The new Star Wars expanded canon universe is well on its way to being very impressive, and it’s book like Golden’s Dark Disciple that are doing it. Based on a set of unproduced scripts from the Clone Wars series, the book explores a pair of interesting characters and expands on their lives, their emotions, and their causes and their destinies.
At the book’s heart is former Sith apprentice, and Nightsister, Asajj Ventress, and the jovial Jedi Master, Quinlan Vos, characters that were introduced in the television series, and do not exist in any of the films. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t classic Star Wars characters, in fact, right from the beginning it felt like I was watching the Clone Wars. Golden’s writing is evocative, and I could see everything in my head.
In an unprecedented move, the Jedi Council feels it’s time to put an end to Sith Lord, Count Dooku. If he can be stopped , once and for all, then perhaps they can put an end to the war once and for all. So they nominate Vos to track down and, in a very un-Jedi like directive, execute Dooku.
To help in his mission, Master Obi-Wan Kenobi suggests Vos track down Dooku’s former apprentice, someone who has tried to kill the Sith Lord twice before, and failed, the former Sith, now turned bounty hunter, Ventress. He suggests the two pair up, and work as a team.
The two of them set out together on an adventure that will change both of them, and as a relationship begins between them, one of them tells a lie that when they finally confront the Sith Lord, Dooku will use to tear them apart.
It’s a fast-paced novel that rockets the reader along, and the two characters completely enthrall and entertain the reader. In fact, I was so wrapped up in the two of them that when in the second third of the book when Anakin Skywalker and Kenobi are pushed from secondary characters to almost front and center, it’s almost jarring.
And that is a compliment to Golden’s writing, to make these other characters, supporting at best in the series, even if one of them is a villain, so strong and involving that when my favorite character (Kenobi) shows up, it bothers me, because it took me away from Vos and Ventress.
The action sequences are frenetically paced, and the relationship which occurs between the two leads, is poetic, lovely, and plays out in the only way it can.
Dark Disciple is high Star Wars adventure, and was a completely engrossing tale. It wonderfully expanded on the Clone Wars, as well as the people on both sides that fought for what they believed, wanted and loved.
This one is a must for Star Wars fans.