Based on unproduced episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, this new novel features Asajj Ventress, former Sith apprentice turned bounty hunter and one of the great antiheroes in the Star Wars galaxy.
The only way to bring down the Sith’s most dangerous warrior may be to join forces with the dark side.
In the war for control of the galaxy between the armies of the dark side and the Republic, former Jedi Master turned ruthless Sith Lord Count Dooku has grown ever more brutal in his tactics. Despite the powers of the Jedi and the military prowess of their clone army, the sheer number of fatalities is taking a terrible toll. And when Dooku orders the massacre of a flotilla of helpless refugees, the Jedi Council feels it has no choice but to take drastic action: targeting the man responsible for so many war atrocities, Count Dooku himself.
But the ever-elusive Dooku is dangerous prey for even the most skilled hunter. So the Council makes the bold decision to bring both sides of the Force’s power to bear—pairing brash Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos with infamous one-time Sith acolyte Asajj Ventress. Though Jedi distrust for the cunning killer who once served at Dooku’s side still runs deep, Ventress’s hatred for her former master runs deeper. She’s more than willing to lend her copious talents as a bounty hunter—and assassin—to Vos’s quest.
Together, Ventress and Vos are the best hope for eliminating Dooku—as long as the emerging feelings between them don’t compromise their mission. But Ventress is determined to have her retribution and at last let go of her dark Sith past. Balancing the complicated emotions she feels for Vos with the fury of her warrior’s spirit, she resolves to claim victory on all fronts—a vow that will be mercilessly tested by her deadly enemy . . . and her own doubt.
Praise for Dark Disciple
“Reading Dark Disciple really feels like you’re watching some of the best episodes of The Clone Wars.”—EUCantina
“Emotionally charged . . . Christie Golden does a wonderful job of capturing the characters.”—Roqoo Depot
“A cool inclusion into the Star Wars mythos . . . Ventress and Vos have a cool and compelling dynamic, and are used to explore more of what it means to flirt with the Dark Side of the Force.”—IGN
“[The Clone Wars have been] a huge part of the Star Wars brand for years, and [Christie] Golden manages to craft a story worthy of the themes and characters that fans have come to relate to. . . . [She] uses this opportunity to craft Dark Disciple into a spy/espionage thriller.”—Tech Times
“Golden especially excelled at bringing Ventress’s biting but appealing personality to life. . . . She’s very much a woman trying to find her way, and Dark Disciple adds nuance.”—Nerdist
“Smart, captivating, and unforgettable . . . among the finest in Star Wars storytelling.”—Coffee with Kenobi
Simply amazing. Having watched Clone Wars, I was able to picture everything I read as if I was watching it on TV. Very emotional and full of action. Perhaps it is better as a book, as I don't think a cartoon could have fully done this story justice.
Painful, Touching and Superb
Dark Disciple is a lot of things, but in the end, it’s a painful, rapturous story. Honestly, this book is emotionally charged like no other Star Wars novel that’s been released in the new canon. Part of that is due to the characters. Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos have a lot of history in the old expanded universe. Star Wars: The Clone Wars built onto that history even further, reshaping them, and perhaps even making them better. Yet with Dark Disciple, these two characters come to life like never before. In a way, it cements Quinlan’s history both past and present, an accomplishment that will likely bring joy to longtime Vos fans who aren’t averse to a little rebooting. However, for me, the payoff lied with Ventress. She was one of my favorite characters in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and with her getting the spotlight in Dark Disciple, it made it a true joy to read. Painful, but good.
The premise is pretty straightforward. The Jedi Council decides that Count Dooku needs to be eliminated. They choose Jedi Master Quinlan Vos for the mission and further stipulate that he should utilize Asajj Ventress in order to get the job done. The story builds a relationship and trust between the two as they go off on missions together, delve into bounty hunting, and explore the breadth of the Force. Asajj tries to show Vos how she’s found a balance between dark and light that allows her to remain herself without being consumed by the dark side. As the story unfurls, they get mixed up with bounty hunters like Boba Fett, Bossk, Latts Razzi, Embo and Highslinger. They go up against Black Sun and the Pyke Syndicate. Along the way, the Jedi Council keeps an eye on the two, and readers can look forward to seeing some Obi-Wan and Anakin in action in this book. But ultimately, the conflict comes down to Quinlan, Ventress and Dooku. In a web of emotions, ambitions and the dark side, readers are in for a tumultuous ride.
With Quinlan and Asajj at the core of this book, a lot rides on how attached readers are to their backstories. Keep in mind, this book is based off of eight scripts for episodes of The Clone Wars that were never completed due to the show’s cancellation. For fans still clinging on to the old Dark Horse Comics backstories for Ventress and Vos, you might not like this one. As always, The Clone Wars goes it’s own way and tells it’s own story for each of the characters. Quinlan Vos’ story is rewritten, but it also reflects much of the spirit of what it was. His master is still Tholme. He can still read memories and images from objects using the Force. Furthermore, his life is still haunted by the dark side. I found the Vos presented in Dark Disciple to be a very nice bridge between the Vos of old and that of this new creation. As for Ventress, her character arc follows what was laid out in the television show. She’s turned to bounty hunting, has found a peace within herself, and is no longer ruled by the dark side. If you like what they did with Ventress in the tv show, you’ll like the Ventress in this book.
It’s hard to talk about the book too much further without delving into serious spoilers. However, there is some more that needs to be said. First off, Christie Golden does a wonderful job of capturing the characters. Be it Quinlan, Asajj or Yoda and Obi-Wan, all of the characters in this book fall perfectly in line with what The Clone Wars created. As a big fan of The Clone Wars, I really enjoyed this story and how well it worked in telling a chapter of the show in book format. I was rather disappointed with the previous Dark Horse Comics mini-series that tried to tell a Darth Maul arc from The Clone Wars as it just did not work for me at all. Dark Disciple, however, works. It captures the depth of the characters, the resonance of emotion, as well as the excitement and action as they’re thrown into combat. There are lightsaber fights, speeder chases, soul searching and yes, there is a romance angle to this story. Prepare yourselves, cause it’s a good one.
A New Dawn kicked off the new canon as everything else was shoved off into legends, and managed to capture a spark of the joy that is Star Wars Rebels. Tarkin and Heir to the Jedi both dove into specific characters to try and show readers a new side to Tarkin and Luke Skywalker. Lords of the Sith went a different route by going for sheer, all out action with some extreme characters. There was joy to be had in all of them, but Dark Disciple raises the bar. It has character exploration, it has action, and it captures the magic of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It takes all of those great aspects, throws in a thick layering of character investment, and gives fans an emotional experience that will leave them trembling when it’s all said and done. At least that was my experience. With any luck, fans will get the same level of enjoyment as I did. I give Dark Disciple a five out of five.
Just incredible. Every bit as good as the clone wars series, touching and fantastically written with characters that show amazing depth.