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.
The most iconic Sith duo is that of Darth Sidious and Darth Vader. When it comes to the films, the immense power of their strengths combined remains to be seen. Lords of the Sith offers the display of unrivaled power that we deserve, and Paul S. Kemp delivers those brutal moments in vivid detail.
The magnitude of chaos and destruction unleashed by the Sith Lords is emphasized alongside the sheer terror and hopelessness of the rebels attempting to fight against them. Their despair is even more apparent through the eyes of Cham Syndulla, Hera Syndulla’s father and rebel leader of Ryloth, showing that even the most courageous minds are no match for the dark side.
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.
This book is fast-paced, entertaining, and not at all what I expected it to be in the absolute best way possible. Based on the title I assumed it would only be about Vader and Palpatine, but it's so much more than that. Canon stories set after the establishment of the Empire have focused a lot on Vader's struggle to let go of his past and his obligation to obey his master, and that really makes the original trilogy even more fun to watch. There is still a human behind that mask! I haven't read much else from this author but it's definitely much higher on my priority list now. It's the perfect blend of action and impactful character development and it just might be my favorite Star Wars book to date.
Lords of the Sith gives us a glimpse into Darth Vader’s black heart as he fights inner demons alongside his Sith master, Emperor Palpatine. Kemp utilizes a broad cast featuring Imperials with rich backstories and Twi’lecks driven by their hope for a brighter future without the Empire’s tyranny. While not the best Star Wars book I’ve ever read, Lords of the Sith will have you hearing Vader’s labored breathing even when you’ve put the book down. The real brilliance of the book involves the dynamics of Vader and Palpatine. I think this is a really good book to pick up after you’ve watched the prequel trilogy or have finished watching the Clone Wars. Sometimes Star Wars books don’t acknowledge that Anakin is under the helmet at all, and with the prequels existing for better or for worse, Kemp actually uses Anakin’s backstory to his advantage in telling a character-driven story. But the book isn’t all about characters, either. The action is well-written – particularly the portions involving lightsabers, Force-lightning, and Ryloth’s native monster population.