Select one of the keywords
Path of Destruction: Star Wars Darth Bane    by Drew Karpyshyn order for
Path of Destruction
by Drew Karpyshyn
Order:  USA  Can
Del Rey, 2006 (2006)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Dessel remembers extreme abuse at the hands of his drunken, high-tempered father, the now deceased Hurst. Hurst continually told his son, whom he blamed for the death of his mother, 'Bloody bane of my existence is what you are.' Father and son worked long arduous hours as cortosis miners in the tunnels of planet Apatros - soul-crushing work for minimal wages, with accumulating debts owed to the company - Outer Rim Oreworks (ORO). Des labors on, his body 'a mountain of muscle'. His goal - to earn enough to pay off his debts and leave Apatros forever.

Cortosis is a rare mineral sought by the military in a galaxy at war. When a rival miner attempts to take over his digging site, Des kills the man in self-defense, and is suspended. In the cantina, Des joins a high-stakes game, where his precognitive talent helps him win. Leaving the cantina, he's accosted by three Republic soldiers who lost to him; he kills one, and ends up on the run. Arrangements are made for Des to join the Sith. He moves up in the Sith militia, and his successes come to the attention of the Masters at the Korriban Academy, where the elite are trained in the Sith ways. Twi'lek, Lord Kopecz of the Sith tells him, 'you have only scratched the surface of your gift ... There is a great potential in you ... we can teach you to unleash it.' Des chooses a new name, Bane, and commits to the tenets of the Sith: 'Peace is a lie. There is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength ... Through victory my chains are broken'.

Twi'lek Blademaster Lord Kas'im trains Academy students in the seven traditional lightsaber forms, and each must challenge other students. Bane spends hours in the abandoned archives on Academy grounds, studying the wisdom of the 'very first Sith' from thousands of years before, patiently reading scrolls , knowing the ancient knowledge to be key to his full potential. Bane reads of the meaning of the Darth title, shunned by current Masters, as well as the title Sith'ari. Sith Master Lord Kaan, founder of the Brotherhood of Darkness, is obsessed with winning power over the galaxy, and destroying the Republic and its Jedi. A Jedi crosses over in secrecy, the key to Kaan's overrunning the Army of Light.

Bane sees the Academy as an abomination, the Sith's falling from the ideals of the Dark Side. He travels to the planet Lehon, The Unknown World, graveyard of the Sith's ultimate, centuries-old defeat. At the pyramidal Rakatan Temple, Bane listens to the voice of an ancient: 'The dark side offers power for power's sake ... In true power, there is no room for 'conceits' - that of mercy, compassion, loyalty: all of these things will prevent you from claiming what is rightfully yours.'

Drew Karpyshyn uses such phrasing as 'some are of a mind that betrayal is a more effective weapon than a lightsaber' ingeniously in the story of Bane, as he effectively slides into battles between the Army of Light and the Brothers of Darkness. In Path of Destruction, he gives us an intense and revealing account of the past of the Sith with exceptional character development, a dramatic plot, and well designed dialog, earning his lightsaber in the Star Wars galaxy of authors.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.

Find more SF books on our Shelves or in our book Reviews