Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book of Sith Review: Malevolent Manifestos

Dan Wallace returns to the Star Wars universe with this eagerly awaited companion to last years Jedi Path book.  Book of Sith provides a collection of six malevolent manifesto's from key figures in the history of the Dark Side, along with comments from other denizens of the galaxy far, far away.

Like it's predecessor, Book of Sith features a electronic plastic case that features sound effects and contains some in-universe "artifacts."  Book of Sith's Sith Holocron facsimile case is much more visually appealing then the Jedi Path's rather boring looking case.  However, it appears that the internal mechanisms won't hold up well over time and I am afraid to leave the book in the case for fear I'll have to break into the case at some point if it stops working.  The "artifacts" are neat, but on the whole have feel of something you would find in a Happy Meal instead of a book that costs upwards of $60.  I really enjoy the visual look of the case, but perhaps a few less "artifacts" of slightly higher quality would make more sense given the book's price point.

All that being said, I didn't buy the book for the case or the trinkets, I bought it for what is on the written page.

The book itself comes with a nice faux leather cover, and includes sections which are "written" by the Sith Lords Sorzus Syn, Darth Malgus, Darth Bane, Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, as well as the Nightsister leader Mother Talzin. Each section of the book contains a different paper and a different font, this is a nice way of re-enforcing the idea that the book has different authors from different periods of time.

Wallace does a great job giving each of these Sith a different voice and provides a great deal of insight into the history of the Sith Order.  The written comments in Book of Sith seem to fit better, though there seems to be less of them then there was in the Jedi Path.

The Mother Talzin's section entitled "Wild Power" is particularly revealing and has some very interesting ties that will have implications not only in The Clone Wars animated series, but also in the Expanded Universe.

This is a fun read, but it does leave me wanting another tome written purely by Palpatine.  I enjoyed the first-person narrative approach that this book employs and it has me wondering if such an approach could be employed in other ways.  Perhaps a first-person Han and Chewie account or a first-person Rogue Squadron campaign diary.

In the end I would probably rather have the much cheaper trade edition release that comes without the case (likely released later this year) then this release, but if you are a Expanded Universe junkie like myself, this is a book you want to get your hands on as soon as you can.

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