BBY/ABY is used to position items along the Star Wars Timeline. BBY refers to Before the Battle of Yavin. ABY refers to After the Battle of Yavin. The Battle of Yavin in Episode IV: A New Hope occured in 0 BBY/ABY.
The Youtini Expanded Universe Ranking system is a 1-5 scale that ranks EU book quality, difficulty, and importance. Books closer to Level 1 are easier to read and understand, more important, and of higher quality.
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . .
When the Emperor and his notorious apprentice, Darth Vader, find themselves stranded in the middle of insurgent action on an inhospitable planet, they must rely on each other, the Force, and their own ruthlessness to prevail.
“It appears things are as you suspected, Lord Vader. We are indeed hunted.”
Anakin Skywalker, Jedi Knight, is just a memory. Darth Vader, newly anointed Sith Lord, is ascendant. The Emperor’s chosen apprentice has swiftly proven his loyalty to the dark side. Still, the history of the Sith Order is one of duplicity, betrayal, and acolytes violently usurping their Masters—and the truest measure of Vader’s allegiance has yet to be taken. Until now.
On Ryloth, a planet crucial to the growing Empire as a source of slave labor and the narcotic known as “spice,” an aggressive resistance movement has arisen, led by Cham Syndulla, an idealistic freedom fighter, and Isval, a vengeful former slave. But Emperor Palpatine means to control the embattled world and its precious resources—by political power or firepower—and he will be neither intimidated nor denied. Accompanied by his merciless disciple, Darth Vader, he sets out on a rare personal mission to ensure his will is done.
For Syndulla and Isval, it’s the opportunity to strike at the very heart of the ruthless dictatorship sweeping the galaxy. And for the Emperor and Darth Vader, Ryloth becomes more than just a matter of putting down an insurrection: When an ambush sends them crashing to the planet’s surface, where inhospitable terrain and an army of resistance fighters await them, they will find their relationship tested as never before. With only their lightsabers, the dark side of the Force, and each other to depend on, the two Sith must decide if the brutal bond they share will make them victorious allies or lethal adversaries.
Lords of the Sith deals with big time characters, namely Darth Vader and the Emperor, but their on-screen personas don't quite translate to the page. This books skips back and forth between the Sith attempting to survive on the planet Ryloth after crash landing and the group of resistance fighters attempting to hunt them down. Where it excels is in the frankly jaw-dropping displays of Force power that the Sith use. Where it falls short is the dialogue between Vader and his master.
While initially pitched as a novel that exemplifies the power and brutality of Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, Lords of the Sith actually serves as a decent story about the evolution of the Free Ryloth movement with a spattering of Dark Side badassery sprinkled in. Fans of Star Wars: Rebels will welcome the protagonistic tendencies of Cham Syndulla as he leads his fellow freedom fighters in an attempted assassination of the Sith lords, but if you're looking for a deeper dive into the raw strength of the dark duo, you'll fall just a bit short.
If you’re looking for some Vader/Palpatine badassery then make sure to grab Lords of the Sith. The story moves back and forth between the Sith duo and Cham Syndulla, rebel leader and Hera Syndulla’s father. There is less Sith action than I expected due to that structuring, but the moments that we are given is definitely worth the time you put in. Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine are shown in their prime, and every bit of it is glorious. If anything, Cham’s perspective was most likely thrown in to show how terrifying the Sith are from the other side.