The JC Lit Reviews Special: DARTH BANE: RULE OF TWO (Spoilers)

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Dec 27, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    It's the sequel to the longest-acronymed book in Star Wars, only the second novel set prior to the prequel era. It's Rule of Two.

    Some rules: rate Rule of Two on a scale of 1 to 10, supplementing your rating with a review, if you want to (It's not necessary but is highly encouraged). However, please do not rate or review the book until after you've read the whole thing. Thanks. :)

    Go for it.;)


    Some previous review threads:

    Republic Commando: Hard Contact, by Karen Traviss
    Shatterpoint, by Matthew Stover
    The Cestus Deception, by Steven Barnes
    Medstar I: Battle Surgeons, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry
    Medstar II: Jedi Healer, by Michael Reaves and Steve Perry
    Jedi Trial, by David Sherman and Dan Cragg
    Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, by Sean Stewart
    Labyrinth of Evil, by James Luceno
    Revenge of the Sith, by Matthew Stover
    Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader by James Luceno
    Galaxies: The Ruins of Dantooine, by Veronica Whitney-Robinson
    Tatooine Ghost, by Troy Denning
    Survivor's Quest, by Timothy Zahn
    Enemy Lines I: Rebel Dream, by Aaron Allston
    Enemy Lines II: Rebel Stand, by Aaron Allston
    Traitor, by Matthew Stover
    Destiny's Way, by Walter Jon Williams
    Force Heretic I: Remnant, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix
    Force Heretic II: Refugee, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix
    Force Heretic III: Reunion, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix
    The Final Prophecy, by Greg Keyes
    The Unifying Force, by James Luceno
    Dark Nest I: The Joiner King, by Troy Denning
    Dark Nest II: The Unseen Queen, by Troy Denning
    Dark Nest III: The Swarm War, by Troy Denning
    Outbound Flight, by Timothy Zahn
    Republic Commando: Triple Zero, by Karen Traviss
    Legacy of the Force: Betrayal, by Aaron Allston
    Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines, by Karen Traviss
    [
  2. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    Haven't done one of these for a while, oh wait, did I throw one for Death Star?

    Getting back on topic...

    These books are truly great at pulling together the various eras of SW into a cohesive whole - it looks back to TOTJ and forward to the OT and then to Legacy. It's one of the best parts of the book as it deftly fuses references together, without knowing what these are the story does lose a great deal but then the same could be said of the preceding volume too.

    As to the plot, well it won't win any prizes for being shocking - Bane continues to plot, while training his new apprentice and the Jedi refuse to credit any reports of Sith survival. What really stands out is that Bane's taking Zannah as apprentice may simply have been a case of beggars not being able to choose - it'll be interesting if Zannah does get killed by Bane in the 3rd act, if there should be one.

    The book also ties up the loose ends from the prior novel very effectively, although it does so in a way akin to Garth Ennis Punisher story - i.e. the Sith are the last two standing amidst a slew of corpses. One of the characters has a particularly harsh end but it is one he brings upon himself for Darovit is a sentimental idiot here who would have been better to take the message he got from Zannah as 'get the %$£" away from me forever' and not 'I'm trying to save you, see me later and we'll still be friends'.

    Some may find the book at fault for making the Sith too damn good in relation to the Jedi. On the other hand, it gives those of us who like Dark Empire a nice bit of ammo as Luke & Leia basically deck Sidious in open combat. The scale of that feat only goes up given how these books portray the Sith and the power at their command. The other aspect that comes into play is the Sith as a vampiric, parasitic enemy that only exist to make everybody's lives miserable for their own benefit. In dealing with such beings, extermination is the best option.

    All in all? Well, there's nothing that surprising but what it does, it does well so let's say 7.
  3. dark_jedi666 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 14, 2002
    star 4
    I finished this book yesterday. It took only two days to read, for me a sign the book is good.

    Really what you would expect from this novel. It had its limitations as you knew certain things had to happen, such as any Jedi who see Bane or Zannah and figure they are Sith have to die. Even with these though it was still a very good novel.

    I enoyed it more than POD, as it seemed to flow better for me. Learning more about Bane and how he started the wheels in motion for the Sith plan that Sidious' finished was good to read. Zannah, while being sort of thrust into the tragic villian role still showed that she was heir to the Sith legacy at the end of the novel.

    Overall I would say 7.5 out of 10.
  4. King_of_Red_Lions Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2003
    star 3
    I haven't reviewed a book in a while because the last few SW releases haven't excited me. I enjoyed this novel because I like to read about the Sith and their treacherous ways. More than once Bane puts his apprentice in danger and Zannah puts her master in peril with an 'if (s)he lives, (s)he lives and if (s)he dies (s)he wasn't worthy' attitude. The Sith operate under the Jedi's noses, putting in place spy networks and political machinations, even infiltrating the Jedi Temple itself. I find myself rooting for the Sith because they are the underdog.

    Drew has limited ability as a writer - don't look for intricate and moving prose or carefully constructed dialogue or dazzling syntax - but he knows how to tell a good story and keep the plot moving so it never gets bogged down or stale.

    Comics aren't my medium of choice, so the two Bane novels, the KOTOR video games, and casual skimming of various essential guides form the totality of my 'Sith era' exposure. Because of that, I don't know how much of the lore in this novel came from Drew or if it was lifted and inserted Luceno-style to please the fanboy, but I enjoyed the references/cameos of ancient eras and people and technology wherever the origin.

    Another reason I enjoyed this book is the vitality of the Force. In Luke's era, the Force has become very utilitarian: Jedi use it for healing trances, breathing and calming exercises and an occassional adrenaline boost to enhance their leaping ability and acrobatics. In Drew's books alchemy and wizardry, stasis fields, blue force field globes and lightning storms don't seem out of place as they would in the NJO era and beyond.

    I was surprised by a few character's demise toward the end of the novel and for a moment Zannah seemed to waver on the edge of destroying the Sith forever and I feared for Bane's life more than once. But, in the end, a shocking display of loyalty and lust for power cemented Zannah's place in the line of Sith Lords. I look forward to the next book and anticipate glimpses further down the line of Sith between Bane and Sidious.

    A few more more notes: It's becoming unbelievable how many times the ancient tomb of Freedon Nadd and ruins of Korriban, et al. can be ransacked and more and more secret rooms and holocrons discovered. I'd think the well would be dry already. The reference to the 'Lost 12' made me smile. I'm glad Drew didn't call it 19 or 20. I was confused by the nonchalant appearance of a Chiss. I thought they were unknown to the galaxy, especially in this era.

    8/10


  5. Jedi Ben Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 1999
    star 6
    How's this for a solution? The secret rooms containing the holocrons only open to those who the dark side wishes to possess them.
  6. King_of_Red_Lions Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 28, 2003
    star 3
    I'll accept that. Still...
  7. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 22.5/3 = 7.50
  8. iolo_the_bard Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2005
    star 1
    A quick disclaimer before I begin my review proper: I have not read any comics from the Sith Era, so my review will not take into account continuity between the book and comics.

    Score: 7.5/10

    Short Review: This novel had a great story, and I never found myself bored with what was occurring. However, I can tell that this book was hammered out in 6 months; everything happens VERY fast. Although this keeps the pace up, I almost read over the "10 Years Later" and was confused when I thought about that little-girl-Sith was smooching a Twi'lek. Also, when i reached the end of the book, I had a feeling of "Ok, what's next? Oh wait....this is a back cover, isn't it?"

    Long Review: I loved the first Darth Bane novel, and having never read the comics, wasn't plagued by the discontent over continuity. I was very excited when this book was released, although I was worried that the short time frame in which it written would adversely affect the quality of the story. Overall, I was very pleased with the story I was presented with. Having a Sith POV book was interesting the first time around, and still interesting here. It's refreshing to see the Sith as something more than "Random Bad Guy With A Red Lightsaber That Must Be Killed" and more fleshed out. I'm a sucker for training sequences, and I heard a John Williams rendition of Eye of the Tiger in my head as I read the scenes of Bane teaching Zannah. The concept of only one Jedi knowing that the Sith are still around and not being able to get anyone to believe him was nice, and very believable. I can fully understand how the Jedi Order would want to sweep all the Sith nastyness under the rug and move on. Also, when Valorum mention the Ruusan Reformation, I had a total fanboy moment of "Oooooh! I know what that is!"

    My issues with the book are very general in scope. The story didn't really seem to lead anywhere. A lot of neat stuff happened, but in the end, the only thing I walked away with was the fact that the Jedi have to admit the Sith are back now. If a third Bane novel is written, this will all make sense and I'll be happy, but as it stands now, I feel a bit unfulfilled. My only other complaint is that although the book moves at a nonstop pace, which keeps it from getting boring, at times it moves a little too fast. Events happen in rapid-fire sequence, and at times can be a little disorienting.

    In conclusion, this is a very solid book, and only really loses points for being a little too fast, and for leaving me with a general feeling that the story didn't really lead to anything major.
  9. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 30/4 = 7.50
  10. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    Actually, quite the opposite: the end of the book is apparently intended to show that the Jedi still think the last Sith has been destroyed.
  11. Adam_Bosman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2007
    star 2
    I liked the way he explained how Yoda would know of the Rule of Two (rumor and deceit within the Jedi Order). The only thing I still don't understand is how the Valley of the Jedi could be forgotten with something as important and prolific as the Ruusan Reformations. You're telling me that no one ever made it back to Ruusan until Kyle Katarn to find the ramins of the Thought Bomb? Or did other people just not FIND it?
  12. _Catherine_ Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 16, 2007
    star 4
    Zannah and Darovit had a battle to the death there! [face_dancing]

    Oh, wait. :oops:
  13. Adam_Bosman Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 30, 2007
    star 2
    Ya, I'm re-reading the Kyle Katarn trilogy now for some insight. It's really making more questions though... Does anyone know when the Morgan Kartarn parts take place in the timeline? I just finished a part where Morgan is telling a Jedi named Rahn about the Valley.

    Was the tribute built by Johun constructed on the sight of the thought bomb? Above? Around?
  14. iolo_the_bard Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2005
    star 1
    >.< This is what I get for pulling an all-nighter to finish a book, and then write a review on it. This actually improves my outlook on the book a bit, and I'd like to augment my score to a 7.8 (If that's possible, if not, please disregard this score).
  15. DVader316 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2000
    star 7
    I finished Rule of Two a little while ago and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it, just as much or even more so than the first book. I like Karpyshyn's writing style more than I expected, too. Since Im not a reader of the Old Republic comics it was pretty surreal to see the Sith so clearly dominate the ancient Jedi, but it also made me hungry for more books from this era, and the eventual third (and final ?) Bane novel which Im sure we'll get at some point.

    8 / 10
  16. Master-Chief-Kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2007
    star 3
    I just finished this today and I absolutely loved it & enjoy it, until I got to the lame cheap cop-out of an ending. I don't know the original comics in fact I didnt even know the comics existed until very very recently so I dont know those stories, only this book. Zannah is interesting but she's not believable as a sith msotly because she has absolutly no reason for her unwavering loyalty to Bane. The jedi take her from her home and force her into what she percieves, mostly only because of Bane, a life of warfare and servitude only to be rescued by bane and forced into a life of warfare and servitude and she is grateful to bane for this. It doesn't make sence to me. I was expecting her to turn back to the light by the end and when she didn't I was mad about it. And yeah the end didn't ruin the book for me but i'll probobly never read it again because of it. Once more del rey gives a novel featuring an infallible and invincible sith order and an unbelievably stupid & incompetent jedi order that don't have a single clue as to anything that they're actually doing. And my god how many ancient sith holocrons in unknown locations not on any star chart is one guy going to find in his life?!?

    My biggest problem with this book is that only 10 years after the sith are destroyed at Russan Bane has every single possible piece set up in place for Palpetine to take down the republic 990 years later so why on earth do the sith need to wait that extra 990 years? Once Zannah is fully trained she only needs to run for political office and have Bane concoct some fake war to frame the jedi and the galaxy is theirs. ROT proved the entire ancient jedi order is not capable of standing up to even a single sith lord much less two. The biggest weakness of the rule of two and why I suspect they need 1000 years and to break the rule of 2 to succeed is because the master is only training his apprentice to betray him master & apprentice can never actually colaberate proporly and as such each generation of sith lord is working alone on his plans and as such anything they do is doomed to failure cause if they fail there's noone else to fall back on and if the apprentice isn't fully trained when the master dies then the sith lose knowlage & power. Krayt had the right idea with the rule of one. With 10,000 sith the jedi'll never be able to fully destroy the sith again.

    I did really enjoy the training parts between Bane & Zannah. It was an interesting contrast with the Lumiya-Jacen traning parts in LOTF and makes me question much as POD did, exactly how much sith knowlage, if any, Lumiya actually had but this isnt the place to discuss this.

    7/ 10 because despite my rants everything before the climax was pure gold. Drew spins a good yarn and is very good at capturing that classic star wars pulp adventure feel I love so much & I can't wait to see what he does next.
  17. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    Who says they DID wait?

    The Jedi know of Darth Bane's fall.... and they were rounding up anyway when they said the Sith had been exstinct for "a millennium", so what's a few more years gonna hurt?

    And "Revenge" of the Sith makes little sense these days, since Bane was the one responsible for their destruction... unless they want revenge for BANE's death. ;)
  18. Worm5 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2004
    star 1
    I'll give it a 6/10. It was aptly, if simply, written. It was a fairly entertaining story, if, as others have said, a bit rushed. My biggest complaint with Drew is the way he seems to write combat scenes like he's still thinking in terms of the mechanics of an RPG. I noticed this too in PoD. My biggest complaint this time around: a fully fledged Jedi Knight, of four years no less, losing to a normal human opponent. In mêlée combat. No tricks, no surprises, no Ysalamiri, just Joe Nobody besting a Jedi Knight, by himself, through skill alone.

    I'm sorry, but no. I simply will not accept that. I don't care if he was a diplomat and a Form VI user; he's still a karking JEDI KNIGHT. I'm not one to set up Jedi as uber-beings or demi-gods, but regular people are simply not faster than Jedi. "He can see things before they happen. It's a Jedi trait." The entire point of combat with Force users is that they don't rely on their mortal reflexes, but rather let the Force guide them. Not only would a Jedi be faster than any regular human opponent, he would be able to sense his attacks, and therefore meet them, before they're even begun.
  19. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Average score: 51/7 = 7.29
  20. Master-Chief-Kenobi Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2007
    star 3
    It is a perfect set up for part 3. Perhaps bane is killed by the jedi before Zannah can complete her training so all his knowlage & Powers are lost until Palpetines time?
  21. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    I would love if Bane was the Sith who gave justice to the statement "and once more the Sith shall rule the galaxy!" :D
  22. Ulicus Lit'ari

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2005
    star 6
    Ditto.

    Puppet Chancellor anyone? At the least, it would give us another reason for the Jedi to think the Sith Lord was someone *around* Palpatine rather than Palpatine himself.

    Wait. I'm getting severe Deja Vu now. Did we have a thread about this about a year ago? I remember posting a bucketload of speculation.... [face_thinking]
  23. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    A year ago? I think that was around two months, if that.
  24. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    I'm beginning to think the "revenge" is simply for the Jedi creating the Army of Light and successfully battling the Sith forces to the point where a showdown (Ruusan) became inevitable. It's possible the later Sith don't know the details regarding Bane's role in the use of the thought bomb.
  25. Arawn_Fenn Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 2004
    star 7
    YODA: If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will, as it did Obi-Wan's apprentice.

    And that is why I'm so glad she didn't.

    Enough with the redemptions already. [face_mischief]
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.