Author: John Jackson Miller
Publisher: Del Rey
Release date: July 24, 2012
Pages: 410 (128 pages of new content)
Era: Old Republic
This review contains minor spoilers for the never-before-published finale, Pandemonium, and mild spoilers for the rest of the series.
Readers of Fate of the Jedi are no doubt familiar with the Lost Tribe of the Sith, which plays a large role in the nine-book series. Each installment was accompanied by a free eBook written by longtime Star Wars author John Jackson Miller, detailing the history of this mysterious new adversary set on taking over the galaxy. Now, more than three years after the series debuted, Del Rey has collected these short stories into a large paperback book. To incentivize fans who have already read the eight installments of the Lost Tribe of the Sith series for free, The Collected Stories includes the brand-new “short story” Pandemonium, which nicely wraps up the series, maps of Kesh’s continents Keshtah and Alanciar, and an excerpt from Star Wars: X-Wing – Mercy Kill.
When it comes to Pandemonium, the term short story is somewhat deceptive. At 128 pages, it’s actually four times longer than the average Lost Tribe of the Sith installment. As a result, Miller is able to give the characters and events more time to develop. He’s also able to build upon the characters and history introduced in Precipice, Skyborn, Paragon, Savior, Purgatory, Sentinel, Pantheon, and Secrets. The short length and long wait time between each eBook made it somewhat difficult to become invested in what’s going on. Just when you start to care about the characters and their unique situation, the story ends or jumps forward a few hundred years. The upside, however, is that you get a great glimpse at the Lost Tribe’s history, from its crash landing on Kesh in 5,000 BBY up through 2,975 BBY. Pandemonium, on the other hand, is much more satisfying, as it has plenty of time to develop its story.
Pandemonium begins on the other side of the planet Kesh, 25 years after Secrets. It immediately establishes a relationship between Wardmaster Quarra Than, the Force-sensitive military administrator of Uhrar, and Jogan Halder, a low-ranking soldier charged with guarding the coast. Naturally, the Lost Tribe launches its attack soon after, reintroducing High Lord Edell Vrai, High Lord Bentado, and Grand Lord Varner Hilts. The three leaders of the Lost Tribe have widely different views, but they’re all true Sith at heart. This makes for an interesting dynamic, especially when you throw the imaginative Jogan and conflicted Quarra into the mix.
Lost Tribe of the Sith arguably reads best when presented as a collection of short stories, allowing you to connect the dots as you learn about the Lost Tribe’s history. As soon as I finished Pandemonium, I felt the sudden urge to go back and re-read the rest of the book so I could pick up on some of the things I’d forgotten about over the last three years. The finale serves as a good – albeit somewhat dark – ending to the series, making it well worth the $4.99 eBook price. And that’s a good thing too, since the first eight installments are no longer available for download through StarWars.com, Kindle, NOOK, and the like. Of course, the story of the Lost Tribe isn’t completely over. On August 8, Dark Horse will kick off the five-issue Lost Tribe of the Sith: Spiral comic, which take place shortly after the events of Pandemonium.
I wouldn’t count Star Wars: Lost Tribe of the Sith – The Collected Stories among my favorite Expanded Universe works, but it’s an entertaining and affordable story which provides a different perspective on this mysterious new group of Sith and their limited view of the galaxy. Who knows, you just might grow to like some of the Sith Lords.
Reviewed by William Devereux
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