Titan Books, h/b, Â£12.99
Reviewed by Brin Lunt
Allow me to begin by stating that this tome is probably not for the uncommitted Star Wars fan. The only thing it can be genuinely compared to is the Light Side version, released a couple of years back, called The Jedi Path. More a research manual than a get-engrossed novel, Book of Sith contains references to Lord Kaan, Wayland, Mara Jade, Iella Wessiri and Beskar, amongst many others. Only a person who knows the significance of those names would fully appreciate Book of Sith; for others, it will probably mark their first step into the vast, almost unending galaxy that is the Star Wars Expanded Universe. For the purposes of this review, Iâ€™ll assume that you, the reader, know a little something about the characters already.
Book of Sith, like The Jedi Path, is split into numerous chapters. Sith contains seven â€“ two from the hand of Sidious, one each from Plagueis, Malgus, Bane, Sorzus Syn and Mother Talzin. Each extols the virtues and necessities of the Dark Side and how to attain its power. The book in total covers 10,000 years of in-universe history, making it possibly the most complete text book the Expanded Universe has come up with.
Each chapter is denoted by a different sort of fraying at the page edges, as well as differing textures, which adds to the novelty of the book. It really does feel like a compilation of chapters torn from the pages of others. The different chapters are likewise written with differing styles and fonts, as befits the various authors.
Similar to The Jedi Path, most of the pages are annotated by the former owners and readers of the book â€“ Sidious appears again, as does Vader, Asajj Ventress, Luke Skywalker, Quinlan Vos, Mace Windu and Yoda. It can be quite interesting to read these additions, especially when one addition replies directly to another. The annotations likewise span the course of in-universe history, with the latest additions (similar again to The Jedi Path) coming from the hand of Luke Skywalker, a decade after the Battle of Yavin depicted in Star Wars: A New Hope.
I do have to question the inclusion of a section by Mother Talzin on the Nightsisters of Dathomir â€“ you wouldnâ€™t usually expect to find a chapter devoted to a Dark Side Sect in a book compiled by the Dark Lords of the Sith. But then, I suppose the editors needed to include something to entice the fans of that newest generation, the fans who see The Clone Wars cartoon as the highest echelon of Star Wars-based entertainment.
I found the book fascinating and informative. However, Iâ€™m a fully-fledged Star Wars fanatic, who loves nothing better than to research the huge history contained within the galaxy far, far away. There will be others whoâ€™ll think itâ€™s an entertaining collection. Whatever your view, whether youâ€™re an avid reader, watcher or collector, Book of Sith makes a fantastic addition to your bookshelf. Just donâ€™t get lost in it. If once you start down the Dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny…