The Darth Bane series is the most enjoyable series of books I’ve read about the Star Wars universe. I give the series 5/5 stars on the whole. It follows Darth Bane, who started out as a miner in the first book Path of Destruction and surpassed all expectations and abilities to create what is called the Rule of Two: a rule intended to keep the Sith strong so that one day, as in the prequel trilogy of films, they would rise to fight the Jedi and take over the galaxy.
However, Darth Bane’s current apprentice, Zannah, has not challenged him yet and the tremors in Bane’s left hand attest to infirmity and aging muscles, which is fatal in a warrior who relies primarily on martial prowess. The future of the Sith is at stake and Bane seeks the secret to eternal life, and a new apprentice, as a backup plan. Zannah mistakenly thinks her master wants her to be patient in challenging him, but also wonders if it is time. She actively thinks about recruiting a new apprentice.
There are a few captivating additions to the series including a Iktotchi assassin who has visions of the future; healer Caleb’s daughter Serra who seeks justice for her murdered husband and father; a dark Jedi Set Harth whose reliance on escape and self-preservation make a contrast between him and the Sith.
There was a touch too much background information at times, reminding us of what happened in earlier books, but it did give the reader a well-rounded understanding of the thoughts of each character. We see less of Bane in Dynasty of Evil and the chapters about each character were shorter than I would have liked.
I must say the battles were well imagined and incredibly exciting. I reckon I was drooling when the Sith battled one another, anticipating how the battles would play out. With the background information sketched out previously, all the characters and situations came together in a clash that combined political reality with petty vengeance and brutal challenge/survival.
Path of Destruction is still the best book, but I wouldn’t hesitate to read another in this series, if it was possible. Or maybe I’ll have to reread Drew Karpyshyn’s Mass Effect series again or other works he has written. There is a visual quality to his writing that I like.