 15: by Ellen (last edited May 25, 2015 09:10AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ellen Burns-Johnson | 2 comments I agree with what Scott wrote above:

"This book also provides insight into the conflict between good and evil within Vader. He saves the Twilek girl, only to slaughter the villagers."

Though I, like Brittanie, was expecting something a bit more like what I read in Darth Plagueis and the Bane trilogy, I kind of liked where Kemp took the story. I think it showed us a great deal about the relationship between Vader and Sidious, and how far Sidious will go to keep Vader under control.

I mean, we learn at the end that the Emperor basically concocted this whole series of events in order to accomplish two goals: (1) cripple the Free Ryloth movement, and (2) shorten Vader's leash. I think the fact that the Emperor is willing to go to such lengths to manipulate Vader suggests that he still considers him a significant threat to his power.


message 16: by Scott (last edited May 25, 2015 09:58AM) (new) - added it

Scott Mobley | 36 comments Hey guys here's my review that I just posted on my FB page (https://www.facebook.com/MobleyStarWa...). I'd love to have any feedback or thoughts about the actual review and anything that I discussed that may have sparked a thought. Love the group; great discussions!

REVIEW: by Scott Mobley

The Dark Times (the time between Episodes III & IV) has long been an area that has mostly been off limits to most storytellers. George Lucas kept it that way for personal reasons, but lessened the ban through the years. Dark Horse comics and Del Rey books began to probe this era with comics and novels alike. Still even with the faintest of tendrils beginning to probe this Dark era most continued to stay away from Darth Vader and Emperor/Darth Sidious stories. With the new launch of cannon level media other than just the films, this appears to no longer be the case. Much of what has been released so far by Marvel and Del Rey travels directly into these formally verboten times.

This, in so many ways, is the novel that you have always wanted. Who hasn't wanted to know more about Vader and the Emperor's relationship, how the Emperor teaches Vader the ways of the Sith, or how Vader reconciles his past with the evil Sith lord he has become. Certainly this novel can't and doesn't answer all these weighty questions, but it does lay the foundation for how these types of things will be handled going forward. It also does a phenomenal job of stitching or weaving together The Clone Wars, Revenge of the Sith, and even Rebels.

The story naturally focuses on Vader and the Emperor to an extent, but intriguing characters such as Cham Syndulla (Twi'lek, father of Hera Syndulla), Moff Delian Mors (Human, Moff overseeing the planet Ryloth), Col. Belkor Dray (Human, Imperial Colonel on Ryloth), and so many others add to a strong cast that play out their own equally compelling lives. They intertwine with the main adventure of Vader and the Emperor's visit to Ryloth. The Emperor decides that the time has arrived to make an example of Ryloth. The terrorists are running rampant, gaining support and visibility, disrupting the lucrative ryll (spice) shipments, hindering slave trade, and worst of all the slovenly, indolent, and inattentive Moff Mors seemingly allows it to continue. This will not stand. The Emperor decides to utilize this visit not only as a very visible display to other recalcitrant
planets like Ryloth, or lackadaisical officers to straighten things out, but also as a teaching opportunity for his new Sith Lord, Vader.

Vader senses that this trip is an unnecessary risk, but trusts his Master and assumes that he will be tested. He will be tested, but not in the manner or ways that he would imagine. We see the Emperor continue to strip away anything that remains of Anakin Skywalker throughout the novel, in gentle, oftentimes subtle ways.

Cham Syndulla, leader of the Twi'lek Freedom Fighters (not terrorists) on Ryloth learns of the coming visit of not only the obese Senator Orn Free Ta, but also the Emperor and his enigmatic right hand Vader. This is the opportunity for he and his fellow Twi'leks to rid the galaxy of the evil that is the Empire, and obtain some revenge for Vader killing a ship full of their friends. They understand that another opportunity like this may never present itself again. They must take the risk no matter what the cost to the movement long term may mean. Thus the stage is set very early and very quickly for quite the battle on so many fronts.

The real action begins when the Star Destroyer "Perilous" reverts from hyperspace amongst a sea of mines upon it's approach to Ryloth. The space battle, the coordinated attack of the Freedom Fighters on the doomed Imperial ship simply stated was glorious. It is some of the best writing I have ever read with regard to space warfare. I never had any trouble envisioning the scenes playing out in my mind. The twists and turns of this battle are remarkable and a ton of fun. It was incredible to feel genuine trepidation for Vader and the Emperor during the battle. We know they live, but one can't help but wonder how will they survive this. The only qualms I would harbor about the writing at this point would be when Vader essentially eliminates a whole squad of Vulture fighters laden with buzz droids. The manner that it played out felt unrealistic even for the best pilot in the galaxy to have accomplished.

Shortly after the memorable space battle, Vader, the Emperor, and their group reach Ryloth's surface and encounter some of the planets top predators including the lyleks. From this point on until they are done with the creatures, the book becomes a bit repetitive and boring. The chapters with the lyleks play like the fight in the Superman movie from a few years ago between Superman and General Zodd...excessively long, destructive, tedious, and pointless. However as throughout the book, the author occasionally gives us little conversations between Vader and the Emperor, or direct insights into Vader's thoughts and his perspective. That will keep you going through the lylek battle because you won't want to miss any of those interactions. Whenever they occur, they almost always feel important, insightful, or maybe even insidious, but yet we never receive the direct perspective from the Emperor. Thus we never know... Is he teaching, undermining, stripping more of Anakin away, or just simply messing with Vader's head? This is the beauty and yet the frustration of the novel at the same time. You never really know.

This is my first novel by Paul S. Kemp. I'm impressed. He portrayed Vader brilliantly at a time that I would think would be one of the most difficult to write Vader in. He isn't quite the villain that we see entering the "Tantive IV" in "A New Hope" yet. Vader is still such a mix of Anakin and Vader at this point, so soon after the execution of the Order 66 and most of his former Jedi allies. Sure his anger fuels his connection to the Darkside, but he hasn't quite detached all the good in him yet no matter what he says outwardly. We learn his struggles with this and how he deals with it. The Emperor knows this and knows that he must take everything away from Vader. He continues that process in this novel. We know, too, that neither he nor the Emperor ever quite succeed in that task, or else Luke would've never been able to redeem his father.

"I know there is good in you, the Emperor has not driven it out from you fully. That was why you couldn't destroy me. That's why you wouldn't bring me to the Emperor now."

- LUKE SKYWALKER

THE GOOD:

- tying back to the Clone Wars with Cham Syndulla and the Rebels TV shows (Cham is Hera's father)
- cool technology:
* repurposing Separatist's Vulture Droid fighters to not need the central command ship
* biting down to use comms - strong enough even hear whispers
* mines that had shield bleeders (not just explosives)
- space battle and boarding by the Freedom Fighters was freaking awesome!
- Vultures packed with Buzzdroids!
- learning more insight into how Vader's armor works, suits filters everything so he can even smell, never thought of that
- A Captain of Royal Guard is a Clone! I want to know more.
- Vader standing against Emperor to save someone was an incredible scene
- interesting that the Emperor doesn't want to be seen using the Force by others... What's his thinking there? I want to know more!
- remarkable how much tension was built even though the outcome was known (Vader & Emperor won't be dying anytime soon)

THE BAD:

- Isval's side trip by herself ended up feeling like an awkward event from the flow of the rest of the novel
- Vader essentially eliminating a whole squad of Vulture Droid fighters laden with buzz Droids felt unrealistic even for him in his tie fighter
- Vader's memories of Ahsoka, Anakin, Mace, Plo Koon, Obi-wan, Padme, Mustafar, etc
* all were surprising that they were there
* didn't feel like the author really elaborated on the idea enough, where he (Vader) was mentally - fighting to rid himself of those memories, what was the purpose, fuel his anger?, something was missing
- the exchanges between Vader / Emperor seem meaningful, but at times the reader can feel like really coming away with nothing, but yet they were awesome too because they did feel like important conversations or lessons were going on.

THE UGLY:

- the Lylek chase scene in the forest and caves was dreadful

THE BOTTOM LINE:

- I love this book and would easily give it 5 Stars. The new cannon novels seem to be very strong out the gate. Sure they all have their highs and lows, but the high are very strong in these novels and the lows feel more like nit picking. The consistency is definitely there and all have been worthwhile reads.

{NOTE: A galley version was provided by Del Rey in exchange for an honest review.}


message 17: by Mike (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike Tennill | 47 comments i dont think its anout shortening vaders leash. it was reinforcing that vader has much to learn. emperor doesnt care if vader kills him, if thats the will of force. the emporer knows exactly what his relationship with vader is, student and master. emporoer several times during this book reinforces the idea that there relationship is a very delicate balance, and the emporoer will only be the master until vader has learned everything he can from him.


Brendan Konrad | 7 comments I just finished reading this book last night, and I definitely thought it was the strongest book since they "reset" the EU canon. I came away from the book with a strong understanding of how powerful he was in his prime.
Having Cham Syndulla as the main protagonist was a pleasant surprise. I will admit however that I was hoping for some mention of his daughter, Hera, even if it was in passing in his internal monologue.


message 19: by Kerry (last edited Jun 20, 2015 04:38PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kerry Just finished this story.
This story is about the Sith Lords, so perhaps it is somewhat unreasonable to expect anything beyond Darth Vader and the Emperor. For example, looking for characters who are not just plot devices but capable of having a broader story.

Cham and Isval are the only two from this story that could have their own story arc. Of the two, Isval is the only one with anything new to offer. Cham is only interesting because he is related to Hera. The Imperials are nothing special, one ambitious corrupt, the other depraved negligent. Though as plot devices, I get Belkor Dray is needed for Cham's plan. And Moff Mors is needed for Belkor's motivation.

But since bigger part of the story is from the p.o.v. of these four characters, it would have been great if, at least, Isval's story could have carried forward. I feel, she is the only characters that makes the non Sith portions most interesting. Isval blew up the Star Destoyer. Cham just waited at command center and acted, in turn, thoughtful or concerned, those guys are dime a dozen.

Ahsoka Tano really helped hold the Clone Wars series together. Her relationship with Master Plo Koon a great nuance. As well as her story of betrayal. After reading Tarkin and The Sith Lords, I'm somewhat disappointed no exciting new characters are emerging. Isval has been the closest, so far.


message 20: by Kerry (last edited Jun 20, 2015 04:52PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kerry Scott wrote: "- Isval's side trip by herself ended up feeling like an awkward event from the flow of the rest of the novel ...A Captain of Royal Guard is a Clone! I want to know more... the Lylek chase scene in the forest and caves was dreadful "
I would disagree about Isval. I would have placed this event near front of story and built out of it. An original motivation. Too bad they killed her off. As for the Clone Trooper, I would agree that would have been interesting, too bad they killed him off. The Lylek chase scenes and the mass killing... I start to feel we are crossing into mecha manga when these fights devolve into massive kills of faceless enemies. (you know...big swords with super killing blows, and extra super killing blows, and special legendary killing blows, used only when hero is about to succumb)


Albert Nguyen I actually liked Cham a lot more than Isval because of his struggle reconciling his morals. "Not a terrorist, but a freedom fighter." Isval for most of the book was a one dimensional murderous lunatic but I did like her development in the end. I agree it's a shame she was killed off considering I just started to like her. Maybe they should have just imprisoned and interrogated her instead to leave her character open for future stories.


message 22: by Eric (last edited Dec 13, 2016 08:24AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eric (eric_andrew) | 8 comments So I know I'm over 18 months late to the party, but I just read this book. It was my fifth new canon novel and probably my favorite thus far.

The opening of the book with the thoughts of a still-fairly-new Darth Vader were really captivating, and this combined with his back-and-forth with Palpatine were definitely my favorite parts of the book. I wish there had been more of this, or even perhaps more of other Sith. I realize this book was released around the time of the end of Rebels Season One, so I was halfway expecting something about the Inquisitorious, but there was none.

Speaking of Rebels, I suppose this book was also meant to be an introduction to Cham, who does show up in Rebels in Season Two. And, of course, there's the mention that he is father of Hera. However, overall I didn't feel super compassionate towards the members of the Free Ryloth movement that we met in the book. I mean, they were okay, and I certainly liked Isval's merciless beating of a sleazy Imperial and her willingness to die for the cause, but that was about it.

I was surprised how much I ended up liking the Imperials running Ryloth. Early on, I just assumed Delian Mors would be an unlikable character and we would cheer on Belkor Dray, but that was way off. Mors became likable when we learn that she became listless and lazy after the death of her wife, but that meant feeling very split during the final conflict of the book. Do you want Mors to redeem herself, or Cham and company to defeat their Empire foes, even though you know Vader and Palpatine won't be dying?

Meanwhile, I thoroughly enjoyed Belkor's descent into madness in the final act. I literally laughed out loud when he started having conversations with the pilot he murdered.

The one thing that kept me from giving this book 5 stars was the freaking lylek confrontation. It went on way too long and wasn't very enjoyable to read, especially after we just had a whole gutkurr confrontation with the Twi'leks.


Lindsey (The Tidy Bookshelf) (tidybookshelf) | 4 comments I just finished Lords of the Sith. It was great to see how the Free Ryloth movement evolved between Clone Wars and Rebels. My favorite part was definitely all of Vader's inner thoughts - really fascinating, and I'm actually glad I didn't read it until after seeing that final sequence in Rogue One - gave me so much more visual to accompany his rage in this book. I didn't think I would enjoy this book too much, but was quite pleasantly surprised. Solid contribution to the new canon!


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