“Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody the power, the other to crave it.”

Star Wars Darth Bane Path of Destruction, by Drew Karpyshyn, is a science fiction novel that takes place 1,000 years before the fall of the Republic, following the rise of the man who would not only be the progenitor of that down fall, but would revolutionize the Sith themselves.

Dessel has spent most of his life working as a virtual slave for a mining company on the planet Apatros. Only the instinctive belief that this is not is fate keeps him going. When a card game ends with murder and Dessel a wanted man, he’s forced to join the ranks of the Sith army. When his prodigious strength in the Force is discovered he is taken to Korriban where he and many others under go training to become Sith Lords and it’s here that Dessel embraces his new identity. Bane. Embracing the Dark Side will make Bane more powerful that he ever believed possible and lead him to a destiny he could never have imagined–but only if he survives.

It’s not often that you come across a book with an anti-hero as the main character. By their very nature these are people who’d otherwise be assigned to the role of villain–individuals whom we want to see fall, but in this case we actually want to succeed. Darth Bane is perhaps my favorite anti-hero. Unlike Revan who was used and manipulated by both sides, every choice Bane makes is his own. The fact that Karpyshyn could make you like Bane and sympathize with his struggles in spite of this is all the more impressive.

One of the things I’ve always liked about Star Wars novels is how they can have an impact on each other via history and various characters. Darth Revan was the closest Sith to having destroyed the Republic before Palpatine. Yes, Darth Bane founded the Rule of Two, but only after finding a holocron on the Rakatan home world, a holocron left by Revan himself. Revan may not have destroyed the Republic, but–in a sense–he was a co-founder of the philosophy that eventually did.

Through skill and cunning Darth Bane tricks the Sith into destroying themselves and the Jedi into believing that their hated foe is gone for good. He even finds a young girl–Zannah–whose strong in the Force and willing to be his apprentice. As the galaxy recovers from the ravages of war, Bane takes his apprentice and disappears into the shadows, ready to enact the Rule of Two and lay out the ground work for the destruction of the Jedi and the Republic–no matter how long it takes.

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