Quick-take: What a legacy Darth Bane has left.
The book starts with an aging Darth Bane wondering when his apprentice will finally overthrow him. He's been teaching her for 20 years now, and she just seems content just taking orders. He is going to need to discard Darth Zannah and find a new one while he still has enough years to train them properly.
Darth Bane's "Rule of Two" is quite clear: the apprentice must face the master to claim the title of Dark Lord of the Sith. We saw this event coming a book and a half ago when he first requited Zannah. With this book, we finally get to witness it.
This entire book is a build-up to that fateful battle, and what a ride it is. Part of being a master is having an apprentice, and we get to see both dark lords jockey for a candidate. We see Bane go to great lengths to try to extend his life. We see old acquaintances reemerge... with references digging all the way back to Book 1. We see good ole fashioned Sith distrust and backstabbing.
It's very entertaining book. With the culture and lore of the Sith already established, the book is able to concentrate nearly entirely on action and sabotage. There is only one minor mark against this story: We can all guess the outcome with this being the final book. Fortunately, the ride is so intense, we don't mind already knowing the result. I am very happy to have found a Sci-Fi trilogy where I can rate every entry a score of 5/5.
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