Title: Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
Author: Drew Karpyshyn
Copyright: 2010 (Del Rey); 306 pgs.
Series: Star Wars Expanded Universe
Genre: Science Fiction
ERA: Sith/Republic – 1,020 years before the Battle of Yavin (Star Wars: A New Hope)
Ten years have passed since the events in Rule of Two. Bane and Zannah, posing as his sister, live on Ciutric IV. They have kept their true identities hidden, all the while gathering knowledge and wealth, building their strength for the time when the Sith will reveal themselves and eliminate the Jedi. Bane has accepted the fact that the destruction of the Jedi might not occur in his lifetime. The long-term effects of wearing the orbalisk armor has weaken him and time is taking its toll. Had he been a Jedi, he could have lessen the effects, but the dark side of the Force is too destructive to be used for healing and repair.
Though Bane has tried to conceal the effects from Zannah, he is sure she has noticed his weakness. It bothers him that she has yet to take advantage of his weakening body to challenge him. He is worried that she is waiting until he is so feeble that little or no effort will be needed to strike him down. He believes, for the Sith order to remain powerful enough to eventually destroy the Jedi, an apprentice must defeat her master while he’s still strong, thereby proving the apprentice has earned the right to be the Master. Her inaction convinces Bane that she lacks the ambition. She is unworthy to be Sith. With time no longer on his side, Bane must find a way to extend his life so he can train a new apprentice, and he must do so without drawing Zannah’s attention to his actions. He sends Zannah on a mission to find out who killed a Jedi on Doan, and to find out why he was there in the first place.
Zannah has noticed the signs of weakness in Bane. However, she also knows that Bane is a master manipulator. It is possible that he is trying to trick her into attacking him before she is ready, proving she hasn’t learned the lesson of patience he has drilled into her for years. Zannah has been actively looking for an apprentice of her own, an apprentice that will take her place when she defeats Bane and becomes the Master. So far, Zannah hasn’t found any potential candidates and until then, she will bide her time. Her mission to Doan might lead her a likely candidate. Zannah is wary enough of Bane to wonder if the mission is also another of his tests and shrewd enough to consider the possibility that Bane intends to replace her with whoever defeated the Jedi.
With Zannah out of the way. Bane sets out to track down the knowledge he needs to extend his life, not knowing his past is about to come back to haunt him and that he has underestimated his apprentice.
Comments: I loved this book. It was so much better than Rule of Two. I’ve enjoyed reading the Darth Bane trilogy, having a Sith as the main character and rooting for someone who would ordinarily be considered the villain.
In Dynasty of Evil, Bane is the bad guy and I found myself sympathizing with Zannah. Bane believes her unworthy, forgetting that sometimes biding one’s time is the right course of action, even for the Sith. In fact, patience is more important than ever — acting rash could jeopardize all their plans. The time isn’t right for the Sith to overthrow the Republic and only those who learn the value of being patient are going to make the order stronger.
Besides the hunt for new apprentices and the quest for immortality, the plot involves a young woman bent on revenge. I liked Serra and Lucia were tied to Bane’s past. I couldn’t help rooting for them, even though I knew — in the back of my mind — that they were no match for a Sith Lord and things would not end well for them.
I loved the ending. Though not a cliffhanger by any means, the epilogue gives me the impression that at least one story thread was left hanging, just in case. I would like to see the Sith deal with that ex-Jedi.
Start: 1 February 2011
Finished: 6 February