Karpyshyn (the writer on the excellent videogames Knights of the Old Republic, Jade Empire, and Mass Effect) has an excellent grasp on the viewpoint of the followers of the dark side of the Force, and can make even Sith Lords into sympathetic characters. In the conclusion of the Darth Bane trilogy, the Dark Lord of the Sith, having taken the trouble to eliminate all other Sith and establish the Rule of Two— that there is, at a given time, only one Sith master and one apprentice who will surpass and destroy him— is dubious as to whether his apprentice Darth Zannah is going to be able to be a proper successor to him, and seeks out dark rituals of immortality so the mantle of Sith succession will not fall on unworthy shoulders.

In addition to bringing in some of Darth Bane’s ties established in the earlier books, he also provides a Dark Jedi and a wild-talent dark side assassin for contrast to the more formal philosophy of the Sith. I strongly recommend this trilogy for anyone who needs to create competent, believable villains for their stories and games: none of the characters are mad, cackling evil-for-evil’s-sake; they are all heroes in their own minds.

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