Sunday, January 31, 2016

Teen review: Darth Bane!

Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
by Drew Karpyshyn
324 Pages
Science Fiction/Fantasy
Part of the Star Wars: Legends continuity of novels, Darth Bane Trilog

Book review by Michael Zhang, Grade 12

Darth Bane: Path of Destruction is a science fiction and fantasy novel in the Star Wars: Legends continuity of novels and books, set more than a thousand years before the events of the Star Wars films. The first in a trilogy, it follows the origin story of Darth Bane, a major character in the Star Wars canon who goes on to become the founder of the modern Sith Order as we know them in the movies.

The book follows Bane, or as he is named when we first encounter him in the novel, Dessel. We get to see his rise from a metal miner and smelter into the legendary figure that he becomes in Star Wars lore. It’s a worthy beginning, and tells the story of “rags to riches” in an interesting and riveting way. Karpyshyn is great with mysticism, bringing a lot of his skill as a fantasy and video game writer into describing riveting fight scenes, esoteric and mystical powers, as well as providing great fan service for those who are big fans of the Star Wars lore. Bane in particular is the dream antihero. He’s physically powerful, yet knowledgable and in no way a brute. We see everything from his eyes, and we get to see him grow from his mistakes, learn about his powers and abilities as he becomes the founder of the villainous order, filling in some of the rich history that is only hinted at in the movie saga.

Overall, I’d rate this novel a 4/5. I loved the battles and the rich descriptive text, as well as the cameos and fan service the novel offers. The only thing that prevents me from giving it another star is that I felt that the writing quality wasn’t quite on the level of other authors such as James Luceno. I feel that Karpyshyn’s prose is just a smidgen off the mark, but that’s in no way indicative of me disliking the novel, just a minor nitpick.

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